With a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, what is Diontae Johnson's fantasy value?

Yahoo Fantasy’s Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don discuss what we might expect from Steelers WR Diontae Johnson this upcoming season. Subscribe to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video Transcript

DALTON DEL DON: What are your thoughts? Obviously, throw away the quarterback situation last year, but people are hyping Diontae Johnson. I'm buying it. I have him ranked very aggressively, so your thoughts?



MATT HARMON: I'm buying on Diontae Johnson. Johnson was a guy that wasn't really on my radar as much, but I kept getting people telling me going into before training, like this is a guy you're really going to like. And usually, when people say that, I'm a little skeptical.


MATT HARMON: So usually, my radar is ready to be disappointed, but Johnson is probably my biggest riser after charting. Because it was just amazing to see how much easy separation he got. This is a guy who finished in reception perception at the 88th percentile in terms of success rate versus man coverage in the 81st against Pres, and I mentioned this earlier. But it's worth teasing this point out that over the last since 2014, over the last six NFL seasons of charting players, if you finish above the 85th percentile in success rate versus man coverage, you're extremely likely to have a 1,000 yard season at some point in your career.

DALTON DEL DON: So Diontae Johnson did that, you're saying, and now, he's a young and better quarterback situation. So he could just go crazy.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, that's my thought. You know, we mentioned JuJu earlier. I wrote a whole column on the Steelers, and why I think this is a an offense that is so interesting. Because if Ben Roethlisberger is even, let's just say, like-- you know, he's not his peak form. But he's like a top 12 quarterback. He's something close to his peak form. There's so much exciting young talent here, and my only thought with a player like JuJu is, again, super productive.

And I'm willing to excuse the poor production from last year, because he was injured. And he also was playing with those same horrible-- I mean, hideous quarterbacks that Johnson was playing with last year too. My only takeaway with a player like JuJu is, I think, some of the stats that he put up in his first two seasons and some of the efficiency metrics, whatever, is a lot.

It definitely had stuff to do with the fact that the offense was running at such a peak efficiency point, because they had a Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best wide receivers to ever play. I just don't know that you can run a healthy NFL offense through a receiver like this, and I think we've seen-- I compared it to Jarvis Landry. Jarvis Landry, I think it wouldn't be-- it wouldn't surprise me at all, if for the rest of JuJu's his career, he's a Jarvis Landry type player, which I don't think Landry is a bad player.

But you look at the offense's that when they ran through Landry in Miami, those were all bad offenses. Even last year, I think Landry had his best season. That was still a very dysfunctional offense. I think in order for a Landry or a JuJu type player to hit their peak outcomes, I think you need an outside wide receiver to emerge in order to dictate coverages in order to win at all levels of the route tree.

And that's a great thing in Pittsburgh is that not only is Johnson my favorite candidate to do it, but they also have James Washington. They added Chase Claypool this year. They're pretty well stocked in terms of that wide reciever position.