George Pickens consistently makes highlight reel catches. That may not be valuable for fantasy per se, but it is what he is developing a reputation for. That kind of name recognition usually increases one’s draft stock and ADP for fantasy football.
Pickens is coming into his own as a pass-catcher and he was a viable fantasy option some weeks during last season. With more experience, what is his outlook for 2023?
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George Pickens’ fantasy outlook for 2023
No Pittsburgh Steelers pass-catcher was a terribly reliable player last year as their passing offense was inconsistent. Kenny Pickett has looked good in preseason and the team as a whole looks sharp. The passing offense should be much better, which makes Pickens and Diontae Johnson viable fantasy options.
Pickens should be more consistent this year, too. Another season and rapport with Pickett should raise his ceiling, and his talent suggests his floor is fairly high, too. He’s not likely to be one of the top-ranked wide receivers when it’s all said and done, but he will be better than his draft range would suggest.
Where should I draft George Pickens?
ESPN has Pickens ranked well below Johnson. The latter has been a fantasy stud in the past, but it’s hard to say that he will be the clear cut favorite on offense over Pickens. At the very least, they will likely see the same target share and both be focal points of the passing offense.
Johnson is a known commodity, while Pickens (in his second season), has an air of mystery. He could explode, and his ability to catch literally anything in the vicinity suggests that he will.
Right now, Pickens’ ADP is 76th overall, and Johnson is being drafted around the 80 range. In that range, you’re likely looking at a flex, WR3 or even a backup. In that case, Pickens is easily the better pick thanks to his enormous upside.
In that range, it’s safe to pick Pickens over pretty much anyone. He’s there with Johnson, Marquise Brown, Brandon Aiyuk, Michael Pittman Jr. and others. He’s probably the best target out of those, since he could be the WR1 and has more upside and a better quarterback than some of these players.
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