2019 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup: Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2019 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, and it’s time for the next part of the NFL calendar. That’s right… massive, rampant speculation! They will go through drills in shorts, and we will endlessly project and prognosticate on their fantasy football futures. There are 78 guys who might have fantasy football relevance after their names were called in Nashville. Our goal with our Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup series is to give you a quick hit on every one of these guys. By the end, you’ll know these guys better than their mothers know them. Because it’s not like their mothers are necessarily good at fantasy football. 

The 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers were nothing but drama. From Le’Veon Bell to Antonio Brown, and Big Ben Roethlisberger. The whole thing was a mess. Still, they were able to get quality fantasy football contributions from Ben, AB84, James Conner, Vance McDonald, and (in one very short spurt) Jaylen Samuels. Now Brown & Bell are gone, and the Steelers hope for calmer waters ahead. They took three guys at fantasy football eligible positions in the 2019 NFL Draft, but should you take any of them in your 2019 drafts? 

Round 3, Pick 66 overall – Diontae Johnson, Wide Receiver, Toledo 

The thing that popped off tape most about Diontae Johnson in college is wow, his quarterback is terrible. That probably hindered his college production somewhat, even though Johnson did his best to overcome the talent limitations surrounding him. He’s drawn favorable comparisons to Emmanuel Sanders, and honestly, it’s very apt. He has a lot of deep routes, but his best, most dangerous usage is getting a ball in space and making opposing DBs look like morons as he struts into the end zone. 

The only question, and it’s a question with the entirety of the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 receiving corps outside of JuJu Smith-Schuster: will he get the targets? There’s last year’s second-round pick, and the big money free agency pickup to contend with (James Washington and Donte Moncrief, respectively). There’s also the inevitable decrease in targets after a league-leading number of passes thrown by Big Ben that was over 100 more than his career average. He’s currently the #99 wide receiver off the board according to FantasyPros. If you want to take a hack at him with your last round pick in a very deep league… sure. Otherwise, leave him on the fantasy football waiver wire for 2019. 

TALENT 

OPPORTUNITY 

2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK 

Round 4, Pick 122 overall – Benny Snell, Running Back, Kentucky 

He stinks. Don’t listen to the Benny Snell truthers. He’s bad. Sure, he might have a lot of fantasy football production, but that will all come from falling forward into the end zone from the one yard line. He’s a straight line runner with little wiggle and even less burst. At 5’10” and 224 pounds, you would think he would be a battering ram, but instead, he put up a sixteenth-percentile bench press score. He’s a big boy, but that doesn’t make him strong.  

A lot of people want to say that Snell and/or Samuels will rip the RB1 job from James Conner. That ain’t gonna happen, as there is literally zero evidence of Mike Tomlin utilizing a committee approach. Do not listen to the people calling him a fantasy football sleeper, it’s wish-crafting, and flies in the face of history and common sense. Even if Conner loses the job, it’s going to Samuels. Snell will continue his role of being the biggest guy in the room and being wound up to go in a straight line. 

TALENT 

OPPORTUNITY 

2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK 

Round 5, Pick 141 overall – Zach Gentry, Tight End, Michigan 

Gentry is classified as a tight end, but that’s only because “tiny offensive lineman” isn’t a position. He has the height of an OL at 6’8”, but is too light to play the role (262 pounds). He’s a blocking tight end in the truest blocking sense: he needs to get bigger and just stay on the OL. He ran an awful 4.90 40-yard dash and an even worse 7.40 three-cone drill. Despite all this size at tight end, he needs to get stronger. He’s a skinny guy, who is weak for his size and slow for his position. He’s decent enough with the ball in his hands, but he’s going to top out in a part-time role. He has zero fantasy football appeal for 2019. 

TALENT 

OPPORTUNITY 

2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK 

Like what you see? Looking for more hot content like this? Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup pieces, here!

About Jeff Krisko

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