George Pickens' Updated Fantasy Outlook After Seahawks vs. Steelers Preseason Game

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 14, 2022

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

It didn't take long for George Pickens to make a strong impression in his NFL debut.

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to help give Pittsburgh a 14-0 lead on Saturday. He has three receptions for 47 yards and the one touchdown with 7:17 left in the first half.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

George Pickens with the toe-tap TD 🔥 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a>)<a href="https://t.co/6qVB0lbYUG">pic.twitter.com/6qVB0lbYUG</a>


George Pickens is Him. 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsPIT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsPIT</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLNetwork</a> (check local listings)<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/cINB23wRfG">https://t.co/cINB23wRfG</a> <a href="https://t.co/1bCfMtkPe0">pic.twitter.com/1bCfMtkPe0</a>

One preseason doesn't a Hall of Fame career make, but Pickens is already drawing rave reviews.

Marques Eversoll @MarquesEversoll

George Pickens definitely gonna be a stud.

Jared Phillips @JaredL_Phillips

Why does George Pickens already feel like the next stud Steelers wideout? Pittsburgh = wide receiver factory <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a>

Darius Butler @DariusJButler

The Steelers don’t miss on WR draft picks. They look like they got another one in George Pickens!

From a fantasy perspective, though, gauging Pickens' value is difficult.

Diontae Johnson is coming off a 1,000-yard season and his first Pro Bowl nod in 2021, while Chase Claypool still seems to have some untapped potential after catching 121 passes for 1,733 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris haven't gone anywhere, either, and they figure to get plenty of targets after combining to log 134 receptions.

And of course, there's Pittsburgh's quarterback situation.

Mitchell Trubisky is a good stopgap as the franchise attempts to figure out a long-term successor for Ben Roethlisberger, but prolific isn't a word you'd associate with Trubisky. His best season with the Chicago Bears saw him throw for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Behind him in the depth chart is Mason Rudolph, who has struggled when tasked with leading the offense in the past, and first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett, who seems to be losing to Rudolph in the battle for the backup job. Rudolph and not Pickett came on to replace Trubisky on Saturday.

Now is certainly a great time to buy low on Pickens in deeper standard leagues or for fantasy managers in a keeper league. But it's tough at the moment to see how he'll get enough looks in the short term to even warrant flex status.


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