Fantasy football drafts are happening every day now leading up to the first NFL game of the regular season next Thursday, September 9th. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t necessarily have a sexy amount of fantasy weapons, but there are for sure some players who could help you win your league. The list below is based on a standard ESPN PPR league and is who you should eye up come draft day.
1.) Najee Harris, RB/FLEX
Harris is going to be a ball hog for the Steelers and in the most designed, beautiful way. He has an opportunity to really open up the capabilities of the Steelers offense, not only in the running game, but passing game as well. ESPN has him ranked as the 15th best overall option and for good reason. Barring injury, I don’t see a scenario where he doesn’t have over 1,000 total yards and 10+ touchdowns. Add dozens of receptions in there and you are looking at a quality starting running back. While you’re at it trying to draft him, I highly recommend looking into placing a bet on him at +800 to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2.) Steelers Defense/Special Teams
Coming in as the second best rated defense on ESPN, this defense helped me win a fantasy championship last year. People will call me crazy for putting the unit ahead of a trio of receivers, but hear me out. I would never draft a defense before any starting skill players, but the value this unit offers as a defense alone is certainly worth a pick before drafting any skilled bench players. A repeat of another 50+ sack season, and all indications point to that thus far, is a tremendous boost. This fantasy play can make up for a bad game from a starting skilled player and help you win multiple weeks throughout the year.
3.) Diontae Johnson, WR/FLEX
Johnson is the only Steeler wide receiver that is in the top-20 ranked receivers. While I don’t see a Steelers receiver catching more than 100 passes this season because of the amount of weapons on offense, I expect Johnson to be the closest of the core three and get close to that 10-touchdown mark.
4.) Chase Claypool, WR/FLEX
If the Steelers open up the playbook for Claypool a little, the sky is the limit. I would not be surprised next year if he was in the top-10 category overall headed into 2022. Nearing the end of last season, head coach Mike Tomlin seemed to have had made a decision to lighten Claypool’s workload. Don’t expect that this year, but he still has three other playmakers to compete with for touches. His value will really skyrocket if he is used in goal line packages just as in the beginning of 2021.
5.) JuJu Smith-Schuster/FLEX
No disrespect to Smith-Schuster here, the offense just has the potential to have this many weapons. Smith-Schuster will 100% compete with Johnson for the most receptions on the team. It really is a toss up as to which receiver will lead the team in TD receptions. It could be any of the three. This list may flip around midseason depending on the red zone touches, but for now the big play ability of Johnson and Claypool have them ahead of Smith-Schuster.
Honorable Mention – Pat Freiermuth, TE
Freiermuth is not going to be your starting fantasy tight end. He is however, a very good player to keep an eye on this year. Ben Roethlisberger already has chemistry with the rookie out of Penn State and he very well could win the TE #1 spot a few games into the season. He is a red zone threat and might be good for a few catches a game. He won’t be drafted in most leagues, so make sure to keep an eye on the waiver wire as the season gets going.
Who are you eyeing up to draft on the Steelers in your fantasy football league this season? Let us know in the comments below!