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Fantasy Football Dynasty League Price Check – George Pickens

George Pickens - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Pittsburgh receiver George Pickens is the type of player fantasy general managers in dynasty football leagues wish they got their grubby hands on last season when he looked as lost as a kindergartener who just missed the bus.

Pickens had shown flashes of brilliance during a rookie campaign where he posted a 52-801-4 line that had fantasy players salivating over what he could do throughout his career. His sophomore season had peaks (five 100-yard-games) and valleys (eight games with under 50 yards), though.

The world has changed around Pickens in Pittsburgh. The quarterback room has been totally transformed, the receiver who he was battling every week for balls was traded away, and a new offensive coordinator has taken over the game-planning reigns. These three things all bode well for Pickens and his fantasy value. Here is a look at what he did last year, what he could do this year, and what he is worth in dynasty leagues from here on out:

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

George Pickens' 2023 Season Review

Pittsburgh’s pathetic offense and horrible play calling ruined Pickens’ fantasy value during much of the season, most notably during an eight-game stretch between Weeks 8 and 15. He had six games with less than 50 receiving yards over that period – and just one TD. That was when the Steelers offense was struggling the most with QBs Kenny Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky failing to deliver accurate passes consistently.

Once third-stringer Mason Rudolph was stuck behind center on Christmas Eve Eve, however, Pickens suddenly became the second-coming of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth combined. Like a shy kid breaking out of his shell, Pickens racked up 11 receptions for 326 yards and two touchdown in Weeks 15 and 16, the two most important weeks in most fantasy leagues. Thanks to his strong ending, Pickens finished with 63 catches for 1,140 yards and five scores.

 

George Pickens' Fantasy Football Outlook

Pickens enters the 2024 campaign as a top-30 fantasy receiver. He has now become Pittsburgh’s de facto WR1 with Johnson traded away, and he has a new lease on life with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields replacing the threesome of Pickett, Trubisky, and Rudolph. Pickens would be rated higher in my mind if he showed more moves inside the red zone (nine TD over two seasons) and controlled his emotions more often when he is not getting the targets he wants. I believe he can and will improve in those two departments, and if I am right he would become a top-20 WR this year, and possibly higher down the road.

The bottom line is that Pickens was able to muster 1,140 yards with one of the worst groups of quarterbacks in the NFL last year. So what can he do now that the signal callers have been upgraded (albeit slightly)? More targets and more accurate passes would surely lead to career-high yardage and touchdown totals.

 

What is George Pickens Worth in Fantasy Football? 

Pickens has a lot going for him. He is one of the most explosive big-play pass catchers in the NFL, and his fantasy trajectory is going up thanks to his improved route running, the fact that he will probably lead his team in targets, and that he has better quarterbacks throwing him the ball than he has the past two seasons.

Wilson is a shell of his former self as we all know, but Courtland Sutton was still able to have the best year of his career in Denver last season with Wilson throwing him the bulk of the balls. Fields is a subpar passer but helped milk 1,364 yards out of DJ Moore in Chicago’s run-first offense in 2023. So Pickens will not have trouble getting footballs thrown at him enough and in the right places.

Pickens will be a WR2 or WR3 in fantasy leagues this season. What makes mouths water is that he has a tool shed of talent that can make him an elite receiver over the next decade if he can keep his emotions in check and the Steelers can provide solid, steady quarterbacking for him. He is the type of receiver you want to build a dynasty roster around because his best years are ahead of him. As long as he is in Pittsburgh, though, his fantasy value will take a slight hit due to the winter weather and because he will be in an offense built around the run, especially with the aforementioned Smith running the show.

If you already have Pickens locked up on your dynasty roster, then throw away the key. If he is available via draft or trade in your league, however, think about going after him. Pickens is no Justin Jefferson, Tyreel Hill, or CeeDee Lamb, but his numbers will bump up in the right direction again this season and for seasons to come.

 



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