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2 Steelers headed in different directions, per fantasy football experts

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at some fantasy player to watch, and avoid, on their 2023 roster.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 SEC Championship - LSU vs Georgia Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the 2023 NFL regular season approaches, so does the typical Fantasy Football draft season. Who to pick up, who to avoid, and who to stash on your bench.

All are worthy discussion to have, and the folks at ESPN are starting to predict who they would avoid, and who they would try to pick up. For the Pittsburgh Steelers faithful who love to pick up the players they watch week-in and week-out, there are two players headed in different directions.

First, ESPN dictates players who are not going to have a bounce back season. One Allen Robinson made the list. Check out why:

Allen Robinson II, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers:

Unlike Beckham and Thomas, who are being drafted in virtually all ESPN standard leagues, Robinson is the forgotten one, rostered in barely 3% of leagues. This is wise. Most of you likely did not realize the former Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears star landed with the Steelers. His last decent season was 2020. Move on.

On the flip side of this coin would be a player set up for a breakout year. ESPN even compared the current player to a player who stood out in 2022. Steelers QB Kenny Pickett was the pick, and it was to be this season’s Trevor Lawrence.

See ESPN’s reasoning behind it...

This season’s Trevor Lawrence: Kenny Pickett

Former first-round pick Lawrence emerged into a QB1 in his second NFL season.

Carson Wentz (2017), Patrick Mahomes (2018), Lamar Jackson (2019), Kyler Murray (2020), Joe Burrow (2021) and Lawrence (2022) are recent examples of the many first-round QBs who broke out in their second season. None were as productive as rookies, which is notable here, as Pickett had some struggles (6.2 YPA, 12.8 fantasy PPF during 10 full games) in his first season. The good news is that weak efficiency simply isn’t a concern for first-year QBs, who generally make a big leap in Year 2. Rushing ability is becoming more important for the fantasy relevance of QBs and Pickett delivered in that department as a rookie, ranking sixth in carries and seventh in rush yards during those 10 games. An improved offensive line and upgraded goal line targets (Allen Robinson II, Darnell Washington) should help Pickett to step forward.

What do you think about the Steelers overall fantasy value? Should you be picking any offensive players, or the defense, in this year’s draft? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.