Diontae Johnson or Chase Claypool going forward?
In last week’s mailbag, I talked highly about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool and how legit he should be viewed moving forward. He’s at least a WR2 for the rest of the season, but Diontae Johnson is still the preferred target heads up.
We can't ignore the fact that Claypool’s last two weeks of insane production also came in the two games that Johnson was inactive or barely played. During the first two weeks of the season, Johnson commanded a 30% target share and Claypool was running fewer routes than Jaylen Samuels.
Expect Johnson to regain his role as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver upon his return in Week 7, and be prepared for negative regression from Claypool. At this point in the season, no player has produced more fantasy points over expectation (40.8) than Claypool.
Dating back to 2018, there are two close player comparisons to Claypool’s fantasy points over expectation in Chris Godwin (2019) and Calvin Ridley (2018). Both produced 38-plus fantasy points over expectation during the first six weeks of the season — and their production dropped off dramatically for the remainder of the season.
Godwin’s fantasy points per game dropped by 40% and Ridley’s decreased by 35%.
That’s an easy call-to-action to sell Claypool high with concrete evidence of his production being tied closely to Johnson’s availability.
Is D’Andre Swift a flex option going forward?