How to Treat Steelers QB Kenny Pickett as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenny Pickett.
Steelers fans got what they wanted in Week 4 when quarterback Mitch Trubisky was benched in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett.
The mid-game switch didn’t lead to victory, but the Pittsburgh product impressed with both his arm and legs and is officially the Steelers’ starter going forward.
How should fantasy football managers go about this news? Our experts weigh in below.
Sean Koerner: Pickett is obviously a must add in 2QB/Superflex formats as he should start for the remainder of the season.
He has a ton of weapons to throw to and has sneaky rushing upside, so he could provide high-end QB2 value in certain matchups. I would lower expectations this week against the Bills as Pickett is more of a fringe QB2/3 in this matchup.
Samantha Previte: Pickett made it into my lookahead waiver wire column last Friday with the suspicion we may see his debut sooner rather than later.
Starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky was awful through the first two quarters of the team’s 24-20 loss to the Jets. Trubisky completed 7-of-13 attempts for 84 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception, which prompted the Steelers to hand the reins over to Pickett.
The 2022 first-round pick immediately injected life into Pittsburgh’s offense, though the stat line does not tell that story.
Pickett completed 10-of-13 attempts for 120 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions — one of which came on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game. He also rushed six times for 15 yards and two touchdowns.
His upcoming schedule isn’t great, but he is a good bench stash for Week 7 onward.
Chris Raybon: Pickett demonstrated excellent accuracy (76.9% completion rate) and rushing upside (six carries, two TDs). He’ll be throwing to a talented supporting cast, and most importantly, his 13.2 aDOT in his first appearance showed he is willing to throw down the field, which gives him a chance to post better passing numbers than Ben Roehtlisberger and Mitch Trubusky did over the last few years.
He’s QB17 in my initial projections, which puts him in the QB2 discussion in 2-QB leagues and the Week 4 streamer discussion in deeper 1-QB leagues.