Steelers vs Colts Player Prop: Fade George Pickens on Saturday

Steelers vs Colts Player Prop: Fade George Pickens on Saturday article feature image

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: George Pickens.

Saturday, Dec 16
4:30 p.m. ET
NFL Network
George Pickens Under 3.5 Receptions (-125)

Pickens has cleared this in three of the last four games. He’s caught 16 of 22 targets (73%) in that span but based on his average depth of target of 11.7 we would typically expect him to have a catch rate closer to 63%, possibly even lower with a below-average QB like Mitch Trubisky throwing him the ball. I expect some incoming catch% regression

This also might not be a great matchup for Pickens against a Colts defense that plays zone at the highest rate in the league. Pickens has seen a target on 26% of his routes against man coverage and just 17% of his routes against zone. This is a matchup that sets up much better for Jaylen Warren and Pat Freiermuth, who are better in the passing game against zone.

The Colts are also a run-funnel defense that ranks 11th in DVOA against the pass and 26th against the run.

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The Steelers defense also gets a boost with both T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith clearing the concussion protocol in time. Colts RT Braden Smith has been ruled out, making the matchup an even better one for the Steelers pass rush, which makes it less likely the Steelers get into a pass-heavy, trailing game script.

Pickens has also benefited from playing 10 games this season where either Diontae Johnson and/or Pat Freiermuth didn’t play or was knocked out of the game early due to injury. He saw a target rate of 20% in those games. The last three games were the first time he’s had to play with both Johnson and Freiermuth both at full health, and Pickens only seen a target on 16% of his routes as a result.

I’m projecting him closer to 3.1 receptions and a 62% chance of staying under 3.5. His yardage market is one I want nothing to do with because he can rack up a ton of yards on just two or three receptions. This is the ideal market to attack for a player like Pickens.

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