WR Diontae Johnson - Pittsburgh Steelers

5-10, 183Born: 7-5-1996College: ToledoDrafted: Round 3, pick 2019

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Johnson left the Week 11 game with a concussion

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 18): Johnson suffered a scary concussion and even bled from his ear. The team should keep him out in Week 12 no matter how he progresses in concussion protocol.

General News (Thu Nov 21): practiced fully on Thursday.

General News (Wed Nov 20): practiced fully on Wednesday.

Week 12: at Cincinnati Bengals

All WR vs CIN

FBG says: Great matchup. Mason Rudolph escaped last Thursday's melee without a suspension, but he may not be long for the Pittsburgh lineup anyway. He's guided the team to a 4-3 record as the starter, but has yet to show impact-making ability. And last week, a lack of impact wasn't even the problem; sheer ineffectiveness was. Rudolph had his worst game thus far against the Browns, hitting on just 23 of his 44 throws for 221 yards, with a touchdown and 4 interceptions. He was close to a few more giveaways, as well, and has taken a major step backward. Over 4 games since returning from injury, he's produced just 5.9 yards per attempts and 5 touchdowns. His deficiencies have weighed heavily on his receivers, including JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's been held below 45 yards in 4 of his 7 full games since Ben Roethlisberger's injury. He looks unlikely for Sunday after a scary Week 11 concussion, but even if he plays, he'll boast a low fantasy floor. With Rudolph struggling, peripheral options Vance McDonald, Diontae Johnson (also unlikely with a concussion), and James Washington don't factor into the fantasy picture. Names like Johnny Holton, Tevin Jones, and even Deon Cain are now shuffling into this unit, and no one can be trusted. Holton (7 targets last week) could lead the way through all of the injuries, but it's not encouraging that he's caught just a single one of his 13 looks on the season. The Bengals pass defense continues to flounder as one of football's worst. Their raw numbers look passable - they've allowed a middle-of-the-road 266 yards per game and 15 touchdowns. But in terms of efficiency, virtually no unit league-wide has been worse. With little pass rush to speak of, they sit 31st in pressure rate and dead last in sacks. That puts a ton of pressure on the cornerbacks to hold downfield coverage, and they haven't been up to the task. William Jackson and B.W. Webb have been beaten frequently, while safeties Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates have been among the league's weakest in help coverage. The Bengals' soft downfield play has allowed huge games up the seams to the likes of Cooper Kupp (7 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown), Dede Westbrook (6 for 103), and the Ravens tight ends (10 for 131 and 2). Opponents tend to run over these Bengals, which can affect their game flow and volume, keeping raw stats mostly in check. But any passing game - even that of the snakebitten Steelers - takes on a handsome projection boost in this matchup. When these teams faced off in Week 4, Mason Rudolph completed 24 of his 28 throws and fired a pair of touchdowns.

Recent Stats and Projections

8 vs MIA 34 0 0 0 7 5.0 84 1 0 14.4
9 vs IND 43 1 2 0 2 1.0 3 0 0 0.5
10 vs LAR 53 0 0 0 6 4.0 64 0 0 5.4
11 at CLE 38 0 0 0 4 2.0 17 0 0 1.7
12 at CIN PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 0.0 * * * *
12 at CIN PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 3.3 * * * *
12 at CIN PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 4.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36

Percentile ranks

Diontae Johnson's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 11 vs CLE (4 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)

In the first quarter Johnson was h in stride for a short reception. Johnson was able to break the first tackle, but couldn't make the second defender miss to gain a first down. On a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless receiver, Johnson drew a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Johnson was out for the remainder of the game and the defender who hit Johnson was ejected from the game.

2019 Week 10 vs LAR (6 / 4 / 64 / 0 rec)

Working after the catch is a thing of beauty for Diontae Johnson. When caught in stride, Johnson displays good vision, exceptional explosiveness, and the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Johnson has playmaker written all over him. Johnson's signature route, at this point in the season, is a simple drag concept moving him from left to right. Mason Rudolph, working in the intermediate area of the field, routinely hits Johnson in stride and allows him to use his athleticism after the catch.

2019 Week 9 vs IND (2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

With a conservative game script comes not many opportunities to make plays. On one snap, the offense tried to get Johnson involved on an end around. The play went for five yards and was the last time Johnson touched the ball all game.

2019 Week 8 vs MIA (7 / 5 / 84 / 1 rec)

This is Johnson's fifth game with over five targets, third game with a touchdown and highest yardage total of the season. All of this and Johnson wasn't targeted for the first time until the second quarter. Overall, Johnson's game was a step forward, but there were still some mistakes. Johnson was called for an offensive pass interference. The call was reviewed, but there was not enough proof to rise to the level of overturning the call on the field. On another play, Johnson slipped at the top of his route and was not able to come back for the ball. Johnson's touchdown on the day came on a 3-20. For some reason the defense dialed up a walk around blitz and left the receivers in man coverage. The coverage on Johnson was blown and Johnson was free on a slant route over the middle of the field. Johnson displayed exceptional burst after the catch and good vision around the end zone where he had the ability to turn around the defender and follow his blockers for a touchdown.

2019 Week 6 vs LAC (2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

Johnson's speed is apparent in every game and the Steelers are trying to find creative ways to get him touches weekly. On consecutive weeks, Johnson has been used in misdirection plays trying to either catch the defense sleeping or being to aggressive. Johnson's best catch on the night came on a speed out. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary for the catch, but the Hodges displayed a big-time arm driving the ball to the outside and trusting Johnson to make a play. This drive would later lead to a touchdown for the Steelers.

2019 Week 5 vs BAL (8 / 5 / 27 / 0 rec)

It's the second straight time Diontae Johnson has led the Steeler's wide receivers in targets as he continues to take advantage of easier matchups while the defense concentrates on Juju Smith-Schuster. It also doesn't hurt for Donte ěDropsî Moncrief to be a healthy scratch again. Week 5 did not see the same broken coverages or flashy plays the previous weeks have seen, but there was one odd play for the rookie. On a third down, Devlin Hodges hits Johnson on a pass for the first down. The ball jars loose and goes out of bounds. The commentators and the official during the telecast all say it should be an incomplete pass, but the ruling on the field is a completed pass for a first down and the ball was fumbled out of bounds. This catch continued a drive which lead to the Steelers scoring a touchdown.

2019 Week 4 vs CIN (6 / 6 / 77 / 1 rec)

On his first catch of the first quarter on the first drive for the Steelers Diontae Johnson fumbled the ball when being brought to the ground. Video of the sidelines showed Johnson being spoken to by Smith-Schuster and one could only imagine Juju telling him to keep his confidence up and to be patient for his opportunity to make a big play for his team. Johnson didn't have to wait very long. Similar to how Antonio Brown was used last year, Johnson was being used as a multi-dimensional player who could be used on an end around for a big chunk play to catch an overly aggressive defense off balance or he can play in the deep game. In tonight's match-up against the Bengals Johnson was able to deliver one splash play. In the third quarter on a busted coverage Johnson was left alone on the deep left quadrant of the football field. No one was close to him. The ball was almost overthrown and Johnson didn't need to jump for the ball, but the catch was made and Johnson scored a redemption touchdown.

2019 Week 3 vs SF (6 / 3 / 52 / 1 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

There needs to be someone who can take a little bit of pressure from Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson is stepping up. The Steelers were trying to use the 49ers aggressive style of defense against them and used Diontae Johnson in the screen/short passing game and also on misdirection end around plays. Johnson's versatility may be why he was so involved. Johnson has one reception on an inside slant, another on a crossing route, a gadget play, and a target downfield. Johnson's touchdown on the game was a product of being targeted downfield against a 49ers fill-in defensive back who the Steelers were targeting. The defender looked back and saw Mason Rudolph do a shoulder fake and bit. It was plenty for Johnson to get past his defender and haul in the reception for a touchdown. If Johnson continues to show his versatility, he may become the Robin to Juju Smith-Schuster's Batman.


Latest News

Steelers | Diontae Johnson practices in full (Thu Nov 21, 04:19 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) fully participated in practice Thursday, Nov. 21.

Our View: Johnson hasn't been cleared from concussion protocol yet but it appears he is on track to do that before Sunday's game. He'll be an upside WR3/Flex if he can go on Sunday vs. Cincinnati with Juju Smith-Schuster likely out.
link to story   

Steelers | Diontae Johnson a full participant (Wed Nov 20, 04:14 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Our View: Johnson is still in the concussion protocol. We'll have to see if he's cleared later in the week but it looks like he's trending in the right direction.
link to story   

Steelers | Pittsburgh puts three into concussion protocol (Tue Nov 19, 02:19 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion, knee), WR DIontae Johnson (concussion) and DE Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (concussion) were officially placed in the league's concussion protocol Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Our View: The Steelers WR corps is banged up in a big way, so Fantasy GMs need to have other options at the ready. They may have to lean on James Washington and Johnny Holton against the Bengals this weekend.
link to story   

Steelers | Diontae Johnson has concussion (Sat Nov 16, 09:42 AM) - Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) sustained a concussion in Week 11's game following a hit from Cleveland Browns S Damarious Randall, according to a source.

Our View: It was disturbing watching Johnson after that hit. Johnson was bleeding from the ear as he left the game and has been placed in concussion protocol. He will be monitored closely before the team's next game against the Cincinnati Bengals Nov. 24.
link to story   

Steelers | Diontae Johnson carted off (Thu Nov 14, 10:32 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (head) was carted to the locker room in Week 11 after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Cleveland Browns S Damarious Randall.

Our View: Johnson appears to be wobbly as he left the field and probably will be kept out of Week 12 as a precaution. James Washington is set up to start against the Bengals.
link to story   

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