How Steelers Starting Kenny Pickett Affects Betting, Fantasy Outlook

Pittsburgh faces a daunting schedule in its next four games


October 3

The Steelers have apparently seen enough from Mitch Trubisky and will make a change at the quarterback position.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Pittsburgh will move ahead with Kenny Pickett as the starting quarterback moving forward in the 2022 NFL season. The rookie stepped in for Trubisky during Week 4’s matchup against the New York Jets. Head coach Mike Tomlin said the decision was made to provide a “spark” to the offense.

Pickett was a popular bet to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but his showing in his spot appearance didn’t inspire confidence. Here’s where his odds stack up across major sportsbooks.

DraftKings: +1200
FanDuel: +800
BetMGM: +800

The odds are still favorable to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but the rookie wide receiver class has shown itself to be a strong one with New Orleans Saints’ Chris Olave, Atlanta Falcons’ Drake London and New York Jets’ Garrett Wilson are also in strong contention to come way with the award after the season. Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce broke out with a huge 75-yard run in Week 4 and appears to be gaining more touches, which has boosted his odds, as well.

Another issue with Pickett’s award chances is the next four games for the Steelers. They chose an interesting time to trot out the rookie as Pittsburgh takes on the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, the Miami Dolphins in Week 7 and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8.

It won’t be an easy test for Pickett, and its likely why bookmakers have set steep odds on the Steelers’ chances to make the playoffs, who have a 1-3 record after four games.

DraftKings: +1000
FanDuel: +960
Caesars: +900

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From a fantasy perspective, Pickett did show a tendency to sling the ball around. He did have three interceptions, but it could be argued they weren’t all his fault — one came off a Hail Mary throw. He went 10-for-13 for 120 yards and ran for 15 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

If you’re searching for depth in two-QB or super flex leagues, Pickett isn’t a bad stash since you’re likely not starting him against tough Bills and Bucs defenses.

George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth had over 30 percent target shares when Pickett came in. Diontae Johnson had about a 15 percent target share, and Chase Claypool had about a seven percent target share, per NBC’s Matthew Berry.

Freiermuth is still available in 11 percent of Yahoo Fantasy leagues, and Pickens is available in 61 percent of leagues, so they would be worth picking up, especially the latter, who seemed to develop a strong chemistry with Pickett in preseason action.

It’s unknown how much of an effect Pickett will have on the Steelers offense, but that’s precisely why fans wanted the rookie to start from the jump over Trubisky. But it’s safe to say expectations should be tempered in long-term outlooks on Pittsburgh.

Thumbnail photo via Michael Longo/For USA Today Network via USA TODAY Sports Images

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