Washington hauled in one of five targets for a 14-yard touchdown Sunday in the Steelers' 42-37 loss to the Chiefs. After seeing limited usage as the Steelers' No. 4 wideout in the season-opening tie with the Browns, Washington climbed to the third spot on the depth chart Week 2 with head coach Mike Tomlin making Justin Hunter a healthy inactive. Though Washington was on the field for 66 of the Steelers' 80 offensive snaps and proved useful for fantasy owners that activated him thanks to the first-half touchdown, his output was somewhat disappointing considering that Ben Roethlisberger uncorked 60 passes on the afternoon. Fellow receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) and Antonio Brown (17) more than tripled Washington's target total, revealing a clear divide regarding where the rookie stands in the team's passing attack. Washington's usage should grow as he establishes more familiarity with Roethlisberger, but he's unlikely to make a consistent week-to-week fantasy impact when both Brown and Smith-Schuster are healthy and the offense has a more balanced run/pass ratio.
Washington is expected to serve as the Steelers' No. 3 wideout Sunday against the Chiefs with Justin Hunter (coach's decision) inactive for the contest, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports. After turning in an impressive preseason, it was somewhat surprising that Washington ranked a distant fourth among the Steelers' wideouts in the Week 1 tie with the Browns with 11 offensive snaps, finishing behind Antonio Brown (83), JuJu Smith-Schuster (63) and Hunter (51). The rookie second-round pick will move up a run on the depth chart, however, after Hunter failed to make an impact with his ample workload in Week 1, as the 27-year-old reeled in only one of five targets for six yards. Brown and Smith-Schuster remain the clear-cut starters and are likely to dominate the Steelers' target share most weeks, but there could still be room in the team's passing attack for Washington to make a semi-regular impact, particularly against vulnerable secondaries like the Chiefs'.
Washington was not targeted in Sunday's 21-21 tie against the Browns. The rookie wideout -- who was originally listed ahead of Justin Hunter on the depth chart -- was the clear No. 4 receiver on Sunday. Hunter logged 51 offensive snaps to Washington's 11. Both are expected to be overshadowed and outproduced by Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, limiting their fantasy value.
Washington (abdomen) isn't listed on the initial injury report for Sunday's game in Cleveland, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports. Washington suffered the minor abdominal injury while trying to catch a pass in the third week of the preseason. He finished the exhibition slate with seven catches for 158 yards and two scores in three games, seemingly locking down a role as Pittsburgh's No. 3 receiver in the process. The job could come with a couple extra opportunities if the Steelers don't have Le'Veon Bell, who averaged 7.1 targets per game last season.
Washington (abdominal muscle) is expected to practice in some capacity this week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The 2018 second-rounder thus has a shot to suit up for Sunday's game against the Browns. Once fully healthy, Washington will look to claim the Steelers' No. 3 wideout spot behind Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. In such a scenario, the rookie could carve out modest fantasy value out of the gate, but if either Brown or Smith-Schuster misses any time down the road, there'd be an opportunity for Washington to produce solid numbers in the Pittsburgh offense.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/25||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||28.00|
|13||12/02||Los Angeles Chargers||22||27.00|
|15||12/16||New England Patriots||24||29.00|
|16||12/23||@New Orleans Saints||32||42.00|
|3 Year Avg||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0|