The 2022 fantasy football season is entering the second month of action, and we have you covered for all of your waiver wire questions. It’s time to really dig into all data we have available since trends are forming. Don’t hesitate to make a bold move if the first month didn’t go your way.
Pay attention to the top names on the waiver wire all season long. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens has become a surprising fantasy option for managers. We’ll dive into Pickens’ Week 5 waiver wire value against the Buffalo Bills.
Should You Add George Pickens From the Waiver Wire for Week 5?
Available in 61% of Yahoo leagues and 62% of ESPN leagues, Pickens is just now becoming a hotter commodity. It’s not a matter of talent but rather an opportunity. He received only 16 targets through three-plus games with Mitchell Trubisky before Kenny Pickett took over the job. But Pickens immediately had Pickett’s trust in comparison.
Pickett targeted Pickens four times after entering the game, only matched by tight end Pat Freiermuth. Pickens responded with a career-high six catches for 102 yards.
The future is looking much brighter now for Pickens. He’s the 65th-best fantasy receiver in the league right now and is tied for third on the team in targets. I expect him to break away from Chase Claypool after vastly outproducing him with the same target share. Both players have 11 receptions on the season, but Pickens has totaled 167 yards, whereas Claypool has 79 yards. It’s time for the Steelers to make the change.
In terms of talent, Pickens was the best ball-dominant receiver in the 2022 class. He has the “my ball” mentality where he’ll go high in the sky to pluck the ball out of the air. I think he should’ve been drafted just as high as Drake London and Garrett Wilson.
Instead, Pickens was a massive value in the second round. You should absolutely look to add him from the waiver wire if you have room for a variance receiver who has a tough schedule over the next month. If you can stomach the natural rollercoaster of a rookie receiver with a rookie QB, Pickens is a strong bench option.
Consider using a small portion of your budget if your league uses FAAB. However, it’s unlikely Pickens suddenly becomes a major difference-maker with Pickett, since the offensive line in Pittsburgh is still in shambles and their strength of schedule rises significantly. But he’s certainly someone I want on my roster for the playmaking potential.
Is George Pickens a Good Play Against Buffalo?
It’s difficult to have faith in any wide receiver performing well against Buffalo unless they’re truly an elite talent. The Bills have allowed the fifth-least fantasy points to the position. Is it fair to expect Pickett to respond well to facing one of the best pass rushes and secondaries in the league in his first career NFL start?
It’s a tough sell for me. While Pickens is capable of winning any individual matchup and Pickett seems inclined to give him a few YOLO balls, your roster would need to be in bad shape to start Pickens. Or you must be up against a league juggernaut and you need the potential X-factor who could suddenly explode and it won’t hurt if he logs zero points since you’re projected to lose badly anyway.
Instead, I consider Pickens to be a long-term pickup. He’s WR48 and No. 119 overall in our PFN expert rankings for Week 5 in PPR leagues for a reason. I’d stash him for upcoming weeks.