The new season brings with it several quarterback changes: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Denver, Washington, and more. For some of these receivers, it was an upgrade. For many, it looks like a downgrade. A few situations are ambiguous, particularly weaker offenses with receivers who have been productive in the past. With their ADPs dropping, could they present low-risk, high-reward options we want to chase? Today we’ll take a look at two offenses with exciting receiver options who might be getting some sneaky QB upgrades.
Could Moving On from Roethlisberger Help the Steelers Receivers?
Many are concerned about how Pittsburgh’s offense will function with a new QB. But it’s worth remembering that Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t at his best last year. In fact, you could make the case that Roethlisberger limited the upside for Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
In 2020, Roethlisberger averaged 6.5 adjusted yards per attempt (No. 23), which dropped to 5.8 AY/A (No. 27) in 2021. Before the elbow injury in 2019, Roethlisberger ranked inside the top 12 in AY/A in 2017 and 2018.
Roethlisberger averaged 7.2 AY/A (No. 11) in 2017 and 7.3 (No. 12) in 2018. These numbers hint at a bounceback for Smith-Schuster paired with Patrick Mahomes and possibly sneaky upside for the Steelers receivers, with either Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett throwing the ball.
While Roethlisberger may have buoyed his receivers in 2017 and 2018, the last two seasons were a different story.