Even with the starting QB injured, James Washington put together a solid season, logging over 700 receiving yards and an impressive 16.7 yards per reception average. He did this even though the QB’s the Steelers turned to had trouble connecting on the long pass, Washington’s calling card in the pros. With a return to normalcy, Washington could be poised for his best season yet.
Now, there are obvious limitations with his upside. He will likely be the third target for the Steelers, but his ability to win deep could lead to some solid fantasy production for the former second-round pick. Even with those pros, he is currently ranked as the 77th best WR prospect, behind prospects like John Ross, Tee Higgins, and even Antonio Brown. While Washington may not ascend to a weekly starter, he has value as a number three option and a streamer option depending on his matchup.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect Washington to log somewhere between 43-48 receptions on the year and given his big playability. That could yield around 700 yards, making his PPR score on the year around 115 without TD’s. Scores are likely where he will struggle, as he may see snaps given away to Eric Ebron or Chase Claypool in the red zone, but even if he repeats with three, his fantasy score sits at a respectable 133. That score would put him in the top 55 of last year, meaning he would have value as a depth player and occasional starter. Don’t be surprised to see Washington exceed his fantasy expectations this year.