Diontae Johnson

Diontae Johnson

27-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
Carolina Panthers
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Johnson is off to Carolina to help resurrect 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, following a five-year stint in Pittsburgh that was mostly marked by tons of volume and bottom-of-the-barrel efficiency. Neither big (5-10, 183), nor fast (4.53 40), the 2019 third-round pick nonetheless was quick to make an impression in Pittsburgh, using his impressive agility and acceleration to get open on short routes and pick up yards after the catch. Johnson led the team in targets each of his first four seasons, with 92 as a rookie (59-680-5) and then more than 140 each of the next three years (88-923-7 / 107-1,161-8 / 86/882/0). His disastrous efficiency in 2022 (6.0 YPT, zero TDs on 147 targets) was followed by lesser volume and improved efficiency in 2023 (8.2 YPT, five TDs on 87 targets in 13 games), making it a bounce-back season of sorts even if Johnson didn't help fantasy managers. The look of Carolina's roster heading into the 2024 Draft gives Johnson a chance to get back to the type of volume that all but ensures fantasy relevance, albeit in an offense that may be just as bad as what he dealt with in Pittsburgh (or even worse). The Panthers don't have a TE with any significant track record as a pass catcher, and their only WR that's ever made fantasy noise is Adam Thielen, who put up huge numbers over the first eight weeks last year but then averaged just 43.3 yards over the final nine game (and now will turn 34 in August). It seems the team is heavily counting on Johnson, which didn't really work out for the Steelers but did lead to the one big fantasy year in 2021. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a two-year, $36.71 million contract with the Steelers in August of 2022.
Dealt to Carolina
WRCarolina Panthers
March 12, 2024
The Steelers are slated to trade Johnson to the Panthers in exchange for Donte Jackson and a pick swap, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Johnson had a relatively disappointing 2023 season as the No. 1 option in Pittsburgh, as he finished with a career-low 51 receptions to go along with 717 yards through the air and five touchdowns. After spending his first five seasons with the Steelers, the 27-year-old will compete with Adam Thielen for the No. 1 pass catching role in Carolina and look to build a rapport with Bryce Young.
Read More News
NFL Stats
Loading NFL Stats...
Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
Loading Fantasy/Red Zone Stats...
Advanced NFL Stats
How do Diontae Johnson's 2023 advanced stats compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
  • % Targeted On Route
    Targets divided by total routes run. Also known as TPRR.
  • Avg Yds Per Route Run
    Receiving yards divided by total routes run. Also known as YPRR.
Air Yards Per Game
82.3
 
Air Yards Per Snap
1.91
 
% Team Air Yards
29.8%
 
% Team Targets
18.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
12.3 Yds
 
Catch Rate
58.6%
 
Drop Rate
2.3%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
5.2
 
% Targeted On Route
21.8%
 
Avg Yds Per Route Run
1.79
 
Loading Advanced NFL Stats...
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2023 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2022 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2021 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2020 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2019 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Carolina PanthersPanthers 2023 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

99891%
86779%
73166%
32029%
11711%
878%
535%
Loading Weekly Snap Counts...
Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Diontae Johnson lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
Detailed
Grouped
Side
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Team Alignment Breakdown...
2023 Diontae Johnson Split Stats
Loading NFL Split Stats...
Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Diontae Johnson's measurables compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
5' 10"
 
Weight
183 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.53 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.45 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.09 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.5 in
 
Broad Jump
123 in
 
Bench Press
15 reps
 
Hand Length
9.00 in
 
Arm Length
30.75 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Diontae Johnson See More
2024 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates: New Scheme, New Production?
3 days ago
Commanders WR Terry McLaurin has never quite had the stats to match his talent, but that could change in 2024 with the help of a new offensive coordinator and quarterback.
Roundtable Rankings: 2024 Top-150 Fantasy Rankings
9 days ago
RotoWire gathered its top football writers for their top-150 rankings for the 2024 fantasy season. Among the players with the greatest variance, Mike Evans stands out.
NFL: Ten Bold Predictions for 2024
11 days ago
Josh Allen has less help than any point since 2019, and losing Stefon Diggs will cost the Buffalo offense.
ADP Analysis: Tracking ADP Movement for Best Ball Since the 2024 NFL Draft
27 days ago
Ezekiel Elliott is back in Dallas, boosting his ADP by a league-high 80 spots compared to April. RW's Jerry Donabedian discusses Zeke and the other big ADP movers from April to May.
Dynasty Strategy: Eight Players to Target or Trade
30 days ago
George Pickens might be a well-known name, but the new WR1 in Pittsburgh is just getting started.
Latest Fantasy Rumors
Potential target for Jets
WRPittsburgh Steelers
March 9, 2024
Rich Cimini of ESPN.com lists Johnson as a potential trade candidate for the Jets.
ANALYSIS
Johnson has one year left on his contract worth $10 million, which would make him an easier piece for the Steelers to move on the trade market. He had a shaky 2023 season, as he registered a career-low 51 catches, though he did miss four games early in the year due to a hamstring injury. The Jets' wide receiver corps lacks talent beyond 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, so the addition of a veteran like Johnson could help to open up the passing game for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
See All NFL Rumors
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
Johnson set a new standard for the high-volume, low-efficiency receiving season last year, finishing with 86 catches for 882 yards and nary a touchdown on 147 targets. Even in an offense with miserable quarterback play, it's the type of performance that leads to serious concern about his future (including the workload). Johnson has always been elusive and tricky to tackle, but drops have been a recurring theme and he's neither big (5-10, 183) nor fast (4.53 40) by NFL standards. On the other hand, he was an extremely productive fantasy player as recently as 2021 (107-1,161-8) and the Steelers only have WR George Pickens and TE Pat Freiermuth as serious target competition. Should second-year QB Kenny Pickett improve, Johnson would presumably be one of the prime beneficiaries even if the target volume takes a necessary step back.
Johnson is on the small side for an NFL wideout, and while he perhaps plays a bit faster than his 4.53 40 time from the 2016 Combine suggests, he won't be mistaken for a burner anytime soon. No matter, the Steelers have peppered him with targets, and it's hard to fault them when you see how easily Johnson gets open on short routes and the way he puts defenders on skates once the ball is in his hands. The big concern in 2020 was drops, with 13 a league high and ultimately costing him a 1,000-yard season. Last year, Johnson cut the drops (five) and surpassed 1,000 yards with relative ease, though it required a boatload of targets (169, t-2nd) in an offense with poor blocking and a washed-up version of Ben Roethlisberger. While it's not hard to imagine even better numbers in the future, Johnson's drawbacks for 2022 sound awfully similar to 2021. Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett might prove better than late-stage Roethlisberger, but probably not by much, and the O-line landed just one clear upgrade in the offseason (RG James Daniels). Then again, those weaknesses might work in Johnson's favor when it comes to volume. As much as the Steelers hope for breakthroughs from Pickett, Chase Claypool and rookie wideout George Pickens, there's also a chance they end up overly reliant on short throws again, in which case Johnson, TE Pat Freiermuth and RB Najee Harris would stay well fed.
Johnson had one of the stranger seasons in recent memory. While he missed only one game, he was benched in others for drops and also got injured early in Week 5. Johnson wound up leading the NFL with a whopping 15 drops, yet still managed 144 targets on a team with two other viable WR options. Johnson’s per-play numbers (10.5 YPC and 6.4 YPT) were among the league’s lowest, partly due to drops, but mostly because the Steelers ran a bizarre, pass-heavy offense based heavily on short throws. While teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster finished 35th in aDOT at 5.6 yards, Johnson was 30th at 8.0. At 5-10, 183, Johnson is small, and his timed speed (4.53 40) is below average for a player his size. But put him in a uniform, and he looks like another small, poor-40-timed former Steelers receiver, Antonio Brown. Like Brown, Johnson’s quickness and burst jumps off the screen, and he even hauled in four catches of 40-plus yards last year despite the low aDOT. Of course, Johnson’s focus needs to improve — 15 drops is off-the-charts high, especially for a player catching passes at close range — and coach Mike Tomlin’s tolerance is not infinite. Moreover, Ben Roethlisberger looked shaky last year, and it’s unclear whether he will regain his former arm strength. That said, Johnson is one of the quickest wideouts in the league, so even with Smith-Schuster re-signing and second-year man Chase Claypool around, he should see plenty of work.
A third-round pick in 2019, Johnson saw regular snaps once JuJu Smith-Schuster got hurt and more than held his own under the circumstances. While his per-play numbers were pedestrian - 11.5 YPC, 7.4 YPT - Johnson was paired with two of the league's worst quarterbacks, yet still managed to score five touchdowns and catch two passes for 40-plus yards on 92 targets, mostly lining up outside. At 5-10, 183, and with a below-average 40 time (4.53), he has about the same physical specs as Antonio Brown, and like Brown, Johnson is quick and explosive. The Steelers have been wizards at developing smaller young receivers - from Santonio Holmes to Mike Wallace to Brown to Emmanuel Sanders - and Johnson could be the next in line, especially with Ben Roethlisberger healthy again. But Smith-Schuster, who already has Roethlisberger's trust, should be the clear No. 1, and Johnson will compete with 2018 second-round pick James Washington, 2020 second-round pick Chase Claypool and tight ends Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron for second fiddle. Johnson had sports hernia surgery after the season but is expected to make a full recovery for the start of training camp.
Despite a poor performance at the Combine, Johnson has the tools to make an impact with the Steelers as a depth receiver/returner. He actually had a faster time in the forty (4.53) than Antonio Brown (4.56) and is now in line to compete with Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer for slot work. He could also add value on special teams, having led the nation in punt return average (19.9) at the collegiate level the past two years, while scoring four times on kick or punt returns.
More Fantasy News
Finds end zone in playoff loss
WRPittsburgh Steelers
January 15, 2024
Johnson secured four of seven targets for 48 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' 31-17 wild-card loss to the Bills on Monday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Long touchdown catch
WRPittsburgh Steelers
January 6, 2024
Johnson recorded four receptions on five targets for 89 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 17-10 win over the Ravens.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Loses out to Pickens again
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 31, 2023
Johnson recorded four catches on four targets for 76 yards in Sunday's 30-23 win over Seattle.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Minimal chemistry with Rudolph
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 23, 2023
Johnson caught two of five targets for 15 yards in Saturday's 34-11 win over the Bengals.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Good production in loss
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 16, 2023
Johnson recorded four catches on six targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 30-13 loss to the Colts.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.