The Pittsburgh Steelers have seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over the past month. It all began after Week 11 when offensive coordinator Matt Canada was let go. The next game in marked the Steelers’ first 400-yard offensive output in 58 games. However, the team quickly found itself back at a low point after Kenny Pickett suffered an ankle injury in Week 13, which has sidelined him since. This led to bringing out Mitch Trubisky, a move that you probably expected that didn’t pan out well, prompting the Steelers to replace him with Mason Rudolph last week. Now, we head into fantasy football Week 16 wondering if Mason Rudolph can bring much-needed life to the Steelers’ offense against the Bengals in Week 16.

More importantly, can Rudolph help to create solid fantasy football performances for George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth?

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Can Mason Rudolph Create Big Fantasy Football Performances From George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth?

Let’s turn our attention to George Pickens who, despite dealing with some character issues, is set to take the field on Saturday. The focus on Pickens over Diontae Johnson is because the Bengals have been struggling more with the WR2 in recent games. Even the Week 12 game against the Bengals serves as evidence where, depending on your scoring system, George Pickens may have outscored Diontae Johnson. Pickens had 58 receiving yards compared to Johnson’s 50, but Johnson saw one more reception on three more targets.

Pickens contributes to a trend where, in four of the last six games, the Bengals have allowed two different wide receivers from the same game to tally at least 50 receiving yards and double-digit PPR fantasy points. In three of those six games, a non-WR1 emerged as the top-scoring wide receiver, recording at least 61 receiving yards. Even examining Mason Rudolph’s last two starts adds some optimism, as both Diontae Johnson and another wide receiver scored over 15.6 PPR fantasy points.

Now, moving on to Pat Freiermuth, who has seen a dip in production with less than six PPR fantasy points in three consecutive games. The last time we saw a standout performance from Freiermuth was ironically in Week 12 against the Bengals where he had nine receptions for 120 yards and 21 PPR fantasy points. Freiermuth is part of a fantasy football trend where tight ends have been red-hot against the Bengals. Since Cincinnati’s bye in Week 7, eight different tight ends have averaged 6.7 receptions, 79.3 receiving yards, 0.1 touchdowns, and 15.4 PPR fantasy points. Then, in Mason Rudolph’s last two starts, tight ends continued to thrive, with Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth averaging five receptions for 45 yards, 1.5 touchdowns, and 18.5 PPR fantasy points.

Surprisingly, in Week 16 of the 2023 season, I believe Mason Rudolph can guide huge fantasy performances for George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth. The statistics support this claim, and the Bengals’ defense has proven to be favorable for fantasy performances in recent outings.

If you want to see the George Pickens or Pat Freiermuth fantasy football ranking for this week, check out our Week 16 fantasy football rankings. These rankings will be updated throughout the week.

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