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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Team Talk: Pittsburgh Steelers

Today you get three teams!  I skipped over the Steelers alphabetically, so let's step back and cover these guys.  There is a lot to talk about with Pittsburgh this year and I think there are opportunities for profit but also some real risk of making mistakes here.  Adam Filadelfo gives you his take below.  You can follow Adam on Twitter: @Frostt24.

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Coming off a disappointing 8-8 season, the Steelers did not lack fantasy talent. This year should add a few new fantasy faces to the mix in Pittsburgh. And they will need the help because the rest of the AFC North is loaded with fantasy studs.

Ben Roethlisberger
- Big Ben has been a late round option for fantasy owners that wait just a little too long to draft their quarterback. He does have the ability to have quality fantasy games but there will be games where he won't do much for his owners. The good news is Big Ben will probably have to air it out more due to the instability and uncertainty of his running back position. The bad news is there's a greater chance Big Ben takes a lot more hits. He's not the worst option for your quarterback but try not to let it get to that point.

Le'Veon Bell - Bell was supposed to be the workhorse for the Steelers but a knee and now foot injury put a damper on those plans. With Bell being out close to six weeks, he should drop in most drafts which should make him a very good value. Owners should be able to grab him late since all indications are he'll be the man in Pittsburgh upon his return. He's the perfect candidate to stash on your bench and use later on in the season. It will be like picking up a number one running back off the waiver wire come mid season.

Jonathan Dwyer - There was some discussion that Dwyer would have a big role here with Bell on the shelf.  Well, Dwyer got himself cut this weekend and therefore has zero value in fantasy.  It should be interesting to see if he gets another job, so keep your eyes open.

Isaac Redman - As of now, Redman is the back to own in Pittsburgh. He's listed as the week one starter and should get the lion's share of carries until Bell is able to return from injury. Just know that the leash may not be that long for Redman should be fail to produce. The Steelers figure to throw more with offensive coordinator Todd Haley so Redman could very well not have much of a fantasy impact. He may be best suited as running back depth late in drafts or even a pluck off of the waiver wire.

Antonio Brown - Brown will have himself a good fantasy season being the number one receiver on a team figuring to throw a whole lot being that Mike Wallace is no longer there. Brown will have plenty of receptions and will be a major factor in the Steelers passing game. You can count on him each and every week and will make a great receiver two for fantasy owners. The fact that the Steelers ground game isn't up to par could only mean good things for the passing game and Brown's fantasy value in particular.

Emmanuel Sanders - There's a reason the Steelers matched New England's offer sheet for Sanders. He's a reliable receiver three who could end up producing receiver two numbers and take a lot of the pressure off of Brown. Sanders can be drafted a little later than Brown and should make for good value in fantasy drafts. Since Big Ben will need all the help he can get, Sanders should have a fantasy impact and the fact owners can get him in later rounds makes his value all the more reasonable.

Markus Wheaton - The rookie out of Oregon State could be a breakout fantasy star in his first season in the NFL. He figures to slide right into Wallace's old spot and could end up doing wonders for the Pittsburgh passing game. He's a burner and could be a sleeper in later rounds. Rookie receivers tend to not make much of an impact in their first year but there's always an exception. Wheaton could be a nice pick in later rounds of drafts who may end up helping your fantasy team sooner rather than later. Just remember that he's a rookie so temper your expectations.

Heath Miller - Miller will miss the first few weeks of the season. It looks like he's being taken off the PUP list so a return before week six is possible. While he isn't being drafted, he should be a nice waiver wire pickup later in the season. He will provide tight end help for your team if you end up being weak at that position. He's a favorite target of Big Ben and could help your fantasy team down the stretch. He's valuable in PPR formats and also gets a lot of red zone looks. He should be added once he's able to return.

D/ST - Always a top fantasy defense, the Steelers have been banged up on D over the last couple of years. While they may not be what they used to be, they should still be worth drafting since they can be counted on most weeks. They play in a  division where a lot of points can be scored so they may have a few weeks where they don't score a lot of fantasy points but expect them to be near the top of fantasy defenses at the end of the season.