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.
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
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.
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