Steelers Fantasy News

Steelers WR Antonio Brown wants a new contract

Monday, April 20, 2015, 1:05pm

Mike Garafalo, Twitter - [Full Article]

Steelers WR Antonio Brown seeking new deal. Won't attend offseason workouts, mulling holdout from minicamp, training camp, sources say.

Fantasy Impact:

Brown has three years remaining on his current contract which will pay him an average of $7.65 million per season. Holdouts are never good, so this is a situation to monitor this offseason. Brown was the #1 receiver in PPR formats in 2014 after finishing #3 the year before.

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Friday, April 10, 2015, 4:32pm

Times-Picayune - [Full Article]

Can Saints WR Brandin Cooks become a No. 1 WR?

Stature stands in the way of Cooks being perceived as a No. 1-type wide receiver in the NFL. Not many true No. 1 wideouts are 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds.

Yet Cooks needs to be that primary pass catcher with the Saints losing Kenny Stills in a trade to Miami and Marques Colston's best days behind him. Cooks only turns 22 in September and missed the last six games last season with a hand injury. Cooks possesses the tools to become the guy.

Fantasy Impact:

As the author points out, those are lofty expectations for Cooks. But we've all seen Steve Smith become a Pro Bowler as a No. 1 wide receiver for Carolina for several seasons. Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown is the latest example leading the NFL in catches and yards last season, the story adds. Cooks said this offseason how he's striving to emulate Brown. With no more Stills and Jimmy Graham, the Saints hope and need Cooks to quickly develop into their top option. This seems to be good news for his fantasy value heading into 2015.

LeVeon Bell suspended three games

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 10:23am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Steelers will begin the 2015 season without their top running back. The NFL has suspended RB LeVeon Bell for three games without pay for violating its substance-abuse policy, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Bell has appealed the ruling, ESPN reported. The tailback has also been docked a fourth game check by the league, per Schefter.

If the suspension holds, Bell can take part in preseason games and training camp before serving his ban away from the club.

Bell’s suspension stems from a DUI charge last summer. He was sentenced to probation, and the charge, along with a marijuana possession count, can be removed from his record if he completes 15 months of service. His former Steelers teammate, LeGarrette Blount, has garnered a one-game suspension for the incident.

Fantasy Impact:

Obviously losing Bell for any stretch is a major blow to the Steelers offense. Bell emerged as one of the game’s star dual threats at the position in 2014, racking up more than 2,000 rushing-receiving yards. Ex-Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams figures to have a bigger role with Bell out of the Pittsburgh lineup to begin next season. This could drop Bell a few slots come draft time, but given his workload and last year's success, he should still be a very desirable draft-day selection.

LeGarrette Blount suspended for Week 1

Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 6:21pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

LeGarrette Blount will begin next season on the bench.

A league spokesperson informed NFL Media on Tuesday that the New England Patriots running back has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

The sixth-year back played a core role during New England's Super Bowl run after being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in mid-November. After running for just 266 yards over 11 games with the Steelers, Blount hammered defenses for 281 yards over New England's final five games of the regular season. He blasted opponents for another 189 yards over three playoff tilts under coach Bill Belichick.

Fantasy Impact:

Blount is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices. He'll be permitted to make his season debut Week 2, the story added. It's a brief suspension, but Blount's absence puts New England in a pinch out of the gate. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are gone, leaving Jonas Gray, James White, Brandon Bolden and James Develin next up to get work.

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 11:38pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Steelers signed wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to a one-year contract, the team announced today.

Steelers Beat: Martavis Bryant will have 'every opportunity' to win WR2 job

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 3:46pm

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - [Full Article]

Martavis Bryant put up plenty of big plays for the Steelers last year.

So much so that the Steelers are planning to give Bryant every opportunity this summer to claim the No. 2 receiver spot currently held by Markus Wheaton.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who pushed hard for the Steelers to draft Bryant last year, called what Bryant was able to do during the second half of last season a “big thing” during a 30-minute Steelers Nation Unite ‘Weekly Huddle’ fan forum session on Wednesday.

“We are looking for him to come in and make a push against Markus Wheaton for that No. 2 spot and continue give us big-time production, specifically in the red area where a big target like that can make a big impact,” Haley said.

“When young guys come in at the receiver position and contribute early like he did, it is a big thing,” Haley said. “He took a lot of pressure off Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton … he really had a big impact on our offense. He is a guy we are going to work real hard throughout the offseason and, like all young players, he should make progress from year one to year two.”

Fantasy Impact:

Bryant averaged 2.8 catches for 56 yards and 0.82 TD in the final 11 games of the season (including a 5-61-1 outing against Baltimore in the playoffs). Thanks to the incredible touchdown rate, those are high-end WR2 numbers in standard formats and solid WR2 numbers in PPR. What's more, he didn't play 60 percent of the snaps until the postseason, so there's upside here from a playing time standpoint. If he earns a starting role this offseason -- and it looks like he will -- he’ll be a middle round pick in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:37am

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Steelers signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a 5-year deal worth $99M that can escalate to $108M, source said. Big-time deal.

Steelers to sign RB DeAngelo Williams

Friday, March 13, 2015, 4:40pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Former Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Update: The deal is for $4 million over two years, but is effectively $2 million for one year, per Jason La Canfora.

Fantasy Impact:

LeVeon Bell is facing a 2-4 game suspension and the Williams signing makes Bell more appealing as a 1.01 or 1.02 pick since he can provide starter-caliber numbers while Bell is sidelined. Over the past two seasons, Williams has averaged 12.4 PPR fantasy points in the eight games where he's touched the ball at least 15 times. That equates to high-end RB2 numbers, so he should be able to carry the load while Bell is suspended.

Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games

Monday, March 2, 2015, 12:37pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The new substance-abuse policy imposes a two-game suspension for a first-offense DUI. By landing on probation for a July 2014 DUI arrest arising from marijuana use, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for two games.

But there’s a catch that could result in a doubling of Bell’s expected punishment. The new substance-abuse policy makes a two-game suspension the standard penalty for a DUI arising from alcohol use. For violations of the law involving other substances of abuse, a first offense exposes the player to a suspension of “up to four” games.

It’s unclear whether the NFL will give Bell, who becomes the test case for the new substance-abuse policy, four games, three, two, or fewer.

Fantasy Impact:

Bell was fantastic last year, finishing #2 in standard formats and #1 in PPR. But his looming suspension is certainly a concern. Running backs typically miss at least 1-2 games due to injury, so a two-game suspension isn't a deal-breaker, but it doesn't make him an attractive #1 overall pick. If he's suspended for four games, his ADP will likely slip into the late 1st/early 2nd. It's tough to overcome the loss of one's 1st round pick for the first quarter of the season.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin 'saw growth' in WR Martavis Bryant

Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 10:51am

Steelers.com - [Full Article]

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin’s end-of-season assessment of WR Martavis Bryant, who was inactive for the first six games of his rookie year only to come on to catch 26 passes for 549 yards (21.1 average) and eight touchdowns was on point. “I saw growth in him. And that growth came with snaps,” said Tomlin. “I would imagine he is going to get more opportunities to grow with those snaps. The thing is, he has to continue to grow and have an open mind. He has to acknowledge that he doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes that is seemingly more difficult than it appears. He probably has less anxiety now than he did nine or 10 months ago because there are less unknowns. Sometimes that’s a good thing for men, and sometimes that’s a bad thing for men. I am going to be watching him very closely as he proceeds.” If Bryant remains the coachable individual he was in 2014, he can develop into a dynamic NFL receiver.

Fantasy Impact:

Bryant averaged 2.8 catches for 56 yards and 0.82 TD in the final 11 games of the season (including a 5-61-1 outing against Baltimore in the playoffs). Thanks to the incredible touchdown rate, those are high-end WR2 numbers in standard formats and solid WR2 numbers in PPR. What's more, he didn't play 60 percent of the snaps until the postseason, so there's upside here from a playing time standpoint. If he earns a starting role this offseason -- and it looks like he will -- he’ll be a middle round pick in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Steelers expect two-game suspension for Le'Veon Bell

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 4:49pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Steelers star running back LeVeon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season as a result of his August arrest on marijuana charges, sources told ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton.

Fantasy Impact:

Bell was shaping up as the top overall pick in 2015 fantasy drafts, but a potential two-game suspension will cause his draft stock to take a hit. It's difficult to draft a player who is going to miss at least two games in the first round.

Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell gets 15 months of probation for DUI, marijuana charge

Friday, February 6, 2015, 1:38pm

Pittsburgh Tribune - [Full Article]

Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeVeon Bell will spend 15 months on probation in a first-offender's program stemming from his arrest on marijuana possession and DUI charges with former teammate LeGarrette Blount.

Fantasy Impact:

Bell may face a two-game suspension from the league as a first time DUI offender.

Titans reportedly hire Dick LeBeau to run the defense

Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 8:25pm

Jim Wyatt, Twitter - [Full Article]

Former Steelers DC Dick LeBeau is expected to be named assistant head coach/defense with the Titans, per sources.

Fantasy Impact:

Ray Horton ran the defense last season but hasn't been fired, so he's likely to work under LeBeau in 2015.

Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell says that his knee is 'about 85-90 percent'

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 11:49am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Speaking on NFL Network's Super Bowl Live on Wednesday, Steelers RB LeVeon Bell told Marshall Faulk that despite missing the Pro Bowl, he's been able to work out on the injured knee.

"The knee is close to 100 percent," Bell said. "I'm probably about 85-90 percent, been able to run on it a little bit. So I'm getting back to work out a little."

Fantasy Impact:

Bell was the #2 RB (behind DeMarco Murray) in 2014, and held the #3 PPG in standard formats. He was #1 in both categories in PPR formats. He's a shoo-in to have a first round ADP in 2015 fantasy drafts.

Sunday, January 18, 2015, 5:13pm

Colts Inactives
LB Bjoern Werner
RB Trent Richardson
WR Griff Whalen
CB Sheldon Price
OT Xavier Nixon
C Jonotthan Harrison
DL Zach Kerr