Steelers Fantasy News

Steelers Beat: WR Eli Rogers to start in the slot

Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 10:44am

Post-Gazette - [Full Article]

Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette was asked how the team's depth chart would shake out. His response:

"Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Eli Rogers in the slot. Backups: Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey. If they keep six, Cobi Hamilton or Demarcus Ayers."

Fantasy Impact:

Last week, Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) of the Observer-Reporter gave us the heads up about Rogers' likely role in the slot. If this holds, then Coates is being severely overdrafted in the 9th/10th round of fantasy drafts and Rogers is a deep sleeper, especially in PPR formats. We've favored Wheaton in our rankings all summer, the concern is that he'll now be competing directly with Coates for snaps, and if he doesn't carry over the momentum from late last season, he could find himself on the bench. On the plus side, Wheaton is currently starting in a high-octane passing attack and if that continues, he'll be a steal in the 10th/11th round. He'll have to prove that he can consistently get open on the outside, but he's apparently done enough in camp to earn the starting job.

Skins RB Matt Jones (shoulder) continues to progress

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 7:12pm

CSN Mid-Atlantic - [Full Article]

On Tuesday, Redskins RB Matt Jones worked off to the side at Redskins practice with other injured players, rehabbing from the sprained AC joint in his left shoulder.

Interestingly, the work Jones put in with trainers seemed more focused on his legs than his shoulder, which Jones explained as a way to keep his legs strong when he's not taking reps with the first team offense. More importantly, Jones feels like his injury is moving along quickly.

"It's feeling pretty good. I'm moving fast in my healing process right now," Jones said. "I'm taking big strides."

Asked if his goal was to be back for the Redskins regular season opener against the Steelers on September 12, Jones replied "definitely."

Fantasy Impact:

Jones has been shutdown from playing in preseason games. The story said his shoulder wasn't in a sling nor did he seem to be in discomfort. All good signs he should be ready for Week 1.

Gruden: 'Total expectation' WR Josh Doctson ready Week 1

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 4:32pm

Redskins.com - [Full Article]

Josh Doctson could be back on the field as early as next week for the Washington Redskins’ preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept 1.

Doctson has slowly been increasing his rehab work in an effort to get back to the field prior to Washington’s regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 12.

“He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he’s not running full-speed but he’s doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. “I have total expectation that he’s going to be ready Week 1, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we’ll still see. Like I said, it’s a new injury to me.”

Fantasy Impact:

Doctson has been dealing with an Achilles injury for a few months now that forced him to watch the entirety of his first professional training camp from the sidelines. While he was only able to do some catching and light calisthenics, Gruden believes Doctson is “in good shape right now mentally,” the story said. Fantasy potential is certainly there for Doctson, especially of the run game continues to struggle for the Redskins, and also considering DeSean Jackson has had his share of injuries recently. The concern right now is chemistry with Kirk Cousins and trying to catch up.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Markus Wheaton look to reconnect

Monday, August 22, 2016, 9:42pm

The Times - [Full Article]

Markus Wheaton and Ben Roethlisberger share lockers next to each other inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex locker room, and it's there that a bulk of the communication between the quarterback and receiver takes place.

Usually.

"He spent so much time in the training room that he couldn’t be next to me talking about things," Roethlisberger said on Monday.

Wheaton was out for most of training camp while dealing with an undisclosed injury, but returned to practice this week as the Steelers returned from St. Vincent to their team facility.

"I’m disappointed he was out of the practices because I felt like we had really grown a lot and the chemistry had grown a lot," Roethlisberger said. "Even if his locker is next to mine and just communicating to each other talking."

Fantasy Impact:

Despite having nine less receptions than he had in 2014, Wheaton totaled 105 more yards (749), and averaged 4.8 more yards-per-catch (17.0) with five more touchdowns last season. He's also in the final year of his $2.8 million rookie contract. There is a lot riding on Wheaton this season, but right now, he's still in the process of playing catch-up. Wheaton is slotted as the team's WR2 this year, a potential vital role with no Martavis Bryant and an ailing TE in Ladarius Green.

Skins RB Matt Jones won't play remainder of preseason

Monday, August 22, 2016, 3:56pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Redskins RB Matt Jones suffered an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder in the first quarter of last Friday’s preseason game against the Jets and didn’t return to the game. On Monday, coach Jay Gruden said that Jones will not play in either of the team’s two remaining preseason contest.

As for the regular season, Gruden said, via CSNMidAtlantic.com, that he has “high hopes” that Jones will be recovered in time to take the field against the Steelers on September 12.

Fantasy Impact:

The team has been rumored to be looking for outside help and now that may especially be true with this news. Undrafted rookie Rob Kelley has run 10 times for 48 yards in the preseason and Gruden indicated he’ll get a look with the first team along with seventh-round pick Keith Marshall with third-down back Chris Thompson also on hand, the story said.

Steelers offense looks to get going this week

Monday, August 22, 2016, 9:03am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Steelers’ battery of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell could take the field together Friday night in New Orleans. Precedent says Big Ben and Brown will play at least a few series together, unless coach Mike Tomlin heeds caution.

The wild card is Bell, who has yet to be tackled to the ground in live action since tearing multiple ligaments in his knee on Nov. 1 against Cincinnati. Bell can’t start his season until Week 4 because of a three-game ban for missed drug tests, so the Steelers might want to get him a few reps before then, especially considering how good he's looked in practice work. He's been a full participant every day, though he carries the ball with the proverbial "bubble" designated for star players, especially ones coming off an injury.

Fantasy Impact:

The story said WR2 Markus Wheaton, who has missed much of the preseason, could also be part of the game plan. Eli Rogers has emerged in the slot and should be part of three-WR sets, but TE Ladarius Green (ankle) remains on the PUP list.

Monday, August 22, 2016, 8:49am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The New York Giants' coaching staff said Josh Brown's one-game suspension was a "golden opportunity" for training camp leg Tom Obarski, but apparently Obarski needs to earn that opportunity now.

A few days after Obarski missed his only field-goal attempt against the Buffalo Bills, the Giants have decided to work out some kickers. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, former Saints, Browns and Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley is among those in the facility Monday.

Sunday, August 21, 2016, 9:47am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Ryan Mallett led the Baltimore Ravens to an upset victory over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers eight months ago. He has a 99.5 quarterback rating and a 74 percent completion rate through two preseason games.

Despite that success, Mallett could lose the backup quarterback job to surprisingly electric journeyman Josh Johnson, according to coach John Harbaugh.

In Baltimore's 19-18 preseason win at the Indianapolis Colts, Johnson led the team in passing and rushing, showing great touch on his throws and the ability to scramble for yards. His best moment came when he directed a near flawless two-minute drill before halftime, driving the Ravens 79 yards with poise and hitting Jeremy Butler for a 12-yard touchdown.

"[Johnson] is making a case to make this team," Harbaugh said after the game. "There is a competition for that spot. It's been on-going through training camp."

Fantasy Impact:

The story said it's been long assumed that Mallett is the primary backup to Joe Flacco. He took all the first-team reps in the spring when Flacco was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery, and he started both preseason games.

Steelers TE Ladarius Green denies headache reports

Saturday, August 20, 2016, 5:39pm

Tribune Review - [Full Article]

Steelers tight end Ladarius Green on Saturday denied rumors that he's dealing with recurring headaches and reiterated it is his surgically repaired ankle is what is keeping him on the physically unable to perform list.

Speaking for the first time since a NFL Network report Aug. 11 said he was suffering headaches possibly stemming from a pair of concussions during a two-week span last year while playing for the Chargers, Green said he was surprised when he heard about having recurring headaches.

“I don't know what reports those are,” Green said. “I am still on PUP because of my ankle.”

Fantasy Impact:

Follow-up reports claimed the Steelers could ultimately release Green, and even Green was contemplating retirement. Hopefully the headache reports are indeed false. Still, Green has missed a big part of camp. He could be a big weapon in the middle of the field for Ben Roethlisberger if he can get healthy.

Suspension of Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell reduced to three games

Friday, August 19, 2016, 4:02pm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - [Full Article]

Steelers running back LeVeon Bell has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The running back was facing a four-game suspension but appealed to the league. Though Bell will be eligible to practice and play with the team through the preseason, he will miss the team’s first three regular-season games against the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

He will be eligible to rejoin the team in Week 4, when the Steelers play the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Impact:

This will boost Bell's projections, but he's still a little dicey as a 1st round pick since he'll miss the first three games of the year. He has extra value in leagues where more than half the teams make the playoffs. He's also recovering from MCL and PCL tears but recently declared himself 100 percent, for what it's worth.

Flacco: Ravens WR Mike Wallace is 'awesome.'

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 1:53pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Baltimore signed Mike Wallace in free agency because his speed complemented Joe Flacco's strong arm. But he has been more than a "one trick pony," a nickname playfully given to him by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Wallace has caught passes on fade routes in the end zone. He has pulled in tough catches on back-shoulder throws. He has been a frequent target on underneath routes.

"Mike is awesome," Flacco said. "I think he is going to be a really big hit for us."

"We all know he can run," Flacco said. "But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been. I don't know if I've seen him drop a pass."

Fantasy Impact:

Steve L Smith is coming off of an Achilles injury, Breshad Perriman has already had a knee scare, while Kamar Aiken continues to fly under the radar. Wallace finished #74 in PPR formats last season as it turned out that he wasn’t a good fit with Teddy Bridgewater’s deep ball inaccuracy. Joe Flacco can wing it, so his arm would seem to be a good match for Wallace’s deep speed. Prior to last year, Wallace had five straight top-25 finishes, though his age and his production in 2015 has scared most owners away. This is a camp battle to monitor this summer: if Wallace wins a starting job -- and it appears that he will -- then he’ll be firmly on the fantasy radar.

Cards RB David Johnson having 'scary' good camp

Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 10:21am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Ask the Arizona Cardinals how running back David Johnson looks at training camp, and you'd think you'd just asked somebody about their buried treasure.

"Man ... people don't know," tight end Darren Fells said. "But they're going to know."

"I'm afraid to say it," coach Bruce Arians said," because then he'll get hurt."

"I don't even want to talk about what I've seen from David Johnson, because I don't want to jinx it," general manager Steve Keim said. "It's scary."

Fantasy Impact:

The story said the team is trying to keep Johnson humble because his camp has been that good. One example was Arians screaming at him for missing a blitz pickup, but the story added Johnson does seem to get the message when Arians sends it. Chris Johnson will likely steal some work and Andre Ellington is a pass-catching threat, but Johnson is looking like he'll live up to being our third-ranked running back.

Bruce Gradkowski has hamstring tear

Monday, August 15, 2016, 12:53pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has a sizable hamstring tear, according to a source, complicating the team's quarterback depth chart.

Gradkowski, who is entering his 10th NFL season, suffered the injury in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.

The Steelers could place Gradkowski, 33, on injured reserve for the second straight year or wait out the injury. Gradkowski missed all of 2015 with shoulder and hand/finger injuries. This offseason, he re-signed with the team on a one-year deal.

Fantasy Impact:

Landry Jones has solidified the No. 2 quarterback job behind Ben Roethlisberger, but behind him is project Dustin Vaughan, who has never taken an NFL snap and was cut in Dallas Cowboys camp last year.

Steelers Beat: Le'Veon Bell to be heavily involved in passing game

Monday, August 15, 2016, 9:18am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Expect LeVeon Bell, whether he plays 12 or 16 games, to be heavily involved in the passing game, particularly in the red zone.

Fantasy Impact:

The story was about the status of Ladarius Green, but Bell is mentioned as a possible way the Steelers will adapt should Green not be ready when the season starts. We project Bell for 52 receptions and 477 yards this season for 12 games. However, should Green have to miss the start, or a part, or all of the season, this could drive Bell's value a little higher.

Still no clarity on Ladarius Green

Monday, August 15, 2016, 9:14am

ESPN - [Full Article]

There's still no clarity on Ladarius Green's future with the Steelers other than coach Mike Tomlin reiterates he's on the physically unable to perform list because of offseason ankle surgery.

Tomlin said he isn't addressing an NFL Network report that Green is suffering from recurring headaches.

Fantasy Impact:

Green was signed as a potential offset to the loss of Martavis Bryant and an imposing weapon for Ben Roethlisberger in the middle of the field. A few interesting fantasy notes in this piece include expecting the team to 'heavily' use LeVeon Bell in the passing game in the red zone. The story said the team also likes Jesse James as a possible TE replacement but the team isn't sure they love him. The story also said to not write off Green. He could be placed on IR and return should the Steelers decide to use that roster spot.

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