This is worrisome because it shows a lack of good judgment and a lack of self control. It appears that Bryant may be going down the same road as Josh Gordon -- an incredibly talented receiver who can't stay clean while he plays professional football. The good news is that Bryant is set to return in Week 5 and should have a large role in the offense. We believe he'll be a good value in the 8th or 9th round after his ADP takes an understandable hit.
It looks like the Steelers will be without both Bryant and LeVeon Bell to start the season. Third year wideout Markus Wheaton will have every opportunity to live up to the hype Ben Roethlisberger has been sending his way this off-season. Bryant's stock will take a hit, but we'd expect him to have a big role when he returns. Our rankings are based on projections, and we've basically reduced his output by 25 percent, which makes him a high-end WR4 in standard formats and a low-end WR in PPR. If owners can get through the first month, he's a player who should really be able to help down the stretch. There's also the possibility that the suspension is reduced, which would boost his draft value. As for Wheaton, he should be startable while Bryant is out, but we're not too bullish on his season-long production once Bryant returns.
The 35-year-old Vick is a far cry from the star he once was, and he’s coming off a season in which he was largely disappointing when he played for the Jets. But he was the best veteran quarterback available to the Steelers when Gradkowski got hurt.
If Roethlisberger stays healthy, Vick may never see the field in Pittsburgh. But if Roethlisberger goes down, the Steelers know they have a backup with experience.
Vick struggles to stay healthy himself, especially because of his reckless running style. He's always had a strong arm, and given the talent around him should he see the field, the potential is there for him to put up fantasy numbers in this offense.
Michael Vick said all along that a training camp injury would open a door for him to get back into the NFL.
That may have happened over the weekend.
Vick will be visiting with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. ESPN first reported the development.
His visit may have been caused by an injury to backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who left Sunday's game with a hand injury that will reportedly require surgery. This seems to be the ideal backup situation for Vick should the Steelers end up signing him. Unlike his short tenure in New York, he will not be forced into an awkward dual role of mentor and top competitor, the story said. Should something happen to Ben Roethlisberger, and Vick was indeed signed as the backup, he would have a ton of fantasy value in this impressive offense loaded with weapons.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 8:24pm
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles followed up a strong performance in the team's Aug. 14 preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers with another solid effort Saturday night in a 22-12 loss to the New York Giants.
Bortles, in his second season as Jacksonville's quarterback, completed 8-of-16 passes for 98 yards, to lead the team on three scoring drives, each resulting in a field goal. While the numbers were relatively modest, head coach Gus Bradley said he was pleased with the young quarterback's effort.
"I think he took another good step," Bradley said, per the team's official website. "To go on the road and to stack up another good performance, he's learning. ... What I'm pleased about is he's seeing some benefits of playing some pretty consistent quarterback. We just need to add to it."
The 23-year-old Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, said he was generally satisfied with the offensive execution against the Giants, but noted the team needs to work on finishing drives.
There is some potential there for Bortles but he likely won't get drafted in typical leagues. He has a young, talented group of WRs and the team signed TE Julius Thomas as a red zone threat. Bortles will need the line to improve in front of him on top of developing with the young WRs.
The bulky black brace Cards QB Carson Palmer wears on his left knee is about the only sign he is less than nine months removed from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament.
That and, well, the way head coach Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians still sometimes shakes his head in disbelief that three weeks into training camp, Palmer isn’t just healthy, he’s better.
And maybe better than he’s been at any point since he made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2005 and 2006 while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Carson is in great shape, mentally and physically,” Arians told USA TODAY Sports.
Plenty of coaches gush these sorts of platitudes about their quarterback this time of year. But it means something coming from a quarterback guru like Arians, who has tutored passers like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
The story said that through three weeks of training camp, Palmer has been among the Cardinals’ most consistent players, something that backs up numerous reports we've had here at 4for4. In a recent fully-padded practice, he zipped pass after pass across the middle of the field to Larry Fitzgerald, and nailed several deep touchdown passes to second-year receiver John Brown — all while playing against a secondary that includes stars Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Then, in his first live action since suffering the knee injury on Nov. 9, Palmer went 4-for-4 for 77 yards to lead the Cardinals to a touchdown in his one series of work in the preseason opener against Kansas City last week. All signs are pointing to Palmer having very nice, later-round value at the QB position, definitely something to note if you're waiting to draft at the position.
That's good news for the Steelers, who are moving the talented wide receiver to the slot during training camp to add another dimension to an already-dangerous offensive attack.
''We have a lot of potential,'' Wheaton said. ''I guess we'll see how it goes.''
The results were positive in 2014 as the Steelers flourished on offense, breaking franchise records and finishing No. 2 in the league. Wheaton was a big part of the attack, playing on the outside and in the slot at times.
That the Steelers' 2013 third-round pick now gets an entire offseason to learn the nuances of a position he never played in college at Oregon State.
''We ran a lot of two-receiver sets in college, so I was outside a lot,'' Wheaton said.
Wheaton estimated the switch to slot came around mid-season last year, when he had a package of simplified plays designed for him.
Wheaton has worked on the outside and in the slot during training camp practices, and says he doesn't have a preference on where he plays. A few weeks ago, QB Ben Roethlisberger said Wheaton would break out this year and see time on the outside while moving to the slot in three receiver sets. The statement had those expecting Martavis Bryant to bust out this season wondering what exactly was going on, even though Bryant was injured at the time. Meanwhile, we continued to rank Bryant as a WR2 after an impressive season playing only about 60-percent of the snaps. It looks like Wheaton could play both inside and outside, but the WR2 value still seems to be with Bryant.
Sunday, August 16, 2015, 3:34pm
But having trusted veteran Bruce Gradkowski back allows the Steelers front office to exhale. The team activated Gradkowski off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday, meaning the shoulder injury has healed and the 10-year veteran can start practicing today. He should get some run next Sunday at Heinz Field when the Packers come to town for a preseason game.
Third-string quarterback Landry Jones has had a few bright moments in camp, but his 39-of-78 passing performance for 328 yards, one touchdown and one interception through two preseason games won't convince the Steelers they have a full-time backup. Pittsburgh is giving Jones every chance to earn a spot on the team or audition for another team.
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 11:05pm
Martavis Bryant is fast and big. And now he is physical.
The second-year wide receiver ran through a would-be hold attempt by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Davon House on the sixth play of Friday's preseason game that resulted in a 44-yard touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger.
Bryant, who caught three passes for 55 yards, attributes his new-found physicality to his offseason workouts that included learning mixed martial arts.
“My offseason workouts and me finishing strong and fighting through that contact,” Bryant said of how he was able to beat House. “Being physical is part of the game and if you are not physical, you aren't going to have success.”
Bryant appears to be ready to take his game to a new level after a rookie season in which he caught nine touchdown passes in 11 games. However, according to Roethlisberger, there is still work to be done. Bryant had an opportunity for another long play in the first half but couldn't keep his feet in bounds on a pass from Landry Jones. Ben put a bit of a damper on Bryant this season when he said he expected Markus Wheaton to be the big breakout WR this year. Meanwhile, we continue to rank Bryant as a mid-range WR2 after an impressive season last year. We feel the upside continues to be with Bryant.
Steelers beat writer Jeremy Fowler:
If Steelers training camp is any indication, Martavis Bryant will build off his 21-yard-per-catch, eight-touchdown rookie season. Bryant is making difficult downfield catches look like a routine screen play, either beating a corner off the line or making contested catches over and around one. Bryant’s potential is outrageous once he masters the entire offense. Last year, he knew go routes and a few other plays -- a small portion of the playbook -- and still caught a touchdown nearly every third play.
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% of the snaps until the postseason, so there's upside here from a playing time standpoint. It's uncertain if he'll beat out Markus Wheaton in two-wide sets, but if he does, the sky is the limit.
Bryant stretched out his body and got both feet in bounds on a touchdown catch to the corner of the end zone, but that wasn't the spectacular play. Ben Roethlisberger threw a 50-yarder Bryant's way, with safety Will Allen converging and corner Cortez Allen in tight coverage. No matter. Bryant set his feet and leaped over Allen for the grab, with Allen a half-step off. Not to overhype Bryant, who was relatively raw as a rookie in 2014 and couldn't handle much more than go routes, but once he masters every nuance of the offense, the potential production is scary.
WR Markus Wheaton is out with a hamstring injury so the team was happy to have Bryant back. Of course, Roethlisberger made some waves when he earlier said he expects Wheaton to bust out this year and he would be used in two-receiver sets, then slide to the slot in three receiver sets. We haven't really changed our thoughts on Bryant and he remains ranked 18th on our WR list, making him a very good WR2 option.
Hartley kicked three clutch field goals in the Super Bowl five years ago, and is a perfect 8-for-8 in postseason games. Suisham will miss the season with a torn ACL.
Hartley was inconsistent in his final seasons with the Saints, eventually getting cut at the end of 2013. He has been mostly out of the league since, active for two games last season for the Browns. Hartley has hit on 81.7 percent of his kicks as a pro, so it was only a matter of time before he got another chance. After spending most of his career in a dome, he'll kick in one of the toughest environments in the league in Pittsburgh. He'll still be an attractive add to fantasy teams given the high-powered potential of a Steelers offense that wants to score 30 points a game.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 9:23am
Crowell is a talented 23-year-old who shattered his undrafted expectations in 2014 with eight touchdowns and a thundering running style. Crowell averaged 4.1 yards per carry and his two biggest games, against the Steelers at home and the Falcons on the road, were monumental Browns victories.
But just because Crowell is set to start Thursday against Washington does not mean Cleveland is ready to anoint him as its bell cow, 20-carries per game, running back. On Sunday, running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery challenged one of his running backs to truly stand out and seize the job.
Crowell read the comments from his coach. He knows he still has work to do.
“Obviously I haven’t,” Crowell said when asked if he’s earned the starting job. “So I have to keep working and keep working. The coach knows what is right and knows what is best, so I have to come out here and keep working.”
The report broke yesterday that RB coach Wilbert Montgomery wasn't happy with the Browns RBs in camp. Crowell is perhaps the one true healthy back right now as the others can't get on the field, including our highest-rated Brown RB, rookie Duke Johnson. Looks like Crowell will get his chance Thursday in the team's first preseason game. The Browns RB situation is pretty cloudy right now.
Suisham has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and cartilage damage, and the team will almost surely place him on injured reserve, ending his season. The 10-year veteran was injured on the opening kickoff of the second half Sunday night’s first preseason game in Canton, Ohio, won by the Minnesota Vikings, 14-3.
The report confirms an article we had from earlier this morning. The 33-year-old has been Pittsburgh's everyday kicker since 2010 and signed a four-year deal last August.Though a kicker seems replaceable, the position has become more specialized over the years. Suisham's directional kicking and experience kicking at the always-dangerous Heinz Field are hard to replace, an earlier report had. In the Steelers potentially high-scoring offense, Suisham was a guy to target in drafts. We'll keep you updated as the Steelers will have to sign a replacement who will definitely be on the fantasy radar.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had success drafting mid-to-late-round pass-catchers, with the top three receivers on the depth chart falling between Rounds 3-6.
The next might be fifth-round tight end Jesse James, whose ability in the red zone has stood out during training camp. The 6-foot-7 tight end had several nice touchdown grabs there, including a diving catch on an over-the-middle Landry Jones toss, between the safety and corner in the soft spot of the zone coverage. He has an outstretched touchdown grab off a lob to the corner of the end zone, beating his man.
James has average speed, but offsets that with good hands and being a huge target at 6-foot-7 and 261 pounds. The Steelers also drafted Sammie Coates in the third round, and the former Auburn receiver is in the long-term plans, but James has a chance to play earlier because the Steelers aren't as deep at tight end and Coates probably needs a transition year. If Miller continues to be banged up, it's possible James makes his mark in what is expected to be a high-powered offense.
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