Martavis Bryant took to Instagram Sunday night, stating his case for more targets.
The original post was a video of Ben Roethlisberger overthrowing Antonio Brown on third and 1 with the words "What Type of throw is This?" written above. The caption goes on to criticize Ben Roethlisberger for forcing the ball to Brown rather than throwing to Bryant.
Seemingly provoked by a commenter who tagged Bryant and told him JuJu Smith-Schuster is better, Bryant responded (light edited for clarity):
"JuJu is no where near better than me, fool. All they need to do is give me what I want and y'all can have JuJu and whoever else."
That comment has since been deleted.
Bryant did back track a bit in another comment where he complimented Smith. Bryant caught just one ball for two yards in Week 7. NFL Network reported a week ago Bryant wanted a trade but Bryant denied asking to be dealt.
Bryant was already a risky FLEX option this week against a Jags defense that's top-5 in our aFPA vs. WR rankings. Given his weekly volatility, you may want to start a more consistent option if available.
Martavis Bryant was cleared by the NFL to practice and play in preseason games on the eve of the preseason opener against the Giants on Aug. 11, and he has been installed as the Steelers starting receiver opposite Antonio Brown on this most recent depth chart.
Also, Sammie Coates was activated from the physically unable to perform list today, which clears him to resume all on-field football activities with the team, and he is listed as the No. 2 receiver behind Brown.
While depth charts this time of year don't always mean a whole lot, it's good news for owners Bryant is plugged in as the team's WR2. We think he's worth the risk. In 24 career games, including the postseason, Bryant has averaged 4.0 receptions for 65 yards and 0.67 touchdowns, or 14.5 PPG (PPR). That would have been good enough to finish as the #13 WR in 2016, ahead of Jarvis Landry and Julian Edelman.
Ever since moving to receiver two years ago, Terrelle Pryor continues to seek help and advice from those who played the position. That’s why the Washington Redskins wideout is working out this summer with one of the NFL’s top wideouts -- Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown -- in Pennsylvania.
It’s not surprising; Pryor and Brown have been in contact in the past, and Pryor has heeded Brown's advice and incorporated his drills. Pryor will work out with Brown at various points in the summer, and also will head to Charlotte at some point in July to work with former NFL standout Randy Moss, a likely future Hall of Famer. Pryor lives near Pittsburgh.
“The good ones, they ask questions,” Pryor said, “and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn. I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there. I’m always pinpoint in meetings, always answering questions. I jump on a question before anyone else can. I enjoy it. Once you stop learning and think you’ve got it, that’s when you lose. I never want to get to that point. I’m always curious, how to get better and how to be a dominant player and how to make people look at me and say, ‘I want to be like that.’ That’s what drives me.”
Pryor finished the season as the #21 receiver, though his numbers dipped over the final month of the season. Still, his output in the first 12 games -- 5.2 catches for 71 yards and 0.33 TD, #11 WR -- is very encouraging, as is his thirst for knowledge. Working out with Brown and Moss allows Pryor to learn from two of the all-time greats. He’ll certainly benefit from an upgrade at quarterback in Washington. The quality of his targets may offset the reduction in workload.
Brown has finished as the #1 WR (PPR) in three straight seasons.
While steadfastly maintaining that the regular-season finale would be approached as “business as usual,” coach Mike Tomlin strongly indicated that several of the Steelers' star players will not be in uniform for Sunday's meaningless game against the Cleveland Browns.
Tomlin said that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell, receiver Antonio Brown and center Maurkice Pouncey “will get that consideration” as players who will be “preserved as we look into the playoff round.”
That downturn in Brown’s statistics means he won’t threaten two NFL records he came close to breaking a year ago. It also means he likley will have his worst statistical season since 2012.
There was a time when Brown might have lashed out about the circumstances around his production, but it hasn’t happened yet this season.
“I’m extremely grateful,” Brown said Friday. “We’ve been winning and doing some positive things. Whatever it takes to win, whether it’s running or passing, whatever gets the job done this time of the year is what we have to do."
Brown hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving game in the Steelers’ four-game winning streak while Bell is riding a four-game streak of 100-yard rushing games. Through 13 games, Brown has 93 receptions for 1,130 yards, a pace for 114 receptions and 1,391 receiving yards. That’s a great season for almost any NFL receiver, but not for Brown, who last season had 136 receptions for 1,834 yards.
Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:13pm
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 6:10pm
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 6:36pm
Friday, November 4, 2016, 6:47pm
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:12pm
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 6:39pm
The team had no choice but to move Markus Wheaton to second string after he's missed four games with a shoulder injury and has struggled to find a rhythm in the three games he has played. Plus, Heyward-Bey has been a valuable reserve receiver and special-teamer; he nearly caught two touchdown passes in Week 7 against the New England Patriots.
This is obviously a blow to the entire Pittsburgh offense. Since 2015, Roethlisberger has missed four games, and the team's passing yards decreased by 45%, total points decreased by 25% and passing touchdowns decreased by 39%. So all the Pittsburgh receivers take a hit while Roethlisberger is out. Landry Jones will start in the interim. He has a career completion percentage of 57.1% with a good YPA (9.2) and a not-so-good TD-to-INT ratio (3:4). He may work his way into streaming consideration if things break his way, but this is a sizable downgrade at quarterback. Roethlisberger's absence might benefit Bell, who tends to see more carries when his quarterback his out. But last season that increase in carries was offset by a reduced role in the passing game, so it looks like a wash for Bell. UPDATE: Our source in Pittsburgh said that the timeline came from Roethlisberger, who tends to “play up” his injuries so that he looks “tough” when he returns early. Our source said that he was told Roethlisberger is expected to return in Week 9 after the team’s bye. So owners should stream for the next couple of weeks and see how his recovery is going at that point.
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