Jul 082013
 

QB Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)

Roethlisberger was on pace for 4406 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just 8 interceptions at the halfway point last season, before getting hurt and missing 3 ½ games. He wasn’t the same once he returned either. Unfortunately, Roethlisberger has played in all 16 games just once in his career. He should be improved over last year’s 3265 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, but he won’t reach those extrapolated numbers.

Projection: 3750 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown (260 pts standard, 316 pts 6 pt TD leagues)

RB Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)

8/31/13: Dwyer’s release is also good news for Bell, as it’s a sign that Bell is farther along in his recovery than originally thought. He’s out of his walking boot and while he’ll miss at least 4-6 weeks with an injury that tends to linger, his value is on the rise. The only concern is that Redman impresses in his absence, but Redman will probably go back to being just a passing down back upon Bell’s return.

8/21/13: Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks with a Lisfranc injury and he could be a candidate for the injured reserve with designation to return, which would put him out until at least week 9 and his status is even more up in the air than that. There’s no guarantee he’ll be the feature back upon return either. In his absence, the underwhelming trio of Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, and La’Rod Stephens-Howling will split carries. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley likes rotating backs anyway. It’s a fantasy situation to avoid.

A rookie 2nd round pick, Bell is not an overly explosive back (his longest run of the last 2 seasons was 40 yards), but he’s incredibly consistent, capable of carrying a load, and a good pass catcher and pass protector. Bell averaged 4.7 yards per carry on 382 carries last year, catching 32 passes and scoring 13 times. He is expected to be the feature back for the Steelers, but Todd Haley has never been one for using just one running back. Even when he had Jamaal Charles almost setting a per carry record at his disposal in 2010, he preferred to use both Charles and Thomas Jones.

Projection: 150 carries for 630 rushing yards and 5 total touchdowns 23 catches for 150 receiving yards (108 pts standard, 131 pts PPR)

RB Isaac Redman (Pittsburgh)

8/31/13: The Steelers have cut Jonathan Dwyer. This is good news for Isaac Redman, who will be pretty much the feature back until Le’Veon Bell returns, with just change of pace backs La’Rod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones behind him on the depth chart. It’s still not a great fantasy situation, but Redman isn’t a bad late round pick by any stretch of the imagination.

8/21/13: Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks with a Lisfranc injury and he could be a candidate for the injured reserve with designation to return, which would put him out until at least week 9 and his status is even more up in the air than that. There’s no guarantee he’ll be the feature back upon return either. In his absence, the underwhelming trio of Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, and La’Rod Stephens-Howling will split carries. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley likes rotating backs anyway. It’s a fantasy situation to avoid.

Projection: 140 carries for 630 rushing yards and 4 total touchdowns 25 catches for 200 receiving yards (107 pts standard, 132 pts PPR)

WR Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)

Brown caught 42 passes for 499 yards in the first 8 games of last season, continuing where he left off the previous season, when he caught 35 passes for 677 yards in the final 8 games of the season. However, injuries to Roethlisberger and his own personal injuries slowed him down in the 2nd half of last season. Still, he doesn’t have a history of injury issues and he’s the clear #1 receiver now. He’s never really been a touchdown guy, catching just 7 touchdowns in his first 3 seasons in the league, but with Mike Wallace gone that should change.

Projection: 78 catches for 1030 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (145 pts standard, 223 pts PPR)

WR Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh)

Emmanuel Sanders moves into the starting lineup as the clear #2 receiver on an offense that usually is productive in fantasy leagues for wide receivers. He’s got some talent and has shown it at times over the first few years of his career as a reserve. There’s some value here.

Projection: 51 catches for 750 receiving yards 4 touchdowns (99 pts standard, 150 pts PPR)

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