2012 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > 2012 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh

2012 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh

A fantasy football preview of the Steelers this year. Profiled players include Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Jonathan Dwyer, and Chris Rainey.

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Isaac Redman is still the heavy favorite to open the season as the feature back as the Steelers failed to add starting caliber depth via free agency or the draft. Rashard Mendenhall is recovering from a torn ACL and is a candidate for the PUP List (miss first 6 games). Redman finished 2011 with 110 carries for 479 yards (4.4 YPC). In a playoff start against Denver, Redman rushed 17 times for 121 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards. He'll be a solid RB2 for as long as Mendenhall is sidelined and is currently being drafted in rounds 5-6.

UPDATE: He has been battling a groin injury and the activation of Mendenhall from the PUP list is a major negative for Redman's fantasy value heading into week 1. Look for his ADP to follow in the coming weeks.

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The second-year WR from Central Michigan was one of the true breakout performers in 2011. He finished with 69 catches for 1,109 yards (69 YPG), but only had two TDs. Brown is very explosive WR (16 YPC in 2011) and is locked in as the WR2 for a Steelers offense expected to more passing friendly in 2012. Brown posted three 100+ yard games over the final 10 weeks of last season and is a borderline WR2 worth considering in rounds 6-7.

UPDATE: Brown intends to continue as the Steelers' punt returner, but that could change if the Mike Wallace holdout continues into the regular season and Brown enters week 1 as the Steelers' top WR.

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Wallace is expected to play on his restricted tender in 2012. He set a career-high with 72 catches last season but regressed in the final seven games (25 catches for 325 yards and two touchdowns). Wallace should be ultra motivated in a contract year and his top end speed makes him one of the most dynamic WR after the catch (averaged an eye popping 19 YPC over his brief career). The Mississippi alum has 24 TD catches over his first three seasons and remains a borderline WR1 worth considering in rounds 3-4.

UPDATE: Contract dispute is ongoing and Wallace could miss the entire preseason (raises risk of potential injury). Wallce appears likely to play out the season on a $2.7 million contract and could enter next season as an unrestricted free agent.

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Sanders has battled injuries during his first two NFL seasons, but remains a solid sleeper coming into 2012. He's missed 8 games due to leg/foot injuries and has just 50 catches during the past two seasons. For leagues that reward punt/kick return yardage, Sanders will have elevated value as he's penciled in as the primary kick/punt returner for the Steelers and will likely serve as their #3 WR. Sanders' current ADP has him going in rounds 15-16, but he's worth considering in dynasty leagues as he could get a chance at the starting job as early as 2013 if Mike Wallace prices himself out of the Steelers' budget.

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Cotchery signed a two-year contract and will battle Emmanuel Sanders for the #3 WR job. The 29-year-old WR Cotchery appeared in 13 games last season, but caught just 16 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. He posted his only 1,000 yard season with the Jets in 2007 and has just 20 TDs over his first eight years in the NFL. Cotchery's upside is limited and he's not on the fantasy radar except in the deepest of PPR leagues.

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Miller has played all 7 of his seasons with the Steelers and has been a model of durability (only missed 4 games over his career). Miller is used mostly as a blocking TE, but is a Big Ben favorite in the red zone. Over his career, Miller has averaged just 36 YPG with 31 touchdowns. He's a lower end TE2 at best.