Pittsburgh Steelers, Def, Steelers: Fantasy Football Outlook

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Pittsburgh Steelers, Def, Steelers

Position/Rank ADP NFL Team Status Age Height Weight
Def - #14 211.23 PIT Active 47 0' 0 0

2016 Outlook: Quality Backup

Last updated on Aug-04-2016 by Shawn Childs


Pittsburgh played well defending the run in 2015. They allowed 1459 yards (5th) with only six rushing allowed. Ball carriers gained 3.8 yards per rush with below league average attempts (23.9) partly due to game score.

The Steelers allowed the third most passing yards (4350) with 29 passing TD and 17 Ints. They did show growth in their pass rush (48) sacks which probably helped cover up even more weakness in pass coverage.

DE Cameron Heyward had strength in run support while recording seven sacks. Heyward is an above average player for his position. DE Stephon Tuitt played well in his second season in the league despite missing a couple of games due to a knee injury. Tuitt finished with 6.5 sacks with growth in tackles. Daniel McCullers is expected to earn the starting nose tackles job despite offering minimal value in his sophomore season in the league. His best competition will come from rookie Javon Hargrave, who has some upside in run support with occasional pass-rushing skills.

LB James Harrison went to the fountain of youth to deliver an impactful season at age 37. He played well against the run with five sacks. He projects as a backup player in 2016. LB Lawrence Timmons played below his skill set in 2015 even with five sacks. Timmons had value against the run with risk in pass coverage. The Steelers him to play better in 2016, but his game may be on the decline. LB Ryan Shazier also graded poorly, but he did show some growth despite missing four games due to a concussion and a knee issue. 2015 first round draft pick LB Bud Dupree delivered a poor season with failure in all areas.

S Michael Mitchell was a league average starter for his position with neutral value in coverage and run support. S Robert Golden had his most productive season in 2015, but he still graded as a below starting average player with his best asset coming in run support. CB Ross Cockrell held his own in his first chance at earning a starting job. Ross had two Ints with above average success in pass coverage. CB William Gay was a league average defender at his position with downside risk at times. With two CBs added in the first two rounds of the draft, the Steelers are hoping to improve in pass coverage.

This defense should play well against the run with their success in pass coverage coming with repeated success rushing the QB. They need one or both of their rookie CBs to offer value in their rookie seasons. As a Fantasy option, this defense may surprise at times and Brown will return an occasional kick.

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