The Steelers had a relatively impressive 2014, breaking into the top 10 for offensive fantasy scoring for the first time in over ten years. In terms of general fantasy scoring, they claimed the fifth spot and many fantasy owners will be looking to this squad for some top selections as we head into 2015. Pittsburgh has a squad with a good mixture of exciting young talent and well-rounded veterans, and the team should provide an impressive amount of fantasy points in the new season.
Fantasy owners will need to do their research and find the most effective solutions for their squads, but you are going to want to load up on a Steeler or two. I recently saw Brown, Bell and Roethlisberger state that they wanted to average 30 ppg this season. How do you get your piece of that pie? Today we’ll be helping out by taking an in-depth look at some of the stars on the Steelers roster.
Markus Wheaton, Wide Receiver
In spite of Wheaton’s obvious talent, the Steelers have a rich array of wide receivers to choose from, putting his role in the team into jeopardy. Martavis Bryant has undoubtedly slipped past Wheaton as the number 2 WR on the roster after some impressive performances in 2014 and this makes Wheaton a good choice only as a reserve option. With players like Heath Miller and Antonio Brown on the field, Wheaton won’t see enough of the ball to really earn your squad a whole lot of points.
DeAngelo Williams, Running Back
Williams was something of a surprise signing for the Steelers as we head into the 2015 season, but the nine-year veteran is a reliable player and should have an early chance to prove his worth thanks to the suspension of Le’Veon Bell at the start of the season. Unfortunately, the Steelers’ schedule doesn’t look to be particularly kind to Williams with the Patriots, 49ers and Rams all having strong defensive games. The RB also didn’t have the best 2014 and began showing the signs of his 32 years of age last season as well as suffering with injuries. He’s a great veteran but might not be the best choice for fantasy owners.
Heath Miller, Tight End
Another veteran on the Steelers squad, Miller was allegedly going to be replaced by Maxx Williams for 2015, but Baltimore beat Pittsburgh to the punch on that one. Regardless, Miller remains an impressive TE and has established a good understanding with Ben Roethlisberger over the many years that the pair have worked together. Miller was third on the Steelers roster for receptions and targets last year and still represents great value, especially in leagues that award points for receptions. Miller’s time at the Steelers might be coming to an end, but he’s still be a major player in 2015.
Martavis Bryant, Wide Receiver
Steelers’ fans and coaches are expecting big things from Bryant in 2015, with Todd Haley revealing that he hopes Bryant will continue to challenge Wheaton for the No. 2 WR spot. Critics will point to Bryant’s disciplinary issues as a source of concern for fantasy owners, but his talent simply cannot be ignored. After a slow start to his rookie season, Bryant finished 2014 with some great numbers, catching plenty of touchdowns despite a lack of opportunities. He’s an explosive young player with a great level of athleticism and should be a good pick for most fantasy sides.
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback
Roethlisberger enjoyed the finest season of this career in 2014, starting sixteen games for the second season running and putting up some very impressive figures like his 4,952 passing yards. It took some time for Roethlisberger to adapt to the introduction of Todd Haley in place of Bruce Arians back in 2012, but the pair have developed a good understanding over the last couple of seasons and enjoy developing their strategies and ideas together.
Roethlisberger recently signed a new contract and, at the age of 33, is surely enjoying the best years of his career. The value and length of the signal caller’s new contract ($65 million for the first three of five years in total) displays the fact that the Steelers value this player above all others and will be expecting him to continue his impressive form in 2015. Fantasy owners should expect a huge amount of passing yards and at least thirty touchdowns, making Roethlisberger a great choice.
Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver
Fans were slightly concerned about Brown’s future earlier in the year, but the WR managed to assuage any fears by turning up for training with the rest of the squad. We’re well aware of Brown’s desire for a pay rise and he has certainly earned one by being one of the finest WRs in the NFL, despite his relatively small physical stature, a label which Brown admittedly dislikes.
Nevertheless, he hasn’t let any contractual issues or size concerns get him down, putting up some incredible figures in 2014: 129 receptions for 1,698 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. After such a fine season, fantasy players can’t overlook Brown as possibly the top WR pick available.
As previously mentioned, Bell will have to endure a two-game suspension at the start of the season after winning an appeal following his arrest for marijuana possession in August of last year. This has actually lowered his draft value, but players shouldn’t pay any attention to this as Bell is easily one of the best running backs in the NFL. Fantasy statistics support this claim, will Bell finishing second in yards per reception, second in running back receptions and second again in yards from scrimmage in 2014. He’s a young and explosive player who represents an incredibly important piece of the Pittsburgh offensive puzzle.
In spite of his arrest and the problems around it, Bell will only get better as time goes by and should be selected by many fantasy owners. In the short-term, players might be wary about this decision but Bell will prove his worth over the course of the season.