Steelers 2018 pittsburgh steelers Fantasy Preview

As usual, the Killer B's lived up to their billing in 2017. For the fourth consecutive season, Antonio Brown ranked in the top five among fantasy wideouts. For the third time in four years, Le'Veon Bell was a top five fantasy back. And for the fourth time in his career, Ben Roethlisberger scored as a top 10 fantasy quarterback. Killer B's, indeed. Brown suffered a partially torn left calf that caused him to miss the final two regular season games, which surely cost a few fantasy owners a title, but he still tallied a league-high 1,553 receiving yards to go along with 101 catches and nine touchdowns in 14 games. Bell was healthy for the whole season and carried the ball 321 times, a league-high, and racked up 1,946 all-purpose yards for 11 total touchdowns. Both guys were fantasy machines, as expected. Big Ben was a starter-level option throughout the season as well. With those weapons, how could he not be? In addition to Brown and Bell, second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster emerged as a strong WR2 (overall fantasy WR18). One of the most explosive offensive units in the league hit the jackpot yet again. The Steelers WR2 coming into the season was Martavis Bryant, but Smith-Schuster bumped him down the depth chart. He still had 50 receptions for 603 yards, good for the WR51. Both Steelers tight ends (Jesse James and Vance McDonald) offered limited fantasy value as most of Big Ben's looks went to the talents discussed above. Only 16.4 percent of Steelers targets went to tight ends. When you have studs Brown and Bell, much less importance is placed on tight ends.

9

Chris
Boswell

K - Steelers

FACT: Everyone knows about the Steelers' three Killer B's of Ben, Bell and Brown, but don't overlook the fourth. Boswell has made 85-of-95 field goals since entering the league in 2015, including 4-of-4 from over 50 yards in 2017.
Offseason Moves

After a disappointing exit in the AFC Divisional Round, coach Mike Tomlin received a lot of the blame, but he was ultimately retained. The Steelers did, however, choose not to renew offensive coordinator Todd Haley's contract and quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner was promoted. As far as player personnel, Pittsburgh didn't make many key moves. Ben, Bell and Brown will all be back, even though Le'Veon still can't secure a long-term deal. Bell will likely skip training camp and the preseason, and his days in Pittsburgh might be numbered. JuJu Smith-Schuster will warrant more touches after Martavis Bryant was traded to Oakland during the draft for the pick that became quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Steelers also used a second-round pick on wideout James Washington, who will compete with veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey for No. 3 reps behind Brown and Smith-Schuster. Jesse James and Vance McDonald return as Pittsburgh's top two tight ends.

Sleepers & Busts

It's tough to call anyone on this offense a sleeper, but JuJu Smith-Schuster is the best bet to overachieve. Four of our five fantasy experts ranked JuJu outside of the top 20 wideouts for 2018. Over his final seven games of 2017, though, Smith-Schuster caught 41 passes for 686 yards and four touchdowns (WR10 over that span), which put him at a 16-game pace of 1,568 yards, 98 receptions and nine touchdowns. It's unrealistic to expect that trend to continue over the course of a full season, but if he can get anywhere near those numbers he'll have fantastic value. We know Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell are going to shine -- they always do -- but now, maybe JuJu can too.

The Steelers are a rare team where the top two guys always perform, if healthy. The Patriots will have games where Rob Gronkowski is quiet, and the same for Julio Jones in Atlanta or Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas. Outside of Week 1, Bell had at least 14 fantasy points in every game he played, including nine games with over 20 points. Brown had double-digit fantasy points in all but two games in 2017, not including the game he left early with the injury. He also posted six games of over 25 fantasy points. The only chance for bust with these guys could be due to Bell's contract situation. After skipping all offseason and preseason activities a year ago, Bell struggled in the Steelers' opener, rushing for a season-low 32 yards.

Fantasy Depth Chart
POSFIRSTSECONDTHIRDOTHER
QB Ben Roethlisberger Landry Jones Mason Rudolph
RB Le'Veon Bell James Conner Stevan Ridley
WR Antonio Brown JuJu Smith-Schuster James Washington Darrius Heyward-Bey
TE Jesse James Vance McDonald
K Chris Boswell