When it comes to fantasy football, investing as much stock as you can in the Pittsburgh Steelers may help you strike gold.
Anyone who plays fantasy football knows who Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are. Both Bell and Brown are consensus top five picks regardless if you are in a standard scoring league or a point per reception league (PPR) and here’s why.
Antonio Brown has been a top five receiver dating back to the 2013-2014 season. Since 2013 Brown has ranked second in total receiving yards twice, fifth last season and first during the 2014 season. He has scored a total of 43 touchdowns over the past four seasons and has enormous potential to put up top receiving numbers again this upcoming season.
Brown should be the first receiver off of the board and will most likely be drafted just behind David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Bell. He may even sneak ahead of Zeke depending on player preferences.
The only thing stopping Bell from topping everyone’s fantasy rankings is health. Well, that and now the ascendance of David Johnson. Still, nearly every draft board has a variation of Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Bell as the first three picks.
Bell has proven more than capable of handling a full workload when healthy. In fact, Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus put together a table to show the best bell cows in the NFL and Bell wins by a landslide. From the table it is obvious when healthy, Bell is nearly the only Steelers’ back to see the field. Could this be part of the reason he’s suffered the injuries he’s had?
Regardless, Bell and Johnson are the best pass-catching backs in the league and Bell may have more upside with a stacked offense. Again, it all comes down to health with Bell.
Next on the list is a name many have been dying to invest fantasy stock in. The name is Martavis Bryant. After seeing the field for just 21 games total since 2014, Bryant is ready to put the off the field issues and suspensions aside and prove what he is capable of. Sure, Brown will be a target hog in the Steelers offense, but this fact bodes well for Bryant.
With defensive backs and coordinators paying attention to the league’s top wideout, Bryant should see plenty of opportunities opposite Brown. Bryant is more of a deep ball threat rather than a possession receiver anyway, having an average of at this point in his career.
Bryant’s 21 games are a very small sample size, but if you take his averages and project them over a full season, he finishes with a stat line around 56/995/10. Any fantasy owner will be happy to take that. Bryant’s current ADP is 5.03 according to fantasyfootballcalculator. It may be a high asking price to pay for a guy that didn’t play at all last season, but he seems to have changed his act and committed himself to improvement. The 56/995/10 stat line can easily go up from there.
One of the only other Pittsburgh players I am investing stock in will be Ben Roethlisberger. The knock on Ben is the same as the knock on Bell, injury concerns. However, when healthy, Big Ben is one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Roethlisberger is currently coming off the board as the ninth quarterback, but could easily drop depending on who you are in a league with. While others take Rodgers, Newton and Brady, I will take the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback. Over the past five seasons, Big Ben has averaged 285.6 yards per game to go with 27.2 touchdowns over the course of the season. Meanwhile, Rodgers has averaged fewer yards per game with a 267.92 average and averaged almost six touchdowns more per season. With Rodgers being selected as the number one signal caller off the board, give me Roethlisberger nearly five rounds later after I draft my skilled position players.
Overall, if you can draft Bell, Brown, Bryant and Roethlisberger, you may have yourself a championship caliber team. People will tell you they don’t advise buying that much stock in a single team’s offense, but Pittsburgh hasn’t finished outside of the top seven in total offensive yards produced since 2013. Seems like a good offense to buy stock into me.