DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense this year is loaded with individual talent and with Todd Haley calling the plays, fans and players alike both hope the offense will improve. Last year's team was not all that impressive fantasy wise with Ben Roethlisberger putting up under 300 points, Mendenhall putting up under 200 points, and Mike Wallace falling off at the end of the year after a torrid start. The point predictions are made based on the following scoring method
25 passing yards = 1 point, 10 rushing yards = 1 point, 10 receiving yards = 1 point, any TD = 6 points, interception = -2 points, fumble lost = -2 points
Note that the predicted number of receptions and receiving touchdowns are sligthly higher than Ben Roethlisberger's predicted stats because I am assuming their will be times when Ben is off the field either because of a blowout or a minor injury and the backup will come in and put up some passes.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger - Predicted Stats: 16 starts, 346 for 520, 66.5%, 4368 yards, 29TD, 10INT, 29 sacks, 3 fumbles lost - 322.72 fantasy points (20.17 PPG) - Expect Roethlisberger to have the best year of his career with his new and improved offensive line to go along with the most weapons he has ever had and a new offensive coordinator. With a 6th to 8th round draft pick, he is going to be a huge steal.
RB: Rashard Mendenahll - Predicted Stats: 9 games, 135 carries, 621 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 10 catches, 105 yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 2 fumbles lost - 116.6 fantasy points (12.96 PPG) - I expect Mendenhall to go on the PUP and return in week 7 or 8 and become a starter but mix carries with Redman and Dwyer. I expect him to have a pretty typical season for himself once he returns. If you are in a league with a injury spot, he is worth a late round pick. If not, pick him up during the season if you need a running back.
RB: Isaac Redman - Predicted Stats: 6 starts, 16 games, 170 carries, 767 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 20 receptions, 120 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 1 fumble lost - 140.7 fantasy points (8.79 PPG) - Redman is going to have a good year but he is being over drafted right now. I have seen Redman picked between 65 and 90 in drafts and I value him more around 100-120. If he does fall to the 100+ range, I would take him and use him as a starter early in the season and then spot starts the rest of the year.
RB: Jonathan Dwyer - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 75 carries, 320 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 5 receptions, 76 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 51.6 fantasy points (3.23 PPG) - Jonathan Dwyer could be a decent emergency option during the season if you have injuries to your starters. He is only really an ownable option before Mendenhall returns.
RB: Chris Rainey - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 40 carries, 196 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 42 receptions, 427 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost, 2 punt return touchdowns - 98.3 fantasy points (6.14 PPG) - I am expecting big things from Rainey this year. I have not seen him drafted in any leagues yet but I think he will be a consistent producer getting 5-10 touches a game. If you are in a 16 team league, draft him in the last round. If not, maybe pick him up on waivers once you have your first injury.
WR: Mike Wallace - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 16 starts, 67 receptions, 1072 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 167.2 fantasy points (10.45 PPG) - Mike Wallace could potentially be a huge steal this year. People are grossly under-valuing him right now because of his holdout but I don't think it will effect him much. I have seen him drafted between 30-50 so far and if you can get him after 40, I would jump on him.
WR: Antonio Brown - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 16 starts, 86 receptions, 1250 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 167.0 fantasy points (10.44 PPG) - I am expecting big things from Brown this year and he is also looking like a possible steal. He has been drafted between 55 and 75 in mock drafts I am doing and he is easily worth a top 50 pick.
WR: Emmanuel Sanders - Predicted Stats: 14 games, 49 receptions, 588 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 76.8 fantasy points (5.49 PPG) - Sanders has been a late round draft pick in most mock drafts I have done and I like him in that role. He should be a consistent producer and if he stays healthy, I think he will be a decent 5th WR option.
WR: Jerricho Cotchery - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 22 receptions, 356 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 47.6 fantasy points (2.98 PPG) - Cotchery is not really ownable in my opinion for a long period of time but if you get injuries and need an emergency start while the Steelers are playing a bad defense, he could be a good option.
TE: Heath Miller - Predicted Stats: 16 games, 16 starts, 49 receptions, 647 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns, 0 fumbles lost - 88.7 fantasy points (5.54 PPG) - I expect Heath to be slightly better than last year and I would spend a late round pick on him. He is a solid backup option that can make emergency starts if need be.