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Fantasy Football: Final draft position for Pittsburgh Steelers players

The 2019 NFL season officially starts Thursday night, and if you are in a last second fantasy league you might want to think about picking some members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With the fantasy football draft season now over, fans can look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers who were drafted and see if they overpaid or underpaid for their favorite Steelers players. Leagues have different rules and scoring systems that impact where players are drafted. Were you a homer in your league drafting Steelers players a round or more too high? Or were you a miser and drafted the player accordingly to his average draft position (ADP)?

I will be going off of Fantasy Football Calculators 10 team PPR league ADP. I am assuming that the following league setups and scoring applies as it is pretty standard.

  • 10 team league
  • 1 point per reception
  • 1 point per 10 yards receiving
  • 1 point per 10 yards rushing
  • 1 point per 25 yards passing
  • 6 points for a receiving or rushing touchdown
  • 4 points for a passing touchdown.
  • A second quarterback cannot be used in the lineup.
  • Year to date ADP.

When were they drafted?

Running back James Conner was the first Steelers player to come off the board at No. 10 which is the last pick in the first round and the seventh running back selected. Conner comes with some durability questions but as a dual threat back,his upside is prolific.

Wide out JuJu Smith-Schuster came off the board at pick No. 13 and the fifth wide receiver. It appears that fantasy football fanatics have huge expectations over his 111-1,426-7 stat line from 2018. He was selected ahead of Adam Theilan, former teammate Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill. Players who all finished with more points then JuJu in 2018. The big question that remains with Smith-Schuster, will he blossom into a true No. 1 wide receiver even though he will see more coverages rolling his way?

Tight end Vance McDonald comes off the board with pick No. 79 and the eighth tight end selected. Many fans hoped that McDonald would move into the upper tier of tight ends with the departure of Jesse James and the weak cast behind him at the position. Those hopes were dashed when Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner confirmed that McDonald’s role should not expand.

James Washington came off the board early in the tenth round at pick No. 102. The hopes of fantasy footballers is that Washington will slide into the starting lineup opposite of Smith-Schuster and soak up the targets that AB left behind. The issues with this line of thought is, will he really be the No. 2 wideout and can he find the continuity with Roethlisberger he did not have in 2018?

Seven selections later, future Hall of Fame quarterback Roethlisber came off the board. While some may grumble that is way too low, it is noteworthy that he lost two weapons in Brown and James. As the 14th quarterback taken, there are always questions swirling around if he will return to his questionable durability of years past. Add on top of that speculation that No. 7 will be part of a more balanced offense, and you have a perfect storm for his late selection.

Coming off the board at No. 123 is running back Jaylen Samuels. Two schools of thought apply here for such a lofty selection. Samuels will have enough production that he can be started as a flex player or that Conner’s durability will come into question and he is just a handcuff to a player who is not durable in a prolific offense. Can Samuels get enough touches per game and really make the best of them? Seems like plenty believe so.

Free agent acquisition Dontae Moncrief got slotted into pick #125. Fantasy players who selected Moncried worry about his injury history and his role with the team. Can Smith Schuster, Washington and Moncrief all see the field at the same time and be productive? Will the Steelers try to be more balanced in 2018 limiting his upside?

My thoughts

I am a ravenous fantasy football player. While I have had many Steelers on my teams over the decades I am not a homer. That being said, I do not shy away from drafting Steelers players, but rarely reach for them either.

Conner’s draft position seems about right to me, but his touches need to be managed if he wants to survive the season unscatched. Smith-Schuster has been a beast his first two seasons and should be extremely productive in 2019. Not going to quibble about his ADP even though I think it is a bit too high. The usage of Moncrief and Washington is going to have many in the fantasy world sitting on the edge of their seats, me included as I drafted Moncrief ahead of Washington in July. McDonald’s ADP is lowish while O.J. Howard and Evan Engram are high with questionable durability and questions surrounding their offenses. Samuels is the one that I see as being drafted too high. With that high of a draft selection he has to be viewed as more than just a handcuff and more as a standalone player who can put up solid production. He is the No. 45 running back but I see him more as a handcuff and not a player who is going to put up meaningful production week in and week out. His erratic production means he would be a shaky spot start.

Of the Steelers listed, according to the ADP, did you overdraft or get them as a steal? Please let us know in the comments section below.