2018 Stats (Rank)
Total Offense: 6,453 Yards (4th)
Offensive Touchdowns: 51 (5th)
Offensive Plays Per Game: 66.1 (4th)
Pass Attempts + Sacks: 713 (1st)
Rush Attempts: 345 (31st)
Run/Pass Split: Run – 33% | Pass – 67%
Unaccounted for Targets: 226
Unaccounted for Carries: 30
Projected Win Total
The Steelers’ over/under currently sits at 9.5, after they went 9-7 last season. Pittsburgh knows how to succeed without Le’Veon Bell, so losing him isn’t necessarily significant. It is, however, interesting to see the Steelers essentially projected to finish the same after losing their top receiving option for the past several years, while other teams in the division have improved.
Strength of Schedule
SOS is measured by calculating the fantasy points allowed by each team’s opponents to determine who has the easiest and most difficult fantasy schedules (rank #1 has the easiest schedule).
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This team will continue to be among the leaders in passing attempts, which creates a lot of opportunities for everyone involved. We have seen Ben Roethlisberger‘s value in reality begin to drop, but he finished last season as QB2 for fantasy. He is being overlooked this season, going as QB13.
We know that Antonio Brown is gone, which shakes up the offense and increases opportunity. JuJu Smith-Schuster will be the team’s top receiver, though we shouldn’t expect his target share to rise much, after seeing 24.6% of the team’s targets last season. He finished last year as WR8, and he is going as WR6, currently. The biggest question will be who emerges as the outside weapon for Pittsburgh. Second-year receiver James Washington seems the most likely, after being targeted just 38 times last season. He is being drafted as WR46, while Donte Moncrief (ADP: WR55) comes over from Jacksonville to battle for that same role. Rookie Diontae Johnson may emerge later in the season, but he doesn’t need to be drafted. Someone that does need to be drafted is tight end Vance McDonald, who is currently going as the tenth tight end off the board. When on the field, he is impressive and has a legitimate opportunity to become Big Ben’s second-favorite target.
James Conner got the entire offseason to prepare, knowing he is the lead back. While Pittsburgh did prepare for the worst last offseason, the mentality of everyone was that Le’Veon Bell would show up at some point. And even while somewhat being thrown into the lead back role, Conner finished last season as RB6 in only 13 games. Heading into this season, he is being selected as RB8. Backing him up is the multidimensional Jaylen Samuels, who is supposedly getting unleashed this season. He will be used as a receiving threat in this offense, even when Conner is healthy. In the three games Conner missed last season, Samuels started and was given 54 total touches that went for 328 yards, which helps us see that Samuels is a true handcuff. He is being selected as RB46 this season.