2012 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh
RB Chris Rainey, --- (RB - #79) - Dynasty Only
The Steelers used a 5th round pick on the Florida speedster and he could very well fill a slot WR / tailback slot in his rookie season. Some have compared Rainey to KC'S Dexter McCluster, as each back has top end speed but a smallish frame (under 5'9). Rainey ran an impressive 4.37 forty time and finished 9th in University of Florida history with 2,464 rushing yards. He's not worth considering except in deeper dynasty leagues as Rainey doesn't possess the size to be a starting RB at the NFL level.
WR Antonio Brown, PIT (WR - #26) - Solid/Safe Pick
The second-year WR from Central Michigan was one of the true breakout performers in 2011. He finished with 69 catches for 1,109 yards (69 YPG), but only had two TDs. Brown is very explosive WR (16 YPC in 2011) and is locked in as the WR2 for a Steelers offense expected to more passing friendly in 2012. Brown posted three 100+ yard games over the final 10 weeks of last season and is a borderline WR2 worth considering in rounds 6-7.
UPDATE: Brown intends to continue as the Steelers' punt returner, but that could change if the Mike Wallace holdout continues into the regular season and Brown enters week 1 as the Steelers' top WR.
WR Mike Wallace, MIA (WR - #13) - Stud (low risk)
Wallace is expected to play on his restricted tender in 2012. He set a career-high with 72 catches last season but regressed in the final seven games (25 catches for 325 yards and two touchdowns). Wallace should be ultra motivated in a contract year and his top end speed makes him one of the most dynamic WR after the catch (averaged an eye popping 19 YPC over his brief career). The Mississippi alum has 24 TD catches over his first three seasons and remains a borderline WR1 worth considering in rounds 3-4.
UPDATE: Contract dispute is ongoing and Wallace could miss the entire preseason (raises risk of potential injury). Wallce appears likely to play out the season on a $2.7 million contract and could enter next season as an unrestricted free agent.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
WR Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (WR - #60) - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Sanders has battled injuries during his first two NFL seasons, but remains a solid sleeper coming into 2012. He's missed 8 games due to leg/foot injuries and has just 50 catches during the past two seasons. For leagues that reward punt/kick return yardage, Sanders will have elevated value as he's penciled in as the primary kick/punt returner for the Steelers and will likely serve as their #3 WR. Sanders' current ADP has him going in rounds 15-16, but he's worth considering in dynasty leagues as he could get a chance at the starting job as early as 2013 if Mike Wallace prices himself out of the Steelers' budget.
WR Jerricho Cotchery, PIT (WR - #104) - Deep-league Only
TE Heath Miller, PIT (TE - #25) - Bye Week Fill-in
Miller has played all 7 of his seasons with the Steelers and has been a model of durability (only missed 4 games over his career). Miller is used mostly as a blocking TE, but is a Big Ben favorite in the red zone. Over his career, Miller has averaged just 36 YPG with 31 touchdowns. He's a lower end TE2 at best.Injury Status: Injured Reserve