2013 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh Steelers
A fantasy football preview of the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. Profiled players include Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Le'Veon Bell, Jonathan Dwyer, and Felix Jones.
UPDATE (8/13): With Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth recovering from surgery, Paulson appears likely to be the starting TE for at least the first 2-4 games of the season.
The Steelers used a 7th round pick in the 2012 draft on the 6-foot-3, 247 pound Oregon Duck. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, but finished with just seven passes for 51 yards. Paulson has the athleticism to surprise if he gets a few starts (ran a 4.81 at the Combine) and could be worth a deep league flier depending on Heath Miller's recovery.
UPDATE (8/13): Spaeth is expected to miss 8-10 weeks following Lisfranc surgery. David Paulson appears likely to be the starter for the first few games until Heath Miller is able to return. Bottom line is the Steelers WRs will likely see more targets in the first month of the season.
The University of Minnesota alum signed a 2-year contract and his expected to remain more of a blocking tight end following the loss of Leonard Pope. Spaeth has topped 10 catches just once during his six year career and should remain off the fantasy radar despite the questions surrounding Heath Miller as David Paulson is the better short term fantasy option if Miller is forced to miss the early portion of the season.
Injury Status: Injured Reserve
The Steel Curtain didn't rank among the top 5 units as they had in recent memory, but still finished 2012 as a respectable fantasy option as they ranked 12th posting 37 sacks (but just 10 interceptions and one total touchdown). Dick LeBeau's defense will need to replace veterans James Harrison, Casey Hampton, and Keenan Lewis, but still boasts an elite playmaker in ILB Lawrence Timmons. First round pick OLB Jarvis Jones will team with Lamar Woodley to generate a solid pass rush outside the tackles. Three of the Steelers' starting four DBs are 32+ ( Polamalu, FS Ryan Clark, and RCB Ike Taylor). Ike Taylor remained a shutdown CB in 2012. The steelers added Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas in hopes of injecting youth into an aging secondary. The Steelers defense is aging and are best targeted as a final round pick that can be used when the matchup is favorable (two matchups with division rival Cleveland for instance).
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2008
Education: graduate from LaSalle University (Accounting major)
Occupation: been working in Commercial Real Estate Analytics since 2000 (Morningstar Credit Ratings)
Fantasy Football Experience:
Been playing fantasy football since 1990 and fantasy baseball since 1995.
Have been writing fantasy football and baseball articles for FFToolbox since 2008.
Content manager for Spinball Inc. - responsible for planning all fantasy football related articles and coordinating/editing submissions from guest writers. Also take the lead on radio appearances (Sirius radio, blogtalk etc.)
Spinball's Mock Draft top 100 for the 2013 draft finished well ahead of ESPN self procalimed draft guru Mel Kiper: http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/top100.shtml
Favorite Teams: all things Minnesota - Vikings, Twins, Twolves, Gophers, Wild. Also support home town Phillies (was in attendance for World Series clinching game 5 in 2008). Favorite athlete of all time was Kirby Puckett.
Interests: running (completed Philly marathon 3 times), playing all sports (specifically baseball, football, tennis), concerts/music (drumming) - attended SXSW three times, cooking, travel (attended Wimbledon and hoping to make it to Aussie and French Opens in near future).