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Fantasy Football News 2021

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Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is resigning with the Steelers on a 1-year, $8 million deal, according to NFL Network. Smith-Schuster reportedly chose this path over similar offers from the Ravens and Chiefs that added more money via incentives. So he'll remain in Pittsburgh on a "prove it" contract for 2021. Smith-Schuster's return complicates the target picture for him, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Pittsburgh was the league's 3rd most pass-heavy team in 2020, trailing only the 1-15 Jaguars. The Steelers dumped OC Randy Fichtner and turned to QBs coach Matt Canada. We'd bet on at least a bit more balance to the play-calling in 2019. Check out our 2021 fantasy football rankings to see how the return impacts our numbers for Smith-Schuster and other Steelers pass-catchers -- as well as QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter adds that Smith-Schuster turned down a multi-year offer from the Eagles.

The Steelers announced Thursday that they have agreed to a new contract with QB Ben Roethlisberger. That should give the team relief under the lowered salary cap for 2021. For fantasy purposes, it just confirms what we all expected: Roethlisberger will lead the offense for at least 1 more year. We'll see whether he gets JuJu Smith-Schuster back (don't bet on it) and how the backfield settles out (James Conner looks likely to leave). Roethlisberger is a solid pick in mid-QB2 range in current best-ball drafting.

The Steelers announced that QB Ben Roethlisberger will be back for the 2021 campaign. Team president Art Rooney added that they'll need to "work out Ben’s contract," which is set to pay him a whopping $41 million this year. Roethlisberger went in the tank down the stretch last season, averaging just 6.0 yards per attempt with 15 TDs vs. 10 INTs over the final 7 games, including the playoff loss to Cleveland. Turning 39 in March, Big Ben isn't a great bet to bounce back in 2021.

The Steelers have promoted QB coach Matt Canada to OC. The 48-year-old had been in that previous role for just 1 season, spending the rest of his coaching career in the college ranks. Canada had 9 different OC stints, most recently with LSU in 2017 and Maryland in 2018. Those teams ranked 76th and 69th, respectively, in points per game.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo hears that there's "optimism" within the Steelers organization that QB Ben Roethlisberger will be back for the 2021 season. "Optimism" is an interesting word choice. Roethlisberger had a solid start to 2020 but averaged just 6.0 yards per attempt with 15 TDs and 10 INTs over the final 7 games, including the playoff loss to Cleveland. He turns 39 in March.

The Steelers are parting ways with OC Randy Fichtner, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Fichtner has been with the team since 2007, taking over as OC in 2018. The Steelers offense struggled mightily down the stretch this season, averaging just 22.1 points and 347 yards over the final 7 games. There were also whispers of a bit of a power struggle between Fichtner and QB Ben Roethlisberger. We'll see who the Steelers tab as their next OC -- and if Roethlisberger returns for 2021.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that QB Mason Rudolph will start this weekend's finale vs. the Browns. Pittsburgh can't fall past the #3 seed and can only climb to #2 if the Bills lose at home to the Dolphins. So QB Ben Roethlisberger, whose arm has looked tired lately, will get the week off. Tomlin said "the vast majority of guys will be playing" vs. Cleveland, but we wouldn't be surprised if guys like James Conner, Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster at least had their snaps limited.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) is active for today's game vs. Washington. He didn't practice all week and was listed as questionable -- but we never heard any concern about his status. Big Ben is safe to get into fantasy lineups.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that there's not "much concern" about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's status for Monday night's game vs. Washington. Big Ben is expected to start that one and can remain in fantasy lineups.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) missed practice all week and is listed as questionable for Monday night's game vs. Washington. It's unclear if this is related to the knee injuries he suffered back in Week 9 in Dallas. We haven't heard anything to suggest that Roethlisberger is in danger of missing this game, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to roster someone like Alex Smith, Nick Mullens or Andy Dalton as late-game insurance.

The Ravens had no new positive COVID tests on Saturday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and their game vs. the Steelers is still on for Tuesday night. QB Lamar Jackson, RB J.K. Dobbins and RB Mark Ingram -- along with a host of others -- will miss the game on the Baltimore side. Pittsburgh will be without RB James Conner.

This week's Ravens-Steelers game is "tentatively" being moved to Tuesday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That's presumably if Baltimore doesn't have any more COVID positives. There still seems to be a decent chance that this game isn't played in Week 12. Even if they play on Tuesday, QB Lamar Jackson, RB J.K. Dobbins and RB Mark Ingram will remain out. Stay tuned.

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