Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth went to Steelers in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Freiermuth delivered early at Penn State, ranking 2nd among 2018 Nittany Lions in catches, yards and TDs -- trailing only Broncos WR K.J. Hamler. Freiermuth again ranked 2nd on the team in each category as a sophomore, earning team offensive MVP honors over Hamler. He got off to an even hotter start in 2020 but went down early with a shoulder injury that required surgery. That recovery could impact his rookie-year preparation, but we’ve learned to not expect early fantasy returns from TEs. Long term, Freiermuth looks like the clear 2nd TE in a weak draft class at the position. His combo of blocking and receiving should earn him a regular role -- and perhaps a full starting gig -- within the next couple of seasons. In Pittsburgh, Freiermuth figures to start out behind Eric Ebron, who’s only signed through 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.
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 TE Eric Ebron has been activated from the COVID list. So he'll be back for Sunday night's Wild Card game vs. Cleveland's 31st-ranked TE defense.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron has been placed on the COVID list. He's out for Sunday's game against the Browns and will likely miss Pittsburgh's postseason opener next week if he tested positive for the virus. We'll update his status when we know more.
Update: Ebron is believed to be a close contact of CB Joe Haden, who tested positive, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. So, barring a positive test, Ebron will be eligible to return next weekend.
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 TE Eric Ebron (back) isn’t listed on the final injury report after putting in full practices on Thursday and Friday. He’ll play against the Colts this weekend. But a struggling Pittsburgh passing game and Indianapolis’ 5th-ranked TE defense make Ebron a shaky fantasy option.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron (back) returned to a full practice on Thursday. So he's on track to play vs. the Colts this weekend. Pittsburgh's offensive struggles and the matchup vs. the #5 defense in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs leave Ebron as a shaky TE1.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron (back) did not practice on Wednesday. Between the injury and a tough matchup vs. the Colts, he shouldn't be in your Week 16 fantasy plans.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron "should be OK" after getting knocked out of Monday night's loss to the Bengals with what was announced as a back injury, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Ebron doesn't have any organ damage, per Pelissero, but it's unclear if he'll be ready for Sunday's game against the Colts. We'll monitor his status throughout the week.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron left in the 2nd quarter of Monday night's game at Cincinnati with a back injury. The team has ruled him out for the rest of the game. We'll see about his outlook for Week 16's tough matchup against the Colts. Vance McDonald is the next TE up for Pittsburgh.
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.
The NFL has moved this week's Steelers-Ravens game from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon as Baltimore deals with a COVID outbreak. For now, the only impact is a 2-game, rather than 3-game, Thanksgiving slate. We'll continue to keep an eye on the situation in Baltimore. We imagine more COVID positives could push the game out of this week.
Sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 are expected for today's Bengals-Steelers game. This was already a tough spot for Cincinnati's passing game. We've also scaled back our projections for QB Ben Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers. Avoid Ks Chris Boswell and Randy Bullock today.
The NFL announced on Thursday morning that the Steelers-Titans game will not be played this week after a 5th Titans player tested positive for COVID. We're still waiting to hear when the game will be played, but Week 4 now acts as a bye week for Steelers and Titans players. Get them out of your starting lineups.
The NFL is postponing this week's Steelers-Titans game after multiple Tennessee players tested positive for COVID earlier this week, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, hears that the game will be rescheduled for either Monday or Tuesday. That'd keep all Pittsburgh and Tennessee players available to use in Week 4 fantasy lineups. We're keeping those guys in the Week 4 Rankings for now -- but it'd still be wise to line up alternatives in case the situation changes.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger told reporters on Tuesday that his arm feels "really good." He added that he'll be on a "pitch count" in training camp. Big Ben's return from last September's surgery on his throwing elbow is 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines of the summer. Unfortunately, we won't get to see him in preseason action -- and even his on-field camp time will be limited. It obviously adds risk to both Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers.
TE Eric Ebron is signing a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Steelers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. A 1st-round bust for Detroit, Ebron rehabbed his value a bit in Indianapolis with 41.7 yards and .59 TDs per game over the past 2 seasons. Last year, he ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades and 9th in yards per route run among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. In Pittsburgh, Ebron joins a TE group with Vance McDonald, who restructured his contract earlier this week. Those guys could vulture production from each other, leaving both as unreliable fantasy options. We'll see how the situation plays out this summer.
The Colts and TE Jack Doyle have agreed to a 3-year, $21 million extension that can reach $24 million with incentives. It's a significant investment and makes it unlikely that Indy brings back TE Eric Ebron, who will be a free agent this offseason. Doyle has been his usual steady self this year and is averaging a career-high 10.5 yards per catch. He'll have TE1 potential in 2020 depending on what else the Colts do at the position this offseason.
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