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Pittsburgh Steelers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

The Steelers signed WR Cordarrelle Patterson to a two-year, $6 million deal, NFL Network reports. He's reuniting with OC Arthur Smith, who coached Patterson in Atlanta the past three seasons. Patterson averaged 10.2 carries and 3.4 targets per game across his first two years with Smith but just 3.6 carries and 0.9 targets per game last year. That was largely due to the arrival of RB Bijan Robinson -- but Patterson also struggled to just 3.6 yards per carry and 4.2 yards per catch. He turned 33 earlier this month. Patterson is unlikely to be a fantasy asset this season, although he could siphon some work from RB Najee Harris and especially RB Jaylen Warren in the passing game.

It was reported when the Steelers traded for QB Justin Fields that he was coming in to back up QB Russell Wilson. HC Mike Tomlin clarified the situation over the weekend, calling Wilson the favorite for the starting job but adding that Fields is in the mix, too. "When it's time to compete, Justin will given an opportunity to compete," Tomlin said. "But I thought it was appropriate to describe it in a way for when we get started. Russell's in pole position, and I think his body of work justifies that." Wilson was decent last year, completing 66.4% of his passes, averaging 6.9 yards per attempt, and ranking 19th among 30 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus' passing grades. It's certainly possible that he plays well enough throughout 2024 to keep Fields on the bench. But fantasy drafters should not be treating Wilson as a locked-in starter at this point. Fields, meanwhile, is tough to spend a pick on in early best-ball drafts. But this could be a nice time to buy low in dynasty leagues.

The Bears are sending QB Justin Fields to the Steelers for a low-level draft pick. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Chicago gets only a sixth-rounder in 2025 that will become a fourth-rounder if he plays at least 51% of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps this year. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that a source told him "Russ is the starter." That, of course, refers to Russell Wilson, also recently acquired. It's a steep fall for Fields but a decent landing, behind a 35-year-old starter in clear decline. Fields is also unlikely to have his fifth-year option picked up this offseason. So we're betting he'll hit unrestricted free agency ahead of the 2025 season. We'll see about Fields' status at that point. For now, hold him if you can in dynasty -- just in case he finds a starting opportunity this year. We've seen that Fields can deliver fantasy points even while playing iffy-to-poor football. But Fields isn't a must-hold in shallower formats.

QB Russell Wilson announced late Sunday night that he'll be signing with the Steelers after his release from Denver becomes official. The vet will be signing for just $1.2 million, thanks to the Broncos being on the hook for about $39 million. That Pittsburgh number is far from guaranteed-starter money. But Wilson's quick decision on the Steelers almost certainly means they guaranteed him at least a chance to compete for the starting job. If Wilson can't beat out Kenny Pickett this summer, it'd be either the worst sign yet for his career or a huge step forward for Pickett. We'll head toward summer assuming Wilson will emerge as the starter. The landing spot, though, isn't exciting for his fantasy outlook. And Wilson's arrival -- after the way he performed the past two years -- doesn't elevate Pittsburgh's pass-catchers.

As expected, the Broncos are releasing QB Russell Wilson. The team will endure large cap hits this year and next but avoid having to pay Wilson in 2025. He remained decent last year, rebounding vs. 2022 in most stat categories. But it clearly wasn't good enough for the Broncos, who turned to Jarrett Stidham to start the final two games. We'd bet on the 35-year-old Wilson landing another starting gig -- or at least a chance to compete for a starting gig. Denver, meanwhile, has to find a new answer. Stidham has never looked like a long-term NFL starter. The Broncos pick 12th in the upcoming NFL Draft, which might prove too late for any of the top four QBs. We wouldn't be surprised to see Denver try to move up. The values of WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Marvin Mims, TE Greg Dulcich, and others will depend heavily on that QB decision.

The Steelers are set to hire Arthur Smith as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Smith, of course, is coming off a baffling and underwhelming three-year tenure as Falcons HC, compiling a 21-30 record and oftentimes mismanaging his offensive talent. Smith, though, was much more successful as Titans OC in 2019 and 2020. Both of those teams ranked top-12 in both total yards and points, leaning on RB Derrick Henry to finish top-3 in rushing yards both years. We'd expect Smith to bring a run-heavy offense to Pittsburgh -- especially considering the team's questions at QB.

The Bears have fired OC Luke Getsy and other members of the offensive staff, NFL Network reports. QBs coach Andrew Janocko is also among the coaches being dumped. Chicago did improve its ranking in both points and yards in the second season under HC Matt Eberflus but still ranked just 18th and 20th, respectively. The Bears also finished just 22nd in offensive DVOA (a slight boost from 24th in 2022). It's tough to say whether these moves tell us anything about the team's plan at QB. Chicago could keep rolling with Justin Fields, move him and replace with a rookie, or keep Fields and draft a QB early. It'll be an interesting offseason for that spot no matter which path the Bears choose. And Fields remains a solid-to-good fantasy asset. We'd bet on him starting somewhere in 2024. You might not want to go buying him in dynasty, though. It's possible Fields' passing struggles knock him out of a consistent starting position beyond the coming season.

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Edge T.J. Watt (knee) will miss Sunday's playoff game at Buffalo. That likely leaves rookie Nick Herbig as the playing-time leader in Watt's spot opposite Alex Highsmith.

J.J. Watt reports that the injury to his little brother's knee isn't as bad as originally feared. He says Steelers Edge T.J. Watt sustained a mere Grade 2 sprain to his left MCL. That could still knock the younger Watt out of Pittsburgh's playoff opener. But it gives him a better chance to play than previous reports or a tear or Grade 3 sprain. We'll see about Watt's status heading into Wild Card weekend.

Steelers RB Jaylen Warren saw a diminished workload in Week 18 vs. the Ravens. The second-year back tallied 33 rushing yards on 9 carries, along with 5 catches for 17 yards as a receiver in the contest. Though he played second fiddle on Saturday, Warren posted very solid production this season (nine games of 10+ PPR points) in a near-50/50 workshare with teammate Najee Harris. Warren also logged nearly twice as many targets (74) as Harris (38) in 2023, further solidifying himself as the preferred option in the Pittsburgh backfield for managers in half- or full-PPR formats. Look for him to continue yielding high-end RB3/low-end RB2 level value in 2024.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Steelers believe Edge T.J. Watt suffered a Grade 3 sprain to his left MCL in Saturday's win over the Ravens. Watt reportedly wanted to re-enter the game after sustaining the injury, but the team would not let him. He'll have further testing to confirm what is typically a multi-week injury. If the Steelers make the playoffs -- they need some help Sunday -- we'll see whether Watt can return for the opener.

Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that it's believed to be an MCL tear. That would seem to make Watt unlikely to play in the playoffs, if Pittsburgh qualifies.

Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Ravens. LB Elandon Roberts (pec) is active.

The Steelers list S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and LB Elandon Roberts (pec) as questionable for Saturday's game against the Ravens. Each guy remained limited in practice all week and will carry some risk even if active. We'll check their statuses ahead of Saturday's kickoff.

Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and LB Elandon Roberts (pec) put in limited practices Wednesday. It marked the first workout for Fitzpatrick since he left Week 15 with the injury. Roberts also practiced for the first time since leaving Week 16 early. We'll see whether the defensive starters are ready to play Saturday against the Ravens.

Steelers RB Najee Harris eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in 2023 on Sunday vs. the Seahawks. He accumulated 122 rushing yards with 2 TDs on 27 carries. With one more regular-season game remaining, Harris is set to put forth his third-consecutive season of at least 1,000 rushing yards and 7 rushing TDs. But he has also continued to see a dropoff in fantasy output (10.4 PPR points per game in 2023 vs. 13.1 in 2022, 17.7 in 2021), which directly correlates to a decrease in his role. Teammate Jaylen Warren has turned the Steelers’ backfield into a near-50/50 split, and Harris went from an average of 5.5 targets per game as a rookie to just 2.1 this season. He’ll enter his age-26 season in 2024, the final year of his rookie contract. We'll find out this spring whether Pittsburgh will exercise Harris' fifth-year option. We'd bet against the team guaranteeing $8.5 million in 2025 salary to do so ($10 million if Harris makes the Pro Bowl this year). For 2024, expect a continued timeshare and RB3-level status in dynasty formats.

Steelers WR George Pickens paid off again, hauling in 7 catches on 9 targets for 131 receiving yards and a TD in Week 17 vs. the Seahawks. The second-year wideout’s efforts mark the fifth time this season that he’s surpassed the 100-yard mark and the fourth instance in which Pickens totaled 20+ PPR points per game. His big-play upside has been clear. But the QB play has been poor, and Pickens has struggled to find regularly strong target shares. A QB change could boost Pickens' dynasty value. For now, it’s appropriate to treat him as a low-end WR3.

Bears QB Justin Fields completed 20 of 38 passes for 268 yards and a TD in Sunday’s win vs. the Falcons. He also ran for a score and tallied 45 rushing yards on 11 carries in the contest. Though he missed 4 games due to a thumb injury, Fields ranks second among QBs in rushing yards (630) through Week 17 and helped fantasy managers with seven top-12 weekly finishes in four-point per passing TD scoring in that span. It’s evident that he can be a difference-making player, but the largest question looming over him this offseason is still whether or not he’ll be the Bears’ QB in next season. Chicago holds the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and could opt to either part ways with Fields or continue to build the offense around him. It’s reasonable to view him as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 in dynasty at this stage, though we’ll be anxiously awaiting clarity surrounding his future. Where he suits up next year will have a sizable influence on how he’s viewed moving forward.

Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick will miss a second straight game with his knee injury. He has yet to practice since sustaining the injury. This will be the sixth missed game among the past nine for Fitzpatrick, leaving a severely depleted safety corps to face the Seahawks. Eric Rowe started in Fitzpatrick's place last week, collecting 7 tackles (3 solo) and an INT against the Bengals. He's still tough to use in Week 18 IDP lineups after just one start.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports that Broncos QB Russell Wilson expects to be cut in March. Wilson has reportedly known for nearly two months that Denver planned to move on after the season. The team reportedly told him a benching would come at some point if he refused to defer the injury guarantee that's been reported as a key to Wilson's benching. Clearly he refused. Wilson has played better than last year. And at 35, he's likely to find another home. Will he get another starting gig? We'll see. The Broncos, meanwhile, have no long-term answer. (It's not Jarrett Stidham.) They currently hold the 14th overall pick in Round 1, then no Round 2 selection.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos will be benching QB Russell Wilson in favor of Jarrett Stidham for the season's final two games. You might remember Stidham playing the same role last year for the Raiders, who benched Derek Carr. And the reasoning on Wilson looks the same. Wilson is already guaranteed $39 million for 2024, but another $37 million would become guaranteed if Wilson can't pass a physical in March. So the Broncos don't appear to be done with Wilson like the Raiders were with Carr. Rather, they're trying to maintain some "financial flexibility," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Even if they'd like to trade Wilson, his contract basically prevents such a move. According to Spotrac, Denver would absorb $85 million in dead cap by unloading Wilson. So expect him to be the 2024 starter. As for the final two weeks of this year, Stidham will likely present a passing downgrade. WR Courtland Sutton has been just about the only usable piece for most fantasy football leagues lately, though. His injury leaves Jerry Jeudy as the expected Week 17 target leader. You'll find him low in WR3 territory in our Week 17 rankings.

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