Shark Bites

ESPN's Chris Mortensen hears that there's a "high probability" the Steelers trade WR Antonio Brown this offseason. The mercurial receiver may have punched his ticket out of town when he reportedly got into a tiff with QB Ben Roethlisberger on the Wednesday before the season finale and then skipped the next 2 days of practice. Brown showed up ready to play against the Bengals on Sunday, but the Steelers made him inactive. It's possible that cooler heads prevail and Brown returns to Pittsburgh for the 2019 campaign, but this will obviously be 1 of the biggest storylines of the offseason. He's due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, so any trade would likely come before then. Brown's departure would make JuJu Smith-Schuster the Steelers' clear #1 WR and give James Washington a shot to capture the #2 job.

Steelers ILB Vince Williams (toe) is inactive for today's game against the Bengals, as expected. He entered the day doubtful.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Bengals. That leaves JuJu Smith-Schuster as the clear #1 WR, with James Washington, Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer behind him. Washington is your best bet if you're looking to take a flier.

2:12pm EST 12/30/18

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Bengals. He put in 3 practices this week and passed his final test in pregame warmups. We’re expecting Conner to step back in as Pittsburgh’s lead back, with RB Jaylen Samuels in a change-of-pace role.

Pro Football Talk hears that Steelers WR Antonio Brown (knee) is “feeling better today” and "has a chance" to play against the Bengals. A final decision won't be made until pregame warmups, but the vibe on Brown is trending in the right direction. We'll have his official status around 3 pm ET.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is expected to return for today's game against the Bengals. "But the team wants to see how he is after he warms up to be sure," Rapoport adds. Conner got in 3 full practices this week, so it'd be a major surprise if he didn't play. We won't get Pittsburgh's inactives until 3 pm ET, but Conner can be penciled into fantasy lineups.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Steelers WR Antonio Brown "has a chance" to play in Sunday's game against the Bengals but that his bothersome knee "will need to improve to have a shot" at Brown being active. The 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff obviously complicates the decision for fantasy owners. We'll watch for early Sunday updates, but you might have to sit the Steelers star if you don't have a later-game replacement option. Rookie WR James Washington would likely play in Brown's place if he sits and could serve as likely available insurance.

Steelers ILB Vince Williams (toe) is doubtful for Sunday's finale against the Bengals. That likely means more playing time for L.J. Fort, but no Pittsburgh ILB has given us consistent enough playing time to be worth trusting in IDP lineups this week.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals. He was a full-go in practice all week, though, putting him on track to play. Conner might cede some passing-down work to Jaylen Samuels, but we’re expecting him to step back in as Pittsburgh’s lead back.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals after not practicing all week. He went for tests on the knee on Friday after experiencing “discomfort,” HC Mike Tomlin said. We’ll look for further updates on Brown’s status. Steelers-Bengals doesn’t kick off until 4:25 pm ET on Sunday. If Brown is unable to play, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster would get a boost in volume, and rookie James Washington would likely step in as the #2 WR.

10:12am EST 12/28/18

The Steelers have placed K Chris Boswell on IR with an undisclosed injury. Boswell struggled throughout the season, connecting on just 13 of 20 FG attempts and 43 of 48 XPs. He'll be a free agent this offseason. Pittsburgh signed K Matthew McCrane to replace Boswell. McCrane went just 5 of 9 on FGs with the Raiders earlier this season, so we'd lean against using him in Week 17 fantasy lineups.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown was held out of Thursday's practice with what ESPN's Aditi Kinkhabwala hears is a "sore knee." Two Steelers told Kinkhabwala that they expect Brown to play against the Bengals this weekend. We'll get another update on his status tomorrow, but he can stay penciled into fantasy lineups for now.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice. That presumably puts him on track to return for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Conner might lose more work than he had been to Jaylen Samuels, but that matchup will make him a strong Week 17 fantasy play.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (groin) is active for today’s game against the Saints. He got hurt on Thursday and didn’t practice on Friday — but JuJu announced via Twitter on Saturday that he’d play in this one. Smith-Schuster comes with more risk than usual but still boasts WR1 upside.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (groin) says he'll play against the Saints tomorrow. He's officially listed as questionable after injuring his groin on Thursday and not practicing on Friday. "A lot on the line this week. The whole season comes down to this," JuJu tweeted. "Yes, I’m talking about the fantasy football championship round. Of course I’m playing Sunday!!! Theres no way I can let down the real ones who believed in me by drafting me!! Let’s get it!!" What a hero. Smith-Schuster comes with more risk than usual this week but still carries top 5 upside.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (groin) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Saints. After getting hurt on Thursday, he didn’t practice on Friday. G Ramon Foster did say that Smith-Schuster took part in Friday’s walkthrough, and WR Antonio Brown expects his teammate to play. We’ll look for an update on JuJu Sunday morning. Steelers-Saints doesn’t kick off until 4:25 pm ET. If Smith-Schuster can’t play, James Washington is expected to step in as Pittsburgh’s #2 WR.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined all week and is out for Sunday’s game against the Saints. So Jaylen Samuels gets another game as lead back. It’s a tough draw against a stout Saints run defense, but Samuels can do damage in the passing game. He’s a RB2 with more value in PPR lineups.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster left Thursday's practice after injuring his groin, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. Smith-Schuster didn't speak to reporters afterward, so that's the only info we have right now. We'll see if he's able to get back on the practice field tomorrow, but fantasy owners should make sure they have another option lined up. James Washington would likely move into the starting lineup if JuJu can't play against the Saints on Sunday.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) remained sidelined on Thursday. He's shaping up as a long shot to play against the Saints this weekend. Look for Jaylen Samuels to again serve as Pittsburgh's feature back in the Superdome.

Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. He admitted to reporters afterward that he's still having trouble cutting and that his injured ankle "isn't ready yet." Conner now seems worse than 50/50 to play against the Saints this weekend. That'd again leave Jaylen Samuels as Pittsburgh's lead back. Check back tomorrow for another update.

 
 
 

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