Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

Jesse James delivered five catches for 48 yards on seven targets Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

James was busy in the first half but only caught one-of-three targets for six yards after halftime. It looked like he had a 19-yard touchdown late in the second quarter but replay showed that James was down about one foot shy of the end zone. The Steelers would eventually settle for a field goal. James was expected to take a backseat to Ladarius Green this year, but as usual, Green couldn’t stay healthy. The Penn State alum won’t be worth drafting in fantasy leagues this summer.
Jan 22 - 11:22 PM

Eli Rogers snagged seven-of-10 targets for 68 yards Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

In a surprising turn of events, Rogers emerged as Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to target on Sunday. He led the team with 10 targets and did a nice job finding space against a Patriots secondary that was preoccupied with covering Antonio Brown downfield. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy put a damper on Rogers’ day by stripping him in the third quarter, leading to Pittsburgh’s first turnover of the game. It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but Rogers definitely showed potential in his first season of NFL action after missing his entire rookie year due to injury. Look for him to maintain his role as the Steelers’ primary slot receiver in 2017.
Jan 22 - 11:20 PM

DeAngelo Williams contributed 34 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while absorbing all seven of his targets for 51 yards Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Williams took over as the lead back after Le’Veon Bell went down with a groin injury late in the first quarter. D-Will offered a handful of nice runs including a five-yard touchdown dash in the second quarter, but was mostly bottled up against a stout Patriots’ run defense. He fell flat in the second half, recording just 10 yards on six carries after halftime. Williams made up for his lack of rushing success by playing an important role in the passing game, though none of it was enough to top a New England team that came ready to play on Sunday. It’s unclear what the future holds for Williams. He’s the oldest back in the NFL at age 33, but showed he still has something left in the tank by rushing for 258 yards during Bell’s three-game suspension earlier this season. The impending free agent may have one year left in him.
Jan 22 - 11:18 PM

Le'Veon Bell rushed six times for 20 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Bell exited with a left groin injury late in the first quarter. He returned later in the half before leaving again on the same drive. Bell remained in uniform for the duration of the game, though it was pretty obvious he wasn’t coming back in. He ended up playing just 11 snaps while ceding workhorse duties to DeAngelo Williams. It was a disappointing end to a marvelous year for the fourth-year back. Bell is headed for free agency but the Steelers have made it clear they plan to give him the franchise tag if the two sides are unable to hammer out a long-term deal. You could make an argument for taking Bell first overall in fantasy drafts next summer, though Arizona’s David Johnson is also in that conversation.
Jan 22 - 10:51 PM

Ben Roethlisberger completed 31-of-47 passes for 314 yards with one touchdown and one interception Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Roethlisberger matched Tom Brady punch for punch in the first half, completing 16-of-22 passes for 136 yards before the break. New England pulled away in the second half however and Roethlisberger couldn’t do much to stop the bleeding. Roethlisberger didn’t have much success throwing deep, often settling for check-downs to Jesse James and slants over the middle to Eli Rogers. His fourth-quarter interception was nowhere close to his intended target. Roethlisberger redeemed himself by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton on the following drive, but it was too little too late. It didn’t end the way he would have liked, but Roethlisberger was still pretty darn good this year, even with a relatively thin receiving corps. It would be a huge boost to Roethlisberger and the entire passing game if suspended wideout Martavis Bryant returns to start opposite Antonio Brown next season.
Jan 22 - 10:46 PM

Antonio Brown pulled in seven-of-nine targets for 77 yards Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

As expected, Brown drew shadow coverage from Malcolm Butler whenever he was lined up outside. The Steelers were wise to shuffle Brown around the formation and he made a few nice plays out of the slot. Brown was a little sluggish in the first half but got going late with four catches for 51 yards after halftime. It wasn’t the ending he had hoped for, but the 2016 season proved once again that Brown is a rare talent and one of the most consistent receivers in all of football. He probably won’t go first overall like he did in most leagues last summer, but Brown remains a consensus top-five pick in all fantasy formats.
Jan 22 - 10:44 PM

Ladarius Green (concussion) is inactive for the AFC Championship Game.

Green's concussion has lingered long enough that he should be considered no better than 50-50 for a potential Super Bowl appearance in two weeks. Also inactive for the Steelers are WR Demarcus Ayers, QB Zach Mettenberger, CB Al-Hajj Shabazz, LB L.J. Fort, DE Johnny Maxey and OT Brian Mihalik,
Jan 22 - 5:13 PM

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms Steelers OLB James Harrison (shoulder, triceps, questionable) is expected to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.

Harrison sat out Thursday's practice but was back for a full session on Friday. Despite the questionable tag, there was never much doubt about his status for Sunday's AFC title game in Foxboro. Look for Harrison to put plenty of heat on Tom Brady.
Jan 22 - 11:51 AM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Ladarius Green (concussion, illness, questionable) is not expected to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.

Green participated in two of the Steelers' three practices this week but hasn't passed the concussion protocol and appears to be headed for his fifth straight absence. James Harrison (shoulder, triceps), who is also listed as questionable, is expected to get the green light for Sunday's AFC title game.
Jan 22 - 8:56 AM

Steelers OLB James Harrison (shoulder, triceps) is questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Harrison is fully expected to play despite some missed practice time this week. He's been a standout this postseason with 2.5 sacks. Harrison should see his regular snaps.
Jan 21 - 2:39 PM

Ladarius Green (concussion, illness) returned to practice on Friday.

Green didn't work with the first team and remains in the league's concussion protocol. He'll make the trip to Foxboro, but it's anyone's guess if he'll be out there against the Patriots. Green hasn't seen the field since Week 15. Jesse James would draw another start at tight end if Green misses Sunday's AFC title game. No one covering the Steelers expects Green to play.
Jan 20 - 1:12 PM

Ladarius Green (concussion, illness) was downgraded to "DNP" on Thursday.

It's the worst possible news after Green got in a "limited" session on Wednesday, though the flu is apparently going through the Steelers' locker room. Either way, with his latest head injury continuing to linger, Green is unlikely to suit up for the AFC Championship Game, leaving Jesse James as the Steelers' No. 1 "seam stretcher." The Steelers' offense has been operating at an extremely high level, but lacks viable weapons behind Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.

RotoGrinders.com Daily Slant: If he's ultimately unable to suit up, Jesse James would start at tight end and be a viable option in GPPs given the lack of quality choices at the position. Still, our ownership projections don't display a large gap between James and Jared Cook - about 38% for Cook vs. 20% James - meaning there's not a huge advantage to be gained from a game theory perspective by pivoting to the lesser TE.
Jan 19 - 3:55 PM

Ladarius Green (concussion) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

It's an upgrade for Green after he missed practice all last week following a setback the previous week. Green remains in the protocol, but this at least gives him a shot to play Sunday. Consider him no better than 50-50.
Jan 18 - 3:58 PM

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette doesn't expect Ladarius Green (concussion) to play Sunday against the Patriots.

Bouchette is one of the most respected reporters of the last several decades and usually has a great read on all things involving the Steelers, which he sometimes divulges in a weekly fan Q & A. Asked about Green in this week's chat, Bouchette replied, "I don't think you will see him this Sunday. Not on the playing field anyway." Bouchette later said he doesn't expect Green to play at all this year. Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Green has yet to pass through concussion protocol. Look for Jesse James to start at tight end in Foxboro.
Jan 17 - 8:31 PM

USA Today's Tom Pelissero reports suspended WR Martavis Bryant has applied for reinstatement.

Bryant won't be returning for the AFC Championship Game or a potential Super Bowl appearance, but is trying to get his ducks in a row for 2017. Bryant was suspended a minimum of one season last March. As we've seen with Aldon Smith, it's not a guarantee the league will reinstate him simply because he's eligible. Bryant turned 25 last month.
Jan 17 - 1:31 PM


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