Here is another in a series of looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers in terms of their potential 2015 fantasy football impact.
Today I take a look at second-year wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
After being inactive the first seven games of the year as a rookie, Bryant broke on the scene in a big way last year to close the year. While only catching 26 passes on the season, eight of those went for touchdowns. Bryant also had a whopping 21.1 yards per catch average.
In the process Bryant became the first player in the modern era with seven touchdown catches in his first seven games.
His size and speed has led to lofty expectations for the 2015 season.
Bryant is one guy that many are projecting for a breakout season and it shows with the way he is being drafted so far.
Currently Bryant has an ADP of 63, meaning he is going in the early portion of the sixth round in 12-team leagues. Overall Bryant is the No.27 off the board on average. That’s not bad for a guy who has 26 career catches.
Should you be drafting Bryant this high?
Let’s take a look.
Pros- The obvious is that the big play potential is there. Bryant scored a touchdown once every six times he was targeted as a rookie last season. That won’t be sustainable, but one thing is for sure and that is Bryant will be one of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite targets near the end zone for years to come. Bryant racked up 13 end zone targets in 10 games as a rookie; only five players saw more looks during that span.
The bottom line is that Bryant has all the tools to solidify himself as a solid second option opposite Antonio Brown.
Cons- The tape is out on Bryant. Teams will adjust and not allow him to take the top of the defense. If that is the case, he needs to improve on shorter routes and making contested catches. We haven’t seen enough of that from him to this point.
There’s also the fact that the Steelers have a ton of weapons and Roethlisberger will spread the ball around so Bryant won’t have the typical catch numbers as most No. 2 wide receivers.
Finally there is the elbow injury that has kept him out of most o camp. I wouldn’t be too concerned about it, but it is something worth paying attention to.
Projections- 50 receptions, 775 yards, seven touchdowns
Verdict- Bryant has all of the tools to be a Top 20 receiver in the league. He is dedicated to being great, which is a good sign that he has big things in store in the future.
As you saw Friday night in Jacksonville, the big play potential is always there and even if teams dedicate themselves to taking it away, it may not matter.
The question is whether or not is that future now?
Drafting Bryant really depends on the format of your league. In PPR formats I’m wouldn’t make him your WR1 or WR 2 and would have a hard time making him a WR3 depending on the format. In keeper formats it makes more sense, but in redraft leagues you can get better production where Bryant is going in drafts.
I love Bryant’s potential to be a big time wide receiver and being able to sustain it. I can make a solid case for him in the sixth round, but have seen him go as high as the fourth round in some drafts. If that is the case I wouldn’t touch him, but if you have solid WR options already in place by the sixth round, I would pull the trigger.
If you do, you may see Bryant break out. While I don’t see huge numbers coming until the following season, He will have a good enough year to give you value in the sixth round. Anything earlier though I would be hesitant.
Bryant’s upside is through the roof and at the right price will pay huge dividends.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports