Football Outsiders Identify Two Steelers Weapons As Fantasy Football Sleepers Ahead Of 2021 Season

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As the NFL heads towards the start of the 2021 regular season on September 9 between the Dallas Cowboys and reigning Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fantasy football takes center stage in everyone’s attention. the approach of the draft.

Football Outsiders, one of the leading analytics websites, recently featured a handful of fantasy football sleepers ahead of the draft. Two prominent Steelers were on the sleeper list compiled by FO’s Scott Spratt, who is one of the best fantasy football analysts in the industry.

Steelers tight end Eric Ebron and second-year wide receiver Chase Claypool have been listed as sleepers by Spratt, who expects both to perform well in the Steelers’ new offense under the guidance of first-year coordinator Matt. Canada.

According to FO’s KUBIAK ranking, which is similar to ESPN’s average draft position and positional ranking, Claypool ranks 17th overall, which is significantly higher than ESPN and Yahoo Sports rankings.

“This choice seemed unique before Claypool made a spectacular diving capture in the Hall of Fame game. Hope no one is watching preseason football, ”writes Spratt. “… His 62 catches and 873 yards might not stand out among the top veteran receivers, but they nearly matched the totals of a similarly built DK Metcalf in his rookie season (58 and 900). Claypool could enjoy a corresponding jump to stardom in his second season. And at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, Claypool should continue to punctuate the touchdown position. His nine rookie scores only slightly exceeded his expected 7.2 touchdowns estimated by the location of his targets. If a Steelers gap is likely to see a drop there, it’s JuJu Smith-Schuster, who doubled Claypool’s surplus with nine touchdowns from just 5.4 opportunity-adjusted scores.

Claypool continues to receive a ton of love in fantasy football circles, and rightly so, especially after the fantastic highs he experienced in 2020 over an eight week span that saw him take a turn. star. While we still don’t know what the offense will look like from a target cast’s perspective, Claypool continues to soar and should be a guy who emerges as a key receiver in fantasy football.

Along with Claypool, Ebron is also seen as a tight end position sleeper by Spratt and Football Outsiders. Ebron joined Blake Jarwin from Dallas and Dan Arnold from Carolina as tight ends of the sleeper. Ebron currently ranks No. 10 in FO’s KUBIAK rankings, which is a bit higher than ESPN (18) and Yahoo Sports (15).

“Ebron is the Steelers second receiver on my sleeper list, but his added value may say more about the public perception of teammate Pat Freiermuth and less about Roethlisberger,” wrote Spratt. “Freiermuth, a second-round rookie, has sparked optimism among reporters and coaches alike, but one shouldn’t overestimate what career potential will likely mean in Year 1 for a close end. Since 2009, Tony Moeaki has been the only tight end drafted in the second round or later with more than 70 targets in his rookie season. Only five tight ends of the second round or later even had 60 targets, and future fantasy stars Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews and Jimmy Graham had modest totals of 59, 56, 50 and 44 targets during their rookie seasons. Ebron had 91 goals in his first year with the Steelers in 2020. It was ninth in the standings and for me that portends a similar fantastic finish in 2021.

After Freiermuth’s big night against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field on Saturday night, Ebron’s stock could drop significantly with the Steelers in regards to red zone usage and overall target share. Although he finished third for the Steelers in 2020 in Goals, I personally expect Ebron’s use to drop significantly in 2021 with more emphasis on running the ball, as well as the inclusion of Freiermuth and another year of JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot.


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