FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

LIKE THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS ON FACEBOOOK

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL TREND OR MIRAGE: MIKE WALLACE AS A PPR WEAPON

Heading into the 2011 fantasy football season, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace was looked at as a guy who could be a big time asset in standard TD heavy formats due to his breakout 2010 campaign.  Wallace busted out last season to the tune of catching 10 touchdowns on only 60 receptions.  The big play capability that Wallace had was born out in that season but the lack of top a top end receptions totals made him a bit less valuable for those who play in PPR formats.  With the Steelers being one of the most run heavy teams in the league yearly, it was a safe bet to assume Wallace would once again be an asset in yards and touchdowns but come up short in receptions.  Well apparently Wallace failed to get that memo in 2011 as he has gone crazy to start the season to the tune of 16 catches for 223 yards.  So many are wondering if Wallace is ready to ascend to that level of play and whether or not he can cement his status as a full blown fantasy football receiver this season.  So in our first Trend or Mirage column of the season, we look to see whether or not Wallace can continue being a PPR asset going forward or if his early burst will level off as the Steelers go back to their running ways.

Looking at Wallace's big start, many immediately said it was flukish after Week 1 as the Steelers fell way behind early against the Baltimore Ravens and so they needed to pass on almost every down as a means of trying to catch up.  That thought went out the window in Week 2 though as the Steelers steamrolled the Seattle Seahawks with Wallace matching the catch total he had the week before.  Clearly the Steelers are opening up the passing game more than usual and the evidence is right there in Wallace's numbers.

Now regarding whether or not this will continue, one key is in the actual running game itself.  Pittsburgh once again is having offensive line issues and that has been seen in the very shaky running performances in both games to this point.  Rashard Mendenhall has found little room to run and so the Steelers are being forced to throw in order to get their offense on track.  On top of that, Wallace is becoming a more all-around route runner in that he now longer is just going deep on every play.  He is not exploring the underneath routes which is helping to make him a better receiver as a whole.  We have seen that in the more intermediate passes he has corralled so far this season. 

All in all I think Mike Wallace stands a great chance to continuing to be a top notch receiver in both TD heavy and PPR leagues.  Clearly Ben Roethlisberger looks to him first on almost all passing plays and the aging Hines Ward is not much competition for catches as well.  Wallace could be on the verge of a huge 2011 fantasy football season and so those who took the plunge here could be rewarded here in a big way.

MIKE WALLACE AS A PPR WEAPON:  TREND

No comments:

Post a Comment