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Thursday, August 27, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: FIRST DEMOTION NOW SUSPENSION CLOUDING MARTAVIS BRYANT

At the start of 2015 NFL training camps, there was quite a bit of excitement surrounding second-year Pittsburgh Steelers big-play wideout Martavis Bryant.  The "other" Clemson rookie came into the NFL a year ago without the fanfare of college teammate Sammy Watkins but Bryant surely made a name for himself as he managed to catch 8 touchdown passes among his 26 receptions.  Thus it stood to reason that Bryant would take a major leap in overall production in Year 2, especially in a suddenly very potent Steelers passing offense.  With superstar Antonio Brown drawing defenders away, Bryant would get the single-coverage to become a potential big-time fantasy football receiver.  As often happens though, stories of grandeur don't always go according to plan. 

The first shoe to drop in all this was the surprising news that Markus Wheaton and not Bryant was running with the starters at the onset of camp.  This development was reinforced by QB Ben Roethlisberger when he publicly stated that he believed Wheaton was headed for a big season.  Bryant continually languished behind Brown and Wheaton on the depth chart which soon included the first two preseason games.  Things ultimately came to head on Thursday when it was revealed the NFL had suspended Bryant for four games due to violating the league's substance abuse policy.  Reports indicate the Steelers knew about the looming suspension even before camp began which is why they quickly moved to have Wheaton start.  Bryant vows to appeal but either way this is another major blow to his fledgling fantasy value.  In turn this is also a boost for Wheaton who is in fact primed for a big season in his own right, especially the first two weeks with both Bryant and RB Le'Veon Bell suspended.  If Wheaton is still available in your league, pick him up right away.  As far as Bryant is concerned, I wouldn't blame you if you simply just cut him loose. 

 

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