Monthly Archives: February 2021

He needs multiple passing Custom Baseball Jerseys

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Outside of those two elite options, there aren’t really any options that inspire much confidence in the QB pool for this slate. Jimmy G does have some upside, though, and has been boom-or-bust in these Madden sims. He has thrown 54 touchdowns in 43 sims including at least one score in six straight sims with a total of nine during that span. The two best games during that run were against the Falcons, who he beat for 23.4 DKFP and 24.92 DKFP. The Steelers are a much more formidable foe, but they can be beaten by speed routes. Garoppolo and the 49ers won their first sim against Pittsburgh, 13-7, but the QB only managed 13.32 DKFP. He needs multiple passing touchdowns to be a good play since he doesn’t add much rushing production, but I think there’s a solid chance he can beat the San Francisco secondary either with George Kittle ($5,300) over the middle or a speed route from Deebo Samuel ($5,300) out of the slot.

Other Option — Drew Lock ($5,400)

Running Back
Stud
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills, $8,000 — While the Bills have an elite secondary in Madden 21, they have been beatable by opposing RBs, which sets up well for Cook to produce another big game. The X-factor superstar has totaled 50 touchdowns in his 42 sims while averaging 90.8 rushing yards and 33.0 receiving yards per sim. He averages a solid 3.9 catches per contest as well, giving him a PPR safety net and also increasing his ceiling a little bit. He had nine catches for 63 yards on his way to 29.6 DKFP in his first Madden 21 sim against the Bills and also posted 18.3 DKFP in the rematch. The Vikings usually build their whole gameplan around Cook, and he should be in for heavy usage once again in this matchup. He is the most expensive play on the slate, but he offers too high a ceiling to pass him up.

Other Option — Raheem Mostert ($7,400)

Value
Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos, $4,000 — Usually power backs are only good fantasy options if they vulture a touchdown or have another role in addition to their goal-line duties, but Hyde has been very involved in the Seahawks’ sims in Madden 21 since they run so many plays out of power formations, even getting him involved in the passing game on a regular basis. Hyde has averaged 2.4 catches for 19.4 yards in addition to his 13.4 rushing yards per sim, and he has found the end zone 10 times in his 39 contests. He has at least 5.0 DKFP in three straight sims and hit for double digits against the Panthers, Jets, Browns and Vikings over his past nine sims. There is a risk that his involvement is too limited against the Broncos, but at only $4K, he’s a great play to save salary while still getting some production in addition to the ability to spend more in other spots.

Other Options — Phillip Lindsay ($6,000), Jaylen Samuels Jersey ($5,400)

Wide Receiver
Stud
JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers, $6,400 — Smith-Schuester is one of several WR1s in Madden 21 that get most of their work out of the slot receiver spot. He has been regularly involved in these sims, although he hasn’t hit for monster games quite as often as he did in Madden 2020 due to a decline in QB play from Ben Roethlisberger Jersey ($6,300). JuJu is still the safest stud play at WR on this slate, though, due to his steady PPR production. He has averaged 5.1 catches per contest and has at least four catches in nine straight sims, including seven games with double-digit DKFP. He had six catches for 66 yards and 12.6 DKFP in his first matchup with the 49ers and moving into the slot should help him avoid too much coverage from X-factor superstar Richard Sherman.

Other Options — Adam Thielen ($5,700), Stefon Diggs ($5,600)

Value
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers, $5,300 — Samuel is another WR1 who works out of the slot and gets plenty of targets as a result. He has averaged 4.2 catches for 55.8 yards per sim and found the end zone 12 times in 42 contests. Even though he hasn’t scored as many touchdowns as JuJu has, Samuel has reached over 9.0 DKFP in four straight and had 11.2 DKFP the last time he went head-to-head with the Steelers. He isn’t quite the stud that Smith-Schuster is, but he is a solid mid-range option that comes with good upside and relatively low risk.

John Brown, Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings, $4,200 — The Bills’ WR2 is very cheap on this slate, but he does bring a high ceiling due to his speed and potential deep-threat ability against the Vikings. Brown has at least three catches in seven of his past eight sims and would hit 100 total receptions in Madden 21 if he gets three catches in this contest. He is averaging 2.4 catches for 31.7 yards per sim but has been better than that recently due to Allen’s upgrades. Brown can be hit-or-miss but it’s hard to pass him up at barely over $4K since I think the Bills will put up a good amount of points against the Vikings in the nightcap.

Other Options — Jerry Jeudy ($5,200), Tajae Sharpe ($4,600), Phillip Dorsett II ($3,400)

Boswell missed three of the Custom Your Own Hockey Jersey

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After several years of continuity, the Pittsburgh Steelers special teams room had a bumpy 2020. By the end, though, it was the same familiar faces kicking, punting and snapping. But will that endure into next season?

Jordan Berry had been the Steelers punter for every game from the opening of the 2015 season until six days before the opening of this past season. Chris Boswell Jersey was the Steelers’ kicker for all but two games between his October 2015 debut and this past December. Kameron Canaday Jersey streak of serving as Steelers’ long snapper endures at 64 games (and counting) since winning the job during 2017 training camp.

But Berry was replaced for the first five games of this season. Boswell missed three of the final four games because of groin ailment(s). And the Steelers are holding a long-snapping specialist on their offseason roster as potential camp competition for Canaday this summer.

In the NFL, virtually no job is assured from year to year, but that is especially so with the Steelers special-teamers in 2021.

Boswell had a second consecutive strong season (19 for 20 on field goals, 34 of 38 on extra points), but he is entering his 30s with a recent injury history and a hefty salary due, so it is conceivable the Steelers will explore alternatives.

One of those alternatives will not be Matthew Wright. Wright filled in for Boswell for three late-season games and was perfect on 11 kicks (seven extra points and four field goals). But the Steelers are wary of his lack of leg strength, so much so they did not sign him to their offseason roster.

The only punter under contract is Corliss Waitman. Leg strength is no issue for him, and the 6-foot-2, 210-pound lefty could be ready to take over as Berry’s successor after a year of seasoning on the practice squad. Waitman has not punted in a game situation since midway through the 2018 season, though, because of injury and the lack of an NCAA transfer waiver.

Still, the Steelers already replaced Berry once — using veteran Dustin Colquitt to punt the first month of this past season — so they might do so again. At very least, expect some veteran (perhaps Berry) to be signed for a camp competition with Waitman.

Canaday has been pushed by a handful of snappers over the years in camp since beating out draft pick Colin Holba for the gig in 2017. But none have returned as often as Christian Kuntz Jersey, a graduate of Chartiers Valley and Duquesne. A college linebacker, judging by all the tryouts and practice-squad time he keeps getting, Kuntz is on the fringe of being some NFL team’s long snapper.

The Steelers haven’t drafted a kicker or punter since 2007, when, during the first draft of Mike Tomlin’s tenure, they traded up to select punter Daniel Sepulveda Jersey in the fourth round.

Offseason outlook: Specialists

Returnees

K Chris Boswell, 2 years left on contract, $4.8 million cap hit for 2021

LS Kameron Canaday, 1 year left on contract, $1.29 million cap hit for 2021

Also under contract

P Corliss Waitman Jersey, 1 year left on contract, $660,000 cap hit for 2021

LS Christian Kuntz, 1 year left on contract, $780,000 cap hit for 2021

Free agents

P Jordan Berry Jersey, Unrestricted, prorated $910,000 cap hit in 2020

Cameron Sutton are younger Build Your Own Hockey Jersey

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After years of searching, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally found a pair of reliable, quality cornerbacks.

It hasn’t come, though, without a price.

Joe Haden and Steven Nelson are due to account for about $30 million in salary-cap space in 2021. That’s roughly a sixth of the team’s total cap. No cornerback duo in the league is signed for more for this coming season for more. There are only five other teams that have more cap space devoted to an entire cornerback position group of up to 10 players than the Steelers do to Haden and Nelson.

The Steelers have a path to address the $15.6 million and $14.4 million hits of Haden and Nelson, respectively, through contract extensions for either or both. But the situation complicates their ability to hold on to their Nos. 3 and 4 cornerbacks.

Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton are younger and, at least measured by Pro Football Focus grades, have been just as good or better than Nelson and Haden (albeit in lesser roles). But Hilton and Sutton are on the cusp of unrestricted free agency. With the Steelers close to the overall cap ceiling and so much invested at cornerback, there is no clear path to bringing Hilton or Sutton back.

While Nelson and Haden held down the outside cornerback spots when healthy, Hilton has spent the past four seasons as among the NFL’s best slot cornerbacks, particularly against the run. The 5-foot-9 Hilton also excels in pass-rush situations and in tackling.

Sutton was the Steelers’ Mr. Everything in recent years, capably deployed as the top backup to all three of the others. And when Haden, Nelson and Hilton were healthy, Sutton was a strong hybrid dime player in subpackages.

The Steelers have no obvious in-house replacements for Hilton or Sutton. Justin Layne, a 2019 third-round pick, earned some playing time while dressing for every game in 2020, but he didn’t show enough for the Steelers to hand him a job as a starting outside corner.

Layne even ceded his spot as the team’s No. 5 cornerback late in the season to undrafted rookie James Pierre Jersey. The 6-2 Pierre has the size, length and physicality the Steelers covet at cornerback, and after a year of development is a sneaky candidate for an increased role. But he, too, is not ready to be a starter.

Former Penn State cornerback Trevor Williams joined 2019 seventh-round Chicago Bears pick Stephen Denmark as reserve/future signings last month. While each has the ability to make the team, expect the Steelers to add youth to the position in the draft and perhaps a low-cost free agent to replace Hilton and/or Sutton if neither is brought back.

Offseason outlook: Cornerbacks

Returnees

Joe Haden Jersey, 1 year left on contract, $15.58 million cap hit for 2021

Steven Nelson Jersey, 1 year left on contract, $14.4 million cap hit for 2021

Justin Layne Jersey, 2 years left on contract, $1.08 million cap hit for 2021

James Pierre, 2 years left on contract, $783,000 cap hit for 2021

Also under contract

Trevor Williams, 1 year left on contract, $990,000 cap hit for 2021

Stephen Denmark, 1 year left on contract, $850,000 cap hit for 2021

Free agents

Mike Hilton Jersey, Unrestricted, $3.26 million cap hit in 2020

Cameron Sutton Jersey, Unrestricted, $1 million cap hit in 2020