Those who play fantasy football will be the first to tell you that playing the game helps you stay interested while watching every football game on the schedule in a particular week. And that’s true. When I started playing more than 20 years ago, I realized that I had to sit like a bump on a log and track all of the games. In a pre-internet world, that was pretty tough.
Having all that info these days online, instead of digging through the trash at a convenience store to find Monday’s USA Today
, makes it too easy.
So these days, I put a spin on my fantasy teams by making sure to draft at least one or two players who are Pittsburgh Steelers or have Pittsburgh ties. Now, that doesn’t seem like a sacrifice if you take Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown. But those players are often targeted early. So here are three Pittsburgh-related players that I’ve picked up this year. One is a proven commodity and the other two will hopefully pay off big.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
I’ve always been a fan of Baldwin since his Pitt days. Since he entered the league in 2011, I’ve drafted him in late rounds because I knew he would have a breakout year. Well, up until last year, that is, when he had 78 catches for more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. So far this year he has 24 catches and three touchdowns, and is on pace for another big season.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Boyd, who hails from down the river in Clairton, skipped his senior season at Pitt to turn pro. He’s Pitt’s all-time leading pass-catcher and also holds the school’s record for receiving yards. And while he hasn’t broken out yet in the pros (15 catches, 163 yards and no touchdowns), I expect him to have a pro career that posts impressive numbers.
Terrelle Pryor, WR/QB, Cleveland Browns
Hype surrounding where the Jeannette native would go to college made him a household name before he even started; later, he was kicked out of Ohio State after his junior year for trading memorabilia for tattoos. He’s been in the NFL since 2011, but languished until he found a place with the horrible Browns. He’s thrown the ball, caught the ball and even scored his first pro touchdown. With as bad as Cleveland is, he could be playing five or six positions in one game by season’s end.