2014 Fantasy Football: Will Markus Wheaton Have Room For Success?

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton is popping up on many sleeper lists this offseason, but how productive can he be with Antonio Brown leading the receiving attack?

In the 2013 season, each team in the AFC North contained one wide receiver that made the top 20: Josh Gordon, A.J. Green, Brown and Torrey Smith. Receivers Marlon Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Marvin Jones provided fantasy relevance for their respective teams from time to time, but they did not provide the same reliability that their teammates produced.

The buzz around the offense for the Pittsburgh Steelers is that Ben Roethlisberger will implement a no-huddle offense more often in 2014, and that should create more opportunities for his receivers. Big Ben only averaged 1 touchdown pass in the first seven games of the season, but after the no-huddle offense was executed more often, his touchdown passes increased to an average of 2 per game between weeks 9-17.

If the offense is more productive with its new scheme, is there any evidence that suggests the Steelers could host two top-20 receivers?

2010 Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
Mike Wallace 100 60 1257 10
Hines Ward 94 59 755 5
Heath Miller 67 42 512 2
2011 Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
Mike Wallace 113 72 1193 8
Antonio Brown 123 69 1108 2
Heath Miller 75 51 631 2
2012 Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
Mike Wallace 119 64 836 8
Heath Miller 101 71 816 8
Antonio Brown 105 66 787 5
2013 Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
Antonio Brown 165 110 1499 8
Emmanuel Sanders 112 67 740 6
Jerricho Cotchery 76 46 602 10

In the last four seasons, the average receiving yards for the wide receiver or tight end that produced the second-most receiving yards for the Steelers was 854.75. If you remove Brown’s 1,108 receiving yards outlier in 2011, the average would be 770.33. The average touchdown production is 5.5, so Sanders in 2013 appears to have had the type of season you can expect from a WR2 from Pittsburgh.

It is interesting to note that the receptions for the WR2 increased from 2010-2012, but the receiving totals have nearly stayed the same.

On fantasyfootballcalculator.com, Wheaton is currently being drafted at the end of the 13th round. Around that same position, Eli Manning, Greg Jennings, C.J. Anderson and Heath Miller are also being selected, so I don’t think that Wheaton is a bad pick up at that spot with what is available. It doesn’t appear, however, that he warrants being considered a sleeper either.

If you planned on holding off of Eric Decker or Riley Cooper in the eighth round because you can land Wheaton later, you may want to start adjusting your plans.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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2 replies


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