Well, the preseason started with a bang. The opening game had more viewers than the Stanley Cup final, the Indy 500, and game one of both the American League and National League championship. This was despite the absence of some of the biggest stars like Ben Roethlisberger and Adrian Peterson. Yes it seems that the blood is in the water, and the fans are swarming.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 10, 2015
With the real action still in the distance, fans are speculating heavily based on just a few minutes of game time. Some of that speculation is about Pittsburgh Steelers running back Dri Archer. There’s no doubt that Archer impressed, and his speed was on full display. At times it seemed his feet couldn’t even keep up with his momentum. But, how much can we really read into that preseason performance? Below are the two biggest take-aways from Dri Archer’s game tape.
Thoughts on Dri Archer? I like what I see… if he can stay on his feet.
— Daniel Phillips (@danphillipsNFL) August 10, 2015
1.Archer caught a multitude of passes.
This seems pretty mundane at first, but it should be taken into consideration that in addition to catching passes in the backfield, Archer also made grabs in the slot and spread wide. This was an interesting turn for the offense. While Archer’s size may hinder his potential as your typical running back, his elusiveness and speed make him well equipped to snag some targets that would typically go to a receiver. Now, I don’t expect that Archer to eat into targets that would normally go to Antonio Brown, but I do expect for him to make some regular game appearances. Particularly, while Le’Veon Bell is out on suspension. DeAngelo Williams isn’t the best pass catching back on the field, so having Archer as a threat makes sense.
2. Archer was fielded as a punt returner.
Last season Brown averaged 10.6 yards per punt return, including a 71-yard touchdown return. Brown is an amazing athlete, and a stud wide receiver. He has tremendous value for the Steelers, so it still makes make me scratch my head as to why they still have him returning punts. Putting him on the field running full force at the opposing team does carry some risk. Up until 2015, the Steelers have weighed the reward greater than the risk. I think that Archer offers a potential option to replace him. Archer has the speed that is desirable for a punt returner, and as callous as it sounds, the team wouldn’t be at as much of a loss if he was to get injured. This is the only place where Archer would eat away at Brown’s yardage.
Overall, Archer may only see his biggest impact during Bell’s suspension. In fact, it’s Williams who has the most to lose. For your typical standard league Archer may not register on your radar, but he could have value if injuries occurred and the Steelers utilized him like Giovani Bernard.
Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football