They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We have seen that time and time again, when players complain about not getting the ball enough, their next game gets a serious uptick in targets and usually production. The most recent example of this was Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace complaining before the week two game about lack of targets. Week one saw Wallace catch one pass for 15 yards on only five targets. Week two saw Wallace secure nine of 11 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Consider that wheel greased. The squeaky wheel this week is Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today reports surfaced that Brown was angry about lack of targets thus far in the season. Brown is seeing roughly the same number of targets as Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, despite the fact that Brown is the top receiver on the roster.
The Steelers offense has been more or less awful this season, and Brown has been a part of that. However, he is averaging close to 65 yards per game so far and with the lack of a running attack in Pittsburgh, Brown should really be the focal point of the offense, at least until Le’Veon Bell returns.
So what does this mean for his fantasy outlook? Week three is certain to see an increase in targets. The Steelers host the Chicago Bears, who currently rank right in the middle of the league as far as allowing fantasy points against to wide receivers. Chicago has had no problem scoring and the Steelers could be forced to rely on the passing attack to keep pace with a Bears team averaging almost 28 points per game. If that is the case, Brown is looking at his best bet for his first 100 yard game so far this season.
The most likely matchup would be Charles Tillman covering Brown. Tillman can be a very effective defensive back, but has been burned this season by A.J. Green in week one. Then Tillman was part of a secondary that allowed 227 passing yards to Christian Ponder.
Brown also handles punt return duties. The Steelers defense currently rank 10th in the league in team defense. Playing at home has always been a strength of the Steelers and if they can get some stops on Chicago, Brown could have a chance to break some return yards off. He has had some good runs, including a 40 yard return against the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
Brown is no Green, but should be in for a solid day in the receiving game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds the end zone this weekend. Playing for a Pittsburgh team desperate to avoid the 0-3 record, the Steelers will be coming out with purpose this game. Don’t be surprised to see Brown deliver for the black and gold.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
Read more from Dustin here.