One of the most popular late-round wideouts among the fantasy football universe last summer was Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton. Most expected him to walk into the starting lineup, but when all was said and done, he had a rather forgotten rookie campaign. Wheaton will now get another chance to crack the starting lineup this season and there will once again be plenty of eyes on him throughout the summer.
The departure of Emmanuel Sanders immediately opens up a starting spot on the outside. As of right now, Wheaton is the heavy favorite to inherit that starting spot. He has been practicing primary with the first-team offense this spring and the team has nothing but good things to say about the former Oregon State product.
Wheaton has outstanding speed and he can be another versatile wideout to add to the team’s aerial attack. He is also surprisingly stout for a 182-pound receiver. He isn’t afraid to run the tough slant routes and he could certainly prove to be a very dangerous option along side fellow wideout Antonio Brown.
The rookie caught just six balls for 64 yards in his first year, which is hardy a promising number heading into this season. He also played in only 12 games (161 snaps), so he wasn’t exactly a pivotal part of the offense. He was heavily hyped during the offseason, but provided absolute no value last season despite the team’s desperate need for an offensive weapons in 2013.
The receiver missed a ton of time last year in practice and in games due to a hand injury. He became a fixture on the injury report each week and missed valuable learning experience with his quarterback.
Wheaton has already missed time during OTAs this year with an undisclosed injury. The team brought in veteran WR Lance Moore to fight Wheaton for time and WR Justin Smith has also been receiving some reps with the first-team offense during OTAs. If Wheaton can’t take over the starting spot this season, or if he is unable to stay healthy, there will be a several wideouts ready to take his job. Needless the say, the youngster has no job security right now in the Steel City.
Wheaton has appeal as a WR3 in deeper leagues or a WR4 in smaller leagues. He won’t be as popular as he was last season, but he will be worth a late-round flyer if he can lock down the starting job.
Bye Week: 12
Projected Round: 11
Auction Value: $4