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Yeah, I didn’t think I was going to write this post either and yet here we are in training camp and Mike Wallace is still a no show in Pittsburgh.  Of course, I’m on vacation which means I will be away just when the news breaks and Wallace has signed and is back with the team just to make this post look silly.  Overall, I think the holdout is a vast conspiracy to really muck up my wide receiver rankings this year but since I can’t prove it, I have to move on and examine the guy who should benefit if Wallace stays away and that man is Emmanuel Sanders.

Emmanuel’s 2011 season could not have gotten off on worse footing than it did last year.  I mean that quite literally.  He entered camp last year having had off-season surgery on both of his feet and was limited to only 11 games in total during his sophomore season due to dings and dents.  It’s really hard to play a sport in general with mucked up feet – you can replace that ‘m’ with an ‘f’ if you’re feeling saucy – let alone at a position like wide receiver where jumping and cutting are the name of the game.  In fact, if you google ‘2011 fantasy football sleeper Emmanuel Sanders’, you can see just how much love there was for him going into the season.  Heck, even we got in on the fun last year care of one of our many mulleted friends.  Man what a difference a year makes.  Of course we know the story.  Wallace went on to get all the fantasy glory and Emmanuel struggled to stay on the field so much he couldn’t even outproduce his 28 catch, 376 yard rookie season.  Thankfully for Emmanuel, it’s 2012 and it could be his year to shine.

Now I don’t want to rehash our original argument from 2011 but some things bear repeating that simply haven’t changed.  Wallace is just a little bit taller, a little bit bigger, a little bit faster and has a little bit more vertical than Emmanuel.  Even if you add those little bits together, they don’t get real big.  We are looking at a player who – given the offensive scheme put in place – should have the ability to step in and make an immediate impact as long as he gets playing time.  Seeing as it’s his third year – usually a good year for receivers as Wallace can no doubt attest to – there might be a big reason the Steelers are so hesitant to spend all that money on Wallace.  Emmanuel makes for a far more affordable receiver for 2012 and may make Wallace a trade chip rather than a franchise staple.

Overall, I’m going to have a hard time giving a projection on him seeing as I don’t know whether we see Wallace in a Steelers uniform or not.  It’s not to say Emmanuel can’t be productive with Wallace on the field seeing as Pittsburgh is a pass-first offense but he would clearly be a 3rd option on a field that already features Mike and Antonio Brown if Wallace does re-sign.  So with that, I’m going to hedge as much as possible so that you think I have more waffles than a house of pancakes. Though I originally had him down for about 40 receptions and 520 yards to go with 3 touchdowns, I’m gonna do some inflation based on a possibly Wallace-less world.  Oh and if they do re-sign Wallace, just go with my original numbers.  Toldja I’d hedge!

2012 Projections: 55 receptions, 990 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns

From Around The Web

  1. stoopid says:

    Hey sky. Had our draft yesterday. Wondering your opinion. We keep 2 players and I kept McCoy for a 2nd & Lynch for a 3rd. Had 12th pick in a 12 teamer and was really hoping Fitz, Andre, or Graham fell to me. None did and I panicked and took Mathews (GAMBLE!). Anyways my WR shituation is just that. .5 PPR, opinions?

    QB – Eli
    RB – Lynch, McCoy, Mathews, Ingram, Jennings
    WR – Maclin, Brown, Titus, LaFell, L.Moore, Owens
    TE – Davis, Pettigrew
    D – Pitts

    Didn’t draft a kicker.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Not a bad team, actually. Brown and Maclin are good PPR guys and either could bust out this season IMHO. I’d hold and see what your team looks like through week 3.

      • stoopid says:

        @Sky, As long as Mathews is back by week 3, I’ll be happy with how my team looks regardless of the WR’s haha.

        • Sky

          Sky says:

          Ha, there you go. Agreed.

  2. Tim says:

    Keep 2:

    Brandon Marshall
    Adrian Peterson
    Jordy Nelson
    Dez Bryant

    Marshall seems like a no brainer, but on the fence with the other 3 considering their risks. Suggestions?

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Marsh and AP for me

  3. Zoot says:

    i am forced with a mini dilemma this season.

    im in a 10 team, non-ppr, keeper league.. we keep two. You forfeit the pick from the round where the player was drafted last year or kept.

    My options with the round pick id forfeit are:
    MJD (11th round)
    Gronkowski (16th round)
    Stafford (10th round)

    MJD is locked in, regardless of the lockout, simply because each team will keep at least one RB, and you’d be foolish not to..

    so my debate is between Stafford and Gronk.

    im emotionally tied to both because they helped me win my league last year

    both being late round picks are low risk. im worried if Stafford can stay healthy and i think i could probably grab him in like the 4th round if i really want him. and im worried about Gronk simply because i dont like the idea of keeping a TE and NE has so many weapons.

    who would you guys keep?

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      I’d go Gronk there

  4. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    hey sky, dynasty league here.

    I give Vernon Davis, Beanie Wells, James Starks and Crabtree

    I receive:
    ryan Matthews and Percy Harvin?


    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Ryan’s injury makes it tough but for dynasty, you’re getting the best player. I’d do it with a shaky click finger.

      • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

        @Sky, he turned me down… i upped the ante a little bit

        I give:
        Big Ben (i have vick), vernon davis, titus young, crabtree, starks, beanie and a 1st round 2013 pick.

        I get:
        Matthews, Dalton (will backup Vick), Percy and Kyle Rudolph.

        makes that finger a little more shaky huh?? haha

        I guess it would help if you knew the rest of my team. In this league it’s almost impossible to get a good RB.

        QB: Vick, ben
        RB: DMC, Beanie, Starks, Donald Brown, Turbin, Rainey, Goodson Bernard Scott
        WR: Fitz, S. Smith, Crabtree, Titus, Randle
        TE: V Davis, J Gresham

        • Sky

          Sky says:

          Yeah getting a good RB these days is tough all over. I’d be fine with that but yeah, finger would still shake doin it.

  5. Shidesthelimit says:

    Who do you think will be handling returns in PITT this year? Steelers Beat Writer said “0% chance” Brown handles return duties. Maybe Sanders? I only ask because league I play in gives 1pt/15 return yards and 8pt return TD’s.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Really going to depend on what happens with Wallace. If he’s back, I think Sanders is the returner. If not, not sure they want to put that much wear and tear on his frame and I am not 100% certain who’d take it.

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