QB Ben Roethlisberger (QB - #10) - Solid/Safe Pick
With RB Rashard Mendenhall likely to miss a large portion of the upcoming season, expect the Steelers to become a pass centric team in 2012. Reports have also surfaced that new OC Todd Haley could employ more no huddle packages. The draft day additions of OG David DeCastro (Stanford) and OT Mike Adams (Ohio State) should go a long way in improving Big Ben's pass protection. Roethlisberger has topped 4,000 yards passing in two of the past three seasons and remains a borderline QB1 / high end QB2 as he enters his 9th NFL season.
RB Rashard Mendenhall (RB - #35) - Gamble (high risk)
The Illinois alum suffered a torn ACL late in the 2011 regular season and there are rumblings that he will miss a significant portion of the 2012 season. Mendenhall topped 1,100 yards in the 2009/2010 seasons, but his production regressed in 2011 as he finished with 228 carries for 928 yards (62 YPG). He does have 30 touchdowns over the past three seasons, but with his season in jeopardy it is difficult to recommend taking him before round 10. Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract and (depending on his recovery) may have played his last snaps with the Steelers.
UPDATE: Surprisingly was activated from the PUP list on August 17th. Questions regarding his speed/burst are concerning considering he's averaged just 3.9 YPC since the start of 2010.
RB Isaac Redman (RB - #44) - Sleeper (undervalued)
Isaac Redman is still the heavy favorite to open the season as the feature back as the Steelers failed to add starting caliber depth via free agency or the draft. Rashard Mendenhall is recovering from a torn ACL and is a candidate for the PUP List (miss first 6 games). Redman finished 2011 with 110 carries for 479 yards (4.4 YPC). In a playoff start against Denver, Redman rushed 17 times for 121 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards. He'll be a solid RB2 for as long as Mendenhall is sidelined and is currently being drafted in rounds 5-6.
UPDATE: He has been battling a groin injury and the activation of Mendenhall from the PUP list is a major negative for Redman's fantasy value heading into week 1. Look for his ADP to follow in the coming weeks.
RB Jonathan Dwyer (RB - #74) - Deep-league Only
The 2010 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech has failed to stay healthy in his first two NFL seasons (played in just 8 games) totaling only 25 carries for 151 yards. With Rashard Mendenhall likely to be sidelined for significant part of the upcoming season, Dwyer could be elevated to the #2 RB position (provided he's recovered from a broken foot). He might be worth a late round flier if he proves to be healthy in training camp.
RB Chris Rainey (RB - #79) - Dynasty Only
The Steelers used a 5th round pick on the Florida speedster and he could very well fill a slot WR / tailback slot in his rookie season. Some have compared Rainey to KC'S Dexter McCluster, as each back has top end speed but a smallish frame (under 5'9). Rainey ran an impressive 4.37 forty time and finished 9th in University of Florida history with 2,464 rushing yards. He's not worth considering except in deeper dynasty leagues as Rainey doesn't possess the size to be a starting RB at the NFL level.
WR Mike Wallace (WR - #13) - Stud (low risk)
Wallace is expected to play on his restricted tender in 2012. He set a career-high with 72 catches last season but regressed in the final seven games (25 catches for 325 yards and two touchdowns). Wallace should be ultra motivated in a contract year and his top end speed makes him one of the most dynamic WR after the catch (averaged an eye popping 19 YPC over his brief career). The Mississippi alum has 24 TD catches over his first three seasons and remains a borderline WR1 worth considering in rounds 3-4.
UPDATE: Contract dispute is ongoing and Wallace could miss the entire preseason (raises risk of potential injury). Wallce appears likely to play out the season on a $2.7 million contract and could enter next season as an unrestricted free agent.Injury Status: Injured Reserve