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Martavis Bryant Fantasy Football Stock Profile: Your 2017 Comeback Player of the Year is ready to explode

Martavis Bryant

Position: Wide Receiver

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Talent: 9/10

On talent alone, Bryant is one of the more skilled receivers in the NFL. Standing at 6’4 and 225 lbs, Bryant is a physical specimen that leaves corners and safeties staring up in the clouds. His size allows him to go up and catch the ball over defenders. With large hands and good timing, Bryant excels at locating the ball at it’s highest point and snatching it away.

Bryant has had plenty of success in the NFL with the deep ball. As noted, his size helps him separate from defenders and make the jump ball catches. What doesn’t always get talked about is his speed (4.42 at the combine). He can blow past defenders, getting downfield separation with ease. Bryant has all the tools you want in a bigger receiver as he’s one of the most talented wideouts in the league.

Opportunity + Usage: 8/10

Luckily, Bryant is a part of one of the better offensives in football. The Steelers put up a lot of points, allowing for plenty of fantasy goodness for Bryant. Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger have historically performed better with Bryant on the football field. It allows them to open up the field with a great vertical threat and red zone target. He’ll definitely get his fair share of targets and usage in the offense, but his score takes a hit knowing he’s the WR2 behind the NFL’s best receiver Antonio Brown. Add in a plus running game, that will lower Bryant’s opportunity/usage score slightly.

Coaching Scheme: 9/10

Todd Haley’s offensive scheme sets up well for Bryant and the Steelers offense. They are a pass happy offense that has seen it’s passing play percentage jump each year over the last few seasons. When Bryant has been able to stay on the field, Roethlisberger’s stats have jumped drastically. Big Ben had an 11:1 TD/INT ratio when targeting Bryant. He’s a huge game changer and play maker that’s able to be used in so many ways. Another plus from this scheme is that the Steelers are the most balanced team in the league on first down. The Steelers had a 50.5 pass percentage/49.5 run percentage, which keeps the opposing defense off balance and more susceptible to play action. It also doesn’t hurt that Pittsburgh goes for the two point conversions at an alarmingly high rate. Haley trusts Big Ben to make plays, and now that he’s got a 6’5 receiver back at his disposal, he’s gonna be Option A on those conversions. His size and ability to win the jump ball will get him a lot of looks in the red zone.

Surrounding Talent: 9/10

As mentioned earlier, the Steelers have so much skill on the offensive side of the ball. Roethlisberger is one of the better QBs in the league and arguably one of the most underrated signal callers of all-time. He’s had some concerning home/road split stats, but that should even out due to Bryant’s presence. Having Le’Veon Bell in the backfield also boosts the score here as he’s one of the premiere backs in the league. Bell’s versatility puts so much focus on him, allowing someone like Bryant to play off of that in a lesser role. Where this score takes it’s lone hit is from the presence of Antonio Brown. As good as Bryant is, he’ll always be second fiddle behind Brown in this offense. On the other hand, Brown will face more double teams, allowing Bryant to take advantage of single coverage.

Risk: 5/10

Bryant’s off the field issues have been pretty well documented. With multiple suspensions already, he’s one slip up away from being another major bust. Based on how high his ceiling can be, he’s arguably one of the riskiest plays in fantasy this year. Very high ceiling, but a bottomless pit level floor. The risk score is dangerously low, but if he can stay clean and show up for 16 games, it will all be worth it.

Overall Stock Score: 40/50 = 80 B-

Ceiling Projection / Scenario: Ceiling wise, Bryant has the chance to hop into elite territory. He’s got great skill and is in an explosive offense. Roethlisberger performs much better with Bryant on the field and you cannot question his skills in the red zone. He plays in all 16 games and brings the Steelers offense to the next level.

85 catches, 1,250 yards, 13 TDs

Floor Projection/Scenario (excluding injury):  

Well for an absolute low, Bryant could be caught and hit with a drug suspension before Week 1 and get a score line of 0-0-0 for the year. But for the sake of this article, we’ll assume he plays all 16 games. Bryant struggles to reinsert himself into the offense and looks lost. He puts up Sammie Coates like production and gets lost in the shuffle behind Brown and Bell. With all the hype causing Bryant’s stock to rise, he doesn’t put up the numbers owners expected and those drafters wish they had drafted a more reliable receiver.

50 catches, 650 yards, 6 TDs

Bottom Line: We expect Bryant to finally have his head on straight and appear for a full season. Reports have come out that he’s looked great thus far and is looking like a beast. He’s been such a weapon for Roethlisberger which should continue since Antonio Brown is going to draw so much attention from corners. With his size, he’ll be almost unstoppable in the red zone, and should connect on plenty of long balls.

2017 Predicted Stat Line: 75 catches, 1,100 yards, 11 TDs

We used this formula to nail David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Check back for more Fantasy Stock Profiles throughout the off-season to stay ahead of your fantasy football league.

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