Antionio Brown is being drafted as the consensus #1 WR this season. It's hard to argue when you analyze his 2014 stat line: 129 receptions on 182 targets, 1,698 yards, 13 TDs. Brown has been the model of consistency with at least 5 receptions/per game for a minimum of 50 yards over the past 33 straight regular season games. Brown is the ultimate high floor/high ceiling player in fantasy football. If Antonio Brown is lost for the season, there will be a wealth of opportunity with this offense. The Steelers defense is expected to give up their share of points again this season, so their offense will need to score to win games. So, what would happen if Brown was to suffer a season ending injury?
Le'Veon Bell, RB - The Steelers offense generates the bulk of their production through two players, Antionio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. Bell amassed 83 receptions in 2014. If Brown is lost for the season, expect Bell to pick up the slack with another 80+ receptions. Even if he is facing a tough rush defense, Bell will still produce high receptions/yardage totals for your fantasy team.
Martavis Bryant, WR - Martavis Bryant was not activated until Week 7 of the 2014 season. In the final 10 games, Bryant produced 26 receptions for 549 yards and 8 TDs. He looked great in the Steelers second preseason game with 3 receptions, 55 yards, and a TD. If Brown is lost for the season, Bryant's reception totals will spike upward to a minimum of 75 receptions with double digit TDs. Bryant will be the guy that you want to target via trade in your league.
Markus Wheaton, WR - The Steelers let Mike Wallace go to free agency after the 2012 season, They started rebuilding their WR core with Markus Wheaton in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft out of Oregon State. After a non-existent rookie season, Wheaton produced 53 receptions for 644 yards and 2 TDs in 2014. If Brown is lost for the season, Wheaton will be the possession receiver in the Steelers offense moving the chains.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB - Ben Roethlisberger will be playing with the best collection of offensive talent in his NFL career. The Steelers offense is filled with big play potential. While losing Brown for the season would be a setback, I believe this offense will push through and remain productive.
Heath Miller, TE - Heath Miller is entering his 11th season in the NFL. Miller is not flashy but has been a security blanket and red zone threat for Roethlisberger over his career. Expect consistent numbers from Miller year in and year out. If Brown is lost for the season, the increase in receptions will come from other areas of this offense.
Sammie Coates, WR - The Steelers drafted Sammie Coates in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft out of Auburn. The Steelers wide receiver unit will need to suffer an injury for Coates to see significant playing time. Coates has been compared to Martavis Bryant as he has the speed to pop the top off a defense.
None. Pittsburgh's offense is chocked full of young talent. They will remain productive if Brown is lost for the season.