TE Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers
|6-4, 267||Born: 6-13-1990||College: Rice||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2013|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 16): McDonald was a big part of the short passing game once Mason Rudolph came in, which bodes well for his weekly fantasy floor. He's a low TE1 against the 49ers this week.
General News (Thu Sep 19): practiced fully on Thursday.
General News (Wed Sep 18): partially participated in Wednesday's practice.
General News (Mon Sep 16): was evaluated for a possible concussion during the Week 2 game, but he cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the game.
Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers
FBG says: Neutral matchup. The Steelers have faced stretches without Ben Roethlisberger, who's no stranger to the injury report, before. But they're now staring down 14 games with *** Mason Rudolph at the helm. Rudolph looked plenty competent as a Week 2 fill-in, going 12 of 19 for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns, with an interception that resulted from yet another Donte Moncrief drop. Still, expectations must be tempered. Unlike the Seahawks, the 49ers will have the week to watch and prepare for Rudolph's traits. They'll focus on taking away his key targets, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Vance McDonald, and forcing him to win with the intuition and experience he doesn't yet have. On the plus side, he'll benefit from working behind an elite offensive line. Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro are the big names up front but left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is the team's premier pass-blocker. Roethlisberger has taken fewer and fewer sacks over the past few years, so protection shouldn't be an issue for Rudolph. The burning questions revolve around his ability to get the ball to those playmakers on-target. Rudolph did a great job of spreading it around Sunday, throwing to seven different receivers in the second half. Still, this attack will still go through Smith-Schuster and McDonald. The latter caught two short touchdowns late in the game, while the former made a great 45-yard play shortly after Rudolph stepped in. Overall, it's rarely wise to trust a first-time starting quarterback on the road. Rudolph may find himself in a better situation than most, but he still carries far more questions regarding this passing game than answers. The 49ers have opened the season much stronger against the pass than they were in 2018. After harassing Jameis Winston into a flurry of interceptions in the opener, they forced Andy Dalton and the Bengals into an ineffective Week 2. It's too early to truly gauge their progress, but this isn't an ideal first start for the Steelers' Mason Rudolph. The 49ers boast a talented, versatile pass rush up front and shutdown potential in the secondary. At age 31, Richard Sherman remains an elite cover man on the 49ers' left side. He blanketed Mike Evans for much of Week 1, then Tyler Boyd from the Bengals' game plan last Sunday. Sherman doesn't shadow, though, nor does he move down into the slot. K'Waun Williams, one of the league's weaker slot men, will be tasked with JuJu Smith-Schuster for most of this game. That's a clear trouble spot that Rudolph will look to exploit, so the 49ers will deploy a handful of bodies to slow Smith-Schuster. It will then be up to Sherman and pleasant surprise Ahkello Witherspoon to lock down the boundaries, which they've done so well thus far. Funneling the ball to the middle would force Rudolph to spend the day throwing scary passes into traffic.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24
Vance McDonald's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 2 vs SEA (7 / 7 / 38 / 2 rec)
After not seeing a target until the fourth quarter of Week 1, the Steelers were making an effort to get McDonald involved early and often. In fact, Vance McDonald's first reception came on the first play of the game. While it was only a simple screen, McDonald almost broke away from potential tacklers. McDonald provided good yards after the catch ability, which Ryan Switzer was lacking in Week 1, and a good end zone presence once Mason Rudolph entered the game. In fact, both of Vance McDonald's touchdowns on the day were from Mason Rudolph. On the first touchdown, Vance McDonald sat down in a soft spot of the coverage. After he made the reception, McDonald turned into a running back and carried defenders into the end zone with him. If McDonald's first touchdown catch was a class on power running after the catch, we should consider McDonald second touchdown reception a class on hands and being where you are supposed to be. After turning his back to the defense, Mason Rudolph turned around to find Vance McDonald in position for an easy touchdown pass.
2019 Week 1 vs NE (4 / 2 / 40 / 0 rec)
The reports during the offseason often talked about how involved Vance McDonald would be, how he would rarely come off the field, and how he would step up as the second impact receiving option to Juju Smith-Schuster. In Sunday night's match-up Vance McDonald was impactful in his lack of production. McDonald was held in check until deep in the fourth when he managed his first reception of the game on a third down and long. McDonald's second reception only came because the Patriots, for some reason, chose to call a timeout before the past play of the game which allowed the Steelers to run one more plan.
Latest NewsSteelers | Vance McDonald gets in full practice (Thu Sep 19, 06:07 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (back) was upgraded to a full participant in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald limited (Wed Sep 18, 05:44 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (back) was limited during practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald briefly leaves game (Sun Sep 15, 01:50 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (head) was evaluated for a possible concussion during the Week 2 game but he cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the game. link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald held in check (Mon Sep 9, 01:57 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald caught two of his four targets for 40 yards in Week 1 against the New England Patriots. link to story
Pittsburgh Steelers Team LinksDepth Chart Season Stats Targets Red Zone Game Logs
Footballguys ArticlesRoundtable Week 3
FBG Staff - September 18
Lie Detector Test: How to Sniff Out Coachspeak
Ryan Hester - August 22
Free Agency Roundtable: Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders - Footballguys
Phil Alexander - March 17
Week 3 Offensive Sleepers
Sigmund Bloom - September 19
Week 3 Tight End Tiers
Sigmund Bloom - September 19
DFS Roundtable: Quarterback Changes Aftermath
Chad Parsons - September 18
Injury Expectations | Midweek Update | Week 3
Jene Bramel - September 18
New Reality No.131: Fantasy Trends and Regression
Chad Parsons - September 17
Winning on FantasyDraft - Week 2
David Dodds - September 13
TipAndPick's: Tips and Picks, Week #2
John Lee - September 13
Articles from around the webFantasy football preseason preview: Quarterbacks
David Dorey - June 6
Tight End Drafting: Finding the Next George Kittle
Justin Weigal - June 7
Are these tight ends ADP values?
- July 25
10 lists of 10: Matthew Berry's breakouts, sleepers and favorite team names
Matthew Berry - August 29
What we learned for fantasy football in the preseason: AFC edition
Scott Barrett - August 27
Preseason Recap: Week 3 Standouts, Slip-Ups and Sleepers
Jay Devineni - August 26
Sleepers and Value Plays: Tight Ends FINAL
David Dorey - August 23
Fantasy football picks worth reaching for in your draft
Cory Bonini - August 21
Expected fantasy points: The most and least efficient fantasy tight ends
Scott Barrett - June 26
Love/Hate for 2019 season: Thoughts from a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent
Matthew Berry - August 13
|3||@ San Francisco 49ers|
|4||vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|5||vs Baltimore Ravens|
|6||@ Los Angeles Chargers|
|7||--- BYE WEEK ---|
|8||vs Miami Dolphins|
|9||vs Indianapolis Colts|
|10||vs Los Angeles Rams|
|11||@ Cleveland Browns|
|12||@ Cincinnati Bengals|
|13||vs Cleveland Browns|
|14||@ Arizona Cardinals|
|15||vs Buffalo Bills|
|16||@ New York Jets|
|17||@ Baltimore Ravens|