TE Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers
|6-4, 267||Born: 6-13-1990||College: Rice||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2013|
Week 14: at Oakland Raiders
FBG says: Good matchup. Ben Roethlisberger continues to walk the line between mediocre real-life play and big fantasy results. He hasn't been sharp of late, throwing 6 interceptions and producing just 7.1 yards per attempt over the last 3 weeks. He's missed on a few key throws, and his turnovers have been back-breakers. But fantasy players have appreciated the massive volume (148 attempts) and yardage outputs (314, 462, and 281) over that span. Roethlisberger has followed game flow and aired the ball out constantly, and with his duo of world-class receivers, it's resulted in plenty of fantasy production. Antonio Brown (86 yards a game and 12 touchdowns) remains the league's toughest all-around cover, winning consistently in the slot, at the sidelines, and down the field. Brown is a matchup-proof superstar, burning the top-tier secondaries of the Jaguars (117 yards and 1 score) and Chargers (154 and 1) this month. On the other side, JuJu Smith-Schuster is averaging 6.9 catches and 92 yards a game of his own. He's dominating all comers, both outside and in the slot, and has outproduced Brown by every measure except touchdowns. There's also occasional noise from situational guys like Vance McDonald and Ryan Switzer, but the bulk of this high-octane unit's production winds up in the hands of Brown and Smith-Schuster. Both are easy WR1s in fantasy, and Roethlisberger is always an upper-tier QB1 regardless of matchup or script. You'd never know it from the box scores, but the Raiders pass defense has been quite possibly the league's worst here in 2018. They're allowing more net yards per attempt (8.2) and touchdowns (2.4 per game) than anyone, after all. But the 2-10 Raiders' typical game flow lets opposing teams stop passing early before big yardage is allowed. Still, this is a fully targetable unit for opposing fantasy options. There's almost no pass rush in play here, and the constantly-juggled secondary has struggled to cover anyone. The cornerbacks are inconsistent at best, and the safeties frequently misplay throws down the seams. Tight ends, in particular, have dominated this matchup, with 4 different guys topping 70 yards over the last 6 weeks. This is a defense that the only reason they have not given up more yardage against the pass is due to their run defense being so poor.
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
2018 Week 13 vs LAC (7 / 4 / 28 / 0 rec)
McDonald had another quiet game in Week 13. Even with Roethlisberger over 40 pass attempts McDonald is only able to account for four receptions, his lower total since Week 8, and 28 yards. In fact, Vance McDonald has averaged 30.2 receiving yards over his last five games. While McDonald's recent yardage has been low, he has an optimistic upside.
2018 Week 12 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
McDonald, like so many others in this game, was so close to contributing to a Steelers victory. The Steelers were at the two-yard line and McDonald was targeted in the end zone for his easies touchdown reception of the season. No one was close, and he dropped the ball. So instead of scoring six points, the Steelers lined up for the field goal and ran a fake field goal for a touchdown. McDonald left Week 12s game with a hip injury and did not return.
2018 Week 11 vs JAX (6 / 3 / 27 / 1 rec)
The numbers aren't gaudy, but McDonald was a reliable target for Ben Roethlisberger in Week 11. McDonald was used mostly on screen passes to try and get Ben Roethlisberger in rhythm. McDonald's touchdown catch came in the fourth quarter to put the Steelers within one score of winning the game. The reception was a high point catch in the back of the end zone showing how much confidence Ben Roethlisberger has in his tight end.
2018 Week 10 vs CAR (4 / 4 / 44 / 1 rec)
The numbers aren't always gaudy but watching Vance McDonald's usage be optimized by the Steelers is a thing of beauty. On McDonald's touchdown catch Ben Roethlisberger threw right down the middle of the field and McDonald made the fingertip catch.
2018 Week 9 vs BAL (6 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
Even in the weeks where McDonald is quiet he is close to breaking off the long play or finds other ways to contribute. In the first quarter McDonald had an easy catch on an out route where the defender trailed McDonald the entire way. If it wasn't for the defender making a shoestring tackle, McDonald would've gone for more than 9-yards. McDonald continued to contribute, without the ball in his hands, but freeing JuJu Smith-Schuster on a rub route occupying two defenders. Before the end of the half McDonald had two plays which could have led to turnovers. On the first McDonald caught the ball and was initially ruled to have fumbled the ball and the Ravens took the ball back for a touchdown. The review of the play was overturned, and McDonald was ruled down by contact. The second play had McDonald streaking down the field and Ben Roethlisberger hitting him in stride. McDonald did not secure the pass before continuing upfield and it slipped out of his hands. The play not only could have gained big yardage.
2018 Week 8 vs CLE (3 / 3 / 47 / 0 rec)
It feels like every time McDonald touches the ball he is close to breaking a long play. Vance McDonald was lined up as a fullback in the offense and received a screen pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter. McDonald shed a tackler and drug another defender who was holding on to his leg for a seven-yard gain. McDonald was not called on to be a double-digit target receiving tight end in this game, but his presence was felt as an effective blocker and he did not allow the linebackers to creep up and commit to the run.
2018 Week 6 vs CIN (8 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec)
The presence of Vance McDonald and all of the tight ends should not be understated. To start Week 6, Roethlisberger did not complete his first pass to a tight end until the Steelers third possession and almost the end of the first quarter. Starting the game McDonald continued his physical domination of the league when he broke a 26-yard run on a crossing route. McDonald was like a bull in a china shop running through two tackles and flipping the Steelers field position on one catch. The following play McDonald was open in the middle of the field for an 11-yard gain where Roethlisberger had almost four seconds to throw the ball.
2018 Week 4 vs BAL (5 / 5 / 62 / 0 rec)
Last week Vance McDonald stiff-armed a defender through a wall. This week McDonald continued displaying his superhuman level athleticism as he caught an inbreaking route, broke a tackle, and drug two defenders for an additional three yards. Following McDonald's heroic catch Antonio Browns scored his touchdown. The Ravens were able to smother McDonald in the second half taking away the middle of the field.
2018 Week 3 vs TB (5 / 4 / 112 / 1 rec)
Almost all of McDonald's production came on one play. The play itself was simple outward breaking route by Vance McDonald. McDonald threw the defender to the ground and scored a 75-yard touchdown in the first quarter
Latest NewsSteelers | Vance McDonald produces little (Mon Dec 3, 01:45 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald caught four passes for 28 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Dec. 2. link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald on track to play (Fri Nov 30, 04:23 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (hip) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 30, and is not on the injury report for Week 13. Our View: McDonald's hip injury doesn't look like it will limit him on Sunday against the Chargers. He's a solid streamer with the strong cornerback play by Los Angeles possibly encouraging Ben Roethlisberger to throw more to his tight ends.
link to story Steelers | Full practice for Vance McDonald (Thu Nov 29, 04:23 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (hip) fully participated in practice Thursday, Nov. 29. link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald doesn't practice (Wed Nov 28, 04:25 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (hip) was not able to practice Wednesday, Nov. 28. Our View: McDonald has been banged up quite a bit as a pro. This hip injury is considered minor but make sure to check back on his status later in the week.
link to story Steelers | Vance McDonald hampered by injury (Tue Nov 27, 02:45 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (hip) will be limited early this week with the hip injury he suffered in Week 12. Our View: McDonald has been banged up quite a bit during his pro career and this hip injury is the latest. Monitor his progress during the week but early indications are he'll be ready to go against the Chargers on Sunday night in Week 13.
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|14||@ Oakland Raiders|
|15||vs New England Patriots|
|16||@ New Orleans Saints|
|17||vs Cincinnati Bengals|