5 Reasons to Draft Emmanuel Sanders in Your Fantasy Football League

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IAugust 2, 2012

5 Reasons to Draft Emmanuel Sanders in Your Fantasy Football League

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    Antonio Brown is the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver initially believed to gain the most with Mike Wallace holding out. 

    While Brown could shift into an even bigger role in Ben Roethlisberger's offense in 2012, we mustn't forget about speedster Emmanuel Sanders

    He'll benefit from a potentially much larger role, too. 

    So will his fantasy owners. 

Mike Wallace's Holdout

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    As alluded to, Sanders will be forced to be a more integral aspect of the Steelers' offense with Wallace's holdout continue to drag on. 

    Even if Wallace returns in time to play in Week 1, he'll be drastically behind in terms of understanding Todd Haley's new offensive scheme. 

    Sanders, who's been at camp since its start in late July, will be up to speed on all the terminology, route trees and certainly should have timing down with Big Ben. 

Increased Attention Antonio Brown's Way

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    Regardless of how long Wallace decides to holdout, there's bound to be much more attention paid to Antonio Brown in 2012. 

    He erupted to the tune of 69 receptions, 1,102 yards and two receiving touchdowns and was the Steelers' most dependable wideout down the stretch in 2011. 

    No longer will teams solely focus in on Wallace (if he's there, obviously). 

    Brown's presence will require more defensive game planning, leaving Sanders as the receiver opposing defenses will send their weaker secondary members to cover. 

His Great Value

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    After compiling only 22 catches and 288 yards in 11 games last season, there's not much fantasy buzz surrounding the former SMU standout. 

    You can grab him in the late rounds of your draft and initially slot him on the bench as the fourth-or-fifth-best wideout on your roster. 

    But, remember, he's in a situation conducive to great success, so you may be dragging him into the starting lineup sooner than you think. 

The New, Potentially Pass-Happy Offense

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    Todd Haley's the new offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, and he's known for his propensity to field a pass-happy offense. 

    Sure, the team may look to run the football more often, but without Rashard Mendenhall, they don't have a truly established back to lean on. 

    Those two reason make it obvious that the Steelers could rely on the passing game more than anything else. 

    Reverting away from the "ground-and-pound" offensive style over the last three season, Big Ben has tossed 64 touchdowns to a mere 15 interceptions. 

    In 2011, his 513 attempts were a career high. 

    A good sign for fantasy owners of Sanders and the other pass-catchers in the Steel City. 

He Could Return Kicks

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    According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Sanders also said he expects to add punt returns to his duties, replacing Brown in that special teams role."

    While he can't be relied on to score in the return game on a consistent basis, the fact that he'll get more touches certainly makes him slightly more viable from a fantasy perspective. 

    He undoubtedly has the speed and lateral cutting ability to elude defenders in the open field.