Jonathan Dwyer: Complete Fantasy Profile and Draft Strategy

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Jonathan Dwyer: Complete Fantasy Profile and Draft Strategy
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer could be a breakout fantasy sleeper in 2012.

At 5'11" and 229 pounds, Dwyer is a physical runner who excels between the tackles. He's coming off of a fantastic preseason for the Steelers in which he ran the ball 28 times for 147 yards. Given the fact that Rashard Mendenhall isn't expected to return until midway through the 2012 season, Dwyer has a chance to make his mark.

Here is everything you need to know about Dwyer from a fantasy standpoint heading into the 2012 regular season.

 

Draft Information

Average Draft Position: 147.8 (ESPN.com)

Player Rank: 53rd among running backs (ESPN.com standard scoring)

Suggested Round: Depending on the length of your draft, Dwyer should be taken no earlier than Round 10. He may even be available on the waiver wire, but I'd make sure to grab him at the tail end of the draft rather than hope he's still there after the draft.

Season Projections: 72 points (ESPN.com)

Bye Week: Week 4

 

Latest News

Dwyer is in line to see plenty of action in 2012, especially to start the year. 

Photo Credit: ESPN.com

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Dwyer is pushing Isaac Redman to start while Rashard Mendenhall mends over the next month."

AOLSportingNews.com's Gerry Dulac agrees:

Running back Jonathan Dwyer played so well in the preseason that he could see lots of playing time in the regular season. If Isaac Redman continues to be bothered by ankle and hip injuries, Dwyer could even start against the Broncos.

I won't be surprised if Dwyer makes it tough for the Steelers to give Mendenhall all of the first-team carries once he's back and healthy. He's really kicked his game into high gear this summer, and it shows.

 

Split Situation

At least for the first month, Dwyer will likely touch the ball at least 20 times per game. He'll be platooning with Isaac Redman, and the latest reports indicate he'll be the No. 1 guy for at least the first game of the season. 

I expect Dwyer to push for an increased role as the season progresses, regardless of how good Mendenhall looks when he returns. 

 

Season Projections

ESPN projects Dwyer will rush for 501 yards and three touchdowns and catch 10 passes for 66 yards. 

 

Running Backs to Select Before Dwyer 

Shane Vereen, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells.

 

Running Backs to Select After Dwyer

Brandon Jacobs, Mike Goodson, Robert Turbin, Isaiah Pead and Dexter McCluster.

 

Summary

Dwyer is going to be an excellent sleeper pick. He has all the tools to become a red-zone stud, and I'm expecting him to be a bigger part of the Steelers offense than the pundits are projecting. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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