29-Year-Old Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh Steelers
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
When one door closes another opens, so it came as no surprise that the same week Martavis Bryant received a season-long drug-related suspension, the Steelers re-signed Heyward-Bey to a three-year, $3....
Darrius Heyward-Bey Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Steelers on a three-year, $3.8 million contract in March of 2016.
Heyward-Bey has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Steelers, NFL Network's Rand Getlin reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Receiving||Rec Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Targets||Red Zone Runs|
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Darrius Heyward-Bey: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Despite catching just three passes for 33 yards in 2014, the Steelers opted to re-sign Heyward-Bey to a one-year contract this offseason. Already behind Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton on the depth chart, he’ll now face additional competition for playing time from 2015 third-round draft Sammie Coates. Heyward-Bey still possesses great speed, but assuming he makes the 53-man roster, he’ll likely see most of his playing time on special teams.
On paper, Heyward-Bey should be a dominant no. 1 receiver, as he combines good size (6-2, 220) with 4.3 speed. In reality, his lackadaisical route-running and clumsy hands have caused both the Raiders and Colts to part ways with him. Barring a newfound focus on learning his craft, he isn't likely to make much impact with the Steelers.
After a 2011 breakout during which he managed 8.5 YPT and 975 yards, Heyward-Bey battled injuries and subpar quarterback play last season. At press time, he's healthy however, and the quarterback problems should be solved with a move to Indianapolis where he'll be paired with rising star Andrew Luck. At 6-2, 210 and with blazing speed, Heyward-Bey has all the measurables to be a star receiver. He's not a great route runner, however, and he's not particularly quick when changing directions. There's also some question as to whether he'll start over T.Y. Hilton, but both should be on the field often, and there should be a lot to go around in the Colts passing offense this year.
The late Al Davis took his share of grief for taking Heyward-Bey over can’t-miss prospect Michael Crabtree three years ago, perhaps unfairly. Heyward-Bey averaged a respectable 15.2 YPC and 8.5 YPT (16th) while leading the Raiders with 115 looks. Known for his blazing speed and suspect hands, he dropped just six passes all season and brought in three plays of 40-plus yards. At 6-2, 210, Heyward-Bey has good size for an elite speed receiver, but was rarely used in the red zone (nine targets). Heading into 2012, he has a good chance to be Carson Palmer’s No. 1 target, but Denarius Moore and, to a lesser extent, Jacoby Ford are also in the mix. Still, in Year 4 and with a serviceable quarterback in place, there’s room for more growth here. Incidentally, Heyward-Bey was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving this spring, but is contesting the charges. It’s likely he’ll be faced with a fine at worst, given his clean track record, but it’s something to monitor.
It could be worse – at least Michael Crabtree hasn't panned out yet, either. Heyward-Bey made strides last year, so to speak, but only in relation to his awful rookie year. While he averaged 14.1 yards per catch, he caught just 41 percent of his targets, for an abysmal 5.6 YPT average. And while the quarterbacking in Oakland was hardly stellar, the Jason Campbell/Bruce Gradkowski combination wasn't an embarrassment, either. At this point, we list him because of his game-breaking speed, early first-round pedigree and solid size (6-2, 210). That will buy him more chances. But Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford and Chaz Schilens are better than Heyward-Bey at this point and could easily surpass him on the depth chart by the time the season opens.
Sometimes a pick everyone else thinks is a reach turns out to be a stroke of genius — like when the Houston Texans took Mario Williams No. 1 over Reggie Bush. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. The Raiders passed on Michael Crabtree — who did more in his first two games despite missing all of training camp and six weeks of the season — than Heyward-Bey did all year. Nonetheless, at 6-2, 210 and with blazing speed and plus athleticism, Heyward-Bey has the physical tools to be a star. The problem was his inconsistent focus, bad hands and poor route running. But the upgrade from JaMarcus Russell to Jason Campbell, a year of experience and renewed dedication to his craft — he put on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and showed improved hands during spring minicamp after having worked on his game over the winter — provide a glimmer of hope.
The Raiders surprised many when they filled their need at receiver by taking Heyward-Bay over the more highly regarded Michael Crabtree. Apparently, the Raiders preferred the faster man, and Heyward-Bey’s 4.3 40 at the combine had them sold. At 6-2, 210, Heyward-Bey pairs plus size and long arms with downfield explosiveness, good leaping ability and solid ball-tracking skills. He doesn’t have the most reliable hands, and his route running still needs work. In short, he has all the physical tools, but lacks Crabtree’s polish and feel for the game at this stage. Given the Raiders’ dearth of receiving depth, Heyward-Bey has an excellent chance to start right away and even become JaMarcus Russell’s top target. With Russell’s off-the-charts arm strength, there’s little doubt Oakland intends to exploit Heyward-Bey’s downfield skills, but both players are raw and will likely need time to click.