Vance McDonald
Vance McDonald
30-Year-Old Tight EndTE
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
In his third season with the Steelers, McDonald logged 38 catches (on 55 targets) for 273 yards and three touchdowns in 14 contests in 2019. His modest fantasy production was in large part due to subpar QB play that ensued after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury Week 2. Though the veteran signal-caller will be healthy enough to reclaim his starting role in the coming season, McDonald's fantasy ceiling is not especially high in the wake of the Steelers' free-agent signing of fellow tight end Eric Ebron. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#261.21
ADP
$Signed a three-year, $19.65 million contract with the 49ers in December of 2016.
Announces retirement
TEPittsburgh Steelers
January 22, 2021
McDonald announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday.
ANALYSIS
The 30-year-old caught 15 of 20 targets for 99 yards in 14 contests for the Steelers during 2020 to cap off an eight-year NFL career. McDonald split said his time in the league between San Francisco and Pittsburgh, catching 181 passes for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns in 101 career games.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Vance McDonald's 2020 advanced stats compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
2.1
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.06
 
% Team Air Yards
0.6%
 
% Team Targets
3.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
1.5 Yds
 
Catch Rate
75.0%
 
Drop Rate
5.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
5.4
 
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2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2020 NFL Game Log
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2019 NFL Game Log
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2018 NFL Game Log
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2017 NFL Game Log
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Vance McDonald lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Vance McDonald Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Vance McDonald's measurables compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 4"
 
Weight
267 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.69 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.53 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.08 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.5 in
 
Broad Jump
119 in
 
Bench Press
31 reps
 
Hand Length
10.13 in
 
Arm Length
34.38 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Vance McDonald
Hidden Stat Line: Targets, Routes & Snaps from Week 17
57 days ago
It was mostly a quiet season for Jared Cook, but he solidified his role over the past month and should be a big part of the Saints' passing attack in the playoffs.
Weekly Rankings: Wild Card Week Value Meter
57 days ago
Josh Allen will kick off the action on Wild Card weekend with a home game against the Colts.
Gameday Injuries: Week 17
59 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco guides you through an extensive Week 17 injury report replete with COVID-19 absences and conventional injuries afflicting some big fantasy names.
Weekly Rankings: Week 17 Value Meter
64 days ago
There's a good chance that you'll see Travis Kelce out of uniform this week, though he won't be hanging out with George Kittle as he was here in this picture.
Hidden Stat Line: Targets, Routes & Snaps from Week 15
71 days ago
A slot specialist for most of his career, Russell Gage has done solid work on the perimeter the past three weeks, piling up 25 targets and 201 yards.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
McDonald is one of those players who looks like a world beater if you catch him on the right day. The problem is, there aren't that many of those right days. McDonald has just 12 touchdowns in 73 career games, but three of those scores covered 75, 75 and 65 yards. Rare plays from a tight end, indeed. McDonald didn't go nuclear with his regular shot in Pittsburgh last year, but he did fashion a career-high catch rate (69.4 percent) and set or matched career-high marks in every major counting stat. Improved health was a big factor as the tight end played more than 11 games for the first time since 2015 in San Francisco. Now that Antonio Brown and timeshare partner Jesse James are both out of town, McDonald has a shot at TE1 relevance in 2019, competing with only Xavier Grimble and fifth-round rookie Zach Gentry for snaps. Just keep in mind McDonald is entering his seventh season - if something truly special were going to happen, it likely would have happened by now.
Knee, ankle, back and shoulder problems dogged McDonald throughout his Pittsburgh debut campaign, limiting him to 10 regular-season games and 270 offensive snaps. Take his seasonal stats and throw them in the garbage. He was finally healthy for the playoffs, when he threw a 10-catch, 112-yard effort at the Jaguars. Pittsburgh didn't draft a tight end or make a move in free agency, so McDonald only needs to push past the ordinary Jesse James to enter our fantasy plans. It's hard to get a ton of targets in a city that also includes Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Le'Veon Bell, but Ben Roethlisberger has always looked for big targets around the goal line. And heck, McDonald found a way to score seven times in 2015-16 with the 49ers, despite drawing only 91 targets while dealing with some messy quarterback play. There's legitimate sleeper value here if he can overcome an August foot injury.
After spending the majority of the offseason preparing to serve as the No. 1 option in San Francisco, McDonald was shipped off to Pittsburgh in the final week of the preseason. He'll join incumbent starter Jesse James as the main guys at tight end there, but McDonald -- and his second-round pedigree -- averaged a cool 16.3 yards per reception with the Niners last season and should take over as the primary receiving option at the position. However, McDonald is notorious for his penchant to drop passes, which certainly inhibits his upside in any case. Also, it's possible the Steelers opt for a tight-end-by-committee approach, which would obviously cap McDonald's upside even further -- despite playing the Steelers' powerful pass attack.
While it didn't result in fantasy relevancy, McDonald received the most playing time of his three-year career in 2015, finishing the season with 326 yards on 30 receptions to go along with three touchdowns. He enters 2016 listed at No. 1 on the depth chart, but he will share snaps with Garrett Celek due to Chip Kelly's heavy usage of two-TE sets. In an offense that doesn't boast many quality options at wide receiver, McDonald could be relied upon heavily in the passing game, especially if Blaine Gabbert -- who makes his living off of short, safe passes -- wins the starting job.
The 49ers expected McDonald to take a step forward in 2015, but he could never get things going after dealing with a slew of injuries. His career 14.9 YPC shows that he can be a big play tight end, but he will need to stay on the field in order showcase his abilities. The team retained Vernon Davis and Derek Carrier and added two more tight ends in the 2015 draft, so McDonald will have to fight for a roster spot during training camp.
McDonald is currently listed as the backup to Vernon Davis on the 49ers' 2014 depth charts. While he only had eight catches in 2013, his 14.9 YPC shows that he has big-play ability. His stock would skyrocket should Davis go down with an injury.
McDonald has received positive reports so far at rookie camp as a pass catcher and could see some targets in two-tight end sets if he wins the backup TE job.
More Fantasy News
Targeted six times against Browns
TEPittsburgh Steelers
January 4, 2021
McDonald brought in five of his six targets for 33 yards in Sunday's 24-22 loss to Cleveland.
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Totals five yards in Week 16
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 28, 2020
McDonald hauled in his lone target for five yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts.
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Posts season-high snap share
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 22, 2020
McDonald was not targeted on 60 offensive snaps during Monday night's 27-17 loss to the Bengals.
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Targeted twice in loss
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 14, 2020
McDonald failed to secure either of his two targets in Sunday's 26-15 loss to the Bills.
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Quiet season continues
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 8, 2020
McDonald was not targeted over his 28 offensive snaps during Monday's 23-17 loss to Washington.
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