Cover Photo: Getty Images
You'd think the possibility of losing arguably the two best players at their position would be detrimental to the success of their former team. Apparently, some losses are easier to get over.
The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs last season while Le'Veon Bell sat out after he couldn't agree to a contract extension with the team. He won't be back next year after the Steelers decided to allow him to become a free agent. Bell isn't the only star who's going to put Pittsburgh in the rearview mirror either, with Antonio Brown requesting a trade.
These two are on the way out, but that hasn't stopped Pittsburgh from looking like a potential Super Bowl champion. According to the odds set by FanDuel Sportsbook, the Steelers have the fifth-best odds to win the AFC and the ninth-best odds to win the Super Bowl.
It's a huge hit to the offense, but one that isn't insurmountable.
The big reason why the Steelers are seen as a team who can overcome these losses is due to the replacements in place. James Conner was superb last season in Bell's absence with 973 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns in 13 games. Pittsburgh also has a top option even without Brown in JuJu Smith-Schuster. In the three career games without Brown playing, Smith-Schuster had 20 catches for 255 yards and a score in each contest.
Both players are Pro Bowls and both will have the opportunity to continue to shine without divas in their way. It has to be part of the reason why the Steelers are content with possibly moving on.
Where is Le’Veon going to sign? pic.twitter.com/yGaPF6M86n— The Duel (@TheDuelSports) February 20, 2019
Pittsburgh still has a long way to go no matter what. They didn't make the postseason last season and now somehow still have better odds to win the AFC than the Ravens and Texas, two teams who made the playoffs. The draft and free agency awaits, and depending on what happens there, we'll discover if the Steelers are Super Bowl contenders or not.
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Dan O'Shea is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Dan O'Shea also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Doshea93. While the strategies and player selection recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and plater selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.