After winning four straight games, the Pittsburgh Steelers were tasked with extending the streak against the winless Detroit Lions. The Lions remain winless, but notched one in the tie column after a sloppy and rainy game at Heinz Field. The Steelers failed to take control of the AFC North before heading into a daunting final stretch with an opponent win percentage of .600, tops in the league.
Here are the players with their stock on the move after Week 10:
WR RAY-RAY MCCLOUD – STOCK UP
One thing to note is Mike Tomlin telling the media on Tuesday that the game plan didn’t change any with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. If the game plan wasn’t changed any, that must mean Ray-Ray McCloud was an intended part of this game, and a large part, at that. Normally responsible for just return duties and limited work at wide receiver, McCloud led the team with nine catches, 12 targets and 63 yards.
With Chase Claypool set to come back sooner rather than later, McCloud’s targets will decrease, but it is pretty clear who is the fourth wide receiver on this team right now.
OT ZACH BANNER – STOCK DOWN
Zach Banner got his first gameday helmet of the season, but failed to register a snap on offense. He had just three special teams snaps. With Chukwuma Okorafor struggling towards the beginning of the season and Dan Moore Jr. struggling as of late, you would have thought Banner’s fresh legs would have gotten an opportunity. Now the question must be asked, what would actually get him the opportunity? The only answer seems to be an injury. Banner signed a two year, $9.5 million contract this past offseason, so being a healthy scratch or limited special teams player is an unfortunate outcome for him after many hoped he would start at right tackle coming into the season.
CB JAMES PIERRE – STOCK UP
James Pierre played well in Week 10, registering 53 snaps, which was second-most among the corners once Joe Haden went down injured. He allowed just one reception into his coverage and his performance was graded out as the best on the Steelers defense at 87.3 on Pro Football Focus. Joe Haden is day-to-day with his foot injury, so Pierre could be in line for more work in Week 11.
S MINKAH FITZPATRICK – STOCK DOWN
Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was recently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, is now set to miss at least one game with his illness. Nine games into the season, and he has less interceptions than Cameron Heyward. He would have had his first of the season if not for an untimely Devin Bush holding call, but the playmaking that was on track to help him reset the safety market in the NFL has not been present in 2021.
Minkah missed two more tackles on Sunday, bringing his total up to twelve for the season according to PFF. With limited opportunities remaining before the end of the season, his chances to prove he is worth resetting the market for are waning. Looking from the beginning of the season until now, there is no doubt his stock value is down.
WR ANTHONY MILLER – STOCK DOWN
Anthony Miller was signed to the practice squad a few weeks back, but has not yet received a gameday helmet. With Chase Claypool out in Week 9 with an injury, Steven Sims beat out Miller for the last receiver slot. With Claypool now working his way back, Miller’s opportunity may have came and went without him seeing the field. Is he having issues above the neck with the playbook, or was Tomlin rewarding Sims who has been around longer? Either way, it is going to take a lot for Miller to see the field for the Steelers.