Steelers 2021 NFL Preview: Pittsburgh 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Here’s The Game Day’s Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips, and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook. Check out more of our preseason NFL coverage and NFL betting tips here.

Steelers 2021 NFL Preview: Pittsburgh 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Recap

  • Final record: 12-4 (7-1 Home / 5-3 Away)
  • Division regular-season finish: 1st in AFC North
  • Result: Lost in Wild Card Round to Cleveland Browns

The Steelers’ 2020 season started off with a historic bang as the team rolled to a franchise-best 11-0 start. Pittsburgh suddenly dissolved down the stretch, however, dropping four of its last five regular-season games before suffering an embarrassing defeat to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card Round. As a result, the Steelers entered the offseason with a bitter taste in their mouths and significant question marks surrounding their 2021 outlook.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Offseason Changes

Steelers 2021 Offseason Departures

  • Ola Adeniyi, OLB (Titans)
  • James Conner, RB (Cardinals)
  • Sean Davis, S (Colts)
  • Bud Dupree, OLB (Titans)
  • Mike Hilton, CB (Bengals)
  • Vance McDonald, TE (Retired)
  • Maurkice Pouncey, C (Retired)
  • Alejandro Villanueva, OT (Ravens)
  • Randy Fichtner, OC

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft Picks

  • Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (Round 1, Pick #24 Overall)
  • Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State (Round 2, Pick #55 Overall)
  • Kendrick Green, C, Illinois (Round 3, Pick #87 Overall)
  • Dan Moore, Jr., OT, Texas A&M (Round 4, Pick #128 Overall)
  • Buddy Johnson, LB, Texas A&M (Round 4, Pick #140 Overall)
  • Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE, Wisconsin (Round 5, Pick #156 Overall)
  • Quincy Roche, LB, Miami (Round 6, Pick #216 Overall)
  • Tre Norwood, S, Oklahoma (Round 7, Pick #245 Overall)
  • Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech (Round 7, Pick #254 Overall)

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Outlook

It’s presumed that 2021 will be Ben Roethlisberger‘s swan song season, and thus his last chance for a third ring. He’s 39 now and can no longer do what he was well-known for — extend plays by scrambling with defenders hanging off of him. Roethlisberger has to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately, so it’s imperative that he has receivers who can get open fast.

While Roethlisberger will be back under center for an 18th NFL season, he’ll have a new offensive coordinator to work with in Matt Canada. He’s known for shifts, movement, disguises, and gadget plays, which should help mask some of Roethlisberger’s flaws while keeping opposing defenses off balance.

Assuming Roethlisberger’s performance doesn’t drop off significantly from last year, Pittsburgh will once again be in the mix for a playoff spot. The AFC North is incredibly competitive these days, but the Steelers remain talented on both sides of the ball and well-coached under Mike Tomlin. A Super Bowl may be out of reach for this team, but another division title is certainly in play.

Steelers 2021 NFL Preview: Pittsburgh 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Ben Roethlisberger is back to lead the Steelers’ offense (Image: USA Today).

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

If you’re in a two-QB league, Roethlisberger is a serviceable second or, at worst, a bye-week fill-in in standard leagues. During his 17-year career, he’s averaged 224 fantasy points per season and 15.8 per game. Roethlisberger is also coming off a solid 2020 campaign in which he compiled 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns, and completed 65.6 percent of his passes, so he’s far from washed up.

Offering tips on who Big Ben throws to is where it gets tricky, other than to steer clear unless you want to pull your hair out. There are a lot of cooks in that kitchen and Roethlisberger likes to spread the ball around, which limits everyone’s fantasy value. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool are all good fantasy options that can slot in as WR2s or WR3s, but they’re inconsistent on a week-to-week basis.

While Pittsburgh’s top receivers remain unchanged, the run game will look different this year. First-round draft choice Najee Harris is set to take over the backfield following James Conner‘s departure, and he should receive a sizable workload right away, making him a potential RB2. The Steelers don’t have much depth at running back, so Harris shouldn’t face much competition for carries, either.

With so many gifted receivers, tight end Eric Ebron is something of an afterthought in Pittsburgh’s passing attack. Accordingly, don’t expect much from second-rounder Pat Freiermuth, especially since Tomlin typically brings rookies along slowly. In leagues that only require one tight end, neither is really worth rostering.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips

Steelers To Win Over 8.5 Games In 2021-2022 NFL Season (+105)

Pittsburgh hasn’t endured a losing season since 2003 — the year before Roethlisberger was drafted. He’s still effective enough and has enough weapons around him to lead the Steelers to another winning season, especially with an extra game on the schedule this year.

Steelers To Make 2021-2022 NFL Playoffs (+150)

The Steelers have made the playoffs in 13 of the last 20 seasons. As long as Roethlisberger and Tomlin are in Pittsburgh, they’ll be in the playoff hunt. The extra postseason berth helps this year as well, especially if they don’t win the division again.

Steelers To Win AFC North (+400)

The Ravens and Browns both have better odds to win the division, even though the Steelers won more games last year and have more experience. Pittsburgh has won the division in three of the last five years and is still talented enough to win it again.

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Win Total Over/Under, odds and lines courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM has a welcome offer for a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account.


Allison Koehler

Allison Koehler is a Cleveland-area native who now lives in Tampa by way of Detroit. She resides with her boyfriend Phil and three children (one human and two cats). When she isn't writing, she's watching pro football, listening to music, or streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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