Near the end of the first quarter in the Steelers' loss to the Patriots Sunday night, Steelers receiver Hines Ward suffered a concussion. The rest of the game didn't go well for the Steelers, but one player who stepped up was second-year receiver Mike Wallace, who finished the game with 136 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
If you're a fantasy football guru, you know about Wallace already, but if anyone in your league is willing to dangle him, now would be a good time to take another look. Not only was Sunday Wallace's second consecutive game with over 100 yards receiving, Ben Roethlisberger's reliance on Wallace with Ward out of the game bodes well for Wallace the rest of the season. Ward says he will return in the Steelers' next game against the Raiders, and in fact wanted to play the rest of the game against the Patriots. But Wallace's eight catches against the Pats were his highest total of the year, and he's come a long way since the beginning of the season - in three of the Steelers' first four games, Wallace had only two catches.
In the meantime, Wallace has earned praise from the Patriots' Brandon Meriweather:
"Wallace is the fastest dude in the league, so you always have to be ready to cover the deep route and get him off something where he can’t catch it in stride and outrun everybody.
"Other than that, it’s more of facing Ben [Roethlisberger] that’s the problem, that the Steelers give you the problem with," continued Meriweather. "Because he’s so hard to bring down to the point where the receivers get out of coverage. Nobody can cover somebody forever, eventually they are going to get open. Whenever Ben can scramble around and give them a little extra time to get open, it’s hard to beat them."
It looks like Wallace is now very much in Roethlisberger's sights, and even with Ward coming back, Wallace looks like a good bet the rest of the year.