Vance McDonald
Vance McDonald
28-Year-Old Tight EndTE
Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $19.65 million contract with the 49ers in December of 2016. Traded to the Steelers in August of 2017.
Trio of catches Sunday
TEPittsburgh Steelers
September 17, 2018
McDonald recorded three receptions for 26 yards across 37 offensive reps in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs.
ANALYSIS
McDonald split time with Jesse James throughout the contest, bringing in three of his five targets. However, it was McDonald's first game back from foot injury, so there is a possibility he could see a heavier workload Monday against the Buccaneers.
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Vance McDonald NFL Stats
Total
Fantasy/Red Zone
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Vance McDonald NFL Game Log
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Snap Counts
  • 2018 Offensive Snaps:
    37
  • 2018 Special Teams Snaps:
    0
 
Off Snaps:
ST Snaps:
2016
442
46
2017
270
38
2018
37
0
Measurables Overview

(Compared to other TEs)

Height:   6' 4"
AVERAGE
Weight:   267 lbs
ABOVE AVERAGE
40-Yard Dash:   4.69 sec
GOOD
Shuttle Time:   4.53 sec
WEAK
Cone Drill:   7.08 sec
GREAT
Arm Length:   34.38 in
ABOVE AVERAGE
Hand Length:   10.13 in
ABOVE AVERAGE
Vertical Jump:   34 in
GOOD
Broad Jump:   119 in
GREAT
Bench Press:   31 reps
ELITE
Pittsburgh Steelers Team Injury Report
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Questionable
Doubtful
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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
Cleared for season debut
TEPittsburgh Steelers
September 16, 2018
McDonald (foot) is active for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com.
ANALYSIS
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Expected to play Sunday
TEPittsburgh Steelers
Foot
September 16, 2018
McDonald (foot) remains questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, but he's expected to play in the Week 2 matchup, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
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Practices fully, but listed as questionable
TEPittsburgh Steelers
Foot
September 14, 2018
McDonald (foot) practiced fully all week, but is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to full participation
TEPittsburgh Steelers
September 12, 2018
McDonald (foot) was a full participant at Wednesday's practice.
ANALYSIS
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Not in line to play Sunday
TEPittsburgh Steelers
Foot
September 7, 2018
McDonald (foot) won't play Sunday against the Browns, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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