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Mitch Trubisky Signs With Pittsburgh Steelers: Fantasy Football Impact

As the NFL legal tampering window opened, it was announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers had signed Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year contract (the official terms have not yet been disclosed). Since longtime Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger decided to hang it up and retire after 18 seasons, all eyes have been on Pittsburgh to see what they would do to address their glaring need at the position.

Trubisky now has what seems like a fresh start as the starting quarterback of arguably the most stable organization in the NFL with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins currently as his only competition on the roster. Pittsburgh does hold the 20th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, where many of the mock draft experts have had them slated to draft a signal-caller. The question is whether those plans will change after this  signing. According to Benjamin Albright of KOA Colorado: the deal for Trubisky was "all but done at the NFL combine."

Let's break down Trubisky's fantasy outlook for 2022 and how he may fit onto your draft boards.

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Career Recap

There are very few players out there as polarizing as Trubisky since he was taken second overall in the 2017 Draft by the Chicago Bears. As a Clevelander, I have been watching him play since his days at Mentor High School on Cleveland's east side where he won the Ohio Mr. Football Award back in 2012. His NFL career so far has been filled with plenty of ups and downs.

In four years with the Bears, Trubisky posted a 29-21 overall record as a starter and took them to the playoffs twice where they ultimately lost in both, the first being on Cody Parkey's infamous double doink against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 Wild Card game. Mitch's best season came in 2018 when he passed for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns, and ran for three more while adding 421 yards on the ground and finished as the QB11 for fantasy. Rushing quarterbacks have become a relative sort of cheat code in fantasy football in recent years and Trubisky can certainly bring a high rushing floor to your lineup every Sunday.

The Bears declined to pick up his fifth-year option after the 2020 season and he signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills where he backed up Josh Allen and spent time with notable quarterback whisperer, Brian Daboll. The question that remains for Trubisky is whether he can resurrect his career in a similar fashion to Ryan Tannehill with the Tennesee Titans or if it's more like a zebra doesn't change its stripes and his fate is much like Sam Darnold's on Carolina. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

It's no secret that former Bears head coach Matt Nagy was not beloved by his players. The Bears' offense was nothing short of dysfunctional in his tenure, as the Bears finished 21st, 29th, 26th, and 24th in total yards while being 27th, 22nd, 29th, and ninth in scoring. To say that Trubisky didn't have the best supporting cast outside of Allen Robinson was obvious to all who watched the Bears on Sundays. Even in Trub's rookie year under then-coach John Fox, the Bears finished 30th in yards and 29th in scoring. To say the Bears were turbulent during his time there is an understatement. The offense was downright abysmal.

The question remains as to whether Trubisky can land the starting job, hold it, and produce for you on Sundays. In Chicago, Nagy seemed to micromanage him quite a bit, as Trubisky was often given one read and then took off running. While Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada is not overly known for his offensive innovation, a supporting cast of Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth is a huge upgrade from what Trubisky has previously worked with.


Fantasy Outlook

The Steelers have usually had a solid defense every season, so I do not expect Trubisky to air it out per se, but he does have some fantasy upside due to his high rushing floor. Trubisky has a big arm and can get the ball downfield, something Ben Roethlisberger struggled to do in his last few seasons. The big winner with this acquisition is Chase Claypool, but I do view Trubisky as a low-level QB2 in 2QB and Superflex leagues should he hold onto the job. Trubisky has shown as he did in 2018 that he can produce for fantasy. Allen Robinson did have a WR12 finish with Trubisky in 2019 as well.

Having watched Trubisky for several years now, I have seen Sportscenter-like highlights where he will run away from pressure and rifle perfect throws off his back foot into tight windows down the sideline, and other times he will force interceptions into double coverage in the middle of the field that will leave you scratching your head wondering exactly what he is seeing. His inconsistency is well documented. Often, it looks like he struggles to make reads and see the whole field, usually tucking it down and trying to move the ball on the ground. While Trubisky does have good speed, he is not in the same stratosphere as Jalen Hurts or Lamar Jackson with his elusiveness, so he cannot carry an offense with his legs.

I like drafting Trubisky later on in best ball drafts than I do in redraft, but that isn't to say he doesn't have fantasy value. If you are holding him in a dynasty league, I would probably sell him off for a 2022 or 2023 second-round pick to a QB desperate team in your league right now. He is definitely worth a flyer later on in Superflex drafts. If you want a potential starting quarterback with rushing upside, there are worse picks you can make than Trubisky. The mystery that remains to all of us is what the Steelers will do in the upcoming draft, as I am someone who thinks they may still draft a quarterback in the first two rounds, putting his job in jeopardy.

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