Steelers match offer to Sanders: Ben Roethlisberger is getting his wish. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was reportedly lobbying the team to keep receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the Steel City. It seems to have worked. The team matched the offer sheet presented by the Patriots to keep the wideout around for at least another year. That means Roethlisberger will have at least two of his top four targets from last season. Mike Wallace bolted for Miami through free agency and a major knee injury to Heath Miller could cause him to miss the start of the season. For the moment, Sanders looks like the No. 2 option in Pittsburgh’s passing game behind Antonio Brown. It’s a big step up for a player who’s never caught more than 44 passes in a season, but he appears to be on the rise and could have value as a No. 3 fantasy option in plenty of leagues.
Cruz not at Giants OTAs: Still waiting on a new long-term contract, wide receiver Victor Cruz is a no-show for the start of the New York Giants’ voluntary workouts. The news isn’t a major surprise and it’s far too early to read into what this could mean for the start of 2013. However, it’s worth noting that there has been little movement by either side to truly launch into negotiations. Then again, now that Jay-Z is on the case on Cruz’s behalf, maybe something starts to get done. Either way, there are still several months that need to pass before any fantasy owners should start concerning themselves with the receiver’s status.
Manning says he’s improving: In 2012, Peyton Manning threw for the second-most yards, attempted the second-most passes and tossed the second-most touchdowns of his illustrious career. And he says he wasn’t at 100 percent after his multiple neck surgeries. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is learning to work around the diminished arm strength he experienced last season. It won’t hurt that his receiving corps is as deep as any he’s ever worked with. After finishing last season as the sixth-highest scoring player in all of fantasy football, it appears The Sheriff is poised to crack the top five in 2013.
— Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG