Fantasy

Effects of the Holmes trade

Santonio Holmes had become Pittsburgh's top deep threat and was thriving in the role.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Important roster changes continue around the league, even before the NFL holds its annual Draft Day on April 22nd. It was announced late Sunday night that Pittsburgh Steelers' wide receiver Santonio Holmes has been traded to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick.

This trade will cause many adjustments for fantasy owners.

In Pittsburgh, Holmes had become the team's top deep threat and was thriving in the role. In 2009, he had caught 79 passes for 1,248 and five touchdowns. With Hines Ward, getting up there in age, Holmes had a great fantasy future with the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Unfortunately, Holmes had issues off the field which caused Pittsburgh to consider moving their star receiver.

In March, a woman filed a civil lawsuit against Holmes for assault and battery, claiming that he cut her face with a glass after getting into a dispute over a bar couch in an Orlando night club. Holmes is also facing a possible four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. And finally, his contract was going to be up at the end of 2010 and the team would likely have been required to make a considerable investment in the talented receiver.

Holmes will now play in New York and be teamed up with another talented, but troubled receiver, Braylon Edwards. If they can keep their off-the-field antics to a minimum, the two along with tight end Dustin Keller could become a solid receiving corps for second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the trade leaves the Steelers very short at receiver.

Their No.1 receiver will again be 34-year-old Hines Ward. Ward has great hands and heart, but is getting up their in age. He's not a deep threat and his six touchdown catches in 2009 was his fewest since 2006. Plus he no longer has the opposing teams worried about Holmes. Instead, his most likely opposite number will be second-year receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace played well last season, as a third receiver, hauling in 39 balls for 756 yards and six scores. His 19.4 ypc was one of the highest in the league. Whether he can take over for Holmes, or the Steelers will draft Holmes' replacement is a question every fantasy owner is waiting to get answered because it will certainly have a huge impact on "Big Ben's" value.

Roethlisberger, who has off-the-field issues of his own, was a Top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2009 throwing for 4,328 yards and 26 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions. Whether he can repeat those numbers, given his current receiving corps is questionable.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.