Guest of the League
NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 2


College: Rice | 7 years
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 267 lbs
Birth Date: 6/13/1990
Depth Chart: TE1.1
2019 Bye Week: 7

Total Pts: 0.00
Avg Pts: 0.00
Rank: 0 TE

Free Agent

2019 RTSports Outlook

McDonald was finally able to play nearly a full season and enjoyed a career year as the starting tight end for the Steelers. He finished 10th overall in fantasy tight end scoring, topping 600 yards for the first time in his career. He also caught 50 passes, which bested his previous career high by 20. McDonald had at least three receptions 12 of 15 games. He was pretty consistent with his production throughout the season. As long as he can stay healthy, which has been an issue for him, McDonald will start for the steelers. McDonald can stretch the field with his speed and can make plays after the catch. He runs routes pretty well for a tight end. McDonald isn't a great blocker, though, which can keep him off the field at times.

FANTASY OUTLOOK:   Last season was not a fluke for McDonald. He can produce at this level again and should be considered a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end, especially with the Steelers possibly having some more targets for him with Antonio Brown gone. Expect around 60 receptions for 700 yards and five or so scores.

RotoBaller's Outlook

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has a chance to have an effective tight end for fantasy purposes this year, but needs a few things to break his way. McDonald will likely take on an expanded role in the passing with wide receiver Antonio Brown leaving town, along with his average of more than 150 targets. McDonald also has less competition at tight end, with the Steelers allowing Jesse James to leave the team. While the Steelers may add more depth pieces to the roster to compete with McDonald and Xavier Grimble, they aren't likely to make a significant impact to McDonald's opportunity to be on the field. However, McDonald has missed a number of games through injury in his time. McDonald is worth a late round pick, as a streaming tight end, especially with his opening schedule to begin the year.

This article first appeared on

Fantasy Week
No Playoff Match Up
Player Notes
Sep 15 5:10pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught all seven targets for 38 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 28-26 loss to Seattle. It was the first time in his career that he's scored twice in one game. Once Mason Rudolph took over for Ben Roethlisberger (elbow ) in the second half, McDonald became the most targeted option in the offense. This is the type of game you've come to expect from the 29-year-old and certainly the one that keeps him in your lineups every week. In Week 3 against the 49ers, McDonald could see a nice bump in value again in Rudolph is forced to start and should be a solid mid-level TE1.

From RotoBaller

Sep 15 2:03pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald (head) was evaluated for a possible concussion during the Week 2 game but he cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the game.

Fantasy Spin: McDonald has been a solid option in the passing game for the Steelers and can be a low-end No. 1 tight end in fantasy leagues if healthy.

From TheHuddle

Sep 14 10:10am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught just two passes last week against the Patriots but things are looking better in Week 2 against the Seahawks. McDonald had high expectations coming into the season with the departure of receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Jesse James. The Seahawks allowed nine receptions for 93 yards to Bengals tight ends in Week 1, so there's no reason McDonald can't be fed the ball. He's a low-end TE1 option due to the scarcity at the position, but don't be surprised if he finds pay dirt at home.

From RotoBaller

Sep 9 9:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught two of his four targets for 40 yards in Sunday's 33-3 Loss to New England. The offense was abysmal all night and McDonald was almost absent in the game plan. However, the team utilized him in multiple ways, including lining up out wide. This offense isn't as bad as they played Sunday night, but it will be interesting to see how things go against the Seahawks in Week 2. McDonald always has low-TE1 upside in this offense, but if he continues to be an afterthought, his preseason prospects could be a flop.

From RotoBaller

Sep 9 2:23am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald caught two of his four targets for 40 yards in Week 1 against the New England Patriots.

Fantasy Spin: Hyped for most of the summer as a potential breakout candidate, McDonald did not see his first target until the final two minutes of the game, so his fantasy owners should be thrilled they got what they got from him. Things are going to get better for him and he remains a quality start, although he could be in for another slow day against the solid linebacker corps of the Seattle Seahawks next week.

From TheHuddle

Sep 7 4:50pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald thrived as the team's starting tight end in 2018, catching 50 balls for 610 yards and four touchdowns. In Week 1 of 2019, McDonald gets a matchup against the New England Patriots Defense. The Pats ranked eighth last year in DVOA against the tight end position, and while they allowed an average of 55 yards per game to the position, expect them to put a focus on stopping McDonald in the red zone. There are over 200 targets missing from last year's team and McDonald is expected to see a lot of them, however, this matchup against New England isn't great for fantasy in Week 1. He'll always have a shot to finish as a low-end TE1, but if he doesn't find the end zone, his stat lines aren't typically impressive.

From RotoBaller

Aug 26 12:40am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald didn't pull in either of his targets in Sunday's preseason win over Tennessee. McDonald spent his entire time on the field with the starters. Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said there was no chance that McDonald would play an entire game as the tight end, but it's hard to expect that Xavier Grimble will steal work from the 29-year-old. His ADP has crept up into the 7th round of fantasy drafts, which might be right at his ceiling, but with over 200 targets missing from last year, McDonald should prove to be a vital piece of the offense.

From RotoBaller

Aug 21 10:00pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald won't be the full-time tight end, according to offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. In an interview with Dale Lolley of, the Steelers' OC said "He's never going to play the full game. That's never going to happen." Of course, this could be coach talk and McDonald ends up sees the majority of the time at tight end. His only real competition at the position is Xavier Grimble, who was undrafted out of USC and has just 22 career receptions. Don't look into this too much as the veteran McDonald is without a doubt the top dog at this position in Pittsburgh. His ADP has jumped up into the 7th round, which is fair for a player who should command 80-plus targets this year.

From RotoBaller

Aug 21 4:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has never played a full season in his six-year career, and the team doesn't plan on using him extensively in order to keep him healthy. McDonald played a career-high 564 snaps last year and split time evenly with Jesse James, who is now with the Lions. "He still won't," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said of McDonald's playing time increasing substantially this season. "He's never going to play the full game. That's never going to happen." That means that the Steelers plan to use Xavier Grimble quite a bit as the No. 2 tight end. While McDonald is still worth an investment as a low-end TE1, his production could be spotty and inconsistent.

From RotoBaller

Aug 19 10:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald is dealing with an unknown ailment that head coach Mike Tomlin calls "day-to-day." While the coach didn't expand on details in his media presser, he didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about it saying, "he'll be fine." Likely just a stinger, it shouldn't keep McDonald out of the team's third preseason game on Sunday against the Titans. McDonald has been getting some serious fantasy hype amongst a relatively barren tight end position. His ADP has crept up and he is going as high as the seventh round in mock drafts. Granted he can stay healthy, he provides a nice mix of safety and upside, compared to guys going around him like Eric Ebron and David Njoku.

From RotoBaller

Aug 18 1:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught his sole target for five yards on Saturday against the Chiefs. The starting tight end job is all McDonald's now that Jesse James is gone. McDonald is set to improve upon his 2018 season of 60 receptions for 610 yards and four touchdowns. Naturally, he's been climbing up fantasy draft boards recently due to the increase in opportunity. The 29-year-old has jumped into the seventh round of mock drafts and presents great PPR value.

From RotoBaller

Aug 6 11:30pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald is preparing for a much bigger workload in 2019. In turn, the 29-year-old is making sure his body, mind, and game are in a good spot to produce at a high level. The Steelers have a very inexperienced group behind McDonald, so the weight of the work falls on his shoulders. However, after hauling in 50 passes for the most yards (610) by a Steelers tight end since 2014, McDonald should see a direct increase in targets. Antonio Brown's departure leaves 168 targets to go around. The seventh-year tight end has been hovering around the seventh round of 12-team mock drafts. If you're of the strategy to wait for a tight end, McDonald should present fantastic value in a potential top offense.

From RotoBaller

Jul 11 11:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald is primed to walk into the best season of his seven-year career. Sans Jesse James and Antonio Brown, there are 209 targets to go around in Pittsburgh. Last season, McDonald proved to be a favorite of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's, as he finished third on the team in targets (72). It led to a career season of 50 receptions for 610 yards and four scores, including three inside the red zone. Only having to battle his own injury history and the career backup Xavier Grimble now, McDonald could see upwards of 90-100 targets this year. In a top-heavy position like tight end, it's safe to assume that the 29-year-old can find himself as a mid-tier TE1. His ADP of 83 is great value, and he's been going as low as the 10th round in 12 team PPR mock drafts, according to Fantasy Football Calculator.

From RotoBaller

Jun 3 2:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is the 'obvious primary option' in the passing game, but the team believes it will have at least nine viable pass-catching options, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. TE Vance McDonald is 'poised for an expanded role,' while WR Donte Moncrief is being asked to learn all three receiver positions.

From TheHuddle

Player Transactions
  • 29-Aug-2017: PIT - Traded - w/ draft pick for 2018 4th-round pick
  • 29-Aug-2017: PIT - Traded - for 2018 4th-round draft pick
  • 06-Feb-2017: SFO - Off IR - shoulder
  • 12-Dec-2016: SFO - On IR - shoulder
  • 09-Dec-2016: SFO - Re-signed - Five-year extenstion (through 2021)
NFL Week
2019 Season0.0097821100000
Week 1@NWE5.002400400000
Week 2SEA19.307382700000
Week 3@SFO
Week 4CIN
Week 5BAL
Week 6@LAC
Week 7bye
Week 8MIA
Week 9IND
Week 10LAR
Week 11@CLE
Week 12@CIN
Week 13CLE
Week 14@ARI
Week 15BUF
Week 16@NYJ
Week 17@BAL