Vance McDonald
Vance McDonald
29-Year-Old Tight EndTE
Pittsburgh Steelers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
McDonald is one of those players who looks like a world beater if you catch him on the right day. The problem is, there aren't that many of those right days. McDonald has just 12 touchdowns in 73 career games, but three of those scores covered 75, 75 and 65 yards. Rare plays from a tight end, indeed. McDonald didn't go nuclear with his regular shot in Pittsburgh last year, but he did fashion a career-high catch rate (69.4 percent) and set or matched career-high marks in every major counting stat. Improved health was a big factor as the tight end played more than 11 games for the first time since 2015 in San Francisco. Now that Antonio Brown and timeshare partner Jesse James are both out of town, McDonald has a shot at TE1 relevance in 2019, competing with only Xavier Grimble and fifth-round rookie Zach Gentry for snaps. Just keep in mind McDonald is entering his seventh season - if something truly special were going to happen, it likely would have happened by now. 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.
Restructures deal with Steelers
TEPittsburgh Steelers
March 16, 2020
McDonald has restructured his contract with the Steelers, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM Radio reports. As part of his new deal, he agreed to convert $5.5 million in base salary to signing bonus.
ANALYSIS
The Steelers may have opted to move on from McDonald had his deal not been restructured, but regardless, he will remain in Pittsburgh, and the team now has more cap space with which to pursue free agents.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Vance McDonald's 2019 advanced stats compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
17.9
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.36
 
% Team Air Yards
6.8%
 
% Team Targets
11.4%
 
Avg Depth of Target
4.5 Yds
 
Catch Rate
69.1%
 
Drop Rate
7.3%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
4.6
 
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2019
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2016
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2018 NFL Game Log
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2016 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2019 TE Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

703
0
400
0
60
0
50
0
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How often does Vance McDonald run a route when on the field for a pass play?
This data will let you see how Vance McDonald and the other tight ends for the Steelers are being used. Some tight ends may have a lot of snaps, but they're not that useful for fantasy purposes because they're not actually running routes. This data will help you see when this is the case.
Vance McDonald
398 routes   55 targets
← More Blocking
% Routes Run
More Receiving →
91%
207 routes   52 targets
97%
21 routes   1 target
88%
Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Vance McDonald lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2019 Vance McDonald Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Vance McDonald's measurables compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 4"
 
Weight
267 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.69 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.53 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.08 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.5 in
 
Broad Jump
119 in
 
Bench Press
31 reps
 
Hand Length
10.13 in
 
Arm Length
34.38 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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.
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
Another disappointing effort
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 30, 2019
McDonald caught both his targets for 19 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens.
ANALYSIS
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Lackluster effort in loss
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 22, 2019
McDonald had three catches for nine yards in Pittsburgh's 16-10 loss to the Jets on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Cleared to play
TEPittsburgh Steelers
December 20, 2019
McDonald (concussion) doesn't carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Jets.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to full practice
TEPittsburgh Steelers
Concussion
December 18, 2019
McDonald (concussion) practiced fully Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Ruled out for Week 15
TEPittsburgh Steelers
Concussion
December 13, 2019
McDonald (concussion) didn't practice Friday and has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bills, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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