4. Jaylen Samuels will earn over 100 touches
Just because Le’Veon Bell is poised for a big year doesn’t mean he’s going to do it all by himself. Expect the Steelers to do their best to get Samuels to shoulder a significant portion of the load.
Like Bell, the former NC State back is capable of running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Expect him to develop into a favorite target for Roethlisberger. Samuels has excellent hands and the ability to make people miss after the catch.
It may take Tomlin and company a little time to trust the first year back. As such, look for him to start the season a little bit slowly. By the time the middle of the year arrives, he should be an integral part of the Steelers attack. If Bell is forced to miss a game, look for Samuels to put up big numbers in his absence.
In the end, expect Samuels to get about 60 carries and 40 catches on the campaign. That might seem a little ambitious, but it’s fair to assume Bell might sit out a game late in the year if the Steelers have clinched their playoff spot. If that does happen, Samuels has a legitimate chance to exceed even these optimistic projections.