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Titans Bishop Sankey looks to exploit weakened Steelers' run-defense

The Titans will need to get ahead on early downs through their biggest offensive strength - running the football. Getting into long passing situations will bring out a surging Steelers' pass-rush that has 10 sacks in its last three games.

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Patrick Smith

Titans running back Bishop Sankey was surprised when it was announced he would represent the Titans in the Monday Night Football promo for this week. The Steelers naturally are represented by Ben Roethlisberger. The wide-eyed rookie stands next to one of the league's top quarterbacks.

Perhaps it's a vote of confidence from the production crew for the kind of game Sankey might have when the Titans host the Steelers in Week 11.

With Dexter McCluster and Leon Washington both nursing injuries, Sankey could take on an expanded role in the Titans' passing offense. As far as the ground game goes, that's the Titans strength. Their strong run-blocking offensive line is capable of paving holes for whichever back the Titans have in there, which strongly suggests Sankey should be on whatever promo is out there.

He could be their main weapon in this game.

The Steelers are down nose tackle Steve McLendon, safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker Ryan Shazier, on top of the absences of cornerback Ike Taylor and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who both have been out for several weeks. While the Steelers' run-defense has been better this year than last, it's still not a formidable unit game-to-game. Tennessee's best bet against the Steelers is to stay out of long downs and not requiring rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger to do a whole lot.

As soon as they get into deep-passing situations, the Steelers' weaknesses up front turn into advantages. Their pass-rush has picked up considerably from where it started the season (10 sacks in their last three games vs. 10 in their first seven games combined) and, facing a quarterback who has appeared slow to make reads and deliver the ball, the Steelers should be able to rack up another four-sack game like they've had in two of their last four games.

The Steelers' defense is a good play in Fantasy this week, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Sankey get a healthy amount of touches against a weakened Steelers' run-defense.

Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-week $500,000 fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. The league starts Sunday at 1:00 pm ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.