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The Steelers handily defeated that San Francisco 49ers at Heinz Field on Sunday. If you own a fantasy football team, chances are, you don't stack your team with Steelers players, but you aim to have, and start, a few. What can we learn from this most recent game?
QB Ben Roethlisberger has had two strong games in a row. Sunday, he tallied well over 300 yards and had enough touchdowns to rack up some serious fantasy points. The only way Roethlisberger is not a great bet against the Rams is if the Steelers discover they can exploit the Rams defense the way the Redskins did last week, through their running game.
WR Antonio Brown is another fantasy gem. If you are lucky enough to have him on your roster, he will be a strong and consistent producer, obviously. He is Big Ben's most trusted target and runs his routes reliably and consistently with very few "aaaaaawwwwwwwww noooooooooo!!!" heartbreaking or anger-inducing mistakes that hurt your vocal chords, the Steelers, and your fantasy team. Start Brown every chance you get.
RB Le'Veon Bell didn't play against the 49ers, but he'll be back on Sunday. The Rams front seven has a seriously terrifying reputation that was somewhat tarnished by their dismal performance against the Redskins run game. If the Rams make adjustments, however, their front seven does have the talent to pose a threat against the Steelers offense. Since the offensive line struggled some with run blocking against the 49ers, it might not be a mega-yardage game for Bell. It could go either way. In any case, definitely start Bell if you have him on your roster.
RB De'Angelo Williams is a toss up. He's performed exceedingly well the first two weeks, but, again, Williams did not hit as many holes as he did in Week 1. Part of this is a function of the offensive line struggling with run blocking. Williams has proven his worth to the Steelers, and, again, if the Rams defense appears vulnerable to the run, a combination of Williams and Bell could lead to crazy yards on the ground. I would consider starting Williams as well.
TE Heath Miller is still one of Big Ben's most trusted targets. If Miller was sitting on your bench last week, you may have regretted it. Unless you have a big-name receiving tight end (like Rob Gronkowski), Miller is a solid choice to start. As long as he is healthy, he will get your fantasy team points. If you are in a PPR league, he is an even better choice.
K Josh Scobee. Three words: Don't start him. I'll add a few more: There are other placekickers out there that can hit their extra points reliably and make long field goals consistently. Scobee missed an extra point at Heinz Field, which does not inspire confidence.
The Steelers defense did much better on Sunday and could be an OK choice to start against the Rams who have struggled some under quarterback Nick Foles. Still, there are better choices than the Steelers defense for now-- at least until the secondary can improve and stop big plays. In the game against the 49ers they fared better than Week 1, but the secondary gave up a pretty huge play, which was a bit discouraging.
The 49ers did not look good at all on Sunday, and it wasn't just because the Steelers are awesome. They have some major weaknesses on their team.
Here are a few players to keep on your radar for Week 3 when the 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals
Wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are difficult to predict. Smith could have a monster game if he can get open for some big-yardage plays, and Boldin also tends to be reliable.
RB Carlos Hyde did not look as impressive against the Steelers as he did in Week 1. The Arizona Cardinals have a decent run defense, but he is still an excellent candidate to start.
QB Colin Kaepernick suffered a horrible defeat at the hands of the Steelers, but he is still an attractive fantasy option. He will have a better chance of generating yards through the air than on the ground against the Cardinals, so that could work well for fantasy owners.
TE Vernon Davis is a better candidate to fill in once the bye weeks kick in, but he is known to have some big games.
49ers defense. Not a good idea, especially after they were demolished by the Steelers in Week 2. There are better options out there.