In Week 3 the Steelers faced off against the Rams in St. Louis. The Steelers won the lowest scoring game of the week with a final score of 12-6. En route to that victory, Ben Roethlisberger fell to a significant knee injury that will keep him sidelined for the foreseeable future.
While fans' main concern is for Big Ben's health and the state of the Steelers in real football games, Roethlisberger's injury has implications for fantasy team owners as well. He was at the helm of my fantasy football team, the Colorado Homebrews, and I still haven't brought myself to bench him.
What fantasy insights can we gather about the Steelers and the Rams from the Week 3 game?
1) Ben Roethlisberger is hurt. If you have him, you need a new quarterback before Thursday's kick off.
2) The entire Steelers offense will be less productive without Roethlisberger. Antonio Brown will see fewer yards, but you should definitely still start him. Heath Miller was not a major target in Sunday's game, but his is usually one of Roethlisberger's favorites. It remains to be seen what sort of game plan offensive coordinator Todd Haley will come up with and how he will utilize the team's receivers, backs and tight ends.
3) The offensive line struggled with run blocking. What does this mean? You'll still want to start Le'Veon Bell, but don't be surprised if his production doesn't match that of last season. It would make sense to rely more on a run game with Roethlisberger out, but unfortunately the offensive line has had trouble clearing paths for the Steelers backs.
4) The Steelers defense might end up better than expected. There are many defenses in the league that will get you more points than the Steelers D. Because of that, it is likely the Steelers defense is on your league's waiver wire. I am not going to pick up the Steelers defense yet, but if they are able to hold their opponents to as few points as they did on Sunday, and if the secondary can muster some interceptions along with some other turnovers from the rest of the squad, they could end up being an attractive fantasy choice, particularly for your main defense's bye week.
5) Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt had a monster game. If you have him, start him.
6) Rams RB Todd Gurley made his NFL debut with disappointing results. The Rams have struggled with their run game, so even if Gurley is the perfect player, he depends on other units to help him make big plays. Gurley is on my bench and even though he is playing, I am keeping him on my bench until there is an indication the Rams have figured out how to run the ball for more than 2 yards at a time.
Looking ahead to the Steelers vs. Ravens Thursday night game.
The Steelers typical high-scorers probably won't be as productive without Ben Roethlisberger on the field. Likewise, the Ravens have struggled the entire season. There aren't many sleepers or guys on the bench that I would activate for Thursday's game. Take a look at the Sunday games and create your lineup based on that.
The Rams play the Cardinals on Sunday. Don't start the Rams defense.