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Fantasy Football: Who to start and sit in the Steelers vs. Raiders Week 9 game

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to do battle with the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field Sunday. See who you should start and sit on your fantasy team for the black and gold.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Welcome to Week 9. The battle for the upper hand in the Wildcard race between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders will be stat-tastic and quite entertaining. Consider this advice on which Steelers to start is it this week.

Keep in mind that fantasy numbers were averaged using stats from ESPN Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy and NFL.com Fantasy.

QB Ben Roethlisberger
Week 8 Passing Stats: 28/45 262 1 TD/3 INT
2015 Passing Stats: 95/134 1174 yards 5 TD/5 INT

Week 8 Rushing Stats: 1 carry/-1 yards
2015 Rushing Stats: 2 carries/-2 yards

Average Position Rank: 31

2015 Average Total Points: 60.9
2015 Average Points Per Game: 15.23
Week 8 Average Points: 8
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 18.4

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Ben had a horrendous game in his return from injury last week. The hope is that he was merely shaking off the rust and that this week he will return to his glorious form against "the Raidahs". I concur. Start him in most situations.

RB Deangelo Williams
Week 8 Rushing Stats: 9 carries/71 yards
2015 Rushing Stats: 63 carries/310 yards 3 TD

Week 8 Receiving Stats: 4 targets/4 receptions/39 yards
2015 Receiving Stats: 12 targets/10 receptions/67 yards

Average Position Rank: 36

2015 Average Total Points: 58.7
2015 Average Points Per Game: 7.3
Week 8 Average Points: 12.3
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 13.7

Verdict: Start

Analysis: We weren't trying to be prophetic when we stated in this column last week, "Unless something happens to Bell, Deangelo is not a viable fantasy starter". This is one of those times that I am far from glad that I was right. Bell is hurt, thus Deangelo is now a viable starter again. The two games that Williams started during Bell's suspension, the former Panther averaged 102 rushing ypg and 20.95 fantasy points. The Steelers can't abandon the running game with Le'Veon on the shelf and those stats from the first two games are proof that they don't have to. Williams is at the head of the class when it comes to understudies at running back. He won't get quite as many points as Bell would if healthy, but he will get a large share nonetheless.

WR Antonio Brown
Week 8 Receiving Stats: 11 targets/6 receptions/ 47 yards 1 TD
2015 Receiving Stats: 77 targets/52 receptions/718 yards 3 TD

Average Position Rank: 7

2015 Average Total Points: 108
2015 Average Points Per Game: 13.5
Week 8 Average Points: 12.5
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 17.3

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Brown is a top-tier fantasy receiver once again. If he can convert more than 50% of his targets with more consistency, there will be no questions once again regarding his fantasy status. Against Oakland corners, DJ Hayden and David Amerson, AB has the opportunity to go wild. #84 is most def a must start.

WR Martavis Bryant
Week 8 Receiving Stats: 8 targets/3 receptions/45 yards 1 TD
2015 Receiving Stats: 25 targets/13 receptions/231 yards 3 TD

Average Position Rank: 59

2015 Average Total Points: 47.1
2015 Average Points Per Game: 15.7
Week 8 Average Points: 6.1
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 11

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Martavis is getting a lot of attention from opposing secondaries. However despite the defenses concern regarding his ability to score, he is indeed a threat to go the distance every time the ball comes near him. Even in down weeks, he is worth seven or eight points.

WR Markus Wheaton
Week 8 Receiving Stats: 2 targets/1 reception/5 yards
2015 Receiving Stats: 26 targets/13 receptions/257 yards 1 TD

Average Position Rank: 69

2015 Average Total Points: 37.6
2015 Average Points Per Game: 4.7
Week 8 Average Points: 0.8
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 6.4

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: Wheaton is the third option at wide receiver, but he really hasn't done anything to warrant a spot on your fantasy football team.

WR Darius Heyward-Bey
Week 8 Receiving Stats: 2 targets/0 receptions/0 yards
2015 Receiving Stats: 29 targets/17 receptions/209 yards/2 TD

Average Position Rank: 67

2015 Average Total Points: 38
2015 Average Points Per Game: 4.8
Week 8 Average Points: 0
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 2.6

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: With Bryant back, DHB just isn't getting the reps that he did earlier in the season. He is not a viable fantasy option right now.

TE Heath Miller
Week 8 Receiving Stats: 2 targets/2 receptions/0 yards
2015 Receiving Stats: 24 targets/17 receptions/168 yards/1 TD

Average Position Rank: 18

2015 Average Total Points: 43.4
2015 Average Points Per Game: 5.4
Week 8 Average Points: 13.5
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 7.9

Verdict: Start

Analysis: It is clearly apparent thar Ben Roethlisberger values Heath Miller as a target in the Steelers offense. Miller's performance last week was the most consistent of any receiver on the team. He's going to be a top option going forward. I would pick him up and play him unless you have a top-3 stud at the position.

K Chris Boswell
Week 8 Kicking Stats: Field Goals 1/1Extra Points 1/1
2015 Kicking Stats: Field Goals 7/7 Extra Points 5/5

Average Position Rank: 30

2015 Average Total Points: 35
2015 Average Points Per Game: 4.4
Week 8 Average Points: 4
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 7.1

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: Although Boswell is perfect so far, he has not been given the trust of a top kicker by Tomlin yet. The team has been going for it on fourth down, passing up long field goal attempts. Boswell is earning more opportunities, but hasn't received too many so far.

Steelers D/ST
Week 8 Defensive/Special Teams Stats

Week 8 Total Yards Allowed: 296
Week 8 Rushing Yards Allowed: 78
Week 8 Passing Yards Allowed: 218
Week 8 Sacks: 3
Week 8 Forced Fumbles/Fumble Recoveries: 0/0
Week 8 Interceptions: 2
Week 8 Kick Returns/Yards/YPR/Touchdowns: 2/34 17.0 YPR/0 TD
Week 8 Punt Returns/Yards/YPR/Touchdowns: 0/0 0.0 YPR/ 0 TD

2015 Points Allowed: 18.4 PPG (#6)
2015 Total Yards Allowed: 366.5 YPG (#21)
2015 Rushing Yards Allowed: 97.0 YPG (#8)
2015 Passing Yards Allowed: 269.5 YPG (#26)
2015 Sacks: 22 (#6)
2015 Forced Fumbles/Fumble Recoveries: 5 (#19-tied)/4 (#12-tied)
2015 Interceptions: 7 (#16)
2015 Kick Returns/Yards/Touchdowns: 15/376 25.1 YPR/ 0 TD
2015 Punt Returns/Yards/Touchdowns: 12/107 8.92 YPR/ 0 TD

Average Position Rank: 8

2015 Average Total Points: 58
2015 Average Points Per Game: 7.3
Week 8 Average Points: 10
Week 9 Average Projected Points: 6.5

Verdict: Start

Analysis: With Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, the Raiders have firepower on offense. But something tells me the Steelers defense will shut them down this week, garner multiple sacks and force turnovers.

As far as the special teams unit, the addition of Jacoby Jones and the subtraction of Dri Archer could quite possibly jumpstart a unit that stalled all eight games. Start them.