clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Football: Which Steelers to start and sit vs. the Rams

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a prolific offense with a lot of weapons. See who you should start and sit in their Week 3 matchup against the St. Louis Rams.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league in Week 2. The Top 46,000 teams win cash with $100,000 paid to first place. Join now!

The newness of the NFL season is starting to wear off and we're now shoulders-deep in full-fledged fantasy land. Players are starting to establish themselves as musts, while others get labeled as fantasy busts. Keep an eye on that waiver wire, new names emerge each week.

For Week Three, here's how certain Steelers project for fantasy purposes. I have chosen to use point projections from Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy Football and Fantasy Football.

QB Ben Roethlisberger

Week 2 Stats: 21/27 369 3 TD

2015 Stats: 47/65 720 yds 4 TD/1 INT

Avg Position Rank: 2

2015 Points/Avg Points: 48.70/24.35
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 50.60/25.30
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 54.80/27.40

Week 2 Points: 30.66
Week 2 ESPN Points: 30.60
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 33.56

Week 3 Projected Points: 16.80
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 17.80
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 21.27

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Against a much better pass defense than a week before, Ben Roethlisberger was a maestro against San Francisco, leading an offense that seemingly could virtually score at will. His passes were perfect, as a multitude of his receivers got separation early an often throughout the afternoon.

The AFC Offensive Player of the Week completed 21 of his 27 balls thrown for 369 yards against the West Coast visitors. Ben threw touchdown passes to Heath Miller (2 yds), Darius Heyward-Bey (35 yds) and Antonio Brown (7 yds), for a total of three. He also tossed a pair of two-point conversions to Antonio Brown and Heath Miller.

Last week, Big Ben put up an average of 31.61 fantasy points. The veteran is in peak form and currently ranks statistically as the second-best quarterback in the league. His 720 completion yards rank him right below Tom Brady.

So far, Roethlisberger has put up an average of 51.37 fantasy points. Although he is, once again, facing a formidable foe on the defensive side, #7 is simply in the zone. With a bevy of weapons to target, the return of his star rusher and a line that has been keeping him upright and giving him time to pick defenses apart, Rothlisberger is a must QB1 start against the league's 10th ranked pass defense that has averaged 205 passing yards allowed per game.

The big QB ranks an average of 2 to 3 fantasy-wise. By all means, start Roethlisberger or trade him to me.

RB Le'Veon Bell

Avg Position Rank: 109

2015 Points/Avg Points: NA
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: NA
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: NA

Week 2 Points: NA
Week 2 ESPN Points: NA
Week 2 Yahoo Points: NA

Week 3 Projected Points: 17.00
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 17.70
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 21.19

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Bell is back and hungry to play...and he will. In Mike Tomlin's press conference on Tuesday, the coach emphatically stated his intention to make great use of Le'Veon's talents on Sunday despite the production of Deangelo Williams in his stead.

The St. Louis defensive front has the reputation as a very stingy group, however they allowed Matt Jones (123 yards) and the Redskins to rack up 182 yards last week. The Rams have an astonishing rank of 30 stopping the rush, but they are better than that and will rebound. However, Mike Munchak's line is opening lanes and this Steeler club is running the ball very well. With the rushing and catching dual-threat returning, expect very big things.

RB Deangelo Williams

Week 2 Rushing Stats: 20 car/77 yds 3 TD
Week 2 Receiving Stats: 4 rec/15 yds

2015 Rushing Stats: 41 car/204 yds 3 TD
2015 Receiving Stats: 5 rec/20 yds

Avg Position Rank: 1

2015 Points/Avg Points: 40.40/20.20
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 43.90/22.00
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 51.50/25.75

Week 2 Points: 27.20
Week 2 ESPN Points: 29.20
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 33.20

Week 3 Projected Points: 2.10
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 4.40
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 5.27

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: Usually teams only sit the NFL's second leading rusher and consensus #1 statistical fantasy back only when Hell freezes over. If that is indeed the case, then Beelzebub needs him a parka, because Deangelo Williams is starting out on the Steeler bench on Sunday.

Although he did find the end zone three times against San Fran and hammerred out 77 rush yards on 20 carries for his Heinz Field debut, the man with the pink-tipped mane is relegated to second-string duties. When asked about William's expected amount of playing time, Tomlin answered with a "figure out as we go" strategy.

Williams is going to see some action, albeit limited. You can't be deceived by the ranking, Le'Veon Bell is the clear RB1 here. Deangelo isn't going to get significant enough of carries for fantasy relevance here on out.

WR Antonio Brown

Week 2 Stats: 9 rec/195 yds 1 TD 1 2pc
2015 Stats: 18 rec/328 yds 2 TD 1 2pc

Avg Position Rank: 1

2015 Points/Avg Points: 46.80/23.40
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 57.89/28.90
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 70.20/35.10

Week 2 Points: 27.50
Week 2 ESPN Points: 33.00
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 39.90

Week 3 Projected Points: 16.10
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 19.30
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 24.66

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Brown is pure money. However, after the sour taste left by the childish faction of the early 2010s, "Young Money", I am reluctant to use that term.

With a score, 9 catches and 195 yards receiving, Brown extended his streak of five catches for 50 yards to 35 games last week, a full season better than number two on the list. Publicly, Brown has chosen not to focus on the streak. But where the importance of the streak lies is that it establishes Brown as a consistent threat. The streak cements Brown as a consistent must-start for fantasy owners. In a PPR league, for instance, the lowest end of the streak garners in the neighborhood of 7 points. Brown rarely stays on the low end of the streak. His output last week netted owners an average of 33.47 fantasy points. His season average is around 29.15 points per game.

Lining up against a defense that is ranked #27 in receptions allowed with nearly 28 points  per game and Bell's return shifting some attention away, the potential is huge for Antonio to take advantage of that fast turf and torch the Rams.

Young Money is now Matured Stock. Start, Start and oh yeah, Start!

WR Markus Wheaton

Week 2 Stats: 2 rec/67 yds
2015 Stats: 5 rec/122 yds 0 TD 1 2pc

Avg Position Rank: 45

2015 Points/Avg Points: 14.20/7.10
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 16.70/8.40
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 19.40/9.70

Week 2 Points: 6.70
Week 2 ESPN Points: 7.70
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 8.90

Week 3 Projected Points: 13.40
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 9.10
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 10.65

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: Wheaton is not taking full advantage of Martavis Bryant's absence. The next man up has been passed up by Darius Heyward-Bey. While an an average of a little-over-eight points for a flex option for a WR2/WR3 is serviceable, Wheaton is on the fantasy bubble. He's good to keep around, but surely there are better options on your roster. Unless you are in a deep league with huge roster spots, Markus is not going to be a viable start.

WR Darius Heyward-Bey

Week 2 Stats: 4 rec/77 yds 1 TD
2015 Stats: 8 rec/135 yds 1 TD

Avg Position Rank: 27

2015 Points/Avg Points: 19.50/9.75
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 23.50/11.80
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 27.90/13.95

Week 2 Points: 13.70
Week 2 ESPN Points: 15.70
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 17.90

Week 3 Projected Points: 3.80
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 8.50
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 9.85

Verdict: Start

Analysis: This time Big Ben found success with Heyward-Bey in the middle of the field, where he had room to stay in bounds. DHB has surpassed Markus Wheaton on the depth chart and has established himself as a solid flex option for Week 3. #88 seems not only rebounded from his costly gaffe in Week 1 and put up a pretty nice stat line, but has earned the confidence of his quarterback and coaches.

Heyward-Bey is averaging four catches per contest for 67.5 yards. His average fantasy points are around 9.00 per game. The arrow is pointing up for DHB in "Da Burgh". Insert him this week against St. Louis.

TE Heath Miller

Week 2 Stats: 2 rec/15 yds 1 TD 1 2pc
2015 Stats: 10 rec/99 yds 1 TD 1 2pc

Avg Position Rank: 10

2015 Points/Avg Points: 17.90/8.95
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 22.90/11.50
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 27.90/13.95

Week 2 Points: 9.50
Week 2 ESPN Points: 10.50
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 11.50

Week 3 Projected Points: 3.40
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 9.10
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 10.95

Verdict: Start

Analysis: Question. Who is the second all-time leader in receptions in Pittsburgh Steeler history? The answer is Heath Miller. Bet you didn't realize that one.

Heath Miller is one of those players that is better appreciated on the regional level, as opposed to nationally. This year, Heath has not slowed down and remains a safety valve for Ben Roethlisberger. #83 remains a good, low-end option to start at TE1 this weekend against the Rams. Last week, Miller caught 2 for 15 yards and a score and you know he will be targeted in the short game.

Miller is ranked near the middle of the field and may not be your biggest name at the position. But the signs point to the 2005 first-rounder being able to replicate his blockbuster 2012 season.

Find room for Heath.

K Josh Scobee

Avg Position Rank: 27

2015 Points/Avg Points: 10.00/5.09
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 8.00/4.00
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 11.00/5.5

Week 2 Points: 7.00
Week 2 ESPN Points: 2.00
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 3.00

Week 3 Projected Points: 11.00
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 8.80
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 8.90

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: The boo-birds at Heinz Field have found their 2015 target and his name is Scobee. Josh bonked an extra point off of the uprights, extending his misses to three on the year.

If you have Josh on your roster, start looking for another kicker. The Steelers have too much capital wrapped up in the position or they probably would too.

Steelers D/ST

Avg Position Rank: 25

2015 Points/Avg Points: 9.00/4.50
2015 ESPN Points/Avg Points: 7.00/3.50
2015 Yahoo Points/Avg Points: 11.00/5.5

Week 2 Points: 8.00
Week 2 ESPN Points: 7.00
Week 2 Yahoo Points: 10.00

Week 3 Projected Points: 3.00
Week 3 ESPN Projected Points: 7.20
Week 3 Yahoo Projected Points: 7.29

Verdict: Sit

Analysis: Despite a slightly better performance against San Francisco, this is still not a good fantasy defense. The Steelers are giving up an average of 23 points-per-game and rely on a #1 ranked offense to pull them through. Wow, how things have changed in Steeler Nation.