The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup of 5-3 teams on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers are coming off of an impressive day offensively against the Indianapolis Colts, while the Ravens are coming off of a difficult defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.
The two teams may have had vastly different performances last week but, whenever the Steelers and Ravens face off, points are usually at a premium and big plays make the difference in the matchup. So who should you start and sit this week on your Fantasy Football roster?
Ben Roethlisberger - Coming out of the greatest statistical game of his career, Roethlisberger has proven one thing: give him time and he'll make plays. The Steelers' game plan should be tailored around their passing attack abusing a beat-up Ravens secondary that's missing their best cornerback in Jimmy Smith. The Ravens will give up the underneath routes, but it will be up to Roethlisberger and his wide receivers to stretch the field for big plays. This could be a big fantasy game for Roethlisberger.
Antonio Brown - At this point, why wouldn't you start Antonio Brown every week? Brown is due for another big game against a secondary missing its best cornerback, but also a defense that will allow the underneath route. Brown thrives on the underneath route and using his elusiveness and athleticism to make plays after the catch. Brown's numbers have been incredible at the halfway point of the 2014 season, but his increased touchdown totals make him a huge fantasy threat every week for your team.
Martavis Bryant - Some might say a player who has only seven catches and 12 targets as a rookie shouldn't be a starter in only the third game of his NFL career, but the Steelers' use of Bryant makes him a start against the Ravens. In the Week 2 game, the Steelers were unable to find a player deep and the Ravens were able to deploy their defense as planned. Bryant has the speed to not only open up options for other wide-outs, but also to encourage the shots downfield the Steelers have been taking with him in the lineup. Bryant might only catch three passes, but if those are for 75 yards and a touchdown, he's worth the start.
Le'Veon Bell - Believe it or not, Bell has played well against the Ravens in his career. The Steelers have made it very clear that they'll do whatever it takes to get Bell the ball, and whether that's via the running game or through the air, it's a successful plan. Look for the Steelers to utilize Bell in the pistol formation with regularity against the Ravens, which makes him even more of a dual-threat in the backfield. Bell almost guarantees the team 100 yards from scrimmage every week and, if he can find paydirt Sunday night, he'll truly be worth the start on your fantasy team.
Heath Miller - With the Steelers most likely utilizing a lot of two-tight-end sets to protect Roethlisberger, look for Miller to be a target early and often. Miller is coming off of a 100-yard receiving game with a touchdown and, with players like Bryant, A. Brown and Bell on the field, defenses have sometimes forgotten about Miller. The Steelers have made defenses pay for those mental lapses with big plays down the middle of the field. Roethlisberger will be targeting Miller again against the Ravens, especially in the red zone.
Steelers defense/special teams - During the past three games, the Steelers' defense has given up 29 points per game on average. Although the defensive unit has shown some signs of improvement, those numbers equate to a defense that shouldn't see your starting roster on your fantasy football team any time soon. Although they have been generating some turnovers, it simply isn't enough to give them a start against the Ravens in Week 9.
Markus Wheaton - Wheaton's performances have been erratic at best this season. Coming out of the gates strong and struggling through the midway point of the season, Wheaton is coming off of a game where he scored the first touchdown of his young career. Although Wheaton could be a sleeper-pick in this game, his production has been minimal the past three weeks. Until he proves he's capable of regular starter numbers, keep the receiver on the bench this week.
Shaun Suisham - If you've followed this Steelers-Ravens rivalry closely, you know field goals often are critical to the outcomes. For a kicker that hasn't missed a kick inside 50 yards, Suisham would be worthy of getting a start in this matchup, since he might be called on regularly to put points on the board for the home team.
Lance Moore - With the Ravens' defense looking to give the Steelers those underneath short routes, players like Moore, who has made his living on those routes, assume greater importance, especially in the redzone. Moore has become more involved in the game plan during the past few weeks and, with the Steelers' patented bunch-formations, Moore has begun to thrive. Moore might be good for a few red-zone looks which could equate to big points for your fantasy team this week.