By Tony DelSignore Jr.
Week 5 – October 5, 2014
Location: Ever Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars
After a dominant performance in Carolina, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered what could be a season altering loss on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. One of the opening lines in my Week 4 preview – If you have been watching the Steelers for long enough, you know, the question now is: are they going to follow up that game by playing down to the 0-3 Buccaneers? They answered that question with a resounding yes, as they allowed the Buccaneers to stick around all game long. The Steelers are now 6-9 against teams that are under .500 during the Tomlin era. That is a disturbing trend that needs to end this week in Jacksonville.
Week 4 in Review:
Even in a losing effort, the Steelers offense continues to move along at a high level. And for our purposes, concerning fantasy football that should continue over the next few weeks. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown put up monster stat lines against the underwhelming Bucs secondary. Brown is currently 4th in the NFL with 427 receiving yards through the first month of the season.
Last week, I projected Roethlisberger for 24/34, 285 yards, 2 TD. He finished Week 4 with 29/40, 314 yards, 3 TD. Ben is playing at a high level and was undervalued once again in fantasy drafts this offseason.
Le’Veon Bell was relatively quiet on Sunday. Quiet for him was 109 total yards compared to my 150 total yards projection. Still, he is now on pace for 2,280 all-purpose yards this season. Bell is one of the top 3 fantasy running backs in the league right now.
Heath Miller was more involved on Sunday as we suspected. I mentioned last week that I would like to see Miller more involved in the red-zone, and he certainly was. Heath finished last week with 10 receptions for 85 yards and 1 TD, well above my projection for him.
Week 5 Preview:
For the second straight week, the Steelers face a winless team, this time on the road. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 0-4 and have not been competitive for the most part. The Jaguars are by far the worst defense in the league, surrendering a staggering 451.2 yards per game. Fantasy owners with Steelers players on their roster should be salivating.
The Jaguars are surrendering 24.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, which is the most in the league. Jacksonville has a league-worst 11:1 TD-to-INT ratio and has surrendered an average of 2.75 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Roethlisberger will have no problem finding soft spots in the Jaguars defense all day long and should have another great fantasy outing.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 25/36, 305 yards, 3 TD
Antonio Brown has been absolutely unguardable through the first month of the season. However, Brown made a crucial mistake last week as he dropped a flea flicker from Roethlisberger that could have put the game away for the Steelers. You can be sure that Brown will be out to silence any criticism.
In fantasy terms, the Jaguars are 2nd worst in the NFL against wide receivers. Through four weeks, they are allowing 14.5 receptions, 213 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. I love both Brown and Markus Wheaton this week.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 7 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD
Last week I called for the Wheaton breakout, and it just didn’t happen. He has seen plenty of targets each week but has not found the end zone. If he is going to get that touchdown, he has a great chance of doing so this week.
Wide receivers outside of Brown and Wheaton are just not seeing enough work to be valuable for your fantasy team.
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD
Justin Brown Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 15 yards
The connection between Roethlisberger and Heath Miller on Sunday was as good as we have seen since 2012. Miller’s 10 receptions were the most of his career. Don’t expect a repeat performance but I do see another strong performance in the cards.
The Jaguars are 3rd worst in the league against opposing tight ends, surrendering 14.08 fantasy points per game.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 6 receptions, 55 yards, 1 TD
The Jaguars have the NFL’s 25th-ranked run defense and are allowing one rushing touchdown per game, setting up for Bell to have an excellent fantasy performance on Sunday. Jacksonville is surrendering 25.58 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Don’t be surprised if Bell ends up as the top fantasy running back of the week.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 19 rushes, 135 yards, 1 TD / 5 receptions, 60 yards
LeGarrette Blount Stat Projection – 7 rushes, 40 yards
Shaun Suisham missed his first kick of the season (50 yards) last week at the end of the half. However, the Jaguars surrender the points per game to opposing kickers. The Jags are giving up 13.75 points per game to kickers. Roll out Suisham with confidence in your daily lineups.
Shaun Suisham Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
If you own the Steelers Defense and Special Teams, this could be a huge week for you. The Jags allow the most points per game to opposing defenses (14.25). Don’t be surprised if the Steelers defense gets a few sacks and turnovers, and look awfully good against a young, rookie QB.
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Jaguars 20
Tune in to @SteelersDepot all season long to find my fantasy projections and analysis and feel free to shoot me your lineup questions each week at @TonyD_12 on Twitter.