By Tony DelSignore Jr.
Week 10 – November 9, 2014
Location: MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands, New Jersey
Opponent: New York Jets
The Pittsburgh Steelers followed up their 51 point outburst with 43 points against the Baltimore Ravens in their third victory in a row. The Steelers offense is humming along at a historic level right now and it all starts with the incredible play of Ben Roethlisberger. This week, the Steelers face a miserable New York Jets team that appears to be close to mailing it in for the year. However, we all know this Steelers team. This is the type of game that they have struggled with in the past under Mike Tomlin. A resounding win against the Jets will go a long way to prove that the Steelers are indeed ready to take the next step toward becoming one of the AFC’s elite.
Week 9 in Review:
Last week, I was once again apprehensive in projecting Ben Roethlisberger for a big game. He has not always fared well against the Ravens defense. This historic hot streak proved to be too much for the Ravens defense as Big Ben and the Steelers offense throttled Baltimore on Sunday Night Football. I had Roethlisberger projected for 27/39 285 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. He shattered that projection and finished Week 9 with a stat line of 25/37 with 340 yards and 6 TD. He followed up memorable performance against the Indianapolis Colts with one that vaulted him into a league of his own as the only quarterback in NFL history with 12 touchdowns over a two week span.
Antonio Brown shredded the Colts and had no problem with the Ravens secondary either. I projected AB for 7 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD. He ended up posting 11 catches on a whopping 16 targets for 144 yards and 1 TD. Brown continues to prove that he is completely uncoverable and matchup-proof.
Le’Veon Bell has officially cooled off after his blistering start. Bell rushed for only 20 yards on 10 carries. Teammate LeGarrette Blount faired only slightly better with 10 carries for 23 yards. The Ravens certainly made it a point to stop the Steelers running game. Bell’s yards per carry have been down for three weeks in a row now and he gets a Jets run defense that is very stout. He added 5 receptions for 38 yards and 1 touchdown against the Ravens to maintain his fantasy value. It will be interesting to see if the even split in carries between the running backs continues against the Jets.
Heath Miller was relegated to another week of blocking to help keep Ben clean. Miller is fantastic in pass protection and helped Ben to his monster performance. I projected Heath for 3 receptions, 35 yards and he finished the game with only 1 catch for 14 yards.
Over the past three weeks, since Martavis Bryant’s ascension into the lineup, Ben Roethlisberger has completed 88-of-119 passes (73.9%) for 1,127 yards (9.47 YPA), 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Bryant followed up his 5 receptions, 83 yards and 2 TD performance against the Colts with 3 receptions for 44 yards and 2 TD. Bryant now has 5 touchdowns in his first three NFL games.
Markus Wheaton has now posted two very solid games in a row. It is great to see him getting on the same page with Big Ben. Against, Baltimore he caught 2 of his 4 targets for 62 yards and 1 TD, including a 47 yard touchdown strike against Ladarius Webb.
Week 10 Preview:
Even the biggest Steelers optimists can’t expect Big Ben to keep throwing six touchdowns every game, but he should get about three against a Jets team that has surrendered a league-worst 24:1 TD-to-INT ratio. Per ESPN Stats & Info, New York’s nine-game streak of multiple touchdown passes allowed is the second longest since 1970. Start Ben with confidence this week against a Jets defense that is surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (21.59 points per game).
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 30/44 345 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
The Jets have been shuffling cornerbacks over the past several weeks and even resorted to inserting undrafted rookie Marcus Williams in the lineup last week. The Jets have no chance of slowing down Antonio Brown. Look for another monster performance from AB.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection –9 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD
Both Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant have entered WR3/Flex range on a weekly basis. Taking advantage of a matchup like this one against the Jets is a wise investment. The Jets are giving up 163.3 yards per week to opposing wide receivers.
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 65 yards
Lance Moore Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 20 yards
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
After a quiet week against Baltimore, Heath Miller has a very good matchup against the Jets. New York is surrendering the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. I like Miller as a streaming option in your yearlong leagues and a nice cheap option on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD
With a touchdown and/or 100-plus total yards in every game this season, Le’Veon Bell has been fantasy football’s most consistent running back aside from DeMarco Murray. A matchup with New York’s 7th ranked defense probably limits Bell’s upside but I could see Bell cracking into the end-zone in this one. Blount has now been held under 4.0 yards per carry in five straight games, and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3. Don’t get cute with Blount as a flex option this week; I don’t foresee much value for him.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 17 rushes, 67 yards, 1 TD / 6 receptions, 55 yards
LeGarrette Blount Stat Projection – 8 rushes, 30 yards
Shaun Suisham will likely get several opportunities to put points on the board in this matchup. The Jets are allowing teams to move up and down the field at ease, and Suisham will definitely be a part of the scoring mix. I won’t be shocked to see Suisham knock in about 10 points.
Shaun Suisham Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Jets 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.