By Tony DelSignore Jr.
Week 11 – November 17, 2014
Location: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans rivalry that dates back to the old AFC Central days will be renewed on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in Week 11. After the Steelers second flop of the season against the hapless Jets, they need a bounce back win heading into the bye week.
Week 10 in Review:
Last week, I was overambitious in projecting Ben Roethlisberger for a big game. He had been playing incredible football but crashed back to earth against the Jets. I had Roethlisberger projected for 30/44 345 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT. I was nearly dead on with the beginning of his stat line, but missed badly on the touchdown projection. Ben used a long touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant to finish with a final line of 30/43, 343 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT. He followed up memorable performances against the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens with one that we would like to quickly forget.
Antonio Brown continues to produce even when his quarterback has an off game. I projected AB for 9 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD. He ended up with 8 catches for 74 yards.
Le’Veon Bell’s rushing performance is now becoming a concern for the Steelers offense. We mentioned last week that the New York Jets run defense is a tough matchup for opposing running backs, but Bell rushed for only 36 yards on 11 carries. Bell’s 3.3 yards per carry average is just not getting the job done. He added 8 receptions for 33 yards against the Jets to increase his fantasy value in PPR leagues.
I was way off last week on Heath Miller. I projected him for 5 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD but he was once again kept in to block and finished with only 3 receptions for 29 yards.
Martavis Bryant’s ascension has been incredible. After hauling in an 80 yard touchdown from Big Ben in the waning minutes of the loss to the Jets, Bryant now has 6 touchdowns in his first four NFL games. Bryant finished with another impressive stat line, 4 receptions, 143 yards and 1 TD. I had the 4 receptions and 1 TD correct in my projections but only had him projected for 35 yards. An 80 yard strike helps a stat line look real nice!
I was close in my projection for Markus Wheaton. I had him pegged for 4 receptions for 65 yards, he finished with 4 receptions for 41 yards.
Week 11 Preview:
The Steelers tend to play well under the bright lights of Monday Night Football and I fully expect them to bounce back against a poor Titans team. The Titans defense is actually very stingy against opposing quarterbacks. They are only allowing 16.52 fantasy points to opposing passers.
This may be a week where the Steelers get their ground game going and Big Ben takes a little bit of a backseat for fantasy production.
I still like Ben for a solid day as the Titans will have no answer in the secondary for the Steelers receivers.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 25/39 305 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
The Titans are playing rookie Blidi Wreh-Wilson who will spend time on AB at points in this game. He has been a whipping boy for opposing Quarterbacks. The Titans are 11th in passing defense according to Football Outsiders but Brown has proven over and over again that he is matchup proof. Start AB with confidence
Antonio Brown Stat Projection –7 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD
Both Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant have entered WR3/Flex range on a weekly basis. They are splitting time at WR2 across from Brown. Bryant continues to score touchdowns and make big plays. The Titans are in the top half of the league in fantasy points surrendered to opposing wide receivers but are still giving up 13.3 receptions, 170.9 yards and 0.7 touchdowns on a per game basis. Look for Wheaton and Bryant to continue their strong play.
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 55 yards
Lance Moore Stat Projection – 1 reception, 15 yards
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD
After a quiet week against the Jets, Heath Miller has a fairly tough matchup against Tennessee. The Titans are only giving up 8.6 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Miller has been used as a blocker much more in recent weeks and I see that trend continuing this week. Don’t expect much from Miller.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 3 receptions, 35 yards
While Le’Veon Bell chipped in 8 receptions last week against the Jets, his rushing performances have left something to be desired. Over the past three games, Bell has only averaged 3.0 yards per carry on 45 carries.
Don’t be surprised to see him to get back on track Monday night following his worst two yardage efforts of the season. The Steelers will be taking on a Titans team that ranks second-to-last in Football Outsiders’ run-defense metrics. This Titans defense was just run over by Justin Forsett for 112 yards and 2 rushing scores in Week 10. Although Bell’s production has slowed down a bit recently, he has 100-plus total yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games this season. He is one of the week’s top fantasy rushing options.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 21 rushes, 97 yards, 2 TD / 5 receptions, 45 yards
LeGarrette Blount Stat Projection – 6 rushes, 30 yards
Shaun Suisham will likely get several opportunities to put points on the board in this matchup. The Titans are allowing teams to move up and down the field at ease, and Suisham will definitely be a part of the scoring mix.
Shaun Suisham Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Titans 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.