By Tony DelSignore Jr.
Week 15 – December 14, 2014
Location: The Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Opponent: Atlanta Falcons
The Pittsburgh Steelers fresh off of a dominating fourth quarter against division rival Cincinnati as they head down to Atlanta to face the division-leading Falcons. Pittsburgh is 1-2 against the awful NFC South but will look to dash the Falcons playoff hopes with a big road win the Georgia Dome.
Pittsburgh’s offense has risen to second in the league in total offense, only 5.4 yards behind Indianapolis for the top spot. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown have been absolutely exceptional during the past 6-8 weeks. I believe the Atlanta defense will have no chance of stopping the Steelers offensive attack. This matchup could not come at a better time with many in their fantasy semifinals.
Both Roethlisberger and Bell were named FedEx Air and Ground Players of the week respectively and will look to continue their dominance for their fantasy owners once again this week.
Week 15 Preview:
Roethlisberger has lead the Steelers to the second ranked passing offense in the NFL so far this season. Ben is on a record pace for passing yardage this year, averaging 303.2 yards per game.
The Steelers also get a break from the cold weather and play in the Georgia Dome this week, providing ideal conditions for Roethlisberger and his receivers to post huge numbers. The Falcons defense is surrendering 290.8 passing yards per game, easily the highest in the league.
According to Football Outsiders, the Falcons rank 30th in pass defense. Look for Big Ben to have a big day for fantasy owners in Week 15.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 29/41 325 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
The Falcons secondary has been torched by opposing number one receivers. They are currently ranked 27th in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, giving up nearly 26 fantasy points per game.
Brown has been unguardable this season and is likely the top option at wide receiver this week on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Continue to rely on Brown and expect a big performance from him this week.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection –9 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD
Martavis Bryant’s quiet stretch came to a screeched halt when he torched Leon Hall for a 94 yard touchdown strike from Roethlisberger last week in Cincinnati. Bryant is a boom/bust type player that could win your fantasy matchup for you or lose it with a 2 or 3 point performance.
Bryant will likely see a lot of spotty cornerback play in Atlanta, and I like his chances for a big game again this week. Markus Wheaton should continue to produce minimal numbers as the 5th option in the Steelers passing game.
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 35 yards
Lance Moore Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 20 yards
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD
Heath Miller had a great game last week against the Cincinnati linebackers and should have had a second touchdown if Roethlisberger didn’t lock in on Bryant in the red zone.
However, the Falcons are very tough against tight ends, but I believe Heath will continue to get looks in the middle of the field. Temper your expectations for Heath this week as Atlanta is only allowing 5.4 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 35 yards
Bell joined rare air this past weekend, as he eclipsed 200 yards from scrimmage for the third straight game, joining Walter Payton as the only other player in NFL History to accomplish that mark. Not bad company, Mr. Bell.
The Falcons rank 31st in run defense according to Football Outsiders, and have little to no chance of slowing down Bell this week. Atlanta is surrendering the most points per game to opposing running backs this season. Bell fantasy owners are smiling at this point.
Look for Le’Veon to dominate touches in the Steelers backfield and have another monster game for his fantasy owners this week.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 20 rushes, 146 yards, 1 TD / 6 receptions, 55 yards, 1 TD
Josh Harris Stat Projection – 4 rushes, 14 yards
Shaun Suisham will certainly get a few opportunities to put points on the board in this cross conference matchup. Take advantage of having a kicker play indoors this late in the season as well. Roll him out as usual if you own him in your seasonal leagues.
Shaun Suisham Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Falcons 30
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.