Week 10 – November 15, 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opponent: Cleveland Browns
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter another week with a major injury to one of their star offensive players. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made his second start last week since returning from his knee injury, only to be knocked out once again after Aldon Smith fell on his foot in the 4th quarter.
Fortunately for the season outlook, Ben looks very likely to return for the Steelers after the bye week for their Week 12 battle with the Seahawks. For this week, it appears that Landry Jones will see another start. Beat reporter Gerry Dulac says there is “no chance” that Ben plays against the Cleveland Browns. We will go with his Intel for the sake of this article.
We have seen the good and bad from young Landry Jones this season. In spot duty against the Raiders and Cardinals, he has been excellent, but in his start against the Chiefs, he struggled. Luckily for Jones, the Steelers are at home this time and facing a Browns defense that is ranked 22nd against the pass, allowing 254 passing yards per game.
Jones needs to play within the game plan and get the ball to his playmakers in space. The Steelers offensive weapons are at the top of their game right now so Jones will have plenty of help. Expect Todd Haley to put Jones in favorable situations and lean heavily on DeAngelo Williams in the run game.
Don’t expect a big statistical game from Jones but I do anticipate him throwing a couple touchdown passes which may make him a decent plug and play fantasy option in 2 quarterback leagues, or if you are desperate during the bye weeks.
Landry Jones Stat Projection – 19/32, 245 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Antonio Brown is pure joy to watch as a Steelers fan and fantasy owner. His performance against the Raiders was one for the ages. Brown’s 284 receiving yards in a single game are the 7th most in NFL history and by far the most in Steelers history.
Brown is simply unstoppable with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. His fantasy production took a huge dip with Mike Vick at quarterback but he actually had a very good statistical game in the Kansas City matchup (6 receptions for 124 yards) with Jones at QB.
The Browns are surrendering 173.2 yards per game and 23.99 standard fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Brown will have no problem finding room against this Browns secondary. Expect another solid performance from AB this week.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 7 receptions, 83 yards, 1 TD
It would be so nice for Markus Wheaton to begin to contribute to the Steelers offense, but he is once again blaming “timing issues” on his poor play. Wheaton is never going to emerge into the player we had hoped in Pittsburgh. Martavis Bryant continues to be the only other viable fantasy option in the Steelers receiving corps.
In the two games that Landry Jones has seen the most action, against Arizona and Kansas City, Bryant has 9 receptions, 182 yards and 3 TD. Bryant has obvious chemistry with Jones and should be in for a nice day. Continue to start Martavis with confidence as your WR2 or Flex.
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 1 reception, 13 yards
Heath Miller was invisible for the most part last week after an incredible performance against the Bengals. Heath has been up and down all season long and cannot be trusted with anyone other than Ben at QB. Heath has 6 games this season with fewer than 35 receiving yards, only one of those with Roethlisberger at quarterback.
Leave Heath on your bench this week against a Browns defense that is only surrendering 39.9 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 3 receptions, 40 yards
DeAngelo Williams has truly been a gem of a free agent signing by GM Kevin Colbert. The Steelers offense has not seen any drop-off with Williams in at running back for the injured or suspended Le’Veon Bell. Williams earned FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his Week 9 performance in which he amassed more than 200 yards of total offense.
Williams is a little bit nicked up with a foot issue, but was able to practice in full on Thursday and Friday, so he should be good to go.
Williams is the player that should be targeted in daily fantasy this week from the Steelers offense. Williams faces a Browns defense that allows the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (23.16 standard points per game).
The Browns allow the most rushing yards per game in the NFL, 148 yards per game. Look for Williams to be the focal point of the Steelers offense on Sunday. Start Williams with confidence.
DeAngelo Williams Stat Projection – 23 rushes, 124 yards, 1 TD / 3 receptions, 41 yards
Kicker Chris Boswell missed his first field goal attempt of the season last week but is still playing very well overall. I think he will have plenty of opportunities this week to score against a porous Browns defense.
Chris Boswell Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 3/3 Extra Points
The Steelers have dominated the matchup with the Browns over the past decade plus. Most of that has to do with Ben Roethlisberger, but I think that the trend will continue this week as the Browns roll out Johnny “not good at” Football. The Steelers defense should be able to put the clamps on Manziel and company and allow the offense plenty of chances to score. Pittsburgh should have a great day for your fantasy team, regardless of who starts at quarterback.
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 27, Browns 17
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.