Week 13 – December 6, 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
The Steelers must put their heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks behind them quickly as they begin a five game stretch of facing AFC opponents including the next three against AFC division leaders. Everyone clearly remembers last season’s matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, as Ben Roethlisberger dismantled the Indianapolis defense on his way to over 500 yards passing and 6 touchdowns.
Ben is in an excellent spot again this week to post monster fantasy numbers. He must stop throwing interceptions but his ability to throw for 456 yards last week in Seattle bodes well for his quest to post another 500 yard performance on this Colts defense.
The Colts are allowing the 12th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, allowing an average of 269 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game. Ben has always found good success against the Colts. In four career games against them, Roethlisberger is averaging 324.8 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game (2-2 record).
While Ben may not have 6 touchdowns again this time around, he is one of the top three fantasy options at quarterback this weekend and it appears that the concussion will be a non-issue for him heading into this matchup.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 28/41, 345 yards, 3 TD
Last week I mentioned that the key to beating Seattle was the ability of the wide receivers to dominate. Shockingly, it was Markus Wheaton who broke out in a huge way with 9 receptions for 201 yards while Antonio Brown was relatively quiet. Martavis Bryant did score on the ground, but he missed several big opportunities in the passing game.
Antonio Brown may have met his match against Richard Sherman, and will have another tough matchup against Vontae Davis, who did not play in last year’s matchup in which Brown lit up the Colts secondary. Brown will certainly still get his but this matchup sets up for a monster game for Martavis Bryant as he matches up against Greg Toler.
Of course you are starting AB, but consider pairing Martavis Bryant with Roethlisberger in your daily fantasy leagues instead of paying up for Brown at receiver.
Do not make the mistake of loading up on Markus Wheaton in your fantasy lineups but his performance cannot be ignored completely. If Heath Miller is unable to suit up, Wheaton could see more targets again this week. Last year against Indy, Wheaton caught all 5 of his targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. Roethlisberger certainly must trust him more after his incredible performance last week. I would like to see more consistency from him before recommending him as a strong fantasy start but he is a decent Flex play this week if Miller is out.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 9 receptions, 89 yards, 1 TD
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 7 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 52 yards, 1 TD
Heath Miller is banged up right now with a rib injury and it is unclear whether or not he will suit up on Sunday Night Football. Heath was on his way to a huge game last weekend as he was targeted early and often against the soft Seattle linebackers.
Heath is incredibly tough and I would not be shocked to see him play in this game against a Colts defense that surrenders 5.3 receptions, 62.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns to opposing tight ends. If Heath suits up you can start him as a decent option at a very thin tight end position, but if Spaeth and Jesse James share the workload, you can safely look elsewhere for fantasy production at tight end.
Until Heath is cleared, I don’t feel comfortable projecting him for any sizeable fantasy impact.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 24 yards
DeAngelo Williams continues to produce even if he doesn’t find much space in the run game. In four games since Le’Veon Bell’s injury (including the Bengals game), Williams is averaging 130.25 total yards of offense per game.
Williams has an excellent matchup against the Colts, who give up the 8th most fantasy points against opposing running backs. The Colts will likely be without their best run stopper in middle linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Pro Football Focus rates Freeman as the second best run stopper behind Carolina’s Luke Kuechly on the season. This is a huge injury for a Colts defense that lacks talent as a whole.
Williams is a top five fantasy option at running back this week. Start him with confidence.
DeAngelo Williams Stat Projection – 18 rushes, 95 yards, 1 TD / 5 receptions, 54 yards
Kicker Chris Boswell has continued to be a bright spot on the Steelers roster. He is a solid fantasy option this week in what should be a high scoring matchup.
Chris Boswell Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
Fire up all of your Steelers players this week against the Colts in what should be a gold mine for your fantasy teams. The Steelers should bounce back this week and pick up a big AFC victory against the Colts.
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Colts 24
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.