Week 16 – December 27, 2015
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
Have you recovered from Week 15 yet? The Steelers gave fans a heart attack and an incredible show all within a three hour span. Hopefully your fantasy teams won in Week 15 and you are reading this in preparation for your fantasy championship. If not, check out DraftKings for exciting one week fantasy football. The Steelers have some great fantasy options on this Championship Weekend.
The NFL schedule makers surely thought that this matchup would be a battle for the AFC North crown as it was originally scheduled for Sunday night football. The game has now been moved to 1 PM due to the Ravens nightmare season. The 4-10 Ravens have been as injury plagued as anyone in the NFL and will be playing for pride alone on Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers have other plans, as they continue to stack wins and head toward another playoff berth. Pittsburgh has overcome their incredibly tough schedule and defeated AFC division leaders in three straight weeks. The challenge now will be to not allow any let down against Baltimore and Cleveland who are both slotted for Top 5 draft picks.
This matchup on paper is incredible for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game. The Ravens have been shredded by opposing passers all season long, and make no mistake; the Steelers will be looking for revenge after the Ravens beat them early in the season in Pittsburgh.
Baltimore is allowing 255 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. The Steelers offense, led by Roethlisberger, has posted six straight games of 30 or more points. Most impressive was last week against the Denver Broncos #1 pass defense and overall defense.
Although the stats show that Roethlisberger does not perform as well on the road as he does at home, don’t overthink this one, start Ben with confidence as he could very well lead you to a fantasy championship.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 28/38, 350 yards, 3 TD
After Antonio Brown’s dismantling of top rated cornerback Chris Harris, we can truly say that Brown is matchup proof. Brown is the only receiver in NFL history to post two 15 reception performances in one season. It is an absolute joy to be able to watch Brown at this point in his career, especially if you are a fantasy owner.
The Steelers will obviously not need to pass 55 times like they did last week but Brown, Bryant and Wheaton should be able to do damage even if their targets are limited.
The Steelers receivers have a fantastic matchup against Baltimore. The Ravens allow 28.53 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, the most in the NFL. This matchup is a stark contrast from last week and we all know what this trio did to the Broncos secondary.
The Ravens allow 175.1 yards and 13.5 receptions per game to opposing receivers. All three of the Steelers receivers are great options in fantasy this week. Brown is the clear cut #1 wide receiver on Championship Week and Martavis Bryant should post a great stat line as well. It appears that Markus Wheaton has vaulted past Heath Miller in the passing game pecking order. He has played incredibly well since the Seattle game. Wheaton is now a viable every week flex starter.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith is battling injury and missed practice on Wednesday. This game could not set up much better for the Steelers to dominate through the air. Start all three of these guys with confidence.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 8 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD
Martavis Bryant Stat Projection – 6 receptions, 105 yards, 1 TD
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 6 receptions, 65 yards
Heath Miller has taken a back seat to the Steelers wide receivers in the passing game over the past month, aside from his 10 catch performance in Cincinnati. I was dead wrong on Miller last week and cannot recommend him as a viable fantasy starter in your championship matchups.
Leave Miller on the bench this week against the Ravens defense that allows only 5.4 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, the 3rd best in the league.
Heath Miller Stat Projection – 3 receptions, 35 yards
DeAngelo Williams is set up to have a monster game on Sunday. Game script will be in his favor as the Steelers will likely jump out to a big lead in this game. DeAngelo will likely see up to 25 rushes in this matchup. Williams is an excellent tournament option in daily fantasy as many will be on the Steelers wide receivers in this game.
The Ravens are solid against the run, ranking 11th in yards allowed per game, but if you dig deeper into the numbers, you find that Baltimore is surrendering 109 rushing yards per game over the past month. I love Williams in this matchup and believe that he has 2 touchdown upside for fantasy owners.
DeAngelo Williams Stat Projection – 23 rushes, 115 yards, 2 TD / 3 receptions, 25 yards
Kicker Chris Boswell has an awesome matchup in this game. Baltimore surrenders the second most field goal attempts per game to opposing kickers. The Steelers could very easily approach 40 points in this game and Boswell should have 3-4 field goals. Start him with confidence.
Chris Boswell Stat Projection – 3/3 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
The Steelers need to stay sharp against a poor Ravens team as Pittsburgh has a chance to lock up a playoff spot if the Jets lose this week. Ravens week will surely be enough to keep the Steelers focused and motivated this week and I believe they will embarrass the Ravens in Baltimore. Fire up all of your Steelers in fantasy and good luck in your Championship matchups!
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 37, Ravens 16
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.