Week 5 – October 9, 2016
Location: Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opponent: New York Jets
This Pittsburgh Steelers team is a roller coaster of emotions. After getting smashed in Week 3 in Philadelphia, they come back last week and absolutely destroy a very good Kansas City Chiefs team.
At the end of the day, the Steelers are 3-1 at the quarter mark of the season and are averaging 27 points per game even with a three point outing in Week 3.
While I only missed Ben Roethlisberger’s yardage projection by 15 yards, I missed his touchdown projection by 3 touchdowns! What a night for Big Ben. He absolutely gashed a Chiefs defense that had just picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick six times in Week 3.
One thing that I overlooked is how incredible Roethlisberger is at home (especially in primetime) in the month of October. Ben is now 19-1 in October games at Heinz Field, the best winning percentage of all time in home October games.
As Cris Collinsworth said in the live broadcast, sometimes teams come into Heinz Field and just get waxed. The Steelers get going early and there is no stopping them. Let’s hope they can do this again this week against the 1-3 Jets.
The Jets are struggling mightily to defend opposing quarterbacks. After the first month of the season, the Jets are 5th worst against opposing passers. New York is giving up 304.8 passing yards per game while Roethlisberger is averaging 279 passing yards per game with 2.8 touchdowns per game.
With his 5 touchdown performance against Kansas City, Ben Roethlisberger moved into a tie with Matt Ryan for the lead in passing touchdowns this season, with 11.
Ben has an excellent chance to follow up his primetime performance with another huge fantasy day against this Jets defense. The main concern that I have is the injuries on the offensive line. With starters Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster out for this game, there is a chance that the pass blocking is not up to par. Chris Hubbard at right tackle is much more of a concern than B.J. Finney at left guard.
An amazing stat that I found in research is that Darrelle Revis is ranked as the 10th worst cornerback according to Pro Football Focus out of 112 qualifiers this season. This is not the Jets defense that we have seen in the recent past. Fire up Big Ben once again this week!
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 25/37, 315 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
The Jets defense has lost the elite secondary and pass rush that it once possessed under Rex Ryan. This Jets defense is allowing wide receivers, especially elite receivers to run wild. In Week 1, A.J. Green was able to rack up 180 yards and 1 TD against Revis.
Antonio Brown continues to be uncoverable and Sammie Coates is coming into his own as a deep ball specialist and more. Coates is leading the league with five receptions of 40 yards or more. Last week Coates received 8 targets, catching 6 of them (both career highs).
Markus Wheaton has only one reception in each of his first two games but last week’s 30 yard touchdown reception started the redemption process for his drops against the Eagles. Wheaton and Coates have excellent matchups this week against Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams as AB occupying the once great Revis.
New York is surrendering 199.3 yards per game and 1 touchdown per game to opposing wide receivers. The Jets are giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at 31.1 points per game. There will be plenty of fantasy goodness to go around this week for the entire offense. I am going back to the well this week and calling a Coates touchdown. Get him in your lineups!
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 9 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD
Markus Wheaton Stat Projection – 3 receptions, 35 yards
Sammie Coates – 4 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD
Last week Jesse James came in below his reception and yardage projection but did get into the endzone on a great route and connection with Big Ben. The last two weeks against Philadelphia and Kansas City, James had very tough matchups against solid linebacker groups, but this week is a spot where James may flourish.
The Jets struggle to cover opposing tight ends, allowing the 8th most fantasy points through the first month of the season. New York surrenders an average of 5.8 receptions and 78 receiving yards per game to tight ends.
James has proven to be a valuable redzone weapon with his 6’7” frame and will only continue to build more trust with Roethlisberger.
I realize that James is not quite on this talent level but it bears noting that over the past two weeks, this Jets defense has given up 6 receptions for 113 yards to Jimmy Graham and 6 receptions for 89 yards and 1 TD to Travis Kelce.
This is a great matchup for James to have his best game as a pro. As noted in preview on Ben, the injuries along the offensive line are a concern for the success of the passing game. There is a chance that James’ involvement in the passing game is hampered due to him having to stay in and block more often. Take it as a slight consideration when setting your lineups.
Jesse James Stat Projection – 4 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD
With 170 total yards of offense in his first game back since Week 8 of 2015, Le’Veon Bell immediately reminded us why he is so critical to the success of this offense. Last week, our projection for Bell’s touches were dead on (18 rushes and 5 receptions). Tomlin told us that he would not be eased back in and he was not, used heavily from the opening drive.
Bell’s matchup against the Jets is not quite as friendly as the Chiefs but his involvement in the passing game will continue to maximize his fantasy value. The Jets are the 8th toughest matchup for opposing running backs, surrendering only 18.7 PPR fantasy points per game.
Obviously, start Bell with confidence each week but be aware that his rushing matchup is difficult against that Jets defensive line.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 19 rushes, 85 yards, 1 TD / 5 receptions, 45 yards
DeAngelo Williams Stat Projection – 5 rushes, 25 yards
Kicker Chris Boswell has left a lot to be desired as a fantasy kicker. He only has 3 field goals made on the entire season and did not even get an attempt last week as the Steelers rolled up touchdowns. The Jets give up 9 points per game to opposing kickers so there may be some value to be had, but until we see the Wizard of Boz getting more attempts, leave him on your bench.
Chris Boswell Stat Projection – 1/1 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
Aside from the injuries on the offensive line, this is a great matchup for the Steelers. The Jets are 1-9 all time in Pittsburgh and I see that trend continuing this week. The Jets are banged up at their most important positions with Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall dealing with nagging injuries and Eric Decker will be out with a shoulder injury. Expect the Steelers to build an early lead and ride Bell to the finish.
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 31, Jets 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.