Week 12 – November 24, 2016
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
The Pittsburgh Steelers snapped their 4 game losing streak with an impressive performance from Le’Veon Bell, Stephon Tuitt and the rest of the defense. The team racked up 8 sacks and a defensive touchdown in their win over the Cleveland Browns.
Nothing like playing Cleveland to get a team back on track. Also, nothing like playing an Indianapolis Colts team without Andrew Luck. That is surprisingly exactly what the Steelers have in front of them on Thanksgiving Day. Luck will miss the game with a concussion, giving the Steelers a golden opportunity to get another road win.
Over the past two seasons, Big Ben has 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in two matchups against the Colts, both in Pittsburgh. He will look to add to those gaudy numbers against this years’ Colts, who rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The Steelers offense has racked up 96 points in those two games against the Colts defense and should be able to roll in the dome without concerns of weather.
DraftKings analyst Adam Levitan pointed out that since the start of the 2014 season, Ben has 55 touchdowns and 19 interceptions at home and only 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions on the road. The home/road splits are staggering indeed, but we don’t have a big sample size of Ben playing in domes.
The Steelers defense facing Scott Tolzien should give Ben and the offense plenty of opportunities on offense and in good field position.
I like Ben to have an outlier performance this week and conquer those road woes in a prime time holiday matchup. Start Ben with confidence this week as the highest upside quarterback play on the Thanksgiving slate.
Ben Roethlisberger Stat Projection – 25/38, 305 yards, 3 TD
Antonio Brown will be the main beneficiary of a big performance from Big Ben. Another reason to love AB this week is that Colts CB Vontae Davis (ankle) missed Monday and Tuesday’s practices. He was hobbling badly last week against the Titans and is likely to miss this game. Even if he does play, he is no match for AB.
The Colts are surrendering 39.7 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. That is 6th worst in the league at this point.
I also like Eli Rogers to be involved here as he squares off against the burnable Darius Butler in the slot. Rogers had a down week last week, but let’s blame that on the weather in Cleveland. With the broken fingers, Sammie Coates is not startable at this point and Cobi Hamilton is not involved in the offense enough to warrant fantasy consideration.
Antonio Brown Stat Projection – 7 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD
Eli Rogers Stat Projection – 5 receptions, 70 yards
Cobi Hamilton Stat Projection – 3 receptions, 25 yards
Ladarius Green was disappointing last week, playing only 12% of the Steelers offensive snaps. Green did drop a target in the end zone so maybe he gets going this week against a Colts defense that is allowing tight ends to run free to the tune of 14.1 PPR fantasy points per game.
Like the wide receiver fantasy production, the Colts are also allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. I would like to see Green be more involved in the offense before recommending him as a fantasy option but he may be worth a dart throw in Turkey Day tournaments on DraftKings and Fanduel. I could see him getting in the end zone here.
I would not start Green in your season long fantasy leagues and Jesse James is not worth starting either. James has seen 4 targets in each of his past 3 games, turning that into a combined 7 receptions for 95 yards but only really effective in the Dallas game.
Ladarius Green Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 15 yards, 1 TD
Jesse James Stat Projection – 2 receptions, 25 yards
Le’Veon Bell continues to shine as the Steelers feature him in the offense. Bell notched his season high rushing total (146 yards) last week against the Browns, and this week gets to face off against a Colts team that is allowing 23.6 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
The Colts have been fairly effective in limiting rushing totals recently (limited DeMarco Murray to 3.3 YPC) so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bell be kept close to 100 yards or under but should smash in the passing game. Continue to ride Bell to the fantasy playoffs.
Le’Veon Bell Stat Projection – 20 rushes, 105 yards, 1 TD / 6 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD
Kicker Chris Boswell will face more friendly kicking conditions in the dome than he did last week in those windy conditions in Cleveland. Boswell has been kicking the ball very well lately, making all 5 of his field goal attempts since his rough outing against New England.
Boswell is a solid option this week as the Steelers should score at will against a Colts defense that is giving up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing offenses.
Chris Boswell Stat Projection – 2/2 Field Goals, 4/4 Extra Points
The Steelers have a golden opportunity to steal a road win this week as the Colts take a huge blow with Andrew Luck sidelined with a concussion. Pittsburgh should continue the defensive momentum they put together against the Browns and Ben will be able to move the ball at will in this one. Steelers roll here! Happy Thanksgiving all!
Final Score Prediction – Steelers 34, Colts 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.