Steelers @ Ravens: Fantasy Players to Watch


Last week, the usual suspects were productive for the Steelers while the team hosted the Browns. Antonio Brown started right where he left off, demoralizing defenses for big gains and scores. Le’Veon Bell looked unstoppable on a 38 yard touchdown run. Ben only tossed one touchdown but shredded the Browns for 365 yards—thanks to a good amount of “yards after the catch” from his receivers and running back.

Markus Wheaton was a bright spot, as he has already matched his reception total from 2013. He did plenty to earn some trust from Roethlisberger in the process, hauling in the pass that set up the game winning field goal.

As I said last week, I didn’t expect much out of Heath Miller in the passing game. Unfortunately, those expectations were accurate. Miller was once again ineffective as a pass catcher against the Browns.

Time to look at the game ahead. Tonight, the Steelers visit the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City.

A.J. Green toasted the Ratbirds last week, but take away his highlight touchdown catch and every receiver for the Bengals posted pedestrian numbers. Antonio Brown must be started, but outside of a big play like Green’s don’t expect crazy numbers. His last two games against the Ravens totaled 12 catches for 109 yards and no scores.

The Bengals’ Gio Bernard had 110 yards from scrimmage against Baltimore; Bell should easily replicate that. In two games against the Ravens he’s posted 166 rushing yards and 69 receiving yards plus a score. Bell looks like a star after week one.

Ben should post similar numbers to his line against the Browns, perhaps with fewer yards. With Lance Moore out once again, Miller and Wheaton look to play similar roles as well.

As far as the Ravens go, they’ll lean on the run and on tight ends while looking to get one of their Smiths deep.

Justin Forsett looked strong against the Bungals; he scored and boasted a healthy average. After starter Ben Tate left in the first half, the Steelers allowed 100 yards to Browns’ rookie running back Terrance West. The Browns’ other rookie running back, Isaiah Crowell, even got in for two scores. Both Forsett and Bernard Pierce will have a chance to produce at M&T Bank Stadium.

Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels hauled in 14 passes from Joe Flacco last week, with Pitta getting the bulk of the work for 83 yards. Once again, the Steelers’ linebackers will be faced with a challenge when covering the opposing tight end.

Sunday looked like it might be a long day after Browns tight end Jordan Cameron beat Lawrence Timmons for 47 yards—it would have been more had Cameron not stumbled to make the catch. Jordan was injured on the play and was ineffective the rest of his time in the game. Look for Pitta to be a key part in the Raven’s game plan.

Newly acquired Steve Smith Sr. made it interesting on Sunday when he hooked up with Flacco for an 80 yard score. Look for Flacco to go deep to the aforementioned Smith as well as Torrey Smith tonight—especially if they get the run going.

Last week, both quarterbacks put up a lot of yards through the air. If either one can replicate that and add multiple scores, they’ll be the star of the game.

Typically, Steelers vs. Ravens doesn’t produce a lot of fantasy stars. This will be a hard-nosed football game, but there will be an opportunity for some key offensive players to produce.