Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) runs after a pass reception against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, the fantasy community finally heard from Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller. While standouts Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell generated the same positive performances, Roethlisberger and Miller finally produced impactful fantasy statistics.
Unfortunately, this came in an ugly loss to the hapless Buccaneers. This week, the Steelers get an equally inept opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars. As we all saw last week, the opposing team’s performance to this point is no indication of the way the game will turn out. That being said, the Steelers’ offensive fantasy players have a great matchup.
Teams are averaging over four hundred fifty yards and four touchdowns against the Jacksonville defense. The Jaguars have already allowed two one hundred yard receivers this year –San Diego’s Eddie Royal and Keenan Allen. On top of that the Eagles’ Jeremy Maclin and Redskins’ Niles Paul had ninety-seven and ninety-nine yards against the Jaguars, respectively.
Those four opposing targets also found the endzone a total of four times. Things look good for Antonio Brown. Brown’s weekly fantasy outlook seems to be getting a bit boring. In his last twenty games, the tireless wide out has shown that no one can take him out of the game; he is a must start. This one, however, does look to be a decidedly good matchup.
Le’Veon Bell has been a consistent weapon from a yardage standpoint, but outside of an electrifying week one touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns, Bell has not found the endzone. This is a troubling fact for fantasy owners. A back’s ability to find pay dirt can really make the difference in fantasy.
At the start of the season we might have said that the lack of touchdowns could come from a short yardage role for LeGarrette Blount. That has not really been the case. Blount has scored two touchdowns this season, one of which came when the Steelers had built up a comfortable lead against Carolina and Bell had been taken out of the game. Bell has proven that he is an elite all-around back, but he must find a way to score.
Hopefully, Heath Miller can feed off of his performance against the Buccaneers. After an early and uncharacteristic drop, Miller bounced back to the tune of eighty-five yards and a touchdown. Consider taht Miller has just two touchdowns in his last eighteen games. While you cannot blame Ben for giving Brown as many targets as he can, it would be nice to see Miller back at his pre-surgery performance level. Until we see some consistency, Miler is still a low-end tight end option or bye week filler.
Ben had a great performance against the Buccaneers. Had it not been for an Antonio Brown drop in the fourth quarter, Ben’s stats would have been even better, and the Steelers likely would have gotten the win.
Ben should extend his fantasy relevance at least one more week against the Jaguars. He has so many weapons around him and has the intelligence and arm strength to deliver the ball anywhere on the field. If he can continue to get the ball to Brown and get some help from the front five, Ben will continue to put up numbers. Ben is a great start this week.
The Jaguars really have been poor on offense. Their starting running back, Toby Gerhart, is averaging less than three yards a carry, their starting quarterback has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, and their leading receiver is a boom or bust play week-in and week-out.
There is no doubt that Blake Bortles has the talent to make plays, and the same can be said of receiver Allen Hurns. This offense is too inconsistent to make any substantiated judgment of their projected performance.
Hurns has shown that he can stretch a defense, but there have already been games this year in which he disappears. He has shown that he can be a deep threat and also develop some skills as a possession type receiver, however he needs to put it all together while getting some consistent quarterback play.
That is really all there is to say about the Jaguars’ offense. This unit is a big reason why the team has not yet won a game. The Jaguars need to get better in all facets of the game in order to provide a consistently competitive product.
The defenses in this matchup should not be trusted. The Jaguars cannot keep anyone from scoring and the Steelers are wildly inconsistent. The Steelers also have a huge issue with penalties and injuries, things they need to overcome.
For the second week in a row the Steelers have a great matchup. They look to avoid giving another team their first win of the season.