FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA

Prediction: PIT 17, NYJ 20 (Line: NYJ by 2.5)

Players of Interest: Ben Roethlisberger

Update: Kellen Winslow was suspended for four weeks.

The 0-4 Steelers come off their bye still searching for that elusive win that could not locate even over in England. The 3-2 Jets come off an impressive come-from-behind win over the Falcons on Monday night and are 2-0 at home. The Steelers are rested and had ten days to prepare but their losses have been even worse when facing a decent defense.

1 TEN 9-16 10 BUF -
2 @CIN 10-20 11 DET -
3 CHI 23-40 12 @CLE -
4 @MIN 27-34 13 @BAL -
5 BYE WEEK 14 MIA -
6 @NYJ - 15 CIN -
7 BAL - 16 @GB -
8 @OAK - 17 CLE -
9 @NE - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 280,2
RB Le'Veon Bell 50 4-30
RB LeGarrette Blount 50,1
WR Antonio Brown 8-90
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 3-30
TE Heath Miller 6-60,1
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: It was bad enough when the offense was the only part not working. Now the Steelers defense have given up 74 points in just the last two weeks. The offensive line problem gets some help after the Steelers traded with the Cardinals to acquire LT Levi Brown for at least an incremental upgrade. But this is yet another team that has just struggled every week despite having much the same players and coaches from last year.

QUARTERBACKS: Ben Roethlisberger partially dislocated his finger against the Vikings but he played with the injury and had two weeks for it to heal. Big Ben has thrown for over 380 yards for the last two games but only passed for two scores against the Bears and just one on the Vikings. His five touchdowns on the season are balanced by five interceptions and four lost fumbles. As usual, he remains one of the most sacked quarterbacks with 15 over four games. He's throwing the yards but not the scores while getting beat up and turning over the ball. Not a great combination.

RUNNING BACKS: The lone positive that came out of the loss in London was that Le'Veon Bell finally played and was distinctly better than anything seen in a Steelers helmet this year. Bell gained 57 yards and two scores on 16 runs while adding four receptions for 27 yards. No other runner was allowed more than two carries. Bell renders all other Steeler running backs worthless for fantasy points. No wait... they were already there.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Markus Wheaton broke his pinkie finger in London and needed surgery to fix it. The only consistently good receiver here is Antonio Brown who only once failed to post 71 yards or more and had two touchdowns catches in Chicago where he ended with 196 yards on two receptions. In London he was scoreless but snagged 12 catches for 88 yards. Emmanuel Sanders still hasn't scored and seems locked around 60 yards Jerricho Cotchery comes off his season best effort when he caught five passes for 103 yards and scored once but he'd been locked at under 60 yards per week while here in the states. Brown is the only decent play each week.

TIGHT ENDS: Heath Miller was more active against the Vikings when he logged six receptions for 70 yards. He doesn't look fast and he doesn't do much after the catch but he's already second on the team for weekly targets behind only Antonio Brown.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jets defense is formidable and at home even better. The rush defense is eve better with no one running for more than 65 yards and the Jets only allowing 2.9 yards per carry. Miller makes for an attractive start though since the Jets have allowed each of the last three opponents to score with their tight end. None of the Steelers appear to be great starts this week but at least Miller and Brown are moderate starts. Bell is more likely in for a low game but with only one game so far he's more risky from being unknown than a lock to play poorly.

WHAT TO WATCH: Roethlisberger is the key here since the Jets already have 16 sacks but only one interception on the season. Big Ben has to play error free to have a chance.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 20 30 3 24 25 32
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 15 5 19 15 16 27

 

1 TB 18-17 10 BYE WEEK
2 @NE 10-13 11 @BUF -
3 BUF 27-20 12 @BAL -
4 @TEN 13-38 13 MIA -
5 @ATL 30-28 14 OAK -
6 PIT - 15 @CAR -
7 NE - 16 CLE -
8 @CIN - 17 @MIA -
9 NO - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Geno Smith 10 250,1
RB Chris Ivory 30,1
RB Chris Johnson 40 2-10
RB Bilal Powell 50 2-20
RB Daryl Richardson 30 1-10
WR Eric Decker 6-80
WR Clyde Gates 3-20
WR Stephen Hill 3-40
WR Jeremy Kerley 4-60,1
WR David Nelson 2-20
TE Jeff Cumberland 3-40
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jets come off a dramatic come-from-behind win over the Falcons directed by Geno Smith in his most impressive game yet. Sadly the schedule does not get any softer for the next month and this week is likely the only time the Jets are favored. But taking down the Falcons with a two minute drive will go a long way to giving the Jets confidence at the end of games. These next four weeks will define the season and at least three of them are at home.

QUARTERBACKS: While Geno Smith threw for a season low 199 yards, he had a career best three touchdown passes and did not commit a turnover for the first time. This week is only his third home game and he is improving every week if only incrementally. He still doesn't have much support from his rushing offense but Smith is scoring every week and now knows he can lead a comeback if needed.

RUNNING BACKS: This was already one of the least productive backfields and now it has evolved into a three-headed monster. Bilal Powell remains the primary but now is only getting a dozen carries and only a couple of passes per game. Chris Ivory ran four times for 27 yards in Atlanta and is getting healthy again. Mike Goodson also came off suspension and rushed for 32 yards on three runs and added one catch for nine yards. Join all if them together and you'd have a moderately decent running back. Combined - they water each other down too much.

Goodson is still interesting if only because he remains the only unknown quality in the backfield.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This motley crew never gets better it seems. Jeremy Kerley scored last week for only the second time by any Jets wide receiver this year. Santonio Holmes remains out with a hamstring issue but Stephen Hill (2-21) and Clyde Gates (1-3) are hardly replacements. The only positive here is that the only decent game all year by Hill came in the most recent home game though it was against the far softer Bills secondary. With Holmes out, only Kerley has obvious value and that's marginal in most weeks anyway.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow caught a one-yard touchdown against the Falcons on his only pass in the game. He was openly frustrated about his minimal role even though his knee has been an issue already and often prevents him from full practices. Jeff Cumberland scored for the second week in a row while posting a career best 79 yards on three catches. There is minor fantasy value here but it is inconsistent at best and mostly unreliable.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers have been weaker against the pass in recent games but still have only allowed four passing touchdowns on the season. Anything above one score would be a big success here. But the Steelers have been victimized by running backs in every game. They've allowed seven touchdowns to the position and was gouged for 140 yards and two scores by Adrian Peterson. The split in the Jets backfield robs any of them from having a big game but there is an excellent shot at a rushing score by one of the three. The Steelers defense is better than the below rankings suggest and will make the Jets work for what they accomplish. There really is no "safe" play here though Powell and maybe Goodson are interesting as low-end flex plays. Chances are best they don't amount to much this week.

WHAT TO WATCH: Mike Goodson looked good running briefly in Atlanta. He's a solid receiver as well and could carve out a larger niche from the offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 15 22 21 9 10 28
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 32 11 4 26 30

WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA


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