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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN

Prediction: PIT 17, OAK 20 (Line: PIT by 3)

The Raiders won 34-31 when the Steelers visited last year.

The Steelers are on a two game winning streak but at 2-4 remain three games behind the Bengals in the AFC North. The Steelers are 1-2 on the road so far. The Raiders are also 2-4 and hold a 2-1 home record and last beat the Chargers there. This is a coin flip game because there won't be a lot of points and mistakes could loom as large as big plays.

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 19-6 15 CIN -
7 BAL 19-16 16 @GB -
8 @OAK - 17 CLE -
9 @NE - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 10 280,2
RB Le'Veon Bell 70 6-20
WR Antonio Brown 8-90,1
WR Lance Moore 3-50
TE Heath Miller 6-60,1
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Steelers offense remains mostly mediocre but at least the defense stepped up in the last two weeks and only allowed one touchdown between the Jets and Ravens. There is now a rushing game of some value thanks to Le'Veon Bell and that only serves to slow games down and keep overall scores even lower. The season is likely already over but with four more divisional games they could possibly make a play. But these next two road games in Oakland and New England will either keep slim hopes alive or crush the hopes of even the most diehard fans.

QUARTERBACKS: Ben Roethlisberger hasn't thrown an interception for the last two games but he also continues his snails's pace with scoring. Six games into the season and Big Ben only threw seven touchdowns against five interceptions and four lost fumbles. He's still been sacked 21 times already but both wins came when he had no turnovers. One other sad fact - two of his worst statistical performances came in the wins when he was content to hand-off the ball and not throw more than 30 passes. At least he was having high yardage in the losses.

RUNNING BACKS: The Steelers are getting more comfortable with Le'Veon Bell as the primary back that he shares almost nothing and is getting 16 carries plus a few receptions per game. Bell comes off a season best 93 yards on 19 runs against the Ravens but only has the two touchdowns from the Minnesota lost for scores. Bell will only become a bigger part of the offense as the season progresses.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The lower passing stats of recent games naturally brings down this unit and Antonio Brown remains the only consistent wideout but even he was only worth 50 yards on six catches in the Ravens win. He's been good for nine catches or more in the three previous games though he only topped 100 yards once when the Bears visited Pittsburgh back in week three. Emmanuel Sanders breaks 50 yards too rarely to consider for a fantasy start though his one score all year came in the recent road game against the Jets. This is just a mediocre group relying on Brown for possession catches.

TIGHT ENDS: Heath Miller finally scored but only managed two catches in the Ravens win. He was on a six-catch streak over the two previous road games. Minor value here and lower than what we saw in 2013.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Raiders were victimized by Peyton Manning but otherwise are above average against the pass and their three home games only allowed four passing scores in total. What comes to bear in this game is that the Raiders are very good against the run. They allowed just one rushing touchdown there and no runner was better than the 78 yards on 22 carries that Jamaal Charles managed in the away game for the Raiders. Not likely to see a big game here by Bell and that should help elevate the passing stats from Roethlisberger.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Raiders biggest weakness is against wide receivers and that should be where the Steelers end up trying to win. Both Brown and even Sanders should see bigger stats this week than in recent weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 21 32 6 21 10 32
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 17 15 18 14 7 27

 

1 @IND 17-21 10 @NYG -
2 JAC 19-9 11 @HOU -
3 @DEN 21-37 12 TEN -
4 WAS 14-24 13 @DAL -
5 SD 27-17 14 @NYJ -
6 @KC 7-24 15 KC -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @SD -
8 PIT - 17 DEN -
9 PHI - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 40 2-10
RB Darren McFadden 80,1 3-20
RB Marcel Reece 10 3-30,1
WR Denarius Moore 5-60
WR Rod Streater 3-50
TE Mychal Rivera 2-20
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders are only 2-4 but road games in IND, DEN and KC would result in losses for most any team. The schedule is serving up opponents who sport losing records for the next five weeks before it all turns bad again. The Steelers bring a decent defense this week but the Eagles, Giants and Texans are next and will help the Raiders look better than they really are. Also notable this week is that they are coming off their bye and should have healthier players.

QUARTERBACKS: While Terrelle Pryor had a rough go in Kansas City, he's been solid in other weeks. Pryor threw three interceptions and just one score against the Chiefs but had no turnovers in the three previous games. He's thrown for as many as two touchdowns only once but it was in the most recent home stand against the Chargers. In fantasy terms, he never more than a moderate play with the hope he has enough rushing yards for a decent score.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren McFadden is having another standard season. He blew up on the Jaguars for 157 total yards, only gained nine yards in Denver, got injured in the Washington game and missed the following week. And then was back up to 83 total yards in Kansas City before the bye. He played through a hamstring strain then and should be better with two weeks of healing time. McFadden is an equal risk to blow up or bow out every week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Pryor does benefit the wideouts. Denarius Moore is on a four game streak of nice stats including touchdowns in three of them. He's become a lock for 80 yards or so each week and is easily the most targeted receiver. Rod Streater only scored once this year but remains good for around 40 yards or so in each game. It's not exactly the Denver Broncos but at least they are consistently showing up each week and Moore in particular is finally becoming worthy of a fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: No real fantasy value here. Mychal Rivera scored in the Redskins game but has been nearly invisible since. He's mainly a blocker and never the first read for Pryor.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers have a great defense against the pass and given up just five touchdowns over their seven games. No reason to expect Pryor to have a big game though he will be the first running quarterback that they have faced. If there are any stats of note in the passing effort it will come from a single big play that you cannot rely on happening. Favorable is that the Steelers are weaker against the run and McFadden should be healthier in this game. He makes for a moderate play with a chance for a touchdown. Pryor and Moore are desperation plays this week on the hopes they connect for one long lucky touchdown.

WHAT TO WATCH: McFadden needs to show up this week and produce at least decent rushing numbers for the Raiders to win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 21 25 28 30 21
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 24 7 3 25 29

WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN


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