Fantasy Football 2013: Steelers at Bengals Week 2 Preview
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Monday, September 16, 8:40 PM ET
Closing out Week 2 in the NFL on “Monday Night Football” will be a big divisional matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are coming off road losses in Week 1, missing the opportunity to gain an early foothold on first place in the AFC North. The Steelers (0-1) suffered an embarrassing loss to the Titans this past Sunday, while the Bengals (0-1) weren’t able to hold onto a lead against the Bears.
This game will make or break a lot of fantasy matchups, so let’s take a closer look at the major names on both sides who will have a big impact on your lineup.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: We know the Steelers are having major issues with their offensive line, but we expected more out of Roethlisberger in Week 1. He was efficient, going 21-of-33, but could only collect 191 yards and one late TD in an ugly offensive effort. The Bengals’ front line shouldn’t have too much difficulty penetrating without the Steelers’ Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, so Roethlisberger should only be an option in deep leagues.
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Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Statistically, Dalton had a pretty good day against a solid Bears defense. He posted 282 yards and a pair of scores, but couldn’t get the team over the hump late in the game. His saving grace--as usual--was A.J. Green (who we’ll get to in a minute). The Steelers’ secondary isn’t as lethal as it once was, so if you’re in need of a stopgap or a second option in a two-QB league, there are worse starts out there.
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers’ running game against the Titans was flat-out awful. Sure, they suffered from offensive line issues and couldn’t get any push, but Redman’s measly nine yards on eight carries were just abysmal. The team went out and added Jonathan Dwyer to the mix after LaRod Stephens-Howling was ruled out for the rest of the year with a knee injury, so there are even more question marks in the Pittsburgh backfield heading into Week 2. Stay away, at least until Le’Veon Bell comes back.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals’ running game was full of mediocrity against the Bears, but like the passing numbers that’s likely due in large part to the Chicago D. Green-Ellis posted 25 yards and a score on 14 carries, and he’s going to have to do a lot better than that to get your fantasy consideration--especially with Giovani Bernard in the mix. We’ll call Bernard a flex option, but Green-Ellis should be left out.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: If there was a statistical positive to the Steelers’ ugly loss, it was Brown’s performance. He finished with 71 yards on five grabs, which is just the kind of line the team needed now that Mike Wallace and his talents are in South Beach. There are better fantasy options out there when it comes to wide receivers, but we’ll give Brown a mid-to-low-level starting designation for Week 2.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: You’ll find some differences of opinion when it comes to ranking Green for this one, but he should be somewhere among the top seven or eight fantasy wide receivers in the league. He’s coming off a huge nine-grab, 162-yard, two-touchdown performance, and a lot of it came against a very good corner in Charles Tillman. Green is an obvious must-start No. 1 WR in fantasy, so keep him cemented in your lineup as long as he’s on the field.
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