Fantasy Football 2014: Steelers at Ravens 9/11/14 Week 2 Preview
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1)
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Kicking off Week 2 of the NFL schedule is a great game out of the AFC North. It features a nice matchup between divisional rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and there’s no love lost between these two perennial powerhouses. The Ravens took a Week 1 loss to Cincinnati, while the Steelers barely scraped by Cleveland.
On the field Thursday will be plenty of notable fantasy players, and they’ll be setting the tone for many a matchup out there. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the big-name fantasy contributors on both teams so that we can see what we should be expecting on our rosters.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers certainly made things interesting against the Browns, and thanks to a strong first half Roethlisberger’s stats looked okay. He finished with just one touchdown, but posted 365 yards passing.
Big Ben is owned in most fantasy leagues, but normally it’s as a backup. As long as Antonio Brown is out on the field, however, the chance of big yardage is there.
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Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: Playing from behind after a flurry of first-half field goals from the Bengals, Flacco pumped up his stats to the tune of 345 yards passing. He was only able to post one touchdown, however, which put a damper on things.
Flacco is in pretty much the same boat as his Steelers counterpart: He’s owned in most leagues, but sits the bench for the most part. Still, in a good matchup (and this one is just kind of “meh”), he could thrive.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: There was a lot of dissention in the fantasy community over what exactly Bell’s role would be with fellow RB LeGarrette Blount on the field this season. On Sunday, he was the clear favorite, however, posting 109 yards and a score on 21 carries.
Bell’s box score bodes well for his fantasy chances on Thursday, but keep in mind that it’s hard telling what the work-split will be after just one game. Still, he’s a must-start guy regardless.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens: With Ray Rice serving a two-game suspension, Forsett carried the load against the Bengals. He posted 11 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown, adding another 14 yards on five grabs.
It was an admittedly surprising performance for Forsett, who have little impact. He has Bernard Pierce to thank for that, and could see a large role once again on Thursday if the team stays angry.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Now on to the aforementioned Antonio Brown, who was quite the beast against the Browns. He came down with five receptions for 116 yards and a score, putting him in line for yet another great season statistically.
Brown is a top-tier fantasy receiver, and he displayed that in Week 1. If you spent a high pick on him, you’re looking pretty smart right now.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Considering the fact that he’s the team’s No. 1 receiver, Smith didn’t have much of an impact in Week 1. He got just seven targets (third on the team), hauling in three for 50 yards.
Smith is still a big-time fantasy receiver, but this game shows that he’s got some competition this season. He may not be such a focal point moving forward.
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