Fantasy Football 2014: Bengals at Steelers 12/28/14 Week 17 Preview
Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)
Sunday, December 28, 2014; 8:30 PM ET
Finishing off the regular season NFL schedule on “Sunday Night Football,” we’ve got a key Week 17 matchup between division rivals Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Bengals (10-4-1) are coming off a big-time victory over the Broncos on Monday, while the Steelers (10-5) were able to take care of the Chiefs in Week 16. The winner of this game will take the division, while the loser has to settle for a Wild Card berth.
Let’s check out some of the key fantasy names in this game who will be winning (and losing) many a championship for their owners. Here’s a closer look at the major players on both sides.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton isn’t exactly a fantasy goldmine, but he did okay against the Broncos. He was pretty efficient in a 146-yard, two-touchdown performance, even without his top target (more on that in a second).
Dalton is still a pretty low-level fantasy start, even with a healthy receiving corps. He hasn’t tossed more than two touchdowns since November 16th--which was actually his only time doing that this season.
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Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Roethlisberger wasn’t all that great against the Chiefs, either, and his yardage took a tumble as well. He put up 18 completions for 220 yards and a score, giving him just one TD in the past two weeks combined.
Roethlisberger has been putting up silly yardage numbers (340-plus) in six of the last eight, so chances are he’ll get near there again in Week 17.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Anyone doubting that Hill has replaced Giovani Bernard as the top back on the Bengals squad had to eat their words in the Denver game, when Hill posted 147 yards and a score on 22 carries.
That’s now two straight weeks of 140-plus rush yards for Hill, who is the back to own in Cincinnati. Bernard will still get a handful of touches, but he’s been relegated to a backup role.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Speaking of awesome running backs, Bell certainly qualifies. He put up 73 total yards and a score in the Chiefs game, giving him five straight weeks of double-digit fantasy scoring.
Bell has been one of the most reliable running backs in fantasy, and your team is probably in good shape if you’ve got him on the roster. Keep him locked into the lineup, obviously.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: We’ve got a bit of an issue with Green. The Bengals’ top wide receiver was held without a catch in the Broncos game, thanks to an injury that had him in and out of action the whole night.
Green sustained a bruised biceps, and for what it’s worth the X-rays were negative and he thinks he’ll be okay for Sunday. Owners will definitely want to watch him in practice this week to get a feel for his health.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown has been flat-out phenomenal for the Steelers. He surpassed 1,500 receiving yards against the Chiefs, and now has a whopping 122 catches on the season. If he gets two more grabs this week, he’ll be second on the all-time list for catches in a year.
Brown has been so good that when he doesn’t get into double-digit fantasy points it’s something of a let-down. Odds are he’ll keep it going in Week 17.
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