By Christopher DiMarino
Steelers Versus Jets Recap:
This was not much of a game. While it started with a competitive edge, the New York Jets didn’t show up in the second half. Even without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, the Steelers defense looked good. The Steelers offense had a repeat of last week with the exception of the dreaded pick 6. The absence of Darrelle Revis might have been to blame, but Ben Roethlisberger had a superb day throwing the pigskin.
My projections were a little off this week. The Jets underperformed quite a bit on offense and the Steelers were not able to run the ball as well as I expected. The touchdown allocation moved around a bit as well; Isaac Redman earned the touchdown instead of Jonathan Dwyer and it was Heath Miller and Mike Wallace rather than Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders who caught the touchdowns from Roethlisberger. There were no interceptions in the game and the lone turnover came on special teams. The biggest story was the disappearance of Stephen Hill. To numbers of Jeremy Kerley were inflated by a good catch and run as he was barely in the game as well.
You can reference my fantasy projections following the link below:
What We Learned: Pittsburgh Steelers
- The Steelers defense is much better with Ryan Clark. Many have called for a younger replacement, but the truth is that this defense plays much better as a unit with Clark in the game.
- Roethlisberger is looking as good as he has ever looked. While his team is still discovering its identity in the run game, Ben has been incredible to date. Wallace doesn’t even look behind and his chemistry with Ben is palpable once again.
- Heath is the primary red zone target. For a guy who might have been undrafted in fantasy leagues, he has a decent chance to haul in a TD each week until the receivers step up, or defenses start focusing on him.
- Smash mouth football is the Steelers only option. While they are trying to adjust to a new style of play in the NFL, when the Steelers annihilate the opposing offenses with big hits (Timmons on Sanchez and Clark on Holmes) they have huge success.
- The run defense was superb and outside of two long runs by Tebow and McKnight, the Jets run game was held to 56 yards on 20 carries. Unfortunately, the Steelers still can’t seem to run the ball even though CJ Spiller tore up this Jets run defense last week. Steelers running backs are hard to start in fantasy right now and after the bye when Mendenhall gets involved, it will be even worse.
What We Learned: Around the League
- Jay Cutler is simply awful against the Green Bay Packers. Teams will be doubling Marshall all season now and Forte needs to get healthy for them. Green Bay showed that they can run the ball, even when the passing game isn’t firing on all cylinders.
- The Bills sure made the Chiefs look bad. The Bills defense rebounded well from the Mark Sanchez beat down and gave Matt Cassel problems. CJ Spiller is really going off and the Bills pass offense is gelling along with it thanks to solid Oline play.
- The Saints look pretty bad right now. The Panthers were rushing 3 down lineman and still getting pressure and Drew Brees looks overwhelmed. The Panthers ran the ball extremely well and kept the weak Saints defense off balance all game.
- Cincinnati’s defense is not as good as last year. Poor tackling and soft coverage made this bout against the Browns a nail biter. Richardson showed off and Weeden looked comfortable. Even though Dalton was good, unless the D steps up, it could be a sophomore slump for the Bengals.
- Andrew Luck demonstrated skill against a weaker Vikings defense. Donnie Avery stepping up really helped him. Ponder was efficient but needs more weapons at receiver, Jerome Simpson’s suspension can’t end soon enough for them.
- Houston’s defense made Jacksonville look silly and Houston ran the ball very well. Schaub might not throw for multiple TDs in a game but he keeps the offense moving so the run game can score. Jacksonville has to be better in all phases after this one.
- Oakland is having issues running the ball while Miami showed it could run it quite well. Reggie Bush had a huge day, Brain Hartline had a good PPR performance, but the Raiders pass D is a little soft. Palmer threw for a bunch, but didn’t create any fantasy gems out of it.
- Even though the Patriots lost, their defense was impressive. Arizona players are hazards to start right now, especially Larry Fitzgerald. Brady got his numbers, but the Cardinals D also impressed and looked like it could be one of the elite in the league.
- Eli is a beast when he wants to be. Tampa looked good and rookie Doug Martin could be a top fantasy option next year. Vincent Jackson had a coming out game and Mike Williams continues to impress. Don’t forget that Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks absolutely tore it up too.
- The Ravens lost a close one to the Eagles. Vick bounced back and tossed it Celek’s way a lot. Dennis Pitta had a big game for the Ravens. Both fantasy stud backs were impressive, but neither went off, and Ray Rice didn’t get into the endzone.
- Seattle’s defense and special teams were the star in this one. The Seahawks offense was efficient and consistent running the ball. The Dallas D couldn’t stop the run and Murray couldn’t get going on the ground.
- The Rams looked good as Sam Bradford tore up the Redskins secondary. Danny Amendola had a monster week, and if he stays healthy is a good player to have especially in PPR leagues. RG3 scored a pair of rushing TDs and was efficient passing the ball.
- The Chargers backups went off. Dante Rosario caught 3 TDs for the scratched Antonio Gates and Jackie Battle scored twice while Ryan Matthews sat out. I’m going to sit Chris Johnson and the Titans offense as a whole didn’t look good.
- San Francisco looked impressive once again. Vernon Davis hauled in a pair of TDs and Frank Gore ran hard. Stafford had a decent performance, but it’s hard to play that 49ers defense.
- The Falcons are very good. Peyton had a rough second outing as he forced a few and made some bad decisions. Willis McGahee had a good night. Demaryius Thomas is certainly a top wide receiver in fantasy at this point while Decker and Tamme had slow nights.
If you have any fantasy questions, feel free to post them as comments on these articles (I will check them as often as I can) or for a speedier answer, ask me on twitter.
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