Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals - Steelers Breakdown


Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben has been able to put yards up lately, but he hasn’t been able to get the ball into the hands of his WRs for a TD – however, he HAS been able to get the ball into the hands of the opposing secondary, throwing 8 INTs in the last 5 games, and only 3 TDs. He faces a Bengals team that has steadily – though slowly – gotten better as the weeks have gone on. They have been able to limit passers to just over 200 yards a game but are not getting a ton of pressure on the QB (just 11 sacks) and aren’t forcing too many turnovers (just 8). They have also given 14 TDs up to date and while many of those were earlier in the season, they do give them up regularly and this could be the week that Roethlisberger’s TDs end up better than his yards. I think he’s a fine start, depending on your matchup.


Willie Parker – One reason Big Ben might have a subpar passing game yardage-wise could be a large game from Willie Parker. Parker came out firing on all cylinders in a sloppy game against the Chargers last week, and is looking a defense giving 131+ yards a game, and a dozen TDs right in the face. Parker is a good start this week, a nice RB2 or flex at least and maybe more depending upon your matchups.


Hines Ward – Ward has been pretty darn streaky this season, but is on a two game tear with over 100 yards per game. Roethlisberger is certainly looking at him a ton the last few games – and while Parker will probably control things on the ground, Ward is often Big Ben’s go to guy on short and tough crossing routes. A decent WR3 or flex depending on your roster and he should put up ok yards. He might get a TD in the redzone, but no guarantees.


Santonio Holmes – Holmes has had, for the most part, an awful year. Between his one game benching and the subpar receptions, he's been a shaky start. Could he light up the Bengals? Yup. Do I want to risk it this early? Probably not. He is a borderline WR4 – until he can prove to me he can be even a little consistent I’m not partial to him going into your lineup.


Nate Washington – There was time during the earlier part of the season where they were using Washington to stretch the field. But that time seems to have past. Like Calvin Johnson, he’s surviving on one or two long bombs most weeks – unlike Johnson he does not have the pure physicality and ability to make more out of less. Washington is just not a safe play – he did have a TD last go-round against the Bengals but unless you have to go 4 Wr and/or are in a bind, he should be on your bench.


Mewelde Moore – Moore might have some very thin value in an emergency but with Parker running the way he did this weekend, it looks grim. Moore was part of the pass game to the tune of 5 catches for 33 yards so in a PPR league he has Kevin Faulk value, but it’s risky and unless you have a real problem at RB this weekend, sit him. He might get garbage yards but on a thursday I would rather not risk it.


Heath Miller – Fresh off an injury I would hate to have to start him but let’s face it – the TE position has been a real pain in the rear in FF this year. I would rather sit him but if you have a rotating group of donuts each week, he’s worth a flier. He practiced today and so he should play.

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