Fantasy Football: 5 Pittsburgh Steelers to Start vs. Buffalo Bills
5 Steelers to Start Sunday vs the Bills
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that doesn't necessarily stand out as a fantasy juggernaut, but there are some diamonds in the rough that could help you and your fantasy football team this weekend, especially if you have some injuries to deal with.
One of the biggest reasons to look at the Steelers as a potential for good fantasy football value is the simple fact that they are not playing very good defensive football right now. When that happens, you are constantly playing from behind and trying to make up points in a fast and furious manner. Although that means that the Steelers defense and special teams unit might not be at the top of the list in terms of fantasy football "starts" for this Sunday, it doesn't mean that there aren't players that are worthy of getting the nod for you to get your team a victory on the fantasy gridiron.
Looking at the matchup against the Buffalo Bills, there are a couple factors that tie into the equation for making these decisions that aren't strictly all about matchups.
The Steelers are back at home after two consecutive games on the road, and it has to feel good to be home. The Steelers this season aren't a team that completely takes advantage of home-field, but in the grand scheme of things, they aren't a team that takes advantage of much on Sundays. This 2-6 team can only benefit from playing at Heinz Field in front of a home crowd, though.
The Buffalo Bills are not a team that is completely dominant on the defensive side of the football. Looking at the numbers, the Bills are simply a "middle of the road" defense. They rank 18th in the league against the pass giving up just over 246 yards per game, and rank 17th against the run giving up 115 yards per game. Those numbers are right in the middle of the league in terms of defensive statistics, and something that could benefit the Steelers offensive unit.
The Steelers will look to strike early and often as a 2-6 record dictates that there is nothing left to lose in a season that has already begun to slip away.
Ben Roethlisberger is a must start this Sunday for your fantasy football team. Plain and simple, he is still capable of making plays and is coming off a 400-plus-yard and four-TD performance against the New England Patriots. Although he takes sacks and is a risk of turnovers, he is a quarterback that has been consistent in terms of fantasy points this season. Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,330 yards with 12 touchdown passes in 200 completions. Those numbers are worth a start this Sunday against an average Buffalo Bills pass defense.
Antonio Brown has been one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL this season, and is on a record pace to break several Pittsburgh Steelers records this year. Brown has done it all for the Steelers: Return punts, throw passes, run the football and catch the ball both across the middle and deep. The one crack on Brown is that although his yardage and receptions are amongst the best in the AFC, he has only scored three touchdowns so far this season. Getting Brown the football in the red zone has been a struggle for the Steelers, but he is still worth a start this Sunday.
Le'Veon Bell is a player that most fantasy owners might get frustrated with. He is a player that suffered some nagging injuries early in the preseason, and again in the regular season. However, Bell is becoming the every down back that the Steelers thought he'd be by selecting him in the second round of this year's draft. Bell has improved each game and finally started to show is versatility against the New England Patriots by rushing for 74 yards, but also having 65 receiving yards. Bell has phenomenal hands out of the backfield, and look for the Steelers to start using that skill set more and more as the season progresses. Start Bell this week vs. the Bills.
Shaun Suisham has certainly received his share of the criticism from the Pittsburgh Steelers fans and media after missing two crucial field goals in a three-point loss two weeks ago against the Oakland Raiders. However, if you take away that game, there isn't a kicker more consistent than Suisham in the NFL. One bad game doesn't ruin an entire season, and the Steelers red-zone struggles lead to plenty of field goal opportunities for the kicking game. Suisham's 16-of-18 on attempts this season is consistent enough to get a nod for your fantasy squad this Sunday.
Emmanuel Sanders is a player that has been very underwhelming this season. After the Patriots flirted with Sanders in the offseason and potentially signing him to a second-round tender, the Steelers expected a breakout year for the young wide receiver in a contract year. Sanders has made some plays as he has caught 37 passes for 494 yards so far this season with two touchdowns, but his overall body of work has left a lot to be desired. When a lot of people would look for Heath Miller to get the nod as a "must start," he has been forced into blocking more and more with injuries to the Steelers' offensive line. I say start Sanders as the Steelers look to stay balanced with the run and pass, and Sanders getting plenty of looks with Brown getting all the defensive coverage rolled his way.