The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a disappointment in every since of the word this season. They are 1-4 on the road, have exactly one win this season over a +.500 team, and rank ahead of only the Jacksonville Jaguars in rushing yards. In other words, this is simply not the Steelers team you’re used to.
All of that being said, they have a player in Emmanuel Sanders who can lead your fantasy team to a big time win in Week 12. The Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals in a must-win game, and with Joe Haden, who held A.J. Green to seven yards last week, expected to shadow the absurdly consistent Antonio Brown, who’s had at least five catches and 71 yards in seven of his last eight games, I expect Ben Roethlisberger to look Sanders’ way a great deal this weekend. The Bengals haven’t given up a rushing touchdown since Week 7 and the Steelers have attempted at least 45 passes in three of the last four weeks, a combination that would hint at a pass-happy offense for Pittsburgh.
Sanders is unowned in 26 percent of ESPN leagues, 41 percent of Yahoo leagues and priced outside the top 30, in the same boat as Aaron Dobson, at his position in most daily leagues? That’s a crime. Even if you aren’t buying Sanders as an exceptional talent, isn’t the fact that Roethlisberger has not one but two games of 360-plus passing yards and four touchdowns this month reason enough to at least take a flier?
Sanders has performed at a WR2 level on the road this season – 25 catches on 46 targets for 391 yards and two touchdowns in five games – and has played well against three defenses that excel at taking away a passing attack’s number one option in a similar fashion to Cincinnati. He has totaled 16 catches on 29 targets for 225 yards and two scores against the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.
Sanders isn’t the most talented pass catcher in Pittsburgh nor is he a consistent fantasy option, but with the fantasy regular season coming to a close, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned. I’ve got Sanders as a top 20 option this week with the potential to finish as a WR1.