Big Ben had an efficient game against the Vikings in Pittsburgh's win before the bye, throwing for 175 yards on 14-for-26 passing with 1 TD and 0 INT. He's third in the league in passing yards and seventh in completions. He seems to have finally made the transition from elite NFL QB to elite fantasy QB. He is a recommended start, even against Denver's eighth-ranked pass D.
Mendenhall appears to still be the clear-cut No. 1 back in Pittsburgh despite having a pronounced case of the dropsies. He got into the end zone four times in the Steelers' three games before the bye. He's been averaging 17.75 carries for 93.25 yards and 1 TD in his four games since taking over the starter's job from Willie Parker. Consider Mendenhall a No. 2 fantasy RB, but monitor those fumbles.
He's a top option on the pass happy Super Bowl champs, catching 2 passes for 59 yards against the Vikings. Holmes is only a lower-end a No. 2/higher-end No. 3 fantasy WR option because he's only gotten into the end zone once this year. He's 15th in the league in yards and 19th in receptions.
Ward is still fifth in the NFL with 602 yards and seventh with 42 catches after his worst game of the year going into the bye (1 rec and 3 rec yards against the Vikes). Clearly, Big Ben trusts him implicitly. Despite having only 2 TD on the season, he is a No. 1 WR option in any league, especially PPR leagues.
Tied for second among TEs in receptions with 40, Miller is a top fantasy option at the position. Last weekend, Miller broke his three-game TD streak, catching 6 passes for just 38 yards the Vikings. Nevertheless, he is a must-start against the Broncos.
Reed was cited three weeks ago for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. It was his second arrest this year. If only they gave fantasy points for partying. He's been just an average fantasy kicker -- 9-for-12 on the year -- but was 2-for-2 against the Vikings and 2-for-2 the week before against the Browns. He's a low-end starting option.
Pittsburgh is a good start every week, though have not played like the top unit they looked like coming in to the year. They're fourth in the league in sacks and eighth overall in YPG. They scored a pair of defensive touchdowns against the Favre magic and are a good start against a Broncos team that got shut down last week by the Ravens.
Orton and the Broncos got shut down in their 30-7 loss at Baltimore last week. He was just 23-for-37 for 152 yards with nary a TD or INT. With 9 TDs and 1 INT on the season, Orton has very quietly become a No. 2 fantasy QB. He's a legit starting option and a great flex option or bye-week replacement.
Moreno carried just 10 times for 39 yards against the Ravens, though he did get into the end zone for the Broncos only score. He's had two rough games in a row and it doesn't get any easier against the Steelers top-ranked run defense. He's a No. 3 option here.
Though he's lost some carries, he still has double-digit touches every game this year. He had 8 carries for 16 yards and a team-high 6 catches for 30 yards. He had two more touches than Moreno against the Ravens and is a No. 3 fantasy option against the Steelers.
Royal's been a major disappointment after an excellent 91-catch '08 campaign. His 10 catches during the Week 5 game with New England got his owners excited, but he followed that up with a 0-catch effort against the Chargers (despite punt and kickoff returns for TDs) and a forgettable 2-catch, 10-yard effort against Baltimore. He is a low-end No. 3 option and an inadvisable start in any format.
Like the rest of the Broncos, Marshall had a disappointing game against the Ravens. He had 4 catches for 24 yards and didn't sniff the end zone. That said, he's a great talent and seems to have developed a connection with Orton. He's a No. 2 fantasy WR against the Steelers' 16th-ranked pass defense. He should probably start every week.
Scheffler followed his season-igh 6 catches for 101 yards and a TD against the Chargers with a 1-catch, 9-yard stinker against Baltimore. Like Eddie Royal, Scheff ‘de Cuisine' has had some issues connecting with Orton after an excellent '08 campaign. Scheff is a second-tier TE option and good bye-week play with upside.
Even after a disappointing outing against the Ravens, the Broncos' defense ranks tops in the NFL in YPG and second in PPG. Because of their unexpected success thus far, they are still a top-tier fantasy option.