Heinz Field | Sunday, November 14 | 8:20 p.m. EST (NBC)
Pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 17
195 pass yards, 2 pass TDIt's hard to bench Tom Brady, but consider that he hasn't thrown more than two touchdowns in a game since Week 3 and he has to face the Steelers. Take a good, long look at your backup this week.
30 rush yardsGreen-Ellis has struggled mightily against better rush defenses this season, and this week he faces the league's best. He is a risky starting option against a Steelers D giving up just 2.6 yards per rush.
4 rec, 40 rec yards, 20 rush yardsWoodhead proved once again last week that he is a solid complement arguably deserving of an increased role offensively. The Steelers defense is playing lights out at the moment, however.
4 rec, 40 yardsSince a big performance in Week 6, Branch has been a marginal fantasy option at best. The Pats' passing game hasn't clicked at all since Randy Moss left, and will have a tough time getting back on track against Pittsburgh.
5 rec, 35 yards, 1 TDCall it the Randy Moss affect, but Welker hasn't been much of fantasy option since his former teammate left. He should see his usual four receptions, but really isn't worth consideration except in PPR leagues.
2 rec, 30 yardsTate's M.O. is his ability to make plays downfield. He doesn't see enough targets to be anything more than a boom-or-bust gamble. Stay away this week against Pittsburgh.
5 rec, 50 yards, 1 TDHernandez led the Pats last week with five receptions for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Keep an eye on what he does this week: If Hernandez sees more targets in the red zone he could be a solid sleeper pick over the season's second half.
2 PATs, 1 FGGostkowski looks unlikely to play this week due to a quad injury. Whoever kicks for the Patriots is poor option against a stout Steelers' defense.
3 sacks, 1 INTThe Steelers have averaged 330 total yards of offense per game with Ben Roethlisberger at the reins. While that's far from elite, they have been efficient enough that you will probably want to avoid deploying the Pats' defense if you can.
210 pass yards, 1 pass TD, 5 rush yards, 1 INTRoethlisberger struggled in his past two outings, throwing for 195 and 163 yards against the Saints and Bengals respectively. Then again, the Pats' secondary has been terrible, surrendering 7.6 yards per pass attempt.
2 rec, 15 rec yards, 80 rush yards, 1 rush TDThe Steelers have made a conscious effort to limit Mendenhall's touches. Against an average rush defense, he should have his usual numbers. Just keep in mind that if the game is close he will likely garner fewer than 20 carries.
1 rec, 10 rec yards, 20 rush yardsRashard Mendenhall's decreased role should mean bigger dividends for Moore, but he has not been able to rise above his handcuff-only status in recent weeks.
3 rec, 65 yards, 1 TDWallace broke loose last week for five receptions for 110 yards and a TD. He's still a little too feast-or-famine to start with confidence every week, but he should find a way to get open against a maligned Patriots secondary.
4 rec, 45 yardsIt initially looked like Ward's production was going to take off with Ben Roethlisberger's return, however two straight three-catch performances have tempered expectations. He could bounce back nicely against a shaky Patriots secondary.
|WR||Antwaan Randle El|
1 rec, 15 yardsRandle-El's 39-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace was his first score of the season. Outside of trick plays, Randle-El doesn't hold much value in any fantasy format.
3 rec, 30 yardsIf you need a tight end for the last bye week of the season, by all means target Miller. Otherwise you should have figured out by now that his fantasy prospects are not what they were a year ago.
2 PATs, 2 FGsReed is 14-for-20 on field goal attempts this season, giving him the worst field-goal percentage in the league. Still, he's not in any danger of losing his job and he still has an efficient offense to back him up. Reed is still worth consideration.
3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FumblesThe argument could easily be made for the Steelers having the best defense in the NFL. Granted the Patriots have Tom Brady at quarterback and that makes them dangerous, but New England's offense simply isn't as prolific as it once was.
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