Fantasy Player Projections

New England Patriots
Heinz Field | Sunday, November 14 | 8:20 p.m. EST (NBC)
Pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 17
Pittsburgh Steelers
QBTom Brady
195 pass yards, 2 pass TD
It'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.
RBBenJarvus Green-Ellis
30 rush yards
Green-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.
RBDanny Woodhead
4 rec, 40 rec yards, 20 rush yards
Woodhead 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.
WRDeion Branch
4 rec, 40 yards
Since 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.
WRWes Welker
5 rec, 35 yards, 1 TD
Call 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.
WRBrandon Tate
2 rec, 30 yards
Tate'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.
TEAaron Hernandez
5 rec, 50 yards, 1 TD
Hernandez 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.
KStephen Gostkowski
2 PATs, 1 FG
Gostkowski 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 INT
The 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.
QBBen Roethlisberger
210 pass yards, 1 pass TD, 5 rush yards, 1 INT
Roethlisberger 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.
RBRashard Mendenhall
2 rec, 15 rec yards, 80 rush yards, 1 rush TD
The 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.
RBMewelde Moore
1 rec, 10 rec yards, 20 rush yards
Rashard 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.
WRMike Wallace
3 rec, 65 yards, 1 TD
Wallace 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.
WRHines Ward
4 rec, 45 yards
It 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.
WRAntwaan Randle El
1 rec, 15 yards
Randle-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.
TEHeath Miller
3 rec, 30 yards
If 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.
KJeff Reed
2 PATs, 2 FGs
Reed 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 Fumbles
The 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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