After posting a couple three-TD games in Weeks 10 and 11, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh passing offense hit a road block in Week 12. Big Ben only managed 246 passing yards and didn't throw a TD against the Bills. In Week 13, another rough test awaits as the Steelers travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens.
Roethlisberger is getting precious little time to throw the ball right now; he was sacked five times, and one more trip to the ground would have handed me a loss in my league. Against an always-tough (even if their fantasy point total doesn't reflect it) Ravens defense, I've picked up Sam Bradford and am playing him over the Pittsburgh QB in one league.
In this week's Over/Under, Roethlisberger drew a consensus cry that he wouldn't hit QB1 numbers in Week 13. Continuing the thread, no one is willing to call Hines Ward a WR2. Look for Pittsburgh to again struggle passing the ball, and look elsewhere for fantasy options if you can.
Here are your benchmarks in each category (normal 20/4 pass, 10/6 rush/rec scoring applies):
QB - 18 points (200 yards passing, 2 TDs; 220 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT, etc.)
RB1 - 16 points (100 yards and 1 TD)
RB2 - 10 points (100 yards, zero TDs; 40 yards, 1 TD)
WR1 - 12 points (120 yards, zero TDs; 60 yards, 1 TD)
WR2 - 10 points (100 yards, zero TDs; 40 yards, 1 TD)
WR3 - 8 points (80 yards, zero TDs; 20 yards, 1 TD)
FLEX - 6 points (60 yards or a TD)
TE - 8 points (80 yards, zero TDs; 20 yards, 1 TD)
• We're starting Matt Cassel and Peyton Manning without question; you should too. Everyone but me likes Eli Manning as a QB1, but I predict another heavy focus on the running game for the Giants, leaving Eli with something like 220 yards and one TD. I also stood out as the only person to take Mark Sanchez as a QB1; I don't know how you can't like the matchup with New England, especially with how well Santonio Holmes is playing.
• Nobody expects Ray Rice to deliver RB1 value against the shut-down Steelers run defense; I mean, Rice is no Fred Jackson. Likewise, no one is using Mike Hart in his first game back for the Colts, while only one person sees BenJarvus Green-Ellis at the RB2 level against the Jets. At flex, Anthony Dixon makes a great play, even against a good Packers run defense, as the rookie is expected to get goal line work and the 49ers should run, run, run in the red zone.
• Johnny Knox is coming off a nice 12.8-point game against Philadelphia, and although he doesn't catch many passes on a per-game basis (he's reached his season high of six receptions in a game just once), we think he'll have success as a WR2 against the Lions. At WR3, no one is willing to put their fantasy season in the hands of Danario Alexander yet, and Seyi Ajirotutu is also deemed a stay away. I'm the only one that disagrees that Malcom Floyd is a WR3 -- I'd actually take Ajirotutu if I was choosing between the two.
• Visanthe Shiancoe has a dream matchup against the Bills, but it's still not enough to draw TE1 confidence from any of us.