Tag: Pittsburgh Steelers
Preview: Panthers at Steelers
After beginning their winning streak versus one Keystone State representative, the Carolina Panthers bid for their fourth straight victory against another on Thursday when they invade Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cam Newton led three fourth-quarter touchdown drives to upend defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia on Oct. 21 before tossing two more scoring strikes in wins over Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
“Listen, we may not necessarily be the best team in the league, but we’re damn sure going to be the best team when we play. That’s all that matters,” Newton said. The 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player has thrown at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games, and he’d set a franchise record should he repeat the feat versus Pittsburgh. Steelers running back James Conner also can scribble his name among the franchise’s elite should he rush for 100-plus yards in his fifth consecutive game — joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis. The 23-year-old Conner has amassed a staggering 689 yards on 108 touches (88 carries, 20 receptions) over his last four games, including 163 yards (107 rushing, 56 receiving) in Pittsburgh’s 23-16 win over arch-rival Baltimore on Sunday.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Steelers -4. O/U: 51.5
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (6-2): The elusive Christian McCaffrey can give Conner a run for his money after totaling 157 scrimmage yards (79 rushing, 78 receiving) in Sunday’s 42-28 win over Tampa Bay. “He is an athletic, dynamic football player who just makes plays for us,” coach Ron Rivera said of the 22-year-old McCaffrey, who also found the end zone twice for the second week in a row after scoring one touchdown in his previous six games. Tight end Greg Olsen made a twisting one-handed catch versus the Buccaneers to reel in a scoring strike for the third straight outing. Star linebacker Luke Kuechly leads the team with 64 tackles in 2018 and had a club-best 14 in the last meeting with Pittsburgh, albeit in a 37-19 setback in September 2014.
ABOUT THE STEELERS (5-2-1): Ben Roethlisberger says he’s not a fan of Thursday games, and he let his listeners know why on his weekly radio show this week. “I’m sure the fans like (Thursday night games); they like seeing football as often as they can,” the 36-year-old Roethlisberger said. “Players? (Sighs) It’s like, ‘Oh here we go, short week, especially after a Baltimore game where you’re physically beat up.'” Roethlisberger has thrown seven touchdowns without an interception in his last two Thursday contests while Antonio Brown has reeled in three scoring strikes in each of his last two such tilts. The 30-year-old Brown has flourished during games on other days as well, collecting eight touchdowns in his last six games overall as well as finding the end zone on two occasions to go along with 10 catches in his last encounter with Carolina.
1. Pittsburgh WR JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (672) and 20-plus-yard catches (nine).
2. Rivera said he is optimistic that C Ryan Kalil (ankle) will play versus the Steelers despite failing to practice on Tuesday.
3. Pittsburgh lost its first-ever encounter with Carolina before winning the last five in the series.
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Two of the NFL’s most explosive offenses in the early going face off in Tampa to wrap up Week 3
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had much different starts to the 2018 season. Seeing that sentence isn’t much of a surprise, except everyone thought it would be for a very different reason.
The Bucs are off to a perfect 2-0 start after beating the New Orleans Saints and the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, during the first two weeks. Considering they were expected to finish with one of the worst records in the NFL, that’s as good of a start as one could ask.
On the other hand, the Steelers are winless after two weeks. They tied the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, and then proceeded to lose a 42-37 shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.
Now, the Steelers are traveling to Tampa Bay to try to avoid falling into a 0-2-1 hole while quieting some of the off-field noise that has dominated the early headlines.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
Kickoff: Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Spread: Tampa Bay -1
Three Things to Watch
1. Can Ryan Fitzpatrick keep it up?
Fitzpatrick will turn 36 years old in November. He’s been in the NFL for 14 years, but he’s never started a season the way he has in 2018.
In two starts, the Harvard product has thrown for 819 yards and eight touchdowns while completing an eye-popping 78.7 percent (48 of 61) of his passes. Fitzpatrick has been the main reason for Tampa Bay’s 2-0 start, but there are people who wonder if he can keep up this level of play.
Jameis Winston is eligible to return from his three-game suspension following Monday night’s matchup against the Steelers. If Fitzpatrick can remain productive, it may be difficult for Winston to reclaim the starting job.
2. Antonio Brown after his comments last week
The Steelers have already been dealing with the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The star running back is still looking for a massive payday after emerging as one of the top players at his position, and it’s unclear how long his holdout with last.
As if that wasn’t enough, there seems to be growing frustration coming from the team’s other star skill position player Brown due to the 0-1-1 start to the season. That frustration even led to a tweet from Brown requesting a trade after last week’s loss.
Pittsburgh isn’t known for being a dysfunctional franchise, but the off-the-field issues don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
3. James Conner’s emergence as the lead back
Speaking of Bell, his replacement has put up good numbers, while struggling in some other areas. The second-year running back out of Pittsburgh has already exceeded last year’s rushing totals in the first two weeks of this season.
The 6-foot-1, 233-pound bruiser has 257 total yards (152 rushing, 105 receiving) to go along with three rushing touchdowns. But Conner has really struggled as a pass protector. According to Pro Football Focus, he has a 27.5 grade in that area through the first two weeks. That ranks him near the bottom.
There have been reports surfacing that the Steelers are listening to trade offers for Bell, which could mean they’re starting to view Conner as a long-term replacement. He’ll need to continue to prove that against the Buccaneers, though.
The high level of play from Tampa Bay’s offense must come to an end eventually, right? Sure, but it may not be this week after seeing the struggles from Pittsburgh’s defense to start the season. The good news is the Steelers will welcome cornerback Joe Haden back into the starting lineup after he missed last week’s game due to a hamstring injury.
Another factor that could play a significant factor in this game is Ben Roethlisberger’s struggles on the road. The team can’t afford to put him in a position where he has to win a shootout away from Heinz Field. Roethlisberger did well with his 60 pass attempts last week (452 yards and three touchdowns), but will he see similar results on the road? That’s doubtful.
Expecting 79 combined points like last week would be foolish, but the over (54 points) still looks appealing. If Fitzpatrick can continue to play at an MVP-caliber level, Tampa Bay should do enough to pull out a close home victory.
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Complete AFC North Preview
Here is a look at what you can expect from the Steelers, Browns, Ravens and Bengals this season…
The Steelers have all the right pieces to pile up points and breeze through the regular season on their way to another AFC North title. They’re a serious Super Bowl contender, too, but they’ll have to clear all the necessary hurdles to get there first.
The organization has declined to make big changes the past two years amid fan discontent, maintaining that the team was one or two plays short of making the playoffs. However, the Ravens are 40-40 in the regular season since winning Super Bowl XLVII. Their roster hasn’t been good enough to compete with the top teams in the AFC, and the latest version is again lacking in elite difference makers. If QB Joe Flacco stops the regression and rediscovers an ability to connect on big plays with a new-look receiving corps, this team will compete for a playoff berth. If he doesn’t, the Ravens will remain mired in mediocrity, the Lamar Jackson era at quarterback will start sooner and other changes will occur.
The Bengals didn’t make many changes after a disappointing season, underscoring a sense of confidence that they have the right coach and right players to get the team back to where it expects to be. If a few close games break their way, the Bengals could easily turn 7-9 into 9-7 and put themselves back in the mix as a Wild Card contender.
The roster is better, even without future hall of famer Joe Thomas. GM John Dorsey needed to add experience, even if he didn’t add a bunch of blue-chip players. This will still be one of the league’s youngest teams, but it has improved at quarterback, wide receiver and in the secondary — all critical areas in a passing league. The Browns believe they have more offensive playmakers than they’ve had in years and will be able to run the ball once the new linemen and RB Nick Chubb develop some chemistry. The quarterback question still lingers — and likely will continue to with Baker Mayfield looming as the eventual starter.
The Browns probably aren’t a playoff team, and they might not even escape the AFC North basement. But they’ll win some games and hope to position themselves as a playoff team for 2019. Whether or not head coach Hue Jackson is still around then remains to be seen.
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Doping – NFL probing 3 superstars
Breaking news in the NFL today during the off season when news broke out today that a report linked to Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and James Harrison to doping products. They will be be interviewed in the coming months by NFL authorities and this article of Doping – NFL probing 3 superstars is brought you by FanPicks where you can play the only fantasy cross-sport contest in the world. (Click to playClick).
A letter from the senior vice president of NFL Adolpho Birch was obtained Friday by The Associated Press said the linebackers Matthews Green Bay Packers and Peppers and linebacker Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers will be interviewed at the opening of training camps.
The Packers will launch their camp on 26 July, while the Steelers will meet on 29.
The letter also mentions the name of self-defensive lineman Mike Neal, who will also be met. No mention of the shift in retirement Peyton Manning, who had yet been identified in the report of Al-Jazeera in December.
But USA Today, citing an unidentified source, reported that the investigation into the actions of Manning also progressing.
The NFL first informed Matthews, Peppers, Harrison Neal of its investigation on 11 January. The investigation has progressed, but Birch says the Association of NFL players did not respond to “several requests for interviews” with the players, who will be accompanied by a union representative.
Al-Jazeera America reported allegations of Charlie Sly, who worked as an intern in an anti-aging clinic. Sly is however retract thereafter.
Running back Darren McFadden Cowboys inactive for two months
Running back Dallas Cowboys Darren McFadden will miss two months of activities after suffering a broken elbow in the last days.
Running back 28 years has inflicted the injury by doing chores around his home.
McFadden has amassed 1,089 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns last season, his first with the Cowboys.
Often kept out of the game by early career health problems, McFadden has played 16 games for his club in the last two campaigns.
The amateur draft in April, the training led by Jason Garrett was selected in the first round Ezekiel Elliott rusher, product of Ohio State University.
NFL Fantasy Football Draft
The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and its time for teams to make critical acquisition for the next season and future. FanPick will be providing a special draft contest for you starting on April 28th 2016. You will be able to look at the improvements each AFC North could make during the draft. Now let’s check out what the AFC North needs for the future in this NFL Fantasy Football Draft.
The main thing for the Bengals this campaign would be to solidify their Defense. An upper-echelon safety would really solve a lot of defensive issues. While their Center Russell Bodine is being pushed around far up front a bit too often, they will most likely not ignore that position. With A.J. Green as their main wide receiver, it seems like not all his wide receiving teammates will be retained due to free agency. Free agency and and the age could potentially lead the Bengals to a few linebackers and some strength in defensive tackling with one of their draft picks.
Top 3 round picks: 24th and 55th, 87th selections.
The Ravens need some serious help in their defensive backfield with threats such as Antonio Brown and A.J. Green in their division. Terrell Suggs’ injury will definitely make them go on the hunt for a pass rusher. We’re waiting to see what Breshad Perriman is capable but a good form from their QB Joe Flacco won’t hurt.
Top 3 round picks: 6th and 36th, 70th selections.
The Steelers cannot stop the pass and there hasn’t really been many turnovers in the CB position. This year however, you might see some new blood added and not just for depth purposes, but as potential long-term starters. To go along with some new corner backs, the Steelers might be on the lookout for Will Allen’s eventual replacement if they find a safety talented enough. The absence of Ben Roethlisberger for four games in 2015 highlighted the need for the Steelers to find a capable, young backup to groom and it might be time to find a left guard to challenge Ramon Fosterfor the starting role.
Top 3 round picks: 25th and 58th, 89th selections.
Cleveland have learned their lesson when they took a swing at a franchise QB 2 years ago. They must keep trying to find that guy but with good due diligence. They will need to get some solid defensive addition that could help them stop the run. The departures of Travis Benjamin and Alex Mackand as well as Mitchell Schwartz will create need for their immediate . They must keep trying to find that guy. How do the Browns do a better job of stopping the run? Well, new talent might be nice. The departures of WR Travis Benjamin, C Alex Mackand OT Mitchell Schwartz have created a more immediate need at their positions.
Top 3 round picks: 8th and 32nd, 65th selections.
FANTASY FOOTBALL AFC NORTH REVIEW
FanPicks is proud to bring you this Fantasy Football AFC North Review. Come enjoy daily Fantasy sports news at Fanpicks.com during the NFL offseason.
Fantasy Football AFC North Review Standings
The AFC North saw Cincinnati and Pittsburgh enter the playoffs, this past year. Baltimore and especially Cleveland sunk in the bottom of the standing, with both team having to deal with more than football trouble.
- Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
It was more of the same for the Cincinnati Bengals. Making it through to the Wild Card round of the playoffs for the fifth straight year, but falling short a first playoff win in over 25 years. Even though they took the top spot in the AFC East, they’ve lost to their divisional rivals, Pittsburgh Steelers, in the first playoff game. Since taking over the team in 2003, Marvin Lewis racked up a 0-7 record in the post-season. He has the most playoffs losses among coaches that have never won a single post-season game. We can help but to feel for the guy.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
It was a battle for “Big Ben”, throughout the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback dealt with a sprained MCL early in the season, resulting him missing four games. The result was not too bad though, as the combo of Michael Vick and Landry Jones were 2-2. Antonio Brown proved once again why he is the best wide receiver in the league, collecting a total of 1,834 rushing yards and 10 TD’s against the best defensive oppositions.
- Baltimore Ravens (5-11)
With so much expectation coming from countless predictors, with even some speculating a Super Bowl appearance, it was nothing more than a disappointment for the Baltimore Ravens. It’s been a season riddled with injuries for John Harbaughs team. No less than 22 of their players were placed under the injured reserve list. QB Joe Flacco, RB Justin Forsett and OLB Terrell Suggs were among those who left sometime during the season, due to injury, and never came back. It was the first time in eight years, under the coaching of Harbaugh that the Ravens suffered a losing season.
- Cleveland Browns (3-13)
The Johnny Manziel experiment proved to be a complete failure. The one who was supposed to reinvigorate Cleveland with new life wasn’t able to keep his personal life in check and did little on the gridiron to warrant himself a franchise tag. The Browns finished tied with the Tennessee Titans for worst in the NFL. The team took no time to fire head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer after the end of the season.
NFL Divisional Round Weekend Recap
Kansas City at New England
With the return of Edelman and Gronkowski, the Patriots show that they are still a Super Bowl threat. Although the final score was 27-20, Patriots, they were far more in control of the game than that indicated. Brady had a solid day with 302 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown, totaling 29 fantasy points on the day.
Gronkowski led the league at tight end this weekend catching 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions for 83 yards. This brought his total to 25.3 fantasy points, back to his usual numbers after some disappointments throughout this season. Edelman also returned from injury with no hiccups as he caught 10 passes for 100 yards and a total of 23 fantasy points.
All the fantasy value however was centered around the Pats in this game, you weren’t going to win any NFL cash drafts this weekend by loading up on Chiefs players.
Green Bay at Arizona
This game had plenty of fantasy value to be found in both likely and unlikely places. The big surprise of this game was Jeff Janis for the Packers with a breakout performance of 7 receptions for 145 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns—36.5 fantasy points.
The Palmer and Fitzgerald stack also produced some serious numbers as Palmer threw for 349 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns for 27 fantasy points (after subtracting his 2 interceptions) and Fitz had 8 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown—34.6 fantasy points.
Seattle at Carolina
This game lacked both the competitiveness and the low scoring defensive battle that was expected. Carolina went up big in the first half with Jonathan Stewart scoring 2 touchdowns and running for 106 rushing yards. Cam Newton had the lowest scores of the season however with only 161 passing yards and a touchdown giving him about 11 fantasy points.
Despite the loss, there was a lot of garbage time value to be found from the Seahawks as they tried to rally in the second half. Russell Wilson led the quarterback for the weekend with 366 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. The big receiver to pair him with was Jermaine Kearse as he caught 11 passes for 110 passing yards and 2 touchdowns— 37 fantasy points.
Pittsburgh at Denver
This game was lacking the competitiveness from the start with Antonio Brown ruled out and Big Ben questionable. Ben took the field however and found Martavis Bryant to fill that top receiver role as Bryant tallied 9 receptions for 154 receiving yards as well as 40 yards rushing—31.4 fantasy points.
Denver came out ahead in terms of the game but in the fantasy world, CJ Anderson was the only worthwhile pick for Denver. He ran for 72 yards, got a touchdown, and 2 receptions for 14 fantasy points to lead his team.
As Sunday’s second game creeps up on us, we will update you on today’s first game, and take a deeper look at the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos.
- At 1 pm the Seattle Seahawks kicked off with Carolina to take on the Panthers in a clash of football titans. The two are going head-to-head to see who can earn a trip to the NFC Championship game next week.
Earlier this week we broke down the game as such…
“This game is going to have its fair share of scuffles and heavy hits. There won’t be much room out there for anyone, but with the apparent return of Marshwn Lynch, the Seahawks’ ground game just became one to keep an eye on. In a game like this Ted Ginn is the type of player who can hurt Seattle with his ability to take the top off the defense against this group of highly and sometimes over-aggressive defensive backs. That is IF he even plays. He says he will suit-up despite soreness in his knee (suffered vs Atlanta Week 16). Without him, Cam Newton could struggle to find open runners other than Greg Olsen in the short to intermediate spots, and a hot Russell Wilson may be just enough to squeeze by the regular season champs. ”
Update: Tyler Lockett has two touchdown receptions and Russell’s birds are fighting hard to claw their way back in this one. Super Cam has been contained, though efficient and the Panthers hold a fourth quarter 31-21 lead. Don’t miss this exciting ending to get you pumped for game two!!
- At 4:40 pm the shorthanded Pittsburgh Steelers go to Mile High to visit Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Antonio Brown has officially been ruled out with a concussion, no matter what Pacman Jones thought, DeAngelo Williams can’t play and Big Ben will be playing with torn muscles around his separated shoulder. This does not bode well for #SteelerNation, as Roethlisberger couldn’t muster up enough power to send the ball 10 yards in the air in the dramatic closing moments of last week’s Divisional Round instant classic in Cincinnati. Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton will do much of their work on screens, and while they do have the stuff to make some plays (especially Bryant) the Broncos do possess two very good, physical CB’s in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.
Fitzgerald Toussaint could be a big contributor in this game, and he needs to be if the Steelers hope to have a chance. He had four catches for 60 yards vs the Bengals last week and checkdowns and screens will be the name of the game for Pittsburgh. Jordan Todman was a personal favorite of mine coming out of college (he was a monster), as his quick feet and burst allow him to rip off big chunks at a time. He could be worth a gamble if your looking to roll the dice.
CJ Anderson seems to be the popular name around DFS circles today, but Ronnie Hillman may be able to do some damage on with his speed against the aggressive Steeler front-seven. While Anderson is often more consistent inside the tackles, they are both legitimate options and a long touchdown run by Hillman could be the difference in how much money you make this week!
While Ben can’t throw because his shoulder’s are a mess, Peyton Manning just doesn’t have any juice left in his. Demaryius Thomas is one of the leagues premier wide receivers, but Emmanuel Sanders ripped his former team for 10 catches, 181 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Play Sanders as his ability to find the seam could prove lethal to Pittsburgh.
NFL Divisional Round Stacks to look out for
Its hard to pick your stacks in the divisional round as almost all of the 8 teams remaining has a top 8 defense. The matchup in the divisional round are
Kansas City @ New England
Green Bay @ Arizona
Seattle @ Carolina
Pittsburgh @ Denver
The weak link as far as pass defenses goes is clearly Pittsburgh. The only reason they have made it this far is by relying on their offense with most of their games being very high scoring shootouts. Last time Denver played Pittsburgh this year Emmanuel Sanders caught 10 passes for 181 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown while Demaryius Thomas had 5 catches for 61 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. And this was with Brock Osweiller at quarterback and not Peyton Manning, who will be back and starting in their Divisional Playoff. Peyton, Sanders, and Thomas is the most predicable value stack of the weekend, which like always risks high ownership.
However, Denver still lost this game as Antonio Brown had a gigantic fantasy day with 16 catches for 189 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has a lot of question marks with health going into this game with Deangelo Williams out, Big Ben questionable with a shoulder injury, and Antonio Brown with a concussion. Despite the strength of the Denver defense, if Ben and Brown are healthy going into this game, they always have the potential for huge fantasy value.
In my opinion, anything could happen with the Seattle Carolina game. This is a matchup of the two top ranked teams in the playoff and is one most would probably like to see wait until the Superbowl. While arguably the top 2 defenses, their offenses are just as explosive. A Wilson/Baldwin or Newton/Ginn(Questionable)/Olsen stack is a nice contrarian stack that may end up profitable in a NFL Daily fantasy tournament.
The Patriots and the Chiefs game should be a low scoring victory for the Patriots, although Tom Brady may put up some big numbers. However, it is always a crapshoot who to stack Brady with since he spreads the ball out so much (the same could be said about Rodgers or Manning this week). That leaves Carson Palmer, who may be able to have a big day considering Kirk Cousins was able to put up over 300 passing yards in their loss against the Packers in the wild card round.
The top stacks are Manning/Sanders, Newton/Olsen, Wilson/Baldwin, and Palmer/Fitzgerald. The edge in my mind goes to Palmer and Fitz but anything can happen in the playoffs, and Palmer has less experience here than many of the other Quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, Manning, Wilson, Roethlisberger)
NFL Weekend Recap
Kansas City Defense Dominates
The Chief’s started the game by sending a message with a 106 yard kickoff return touchdown and that would have been enough for the Chiefs to win the game without their offense ever needing to take the field. Hoyer didn’t do much to make things difficult for the Chief throwing 4 interceptions, giving Kansas City’s defense a total of 34 fantasy points with the kickoff return touchdown, 4 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 3 sacks, and 0 points allowed.
Besides the Chiefs defense, there was not much other fantasy value from this game. Travis Kelce had a big receiving game with 8 receptions for 128 receiving yards giving him 20.8 fantasy points. Spencer Ware ran for 67 rushing yards and had a rushing touchdown giving him 12.7 fantasy points on the day.
Steelers win a scrappy game
This was an ugly game in terms of injuries. At one time or another each Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, and AJ Green all left the field with no guarantee of returning. Furthermore, it wasn’t the usual shootout type game we see with the Steelers. However there were some areas where fantasy value could be found.
Jeremy Hill had 50 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, and 27 receiving yards totaling 16.7 fantasy points. Fitzgerald Toussaint (filling the role at running back after the list of injured steelers running backs we’ve seen this year) had 58 rushing yards, 4 receptions, and 60 receiving yards totaling 15.8 fantasy points, despite his dirt cheap fantasy salary. While far short of his normal value, Antonio Brown had 7 receptions for 119 receiving yards totaling 21.9 fantasy points. Lastly, AJ Green snuck in a touchdown in the end, along with his 71 receiving yards and 5 receptions he totaled 18.1 fantasy points.
Cold weather halts offensive attacks
This game began with -6 degrees and -26 windchill up in Minneapolis. It looked early like the Seahawks were out of their element with a scoreless first half. However, the Vikings seemed equally hampered by the cold as they generated only 204 total offensive yards (Seattle had an equally unimpressive 239 total offensive yards).
As far as fantasy value, both quarterbacks had very abysmal games, rushing was very poor, and only Doug Baldwin put up relatively decent numbers 5 receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown (15.2 fantasy points).
Packers find their groove just in time
This season has been very disappointing for the Packers so far, barely making it to the playoffs. However, they seem to be coming around just in time with the best offensive performance of the weekend. Despite less total offensive yardage than the Redskins (GB 351 vs WSH 413), the Packers had a decisive victory.
For the Packers, fantasy value was spread out all over between Lacy, Starks, Jones, Adams, and Cobb with all of them scoring just over 10 fantasy points. For the Skins however, it was all Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson as Jordan Reed had 9 receptions for 120 receiving yards a touchdown (28 fantasy points) and Chris Thompson had 25 rushing yards, 8 receptions, and 89 receiving yards for 19.4 fantasy points. Kirk Cousins was by far the highest scorer at quarterback with 329 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, and a rushing touchdown. That brought Cousins total to 26 fantasy points.
NFL Wild Card Value Picks
With a small slate of games this weekend you’re quarterback choices are limited. So let’s run through the matchups. Houston and Kansas City has all the makings of a low scoring game. These are two defensive dominated teams and this matchup should be low scoring and slow paced, not places of high value for Fantasy NFL contests. Same can be said about Minnesota and Seattle. While Seattle’s offense is explosive, we saw what they did against the strong defensive front of the Cardinals last weekend, I’m saving my quarterback pick for an easier matchup.
The weakest pass defense of the weekend is by far the Steelers, but with the Bengals current quarterback situation, its hard to say anything for sure. In all likelihood AJ McCarron will be taking the field, but there is the small chance Andy Dalton will return for the game. Either way, they both should be able to provide great value with this matchup, just make sure you keep your eye on the injury report and you get the right one in.
Although the Bengals have a strong pass defense, it seems like nobody is able to stop Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown this year. I expect them to have a big game, but I also expect ownership to be very high on these two, so I’m playing the contrarian strategy and avoiding the Steelers stack.
Last we have Washington and Green Bay. This has all the makings for a classic shootout and I think there will be value on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers has been very subpar this entire season, but he has been to the playoffs before and I think he will perform. Kirk Cousins on the other hand has been red hot and putting up big numbers, and that does not look to be stopping anytime soon. You’re probably going to find lower ownership with Rodgers so I’ll give him the edge in a tournament, but based on his performance this year, that may be a risky play.
Our premium running backs for the week are Adrian Peterson, Deangelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Hill, Characandrick West, and Eddie Lacy. As of now Williams looks to be out for this weekend so lets rule him out now (even if he were playing I don’t love the matchup). Marshawn Lynch will be returning but with the offensive efficiency of the Seahawks lately, its hard to say they will need to make much use of him so I am staying away from Beast mode as well. The Vikings may find it hard to pass against the dominating defense and will certainly run the ball a lot to Peterson, but he has not been as dominant this year as in years past and the Seahawks may shut him down. West as well is facing a tough defense, especially recently, so my recommendation is stay away from any Chiefs back.
So we are left with Hill and Lacy, both on the cheap end as far as premium running backs go. The way the Bengals use Hill and Bernard is very dependent on the matchup. They utilize Hill to run the ball up the middle while Bernard is valued more highly for his speed in screen passes and short drops. This matchup may be better for Bernard than Hill, and Bernard comes at a much cheaper price. Not a bad pick for this week. Lacy is the only premium back I like for this week. Like Hill, he could take a backseat position to Starks but I think Lacy has asserted himself as the primary back after early struggles in the season.
If you are looking for value at Running back however, there is a lot to be found. Starks and Bernard, as previously mentioned, will both only cost you less that $4000 on Fanpicks. Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas both are a threat to accumulate fantasy value with their run and pass threat. The real value pick of the week is Jonathan Grimes, who put together a big game last weekend and comes at only $2700.
The same analysis on Quarterbacks applies to receivers as well. We want to stick with the good matchups: Steelers/Bengals and Packers/Redskins. Skipping out on Antonio Brown may just cost you a win, but I think there is more upside potential on fading Brown, especially for NFL Daily Fantasy Tournaments type contests. AJ Green should be able to put up some big numbers this week regardless of who gets the starting position at Quarterback.
I also like Desean Jackson or Pierre Garcon if you are looking to save a little money at the position. We know Cousins is going to throw the ball and we know he is going to throw it a lot. He may throw a couple interceptions but that doesn’t hurt his fantasy value too bad. It all just depends on which receiver can manage to get open between these two and Reed.
A good contrarian stack is Rodgers and either Cobb or Jones. They haven’t done much this year and are not on many people radar, but like I said before, the Packers know the playoffs. Cobb should get more targets but Jones is more of a long threat. The choice is up to you, I’m going Cobb.
For me, the viable tight ends for this week are Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert. While you can make the argument for Heath Miller and Richard Rodgers, I think you will find much more value with Eifert and Reed. Reed is an obvious pick as he has had some very big games lately and is arguably the top tight end in the league. However, that also means he is going to come with a high ownership level, bad news for a tournament play.
That’s why I’m going with Eifert. I can’t stress enough how weak Pittsburgh is against the pass as all of their games end up turning into a shootout. Eifert will especially benefit if Dalton returns this weekend as there is usually great synergy between the two.
Pittsburgh Steelers versus Cincinnati Bengals NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks 1-9-2016
Game 2 from the AFC Wildcard playoffs will feature the Cincinnati Bengals at home to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fantasy football draft GMs can tune to CBS TV on Saturday January 9th at 8:15PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results of their one day league real money NFL roster picks.
These division rivals met twice during the regular season with each road team earning the victory. The most recent matchup came on December 13th at Cincinnati where Pittsburgh was able to earn a 33-20 victory. Both teams were able to move the football. Ben Roethlisberger connected on 30 of 39 passes for 282 yards and a pic. A.J. McCarron saw work in most of the game as Andy Dalton was sidelined with an injury early. McCarron completed 22 of 32 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. A.J. McCarron had a 66 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green but he also threw a pick six to the Steelers. It appears that A.J. McCarron will get the start with Andy Dalton relegated to a backup role in this game.
The Steelers are a team that many of the AFC playoff participants did not want to see in the postseason. They caught a break with a Jets loss in Week 17 to get the last spot. Pittsburgh brings in the number three rated offense and passing attack into the playoffs. The Steelers are also fourth in the league in scoring offense as they push across 26.4 points per game. Over on the defensive side of the ball they give up lots of yards but sit 11th in scoring defense by giving up 19.9 points per contest. The Steelers could be without running back DeAngelo Williams who has been listed as questionable with a football injury suffered in the win at Cleveland.
Cincinnati has not had success in the post season in recent years. They are just 4-4 over the last half of the season as they have lost to their playoff opponents and beat up on the losing teams they faced in that span. Overall the Bengals are second in the league in scoring defense by allowing 17.4 points per game. With Dalton missing due to injury the Bengals have slipped to the middle of the league in many offensive categories.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Big Ben will be tossing against the 20th ranked passing defense in the Bengals that surrender 248 yards passing per game. Roethlisberger has hit 68% of his throws this season for 3938 yards with 21 touchdowns and 16 picks. He missed four games of the year due to injury and will be playing his fourth straight game since getting hurt. The Steelers signal caller has thrown for over 300 yards in six of his past eight games.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB
Williams has emerged as the Steelers leading running back with Le’veon Bell sidelined with injury. The veteran back has played in every game for the Steelers and had 907 yards rushing on 20 carries and 11 touchdowns. His 11 touchdowns were his second most in his career. DeAngelo Williams is rushing for 4.5 yards per carry.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR:
Brown led the Steelers receivers with 136 catches for 1834 yards with ten touchdowns. He is coming off a big game against the Browns last week with 13 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown.
Cincinnati Bengals QB
The second year quarterback will be starting his fourth game for the Bengals. He saw no action in his rookie campaign. McCarron completed 66.4% of his passes for 854 yards with six touchdowns and two picks. In the win at home to Baltimore last week McCarron threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Cincinnati Bengals RB
It is tough to back Jeremy Hill as he is forced to share carries with Giovanni Bernard. Hill has 11 touchdowns on the year but only 794 yards on 223 carries for 3.6 yards per carry.
Green leads the Bengals with 86 catches for 1297 yards with ten touchdowns. He is averaging 15.1 yards per catch on the campaign. Green has a touchdown reception in two straight and five of his past six games.
NFL Playoff Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks
QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers)
WR: Antonio Brown (Steelers)
WR: A.J. Green (Bengals)
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Fantasy Football Picks
The NFL Playoffs kick off with game 2 featuring the Cincinnati Bengals against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy football competition. Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $10K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy football site.
NFL Saturday night playoffs continue with the a gridiron faceoff the Cincinnati Bengals who will host the Pittsburgh Steelers the game will be televised on CBS at primetime at 8:15PM EST.
Many opponents did not want to see let alone face the Pittsburgh Steelers might explosive offence. Pittsburgh exerted the playoffs as a sixth seed following their loss to the Jets in week 17; but then beat Cincinnati 33-20 on road game on December 13th. Ben Roethlisberger showed fin form in completing 30 out of the 39 passes for 282 yards. The Steelers picked off an A.J. McCarron pass for a touchdown and field goal kicker Chris Boswell had four field goals. The Steelers suffered a major injury as running back DeAngelo Williams has been listed as questionable in this game with an ankle injury. The Steelers run game could be hampered but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the type of quarterback the needs a running game. In fact his fantasy value soars when there is no one to hand the ball off to.
Cincinnati is a tough team to back in fantasy right now. They have a good defense but no way can their unit be considered against a very good Steelers offense. They have a backup in A.J. McCarron under center. The Bengals have a bad history in the playoffs. Cincinnati has a two running back system that takes value away from each one for fantasy draft GM’s.
Go with the proven money quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger has passed for over 300 yards in six of his past eight games. He has thrown for three touchdowns or greater in three of his past five games.
Play Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Big Ben’s top target is Antonio Brown. He has caught 136 passes for 1834 yards with ten touchdowns. Everyone knows he is the main man yet he still gets open and delivers for fantasy draft rosters. He had 13 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown at Cleveland in Week 17.
Play Antonio Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers WR