Unfortunately, it isn’t all good news with the Bengals on the fantasy front this week.
This is a matchup of two of the best defenses in the NFL, which makes for great football game. It however makes for lousy fantasy days usually. The chances of a player going off this week aren’t great.
Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): If there is week spot in this Steelers’ defense it is that they have allowed 20.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs, according to Fantasy Pros. That is the seventh most in the NFL. The Bengals will also probably try to get Mixon and the other running backs involved to take some pressure off Andy Dalton and the passing attack.
Le’Veon Bell (Steelers RB): The Bengals have been pretty good against opposing Running backs, especially since Vontaze Burfict returned in Week 4. Still Bell is just so much apart of this offense it is hard to imagine him not having a decent fantasy game if your league includes points per reception.
Good but not great
Bengals’ defense: The Bengals fantasy defense has been pretty productive all season long. They have 18 sacks in five games, and they are the second best scoring defense in the NFL. At this point they could be playable almost week in and week out, but this week there is always the chance the Steelers bust it open. If you have a better option like the Titans than go for it.
Steelers’ defense: The Steelers’ defense is pretty much right up there with the Bengals in all major defensive categories. They are the third best scoring defense, and they have 20 sacks in six games. The Bengals may be short on playmakers this week without Tyler Eifert, and John Ross practiced fully for the first time this week. Still the team hasn’t shown an urgency to rush him onto the field. This could lead to a long day for Dalton behind the Bengals’ struggling offensive line.
Antonio Brown (Steelers WR): The Bengals have the second ranked pass defense in the NFL. Also in the last four games Brown has played against the Bengals, he has only scored one touchdown. You should never sit Brown, but temper expectations a little this week.
A.J. Green (Bengals WR): The Steelers have the top-ranked pass defense in the NFL. The Bengals also don’t have another playmaker to pull attention away from him in coverage. If Ross plays that would be a huge help, but the team is making that seem like it is a long shot. Green is one of your studs, so he should be in your lineup. It just isn’t a good matchup at all this week.
Just sit them
Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): The Bengals have played better in their last three games and a huge part of that is Dalton turning a corner after a disastrous start. However, there are so many options at quarterback in fantasy football that it doesn’t make sense to take a chance on Dalton against this Steelers’ defense this week.
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers QB): Similar to Dalton, it doesn’t make sense to take a chance on Roethlisberger with so many options out there. Roethlisberger hasn’t even been a good fantasy quarterback this season. He has seven touchdowns to eight interceptions, and if one of his passes don’t go through the hands of a Chiefs’ defender last week he would have gone two weeks with zero touchdowns and seven interceptions. He just isn’t worth playing.