Steelers Fantasy Perspective: Week 4 vs. Ravens
After a disappointing performance in Chicago, the 2-1 Steelers will look to regain momentum against their division rivals in Baltimore. The Ravens defense has been stingy for the most part this season, so what should we expect to see from the Steelers starters this week in fantasy football?
Ben Roethlisberger – Sit
The narrative that Ben Roethlisberger is bad on the road is only partially true. While unspectacular, Roethlisberger put together a decent stat line in Week 3 in Chicago. He obviously isn’t the same quarterback away from Heinz Field, but this could be an opportunity to take advantage of a Ravens team that is likely still working through the 44-7 loss in London against the Jaguars. The offense hasn’t fully clicked yet in 2017 and Big Ben hasn’t been that great over the past two seasons in Baltimore, so those are my primary reasons to sit Roethlisberger. But keep in mind that he has the capability of going off for a big day virtually every week, making Roethlisberger a high-risk/high-reward player in Week 4. View him as an extremely low QB1 or a solid QB2.
Le’Veon Bell – Start
Patience. While the stat line wasn’t great for Le’Veon Bell in Week 3, it was nice to finally see him reach the end zone, which allowed him to finish as a top-10 running back. The Ravens have been stingy against the run this season, but it is still only a matter of time until Bell explodes. He is still the best back in the league and if you drafted him #1 or #2 overall, there is no reason to bench him just yet. He has progressively improved each season and Week 4 could ultimately be the week we see the Bell of 2016. It will be a challenge against this defense, but the Steelers will likely look to feed him the ball to get the ground game going. Start him as a high-floor, low ceiling RB1 with boom potential.
Antonio Brown – Start
League leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving yards per game. Let me put this bluntly: Antonio Brown is a starter week in and week out regardless of what corner is defending him. This week, that will be Jimmy Smith but that made no difference last season, as Brown still totaled 17 receptions for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Steelers’ two games against the Ravens. Even with the offensive struggles so far this season, Brown is a reliable and consistent option to start as an elite WR1 no matter the matchup.
Martavis Bryant – Sit
I will continue to say it: Martavis Bryant is the ultimate boom-or-bust player for fantasy football. More often than not, his stat line is dependent on a huge splash play or a 50+ yard touchdown. The Ravens secondary has been stingy overall this season (with the exception of Week 3), so there should be concern about starting Bryant, especially with the miscues him and Roethlisberger have had throughout the first three weeks of the season. One potential perk to Bryant’s matchup this week will be the fact that Brandon Carr will likely be the corner that shadows him. Carr has clearly lost a step and let Allen Hurns beat him deep last week for a touchdown. If you are desperate for a wide receiver, plug him in and hope for the best. But just like always, Bryant is extremely high-ceiling, low-floor player with very low WR2/very high WR3 point potential with the chance of huge output this week.
In Week 3, it became evident that JuJu Smith-Schuster has increasingly worked his way onto the field over Eli Rogers in the slot role. As his chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger continues to develop, he could become an interesting player to pick up and use in your lineup as bye weeks begin to hit. But for now, there is no reason to have either player in your lineup except in the deepest of sleeper/keeper leagues. Smith-Schuster is a player to keep an eye out for as the season progresses, so continue to look for news about him.
Jesse James – Sit
Injury aside, it appears that Jesse James’ Week 1 explosion was an outlier performance, which shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone. James is still seeing his fair share of targets on the field, particularly in the red zone, but he is too touchdown dependent to consider starting him consistently in your lineup. At this point, he is at best a TE2 but I am sure that there are better waiver options available in your league besides Jesse James. Don’t start him as a TE1.
Steelers Defense/Special Teams – Start
The Steelers are coming off of an embarrassing defensive performance against the Bears. It is likely that the Ravens horrendous game against the Jaguars was fluky due to the fact that the game was in London. Regardless, I think the Steelers are a rebound team waiting to happen this week. Even before the goose egg in Week 3, the Ravens were struggling to show any real power on offense and shouldn’t instill fear in anyone moving forward. I predict this will turn into a defensive slugfest as the Steelers try to put Week 3 behind them. If you’re looking for a streaming unit, consider starting the Steelers unless a more favorable matchup presents itself.
Chris Boswell – Start
Truth be told, Chris Boswell is a relatively safe kicking option for a Steelers offense that has the ability to put big points up on the board but sometimes stalls as they enter the red zone. Boswell has a consistent leg and unless the Steelers field goal and extra point units plan on allowing more blocked kicks, he is a safe bet to have in your lineup. Go ahead and start him.