Steelers Fantasy Perspective: Week 5 vs. Jaguars

After a big win in Baltimore, the 3-1 Steelers will look to maintain momentum coming home to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. What should we expect to see from the Steelers starters this week in fantasy football?

Ben Roethlisberger – Sit

Ben Roethlisberger is in the QB1 tier this week solely because he is playing at home, which is where most of his best performances in recent years have been. However, he is playing arguably the best defense in the NFL and in case you have missed it all week, the Jaguars lead the NFL in sacks. With Marcus Gilbert likely missing this game, Roethlisberger might feel the pressure, curbing his ability to make the elite throws he usually does. If you’re desperate, you can start him as a last resort as he could very likely have a big day, but I would look elsewhere for better streaming options. Big Ben just simply doesn’t have the ceiling you’d expect playing at home and is too risky.

Le’Veon Bell – Start

If you listened to me over the first three games and were patient, you were rewarded in a huge way last week when Le’Veon Bell exploded. And honestly, this isn’t going to change anytime soon. As long as the Steelers keep feeding Bell the ball, he will continue to put up big numbers. Against a Jaguars football team that is allowing a league-worst average of 165.5 rushing yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry, Bell is arguably the best play in fantasy football this week at any position. Just as always, Bell is a must start and will be all season, but this might be the best matchup he’ll see all year. Start with extreme confidence.

Antonio Brown – Start

Fantasy owners have to be frustrated with Antonio Brown’s roller coaster stat lines to begin the season. Let me be clear: this has nothing to do with Brown’s abilities as a receiver. When teams focus their energy on shutting him down, it simply opens up the remainder of the Steelers’ weapons. With a tough matchup against the Jaguars and Brown’s likely matchup with young star Jalen Ramsey, people might be afraid to start Brown. This would be a foolish decision. Regardless of the matchup, Brown is a must-start in fantasy. In these scenarios, it is best to just lower your expectations and hope that he is able to do what AB normally does: make big plays. Start him as a WR1.

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Martavis Bryant – Sit

I will continue to say it just like I did last week: 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. This is the same situation for the matchup with the Jaguars secondary. A.J. Bouye will likely spend the day covering Bryant and with the re-emergence of Le’Veon Bell on the ground, Bryant might not see a ton of deep throws to make him worth starting in your lineup. He very well could end up with a huge day if he breaks one off, but that is simply too risky to start unless no other options are available. Like always, Bryant is a high-ceiling, low-floor WR3.

JuJu Smith-Schuster – Sit

For the first time, Eli Rogers was a healthy scratch, indicating that rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster has truly begun finding his niche in the slot on this offense. With 2 touchdowns in three weeks, Smith-Schuster is clearly forming solid chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. Very soon, Smith-Schuster could be worth a spot on your roster, but with the matchup with the Jaguars’ defensive unit being as daunting as it seems, Smith-Schuster shouldn’t be in your lineups. One thing to point out is that the rookie has seen his stats increase each week, so you could quickly see him have better consistent days in the near future, potentially pushing him into high WR3/low WR2 territory. Keep track of his progress.

Jesse James – Sit

The Jaguars, while stingy, have been relatively susceptible to solid yardage by tight ends. Jesse James has a budding relationship with Ben Roethlisberger but since his monstrous 2 touchdown season debut, James has been quiet for the most part. Big Ben hasn’t really targeted James deep down the field, typically relying on short to intermediate throws to move the chains. There is always the chance that he will be targeted in the red zone, but there are likely other tight ends on the waiver wire that could gain you more consistent, reasonable production at this point. James is touchdown dependent and should only start if no other options are available as bye weeks start to pick up.

Steelers Defense/Special Teams – Start

The key to this matchup this week is going to be stopping Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars run game. If they can do this and get ahead early, the Jaguars will be forced to rely on Blake Bortles to take over the game, which is a matchup that should heavily favor the Steelers. Bortles has shown that he can do something this season, but on the road against the Steelers defense likely won’t net him the same production. The Steelers have shown an improved ability to rush the quarterback and have forced at least 1 turnover in every game this season. If they get ahead, they can put pressure on the Jaguars and take full advantage of their mistakes. Start them this week.

Chris Boswell – Start

As long as the Steelers’ offense is clicking, Chris Boswell should be starting in your lineups. Boswell missed a 44-yard field goal last week, or else his production would have been even better. At home with an offense that seems to finally be what we expected them to be, Boswell should have plenty of opportunities moving forward.

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