The Steelers have proven they can win without Ben Roethlisberger, but their 2-0 start has nothing to do with fantasy football. Fantasy owners sure will be glad to see Ben back after last week’s putrid passing showing.
This week Hines Ward and Mike Wallace owners get either Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich against the new-look, undefeated Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
Our projection model is not perfect. There are many improvements that could be made but we had relatively good accuracy with it this season despite the flaws. Translation: Use these at your own discretion but they should be pretty darn good.
The Steelers are projected to win 17-15. Don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers flip that score, they’ve got something going on over there in Tampa.
Aqib Talib is back from his suspension and promptly introduced Panthers rookie Jimmy Clausen to the Buccaneers defense with an interception last week. Don’t expect a lot of offensive fireworks in this game. Talib will do his job against a Steelers backup quarterback (either one) who let Dennis Dixon (O-knee) take their job in the preseason.
Pittsburgh’s been stingy to fantasy performers this season, but the Steelers do the most damage to opposing running backs. Look for Cadillac Williams to struggle this week.
This will be a good test for Bucs QB Josh Freeman, who has made excellent decisions this season and looks like he might live up to the QB-of-the-future hype.
Josh Freeman, TB (P-thumb): 19-33, 206 yards, TD, INT, 25 rush yards
Byron Leftwich/Charlie Batch, PIT: 17-29, 193 yards, INT
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT: 105 yards, 1 catch, 10 receiving yards
Cadillac Williams, TB: 55 yards, 1 catch, 10 receiving yards
Isaac Redman, PIT: 5 yards
Mewelde Moore, PIT: 5 yards, 2 catches, 10 receiving yards
Earnest Graham, TB: 5 yards, 2 catches, 5 receiving yards
Mike Wallace, PIT: 3-70, TD
Mike Williams, TB: 6-50, TD
Hines Ward, PIT: 7-80
Sammie Stroughter, TB: 4-40
Michael Spurlock, TB: 1-20
Antwaan Randle-El, PIT: 1-5
Kellen Winslow, TB: 6-45
Heath Miller, PIT: 3-20
Jeff Reed, PIT: 2 FG, 1 XP
Connor Barth, TB: FG, XP
Buccaneers: 3 sacks, INT, fumble recovery
Steelers: 2 sacks, INT, fumble recovery