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David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: CIN 20, PIT 27 (Line: PIT by 4)

Players to Watch: Andy Dalton, Mike Wallace

This is a replay of week seven when the Steelers won 24-17 in Cincinnati. The 8-6 Bengals are 5-2 on the road this year and are currently the #6 seed wild card. The only team that is likely to challenge them for the final wildcard are the 7-7 Steelers since all other teams have a losing record in the AFC. The Steelers are only 4-2 at home but have beaten the Bengals for the last five meetings.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG 31-13
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC 28-6
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK 34-10
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD 20-13
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL 19-20
6 @CLE 24-34 15 @PHI 34-13
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 220,2
WR A.J. Green 6-90,1

Pregame Notes: The Bengals need to win out if they are to get a wildcard and that's going to be really tough playing in Pittsburgh and then hosting the Ravens who are only 9-5 and leading the division. Their destiny is in their own hands but these last two games go against teams that have already beaten them this year. He has lost some receivers along the way but his matchups have not been that rough for the last month.

Andy Dalton only passed for 105 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Steelers and that was at home. He's doing himself no favors here at the end of the season since he has gone cold. He only passed for one touchdown in each of the last three games and not been better than 230 passing yards since week nine.

To the contrary, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has never been better. He has rushed for over 100 yards in four of the last five weeks and scored in three of those. He was held to 69 yards on 18 runs in the last meeting with the Steelers but has been on a tear for these last five weeks. After mediocre showings through week ten, he's somehow managed to turn it on and make a difference. He's playing himself into a job for 2013 which may be more than Dalton can say if he doesn't improve soon.

Not unlike the Bears or Lions, there is only one receiver that matters on this game A.J. Green went through a three game scoring drought but turned in 11th touchdown on the year last week in Philadelphia. His worst game of the year was when the Steelers showed up and he was held to just one catch for eight yards. And yet that was a touchdown in the middle of his nine game scoring streak. Andrew Hawkins helps out but is not above having no catches in a game. The same is true for Marvin Jones who was also blanked last week.

The Bengals want to see more out of Dalton but that's going to be hard in Pittsburgh where no visitor has passed for more than 200 yards all year. Green-Ellis will also face his toughest venue of the season. This is a must win game and yet is the worst place to try to secure a victory. Only A.J. Green has obvious fantasy value here and even that is likely to be marginal.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 26 5 15 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 5 5 5 17 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jeff Driskel, CIN @PIT 20000017001 ***
Driskel didn't face the Steelers in the earlier meeting and has been good fore more than 200 yards only once in his five starts. He has thrown for more than one score just once, and his best fantasy day was only 18.7 points in Week 12. Pittsburgh should throw the kitchen sink at him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN @PIT 6017500000 ***
Mixon generated 84 yards of offense and a touchdown in the Week 6 matchup. He has three TDs in his last three games. The Steelers have given up the seventh-fewest points in fantasy football to RBs, and six of the 12 rushing TDs came in the last five weeks. It's not an efficient matchup through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Ross, CIN @PIT 003400000 ***
Ross wasn't a factor in the last game. He has caught just two balls in the last two games and six in the last four weeks. In what has been a strange year for the speedster, Ross has become a weapon in the red zone. There is an off-chance of a touchdown, but gamers shouldn't embrace him with better options available. He hasn't broken 10 PPR points in more than a month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN @PIT 006800000 ***
Gamers brave enough to utilize Uzomah last week with a good matchup were rewarded. He scored once on his four receptions, going for 49 yards on the day. The Bengals have kept him involved enough to at least be a lineup thought most weeks, even if the results haven't quite matched the volume. Pittsburgh had troubles with tight ends at times this year, and Uzomah was able to corral six balls for 54 yards in Week 6's meetup. He has utility as a low-end PPR starter.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN @PIT 2211 ***
No writeup available

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC 16-13
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL 10-13
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE 14-20
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL 23-20
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD 24-34
6 @TEN 23-26 15 @DAL 24-27
7 @CIN 24-17 16 CIN -----
8 WAS 27-12 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG 24-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 250,2

Pregame Notes: The Steelers missed a great opportunity when the Ravens dropped their last three games because the Steelers lost their last two. Falling to the Chargers at home shows that a trap game can happen anywhere and then the overtime loss in Dallas was literally thrown away with the interception. At least the final two games are both at home and against teams that they have already beaten. The Steelers still need help to reach the playoffs but a win here will be all they can do to try to control their fate.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 278 yards and one score in the meeting in Cincy back in week seven. He also lost a fumble and threw one interception. Big Ben has scored in every game that he's played this year and posted healthy yardage in most weeks.

Jonathan Dwyer remains the starting tailback and he's still sharing with Isaac Redman but only for a few carries per week. Dwyer ran for 122 yards on 17 carries in the Cincy meeting for his best effort of the season. He's only scored twice so far though and Rashard Mendenhall may even show up this week having been suspended for one game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Heath Miller comes off a 92-yard effort in Dallas with a touchdown and he caught six passes for 53 yards and a score against the Bengals last time. He;s been a solid contributor all year though more likely to have a big game on the road when the Steelers have to pass more. Antonio Brown had his best effort of 2012 when he gained 97 yards on seven receptions in Cincy while Mike Wallace ended with eight catches for 52 yards. Wallace gained over 90 yards in these last two games with Big Ben back.

The Steelers have owned the Bengals every year other than 2009. This is a must win and played in Pittsburgh should be no worse than the road win in Cincy back in week seven.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 14 22 15 5 14 28
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 18 6 19 18 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT CIN 0000032030 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Conner, PIT CIN 9012200000 **
Conner appears on track to return, and Cincinnati is a fine opponent to exploit. The Bengals have given up 20 total touchdowns in 15 games this year, and this is a great matchup in both primary scoring formats. Conner produced 129 yards of offense and two TDs vs. the Bengals in Week 6.

Update: Conner was a full participant all week and is still listed as questionable for some reason or another. Get him into lineups with such a good matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jaylen Samuels, PIT CIN 2003300000 ***
Samuels could see some work if James Conner isn't completely up to speed, but utilize Samuels only as a total flier in deep leagues, due to the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT CIN 0071001000 ***
Cincinnati gave up seven catches for 111 yards against Smith-Schuster in Week 6. He has scored once in his three contests vs. this divisional foe. The recent output has been strong, and Cincy remains one of the easiest defenses to exploit in fantasy.

Update: Antonio Brown didn't practice all week and is a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Washington, PIT CIN 004601000 **
Update: The rookie would have a larger role if Antonio Brown cannot play. Washington is a risky play in any format, but the matchup could justify a play in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, PIT CIN 003500000 **
Jacksonville turns back to Blake Bortles for the finale, which bodes well for Moncrief. He caught seven balls for 76 yards in the Week 7 contest vs. Houston. The Texans have been atrocious on the back half of the defense in recent weeks. Half of their season-long TD told has come in the past five games. Moncrief could be better than his projection suggests and has a hint of upside in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ryan Switzer, PIT CIN 003300000 ***
Update: Antonio Brown is a game-time decision, and some of his looks would be absorbed by Switzer on underneath routes. There just isn't a lot of upside, despite a good matchup, to play Switzer as more than a wild gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vance McDonald, PIT CIN 004401000 ***
He has no appearances with more than four catches since the seven-grab game vs. the Bengals in Week 6. McDonald didn't score but finished with 68 yards. The veteran has only one score in the last five weeks and is a pure matchup play in all settings. Cincinnati has yielded 10 touchdowns to TEs this year.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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