Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT vs CIN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT vs CIN


Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT vs CIN

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Prediction: PIT 20, CIN 27 (Line: CIN by 3.5)

The 7-5 Steelers are only 3-3 in road games but need this game to stay in the very crowded playoff race in the AFC. The 8-3-1 Bengals are 4-1-1 at home and are on a three game winning streak. These divisional rivals traded home wins last year. The Steelers won 30-20 in Pittsburgh and the Bengals won 20-10 in Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 CLE 30-27 10 @NYJ 13-20
2 @BAL 6-26 11 @TEN 27-24
3 @CAR 37-19 12 BYE —–
4 TB 24-27 13 NO 32-35
5 @JAC 17-9 14 @CIN —–
6 @CLE 10-31 15 @ATL —–
7 HOU 30-23 16 KC —–
8 IND 51-34 17 CIN —–
9 BAL 43-23  
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 220,1
RB Le’Veon Bell 100,1 7-40
WR Antonio Brown 6-80,1
WR Martavis Bryant 3-30
WR Markus Wheaton 3-30
TE Heath Miller 3-40
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Playing on the road this week will make this game a mountain to climb. Away from home, the Steelers have just not played as well and even the defense that saw returning players last week could not make a difference in a home game. The Saints laid down five passing scores and made it seven straight weeks that the defense allowed at least 20 points. This is the most important game of the year so far but the venue is likely too much to overcome.

QUARTERBACK : Since the two game stretch of six touchdown games, Ben Roethlisberger has settled back down to a more normal one or two scores per week. What is more troubling here is that his six road games to date have totaled only six touchdowns and mostly moderate pass yards in each. At home, he’s produced 20 touchdowns by comparison. Big Ben injured his throwing hand when it banged on a helmet last week but he played through it and it is not expected to be an issue this week.

RUNNING BACK : It is rather doubtful that Le’Veon Bell misses his smoke buddy LeGarrette Blount that much. In the two games without Blount, Bell has shoulder the entire load and turned in 222 total yards in Tennessee and then 254 total yards against the Saints with a touchdown in each. Bell is as red hot as any back right now and his role as a receiver is really bringing his fantasy value higher.

WIDE RECEIVER : No changes here to Mr. Automatic. Antonio Brown now has scored 11 times already and cranks out the 90+ yard games in all but two weeks – both were on the road though. Brown has caught at least six passes in each of the last six games. Markus Wheaton remains the silent partner with just two scores on the year – both at home – and Martavis Bryant finally realized just how hard this was supposed to be by tanking in the last two games including dropping a touchdown just last week. Brown has been almost unstoppable this year but aside from Bryant’s first four games, he has not had much help.

TIGHT END : Heath Miller is still hard to start on a fantasy team since he’s scored only once in the last eight games, but he has turned in 70+ yards in both of the most recent games. He’s tended to be less productive as a receiver when away from Pittsburgh.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bengals have one of the best secondaries in the NFL and held Brown to under 70 yards in both meetings last year. No opponent has thrown for more than two touchdowns on the Bengals and none have topped 300 yards in Cincinnati. But the Bengals are one of the worst teams against the run. They have already allowed 13 touchdowns to running backs and eight of those were visiting the Bengals. Bell is hot and this should be another big game for him with at least one score. Roethlisberger faces a tougher secondary and has marginal fantasy value this week. Brown is a must start regardless of venue but is likely to have at least lower than average yardage this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 5 6 3 16 10 18
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 5 29 2 20 19 11

Cincinnati Bengals

1 @BAL 23-16 10 CLE 3-24
2 ATL 24-10 11 @NO 27-10
3 TEN 33-7 12 @HOU 22-13
4 BYE —– 13 @TB 14-13
5 @NE 17-43 14 PIT —–
6 CAR 37-37 15 @CLE —–
7 @IND 0-27 16 DEN —–
8 BAL 27-24 17 @PIT —–
9 JAC 33-23  
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Jared Crick
QB Andy Dalton 250,2
RB Giovani Bernard 50 2-20
RB Jeremy Hill 40,1 1-10
WR A.J. Green 7-120,2
WR Brandon LaFell 8-90,2
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals are on a three game winning streak and they were all on the road. But they squeaked past the Buccaneers last week and the wins have been much more thanks to the defense than the offense. Unlike the Steelers who basically only have two more games left to play and both are against the Bengals, the Bengals have a brutal schedule to end the year. Playing at Cleveland is no gimmee, hosting the Broncos is almost certainly a loss and then playing in Pittsburgh will be tougher than this week. One week at a time is all they can do and this week is very big. Chances are the Bengals were nearly caught overlooking the Bucs because of this looming matchup.

QUARTERBACK : Andy Dalton’s stats have been significantly lower this year in the new offense but at least he has scored in most games. He’s been average at best in fantasy terms and worse yet he turned in three games that had no scores and very marginal yardage. The Bengals have no problem ignoring the pass if the run game is working though that should be less an issue this week. Throw out the records when two divisional rivals play but so far Dalton tops out at a couple of passing touchdown and moderate yardage.

RUNNING BACK : Giovani Bernard has been back for two weeks and yet not scored or even gained much more than 50 yards despite playing the Texans and Buccaneers. Bernard’s production this year has been marginal in most games and he’s only shined a few times thanks to playing very bad defenses while at home. Jeremy Hill only produced a couple of great games when Bernard was out and Hill took the full load. With Bernard there, Hill takes a back seat and rarely has more than ten touches in a game. Combined their production is above average but when both are playing, the split really affects their fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVER : This is a very well defined crew – only A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu have any real role as receivers. Green missed three games during midseason but totals five touchdowns and four 100 yards games. Sanu also scored five times and while his yardage is generally lower, he adds on a run or two in some weeks. Sanu has been held under 50 yards in each of the last four games but was on a nice streak through midseason before Green returned and took over as the primary wideout again.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value. Jermaine Gresham turns in around 30 yards every week but scored in only one game all year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers defense has taken hard hits from both injuries and just aging players. They have allowed at least two passing scores to nine of their opponents and high yardage to those who wanted it. But the rushing defense is really not that much better having allowed 11 scores this year and three different 100 yard rushers. Dalton should have a better game than usual but that still might only make him average. Both Green and even Sanu deserve a consideration against one of the worst ranked secondaries. Bernard and Hill should once again combine for decent to very good yardage and a score but it is a coin flip which one gets the bigger share.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 26 14 24 25 18 28
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 20 14 16 22 26 15

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