The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals will meet in Cincinnati for the first time this season on Sunday Night Football. Fantasy owners should be expecting big things from this divisional prime-time matchup.
Both defenses have struggled to stop people in the first five or six games of the season. Pittsburgh is allowing just 213 passing yards per game, but has given up nine touchdowns compared to two interceptions.
The Steelers are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to stopping fantasy running backs as well: They’ve allowed 427 yards on 101 carries by opposing backs. BenJarvus Green-Ellis could find some room to run, but the Bengals would be better served throwing the ball over the middle with Troy Polamalu missing this game.
Wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham would be the primary beneficiaries under that scenario. Green has scored a touchdown against the Steelers in each of their previous two meetings. Gresham also caught one last year against the Steelers.
Andy Dalton wasn’t at his best against Pittsburgh during his rookie year, totaling 305 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions—but Polamalu was available to the Steelers in both of those games.
The Bengals have allowed plenty of fantasy points to opposing offenses as well this season. Because of that, Jonathan Dwyer might produce a good fantasy day. Cincinnati has given up seven rushing touchdowns to running backs in six games.
However, the Bengals have allowed just 2.9 yards per carry to running backs in the last three weeks. You’d be banking on a touchdown with Dwyer, so he’s no better than a flex option for Week 7.
Meanwhile, they’ve faced Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden over the same time frame have and have turned the three quarterbacks over just two times.
They allowed three passing scores during that time.
Cincinnati has notched six sacks in two separate games this season, so Ben Roethlisberger may have some pressure on him with the Steelers’ offensive line woes.
Still, the Steelers should come into this game throwing the football because of their injury concerns at running back. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller should be started with their usual confidence.
Pittsburgh represents the best passing offense that the Bengals have seen since Week 1 this season when they got smoked by the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns in Baltimore during Monday Night Football.
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