Jonathan Dwyer: Updated Fantasy Outlook and Analysis for Steelers' RB

Jeremy Sickel@ IIIOctober 22, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 21:  Jonathan Dwyer #27 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball during 24-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to grind out a 24-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night and have running back Jonathan Dwyer to thank for it.

Dwyer's 17-carry, 122-yard performance would not have happened if fellow running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman weren't sidelined with injuries.

For the NFL's 31st-ranked rushing offense, Dwyer's presence is the key to getting things back on track—especially if Mendenhall and Redman continue to hang out close to the trainer's table as this season progresses.

The Steelers have always been synonymous with smash-mouth football, but have gotten away from that this season.

While injuries have played their part in Pittsburgh's unbalanced offensive results, this team must get back to controlling the game with the run if it plans on staying relevant in 2012.

The Steelers have plenty of weapons for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the passing game. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller all provide the offense with the ability to keep opposing defenses on their heels.

Without a viable running game, however, this team has no chance against the more explosive offenses in the NFL.

Sunday night's win over the Bengals showed that there could be a renewed commitment to running the football, with Dwyer the direct beneficiary.

Pittsburgh is a much better team long-term with all of its weapons available, but did Dwyer prove that he is capable of being the leading man out of the Steelers' backfield even with a healthy Mendenhall and Redman in the mix?

The Steelers have the look of a running-back-by-committee approach, as long as everyone is healthy.

Dwyer's performance gives offensive coordinator Todd Haley more toys to tinker with; a good for thing for Pittsburgh's success, but bad for fantasy owners.

Unless only one of either Mendenhall, Redman or Dwyer is healthy and gets the starting nod, it is best to stay away from the Steelers' backfield this season.


Follow Jeremy on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy or contact him at