Steelers vs. Bengals: Projecting Fantasy Stats for Top Stars

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Steelers vs. Bengals: Projecting Fantasy Stats for Top Stars
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Monday night's AFC North clash pitting the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Cincinnati Bengals features a few fantasy football studs who could put up huge numbers.

But both teams also feature defenses that are capable of shutting opposing offenses down, making for some tricky matchups to predict. 

The Steelers and Bengals both lost in Week 1. While going into an 0-2 hole to start the season won't necessarily doom either squad, it's not a start any team wants to have to overcome. 

Needless to say, these two physical teams are going to leave nothing on the field on Monday Night Football as they attempt to get into the win column for the first time in 2013. 

Here's a look at what you can expect from the top stars in this game. 

 

A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Based on history, Green is due for a poor showing on Monday against the Steelers. In both of his first two seasons, he has been nearly invisible in the first of two games against Pittsburgh. 

A.J. Green vs. Pittsburgh
Date Catches Yards Touchdowns
11/13/2011 1 36 1
12/04/2011 6 87 1
10/21/2012 1 8 --
12/23/2012 10 116 --

pro-football-reference.com

That said, it's hard for me to imagine the Steelers shutting Green down in this game. He caught nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, and he's not so quietly emerging as one of the top receivers in the NFL

Stat Projection: Seven catches for 115 yards and one touchdown

 

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati's defense is going to have a field day against Ben Roethlisberger, who is playing behind an offensive line that was already a mess before losing Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey for the season with a knee injury.  

The Tennessee Titans sacked Big Ben five times in Week 1, and he never got into any kind of rhythm with his receivers. He finished the day with just 191 yards passing, throwing one touchdown and one interception. 

Roethlisberger may throw for more yardage against the Bengals, but he will make at least one or two big mistakes while under pressure. 

Stat Projection: 250 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions

 

Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, Dalton showed some good and bad qualities against the Chicago Bears in Week 1. He and Green have undeniable chemistry, but he continues to struggle when throwing to his other receivers. 

Thankfully, the Bengals now have two pass-catching tight ends to pick up the slack. Both Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert caught five passes in Week 1. 

But Pittsburgh has given Dalton fits over the past two years, during which time he's thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions. 

Stat Projection: 265 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception

 

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Pittsburgh's offense was completely out of sync in Week 1, but Brown still managed to catch five passes for 71 yards. Roethlisberger looks to his receiver often and knows he can count on him to be where he needs to be.

Brown had some success against the Bengals last year, catching 12 passes for 193 yards with one touchdown in two games.

He's going to be Roethlisberger's top target on Monday night, and chances are that he'll be in a position to catch at least one touchdown pass.

Stat Projection: Six catches for 85 yards and one touchdown  

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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