This is a special edition of my Sit/Start reserved solely for Thursday night’s game. Sometimes the added pressure of making an early week decision compounds the effects of basic fantasy logic (of which no such thing really exists lol). So lets take a team by team look at some of the names playing.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Cleveland Browns
Ben Roethlisberger QB : The big guy is having a great year. Touchdowns have come in clumps, while yards have been easy to come by in the Steelers new system. If only he could cut down on the INTs! Either way, the Browns are ripe for the plucking. However, without Hines Ward, Big Ben might struggle to move the ball as efficiently as we have been use to seeing. Both Limas Sweed and Mike Wallace will need to be sure handed if Roethlisberger is to go over 300 yards and 2 TDs. Still start as your normal QB1.
Rashard Mendenhall RB : Despite taking few reps during practice during this short week, Mendy is almost a sure thing to be a top 5-7 RB this week. He’ll need to find his way into the end zone to go with the huge yardage day he is sure to have. PPR leagues can downgrade Mendenhall a little as he has proven to be useless in the passing game. Mewelde Moore has more receptions and even Willie Parker has been more productive with the opportunities he has gotten.
Mewelde Moore RB : Moore has no value for Thursday night. Moore may not even be the backup to own in redraft leagues but he is a dynasty option to watch moving into next year. Grab him now while you can and expect some spot starts out of him next year if he stays in Pittsburgh.
Hines Ward WR : With his chances of playing looking worse and worse, it's safe to assume that Ward should not be start in any fantasy leagues anywhere.
Santonio Holmes WR : An interesting question is being given to fantasy owners. Who is going to assume Ward’s role on Thursday? Limas Sweed and Mike Wallace will clearly be splitting Ward’s normal routes, but who will get the extra targets? Holmes will be the man Cleveland looks to take away but Ben might be forced to feed him anyways. Start Holmes as an above average WR2 with the chance to have a stellar week.
Mike Wallace and Limas Sweed WR : Use at your own risk. Many fantasy experts will encourage you to start Wallace, but Sweed is more likely to produce WR3 numbers. Wallace is and will continue to be the occasional big week WR and that doesn’t look to change this week. However the Browns secondary may all Wallace to be productive underneath if he is given the chance to run more of Ward’s routes.
Heath Miller TE : The big guy had his second best game of the year against the Browns back in week six. Expect him to go off again and maybe even lead the Steelers in receptions with Ward out. Miller has had back-to-back one reception games but start him in all leagues (unless you have a top 5 TE).
Brady Quinn QB : The last three weeks have gone a long way towards making the NFL believe Quinn can play at this level. Perhaps the Browns don’t draft a new QB? Doubtful but either way, Quinn is a better QB option this week then some might imagine. The Steelers are giving points to QBs like they were candy on Halloween. With a struggling secondary, I can easily see +250 yards and +2 TDs given how the Browns will need to lean on the passing game.
Jerome Harrison RB : All RBs that play against the Steelers are risky business. In PPR leagues, Harrison is a flex start at best this Thursday night. However, he is a must own player down the line with his receiving skills and sudden chances to be the main RB for the Browns.
Mohamed Massaquoi WR : Two TDs in the last three games. Massaquoi is likely the WR to give the Steelers their most fits. If Tomlin stays true to his word and benches any of the current Steelers secondary, Cleveland is sure to make some big plays down field. I like Massaquoi as a flex spot/WR3 type player who could come through big time if he gets behind the Steelers' porous secondary.
Josh Cribbs WR : I have no clue why Cribbs is even being considered for a contract extension. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is blazing fast but he is useless in the passing game. Basically he runs really fast and has great return man vision. Oh well. If you’re in a return yards league, start Cribbs. He is basically a sure thing to torch the Steelers extra bad special teams unit.
All TEs : Umm. If you can name more than two of their TEs I’ll be very impressed (even if you are a Browns fan lol). Obviously nothing to even warrant looks in this area.