Sunday Night Fantasy Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Jeremy AlpertSenior Analyst IIDecember 5, 2010

Week 13 Match-up:  Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-3)


Rankings based on top 16 QBs, 32 RBs, 48 WRs and 16 TEs

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Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Baltimore Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game T-7th - TDs Allowed T-6th

Baltimore Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 11th – TDs Allowed T-5th


Pittsburgh Offensive Cast


Ben Roethlisberger (QB Week 13 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 137 of 220 for 1,825 yards & 12 TDs

Big Ben is hobbled by a sprained foot, which by the way, in case you didn’t know, does NOT bode well for a good outing against a ferocious Baltimore D.  That said, the Ravens can be beat through the air on occasion, but Roethlisberger has a history of poor fantasy games against them (with the exception of one awesome outing back in 2007) and shouldn’t be counted on for much more than an average stat line this Sunday night.


Rashard Mendenhall (RB Week 13 Ranking: No. 12)

2010 Season: 238 carries for 962 yards & 9 TDs || 16 receptions for 98 yards & 0 TDs

Mendenhall had a great game against the Ravens earlier this year (79 yards, two TDs) and will likely be counted on again to step up with Big Ben hurting.  It won’t be his greatest fantasy game this year, but if he can come close to the stats he put up in the last game, he’ll be worth using as an RB this weekend.


Mike Wallace (WR Week 13 Ranking: No. 14)

2010 Season: 36 receptions for 792 yards & 8 TDs

So the Roethlisberger-to-Wallace combo CAN be stopped (as Buffalo did last Sunday).  Wallace looks like he might be a bit of a risk this Sunday night, but this sort of risk also comes with a high reward.  Take the chance on Wallace breaking out a long one in this game.


Hines Ward (WR Week 13 Ranking: No. 37)

2010 Season: 40 receptions for 510 yards & 4 TDs

Ward finally got himself together last game putting up seven catches for 107 yards against the Bills.  I don’t expect that kind of yardage this week, but he could be seeing another bunch of targets if the Ravens try to pressure the gimpy Pittsburgh QB.


Heath Miller (TE Week 13 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 32 receptions for 375 yards & 1 TD

Miller might be kept in to block more in a game like this, so coupled with the fact that the Ravens have allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year and you’re looking at an easy bench call with Heath.


Baltimore Ravens (Ravens Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Pittsburgh Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 22nd - TDs Allowed 5th

Pittsburgh Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 1st – TDs Allowed T-1st


Baltimore Offensive Cast


Joe Flacco (QB Week 13 Ranking: No. 13)

2010 Season: 231 of 365 for 2,722 yards & 18 TDs

Flacco has been one of the more consistent fantasy producers in the league lately as he has either put up 300-plus yards or passed for multiple touchdowns in each of his last six games.  The only way you’re going to beat the Steelers is through the air, so expect Joe Cool to be tossing the pill around quite a bit this Sunday night.


Ray Rice (RB Week 13 Ranking: No. 16)

2010 Season: 204 carries for 815 yards & 3 TDs || 47 receptions for 392 yards & 0 TDs

Rice had his worst game of the season against the Steelers back in Week 4, but last year he was able to crack ‘em for 229 yards in the two games he faced them.  Considering Ray-Ray has played better at home than on the road this year, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’ll put up good enough stats to be used as an RB this week. 


Willis McGahee (RB Week 13 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 71 carries for 271 yards & 4 TDs || 13 receptions for 47 yards & 1 TD

McGahee has as good a shot as any backup RB in the league to score a TD, but it won’t be a likely scenario against the stingiest rush D in the NFL.


Anquan Boldin (WR Week 13 Ranking: No. 17)

2010 Season: 51 receptions for 652 yards & 6 TDs

With the amount of pressure Flacco is likely to see this game, you can bet Boldin will be getting a ton of dump-offs like he did in his last game against them.  10 targets, seven receptions and 68 yards is what he put up the first time around.  With any luck, he’ll add a TD to that line and give fantasy owners something to cheer about.


Derrick Mason (WR Week 13 Ranking: No. 45)

2010 Season: 45 receptions for 576 yards & 4 TDs

Mason turned in a nice outing both last week against the Bucs (eight catches, 87 yards and a TD) and against the Steelers in their first match-up in Week 4 (six catches, 80 yards).  Derrick is as steady as they come, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him right around those same numbers this Sunday.


T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR Week 13 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 17 receptions for 291 yards & 2 TDs

Neither Housh nor his competition for the WR3 role, Dante Stallworth, is worth starting any week.


Todd Heap (TE Week 13 Ranking: No. 13)

2010 Season: 37 receptions for 546 yards & 5 TDs

Heap has been a real nice force for the Ravens this year, and considering the Steelers rank toward the lower end of the league in allowing fantasy points to tight ends, he might turn out to be a great play this week.