This week kicks off another entry of our fantasy football prediction blog. The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. This may be a more difficult game than what most Steelers fans are anticipating. The Bengals have 3 straight division games starting with the Steelers so expect them to try to set the tone against the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben will rebound just fine against the Bengals defense. The offense struggled last week to put points up on the board but they were able to move the ball against a solid Bears defense. I see Big Ben and company putting up 27 points against the Bengals this week.
Hines Ward – Historically a Cincinnati killer (just ask Keith Rivers). Ward is closing in on his 10,000 yards receiving mark and it very well could happen this week against the Bengals.
Santonio Holmes – Holmes had one of his worst performances in recent memory last week. 3 dropped balls including a tough but catchable winning TD catch capped off a disappointing day for Holmes. Even though the weather was less than desirable and the field was messy, Holmes dropped several catchable balls that ended up as “drive killers”. I expect Holmes to rebound and post a solid overall performance with over 100 yards and a TD.
Parker / Mendenhall – Parker has been the most disappointing player on the team so far this season. He’s not running the ball with any authority and he’s been “tip toeing” to the line of scrimmage. Mendenhall might steal some of Parker’s opportunities and rightfully so. It’s time for one of these two to step up and provide some sort of rushing attack. The Bengals run defense has struggled so this might be a good game to get this offense going.
Heath Miller – Miller continues to be one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets. He’s consistent, has great hands, and picks up first downs. With the offensive line struggling, Miller is a nice safety net for Big Ben.
Steelers Defense – Although the Steelers defense hasn’t necessarily struggled, they do have some flaws. For one, the Steelers outside linebackers including Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), James Harrison and emerging star LaMarr Woodley only have a combined 2 sacks on the year. Lawrence Timmons appears to be healthy which should hopefully add to the pass rush this week. This is a shocking statistic that no one would have guessed going into the 2009-2010 season. With the loss of Polamalu, Tyrone Carter was exposed by Jay Cutler last week being responsible for 2 touchdowns.
Carson Palmer – If last game was any indication, Palmer appears to be healthy. Palmer has one of the best deep balls in the game and is typically very accurate. If the Steelers defense doesn’t get a pass rush against Palmer, it will be a long day for the Steelers and their fans.
Chad Ochocinco – Ochocinco has had just one 100-yard game and three touchdowns against the Steelers since Ike Taylor’s rookie season in 2003 so don’t expect much out of him today. He talks a good game and is being outspoken against Steelers cornerbacks William Gay and Ike Taylor but until he produces on the field against the Steelers, I would steer away from picking Ochocinco.
Cedric Benson – Benson has been one of the bigger surprises this year for Cincinnati. However, like most other running backs, expect Benson to struggle against the Steelers stellar run defense. Don’t start Benson this week on your fantasy team.
Fantasy Football Pick of the Day: Santonio Holmes (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers)