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AFC North Player Analysis
Mark Chamberlin, FantasySharks.com, Staff Writer

Pittsburgh Steelers (vs New Orleans Saints)

QB Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger has come back to Earth the last two games after his ridiculous performances against the Colts and Ravens. That said, we expect Big Ben to return to his big game ways in what should be a high scoring affair. ( 284 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 4 yds rush )

RB Le'Veon Bell: Bell is coming off of his best game of his career, has a week to rest up, and then he gets the sieve that is the Saints defense? Giddy up! ( 91 yds rush; 5 catches for 47 yds )

RB Dri Archer: ( 17 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

RB Will Johnson: ( 3 yds rush; 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Antonio Brown: In what should be a high scoring affair we expect Brown to continue to do what he's done all year, dominate. ( 1 yd rush; 10 catches for 116 yds and 1 TD )

WR Markus Wheaton: Martavis Bryant's emergence has really killed Wheaton's fantasy stock. We don't recommend him this week or any week. ( 1 yd rush; 4 catches for 48 yds )

WR Martavis Bryant: He showed week 1 vs. Tennessee the danger in starting him, he's raw. His current role lends itself to a high variance fantasy output and that's exactly what you've seen so far. all or nothing. We lean towards 'all' over 'nothing' this week, but don't force him into your lineup. ( 3 catches for 47 yds )

WR Lance Moore: ( 2 catches for 23 yds )

WR Justin Brown: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

TE Heath Miller: He's a great real football player, but fantasy? Not so much. Good matchup, but he's just not a reliable start. ( 4 catches for 53 yds )

TE Matt Spaeth: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

TE Michael Palmer: ( )

PK Shaun Suisham: Hines Field come winter is not a friendly place to kick field goals. We think this game will be high scoring, but do not recommend starting Suisham. ( 3 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Pittsburgh Steelers: Drew Brees and the Saints typically struggle away from the dome, but this Steelers defense is not what it used to be. We recommend looking elsewhere. ( 1 sack, 1 INT )



Cleveland Browns (vs Buffalo Bills)

QB Brian Hoyer: Hoyer has struggled in games in which the running game has not gotten it together and we expect the run game to be problematic vs. a tough Buffalo defense. ( 211 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 3 yds rush )

QB Johnny Manziel: ( 5 yds pass )

RB Isaiah Crowell: This defense is built very similarly to Houston and Jacksonville, two defenses that effectively shut this offense down. We like his scoring potential, but even if he hits pay dirt it may not be a great fantasy day. Don't force him into your lineup. ( 55 yds rush and 1 TD; 1 catch for 11 yds )

RB Terrance West: Crowell is the more valuable piece of this back field due to his scoring potential, but this is very much a time share going forward. The tough matchup makes West a difficult play this week. ( 43 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

RB Glenn Winston: ( 7 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Josh Gordon: If the Browns are going to win this game it will likely be due to Mr. Gordon. Given his usage last week in Atlanta, even if him and Hoyer continue to not be on the same page, we expect another big game. ( 1 yd rush; 7 catches for 92 yds and 1 TD )

WR Andrew Hawkins: The return of Gordon caused Hawkins to have his second lowest target count on the year, we expect that to continue. ( 5 catches for 61 yds )

WR Taylor Gabriel: We're surprised Austin saw 8 targets to Gabriel's 2 last week, but unless we see it again we're chalking it up as a fluke. Gabriel may be the future and is a more dynamic weapon now. ( 3 catches for 43 yds )

WR Miles Austin: We do not expect Austin to come anywhere near his 8 targets received last week again. ( 3 catches for 33 yds )

WR Travis Benjamin: ( 1 yd rush; 1 catch for 15 yds )

WR Marlon Moore: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Jordan Cameron: He returned to practice Friday, so an activation this week seems promising. We would not rush him into your lineup, but given the state of affairs at the tight end position we also wouldn't blame the desperate for rolling the dice on Cameron.

TE Jim Dray: ( 1 catch for 17 yds )

TE Gary Barnidge: ( 1 catch for 14 yds )

PK Billy Cundiff: This matchup concerns us enough to say look elsewhere this week. If the weather holds he has some interesting games come the playoffs, so keep him on your radar. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Cleveland Browns: This unit is being held together with sticky tape and glue. We don't expect an Orton led Bills to offer many big play opportunities, so if you have alternatives we recommend using them. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Cincinnati Bengals (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

QB Andy Dalton: One big problem with this matchup, the Bengals don't need to throw much to beat the Bucs. We think Dalton could be in for a big day if the game flow calls for it, but we're not willing to bet on it as a ground heavy attack should suffice. ( 218 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 11 yds rush )

QB Jason Campbell: ( 18 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Giovani Bernard: We expect an improvement over last week, and it is encouraging to see he received as many touches as he did, but don't force him into your lineup. He needs to be more productive with his touches before he becomes a mainstay in your lineup again. ( 40 yds rush; 2 catches for 17 yds )

RB Jeremy Hill: Hill's the best play in this back field until proven otherwise. It's going to be a time share, but he has been more productive and is the better bet on the goal line. ( 63 yds rush and 1 TD; 1 catch for 15 yds )

RB Cedric Peerman: ( 4 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

RB Rex Burkhead: ( 2 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

WR A.J. Green: We expect a ground heavy game plan, but Green will still get his standard usage. No reason to expect anything less than a great game this week. ( 1 yd rush; 7 catches for 88 yds and 1 TD )

WR Mohamed Sanu: We're concerned Sanu could fall victim to a ground dominant attack this week, so a performance closer to weeks 10 and 11 (4 and 5 PPR points respectively) seems more realistic than a repeat of week 12 - 16 PPR points. ( 2 yds rush; 3 catches for 35 yds )

WR Brandon Tate: ( 1 yd rush; 2 catches for 20 yds )

WR Greg Little: ( 1 yd rush; 1 catch for 10 yds )

WR Dane Sanzenbacher: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR James Wright: ( 1 yd rush; 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Jermaine Gresham: His 2 TD performance week 11 vs. New Orleans remains the outlier, we don't recommend starting him. ( 4 catches for 36 yds )

TE Kevin Brock: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

PK Mike Nugent: After early season shank issues, Nugent has been on a roll lately. We like this spot for him. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Cincinnati Bengals: The defense has been better lately and they get a dysfunctional Bucs offense, but we would like this spot more if it were at home. We'll give them a good but not great seal of approval. ( 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Baltimore Ravens (vs San Diego Chargers)

QB Joe Flacco: Don't force him into your lineup, but if you're short options we really like Flacco this week against a very susceptible Chargers defense. ( 247 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 5 yds rush )

QB Tyrod Taylor: ( 4 yds pass; 10 yds rush )

RB Justin Forsett: About time someone gave this little man his shot, huh? Yes, start him. He has been a solid fantasy producer week in and week out. ( 96 yds rush and 1 TD; 2 catches for 14 yds )

RB Lorenzo Taliaferro: ( 27 yds rush; 1 catch for 13 yds )

RB Bernard Pierce: ( 26 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

RB Kyle Juszczyk: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR Steve Smith: We expected Smith to bounce back on prime time and he did not disappoint. For a follow up performance, he gets a beaten up Chargers secondary and we expect another solid day. ( 6 catches for 76 yds and 1 TD )

WR Torrey Smith: He's been consistently scoring lately and he has a great matchup this week. This is when he usually gets you, don't take the bait. ( 4 catches for 63 yds )

WR Marlon Brown: ( 3 catches for 28 yds )

WR Jacoby Jones: ( 1 catch for 12 yds )

WR Kamar Aiken: ( 1 catch for 12 yds )

WR Michael Campanaro: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

TE Owen Daniels: He's been used too sparingly to trust in your lineup. ( 4 catches for 36 yds )

TE Crockett Gillmore: ( 1 catch for 11 yds )

PK Justin Tucker: Yes, there is such a thing as a stud kicker. Start him. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Baltimore Ravens: This unit is rolling and now they get a West coast team playing in an early game. These usually benefit the home team, so unless you have a top alternative -- use these guys. ( 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



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