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

Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Baltimore Ravens)

QB Ben Roethlisberger: Congrats if you started Roethlisberger in Week 8, but don't go chasing points this week! We think he is a good start as the Ravens have injury issues in the secondary and Martavis Bryant has really stepped up as a secondary target the last two weeks. However, his play is way too inconsistent to expect anything close to last week. Be happy with anything better than the Houston game - 265 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 turnovers. ( 267 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 5 yds rush )

QB Bruce Gradkowski: ( 1 yd pass )

RB Le'Veon Bell: Bell got banged up in the Week 8 game, so we expect a rest day or two at practice this week. That said, expect him out there in primetime against arch-rival Baltimore. It's not a great matchup, but he's been running great so he's still a must-start. ( 72 yds rush; 4 catches for 40 yds )

RB LeGarrette Blount: ( 28 yds rush; 1 catch for 5 yds )

RB Dri Archer: ( 5 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Antonio Brown: Remember when the Steelers offered his contract to Mike Wallace first? Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, right? Yes, start him. ( 1 yd rush; 9 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD )

WR Markus Wheaton: The emergence of Martavis Bryant is going to reduce Wheaton's workload going forward. We think he is waiver wire fodder until proven otherwise. ( 1 yd rush; 5 catches for 46 yds )

WR Martavis Bryant: The Steelers drafted him to be the eventual #2 in this offense, but we don't think they expected it to happen this quickly. He's very limited in the route tree, so we don't recommend starting him yet, but he's absolutely worth a bench spot. ( 3 catches for 30 yds )

WR Lance Moore: ( 2 catches for 22 yds )

WR Justin Brown: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: ( 1 catch for 6 yds )

TE Heath Miller: The Ravens are tough vs. opposing tight ends, so don't expect a repeat of last week from Miller. Look elsewhere if in need of a one-week filler. ( 4 catches for 48 yds )

TE Matt Spaeth: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Michael Palmer: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

PK Shaun Suisham: The injuries on Baltimore's defense may open more scoring opportunities for the Steelers, but we don't think this is a great spot for Suisham. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers defense has gotten by the last two weeks on big plays, but have continued to give up a lot of yards and points. We don't recommend them. ( 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Cleveland Browns (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

QB Brian Hoyer: Tampa Bay's pass defense is putrid and the Browns run game has stalled since losing Alex Mack. So if you're in a quarterback jam, Hoyer is not a bad play. Especially against a Tampa Bay defense that is the 6th most generous versus opposing QBs. ( 264 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 3 yds rush )

QB Johnny Manziel: ( 7 yds pass )

RB Ben Tate: The Browns running game has fallen apart without Alex Mack and the Tampa Bay defensive line is the only good part of a woeful defense. Since alternatives are scarce this week he's a must-start for most owners, but just understand if he doesn't get in the end zone he's not looking at a strong game. ( 69 yds rush and 1 TD; 2 catches for 13 yds )

RB Isaiah Crowell: We expect the Browns to get him more involved this week, but he is little more than just a Tate handcuff until the offensive line starts playing better. ( 40 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

RB Terrance West: He was more decisive in his runs last week, so that's certainly a sign of progress, but he's headed towards third wheel status in this running back corps. ( 25 yds rush; 1 catch for 4 yds )

RB Glenn Winston: ( 2 yds rush; )

WR Andrew Hawkins: Touchdown regression was inevitable given the volume of looks he's been getting. In a bye week jam? He should be a solid option vs. a woeful Tampa Bay secondary. ( 2 yds rush; 6 catches for 81 yds )

WR Miles Austin: Not enough big play upside nor targets to consider as anything more than a desperation play. ( 4 catches for 43 yds )

WR Taylor Gabriel: The big play potential is there and while we think he's due to take one to the house, we cannot in good faith recommend him, even in such a busy bye week. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 47 yds )

WR Travis Benjamin: ( 2 yds rush; 2 catches for 24 yds )

WR Marlon Moore: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Jordan Cameron: We do not expect Cameron to play in Week 9 due to his third concussion in three years.

TE Jim Dray: ( 2 catches for 33 yds )

TE Gary Barnidge: ( 1 catch for 13 yds )

PK Billy Cundiff: The good matchups continue for Cundiff, who is also benefiting from an offense that gets the ball to/near the red zone but often not actually into the endzone. Keep playing him as long as the matchups are favorable. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Cleveland Browns: The Browns defense has finally turned into the opportunistic bunch we expected week one. Against Tampa Bay? Deploy away! ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Cincinnati Bengals (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

QB Andy Dalton: The Jaguars can be beaten through the air and Dalton is due for one of his big games that he's known for. If Green is active, we like him as a one-week filler. ( 239 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 11 yds rush )

QB Jason Campbell: ( 22 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Giovani Bernard: Monitor the injury reports, but if he is full-go he should be a good start. The Jaguars are fairly strong vs. the run, but their offense is so bad it's going to offer opportunities for the Bengals running game to make plays.

RB Jeremy Hill: If Bernard is out, or limited, Hill could be in for a huge day. We recommend putting in a waiver claim just in case. ( 35 yds rush; 3 catches for 25 yds )

RB Cedric Peerman: ( 29 yds rush; 1 catch for 8 yds )

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

WR A.J. Green: We don't recommend wasting time nor energy trying to figure out if Green will play in Week 9 until after Friday's practice report. If he plays, be aware that he won't be near 100%. ( 1 yd rush; 5 catches for 75 yds and 1 TD )

WR Mohamed Sanu: Sanu struggled against a fairly strong Colts pass defense (Week 8 withstanding), but has done well as the feature wide receiver against less challenging opposition. This should continue against the Jaguars. He's an interesting start during this busy bye week. ( 2 yds rush; 4 catches for 45 yds and 1 TD )

WR Brandon Tate: ( 2 yds rush; 3 catches for 32 yds )

WR Dane Sanzenbacher: ( 1 catch for 12 yds )

WR James Wright: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

WR Greg Little: ( 2 catches for 21 yds )

TE Jermaine Gresham: The Colts game is the clear outlier, as expected. We don't expect Gresham's involvement in the pass game to be of fantasy relevance. ( 5 catches for 40 yds )

TE Kevin Brock: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

PK Mike Nugent: We still don't trust him after his early season shanks. Make him prove it another couple of weeks before trusting him again. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Cincinnati Bengals: This unit took a step in the right direction against Baltimore and now gets rewarded with a matchup against a friendly opponent, Jacksonville. Expect a big week. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Baltimore Ravens (vs Pittsburgh Steelers)

QB Joe Flacco: With Steve Smith as his only quality option in the passing game, Flacco looked lost last week after dominating Tampa Bay and putting up a strong effort vs. Atlanta. The Steelers may be weak defensively, but we think Flacco needs to show it again before we trust him in lineups. ( 242 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 6 yds rush )

QB Tyrod Taylor: ( 4 yds pass; 9 yds rush )

RB Justin Forsett: Given his workload the last three weeks, we feel comfortable saying he can be started going forward. To fulfill his upside he needs to be utilized in the passing game though. ( 66 yds rush; 2 catches for 11 yds )

RB Lorenzo Taliaferro: He vultured Forsett's touchdowns last week and has reduced Bernard Pierce to a game-day inactive. He needs more work before he can be started, but if he fell off your radar get him back on it. ( 35 yds rush; 1 catch for 12 yds )

RB Bernard Pierce: Was inactive in Week 8. He can't be trusted at this time. ( 27 yds rush; 1 catch for 9 yds )

RB Kyle Juszczyk: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

WR Steve Smith: It's been a couple of frustrating weeks for Smith, but we like him to bounce back on primetime against a susceptible secondary. ( 6 catches for 79 yds and 1 TD )

WR Torrey Smith: We didn't like him vs. Cincinnati, but we did not expect a goose egg. Proof positive that he really can't be trusted as anything more than a desperation option on any given week. ( 4 catches for 49 yds )

WR Marlon Brown: ( 3 catches for 26 yds )

WR Jacoby Jones: ( 2 catches for 15 yds )

WR Kamar Aiken: ( 1 catch for 12 yds )

TE Owen Daniels: Daniels has his knee scoped on 10/24 and was expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Although, the Ravens brass would only confirm that Daniels would miss one game.

TE Crockett Gillmore: ( 4 catches for 40 yds )

PK Justin Tucker: If there is such a thing as a stud kicker he is it. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens defense has been very steady, but they may be walking into problems in Pittsburgh. Tough unit to bench, but if alternatives are there we recommend taking them. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



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