Kansas City 13, Pittsburgh 16
In a rain soaked game Matt Cassel managed 154 yards and one interception. Unfortunately, his lone turnover came in overtime setting up a 23-yard field goal, virtually handing the Steelers the victory. Cassel is merely holding the position for whoever the Chiefs select in the 2013 NFL draft.
Dwayne Bowe continues to lead his team in targets totaling nine in this contest for 55 yards. However, Bowe owners should be distraught after watching their man catch a 22-yard touchdown only to have it called back after a very speculative holding penalty. Failing to top seven fantasy points in five straight games, Bowe has now fallen in the realm of the lower WR3 range. However, simply based on opportunity he is very hard to sit.
Jamaal Charles was the lone bright spot for the Chiefs carrying the ball 23 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. In this game Charles looked like his old self running hard and picking up yards in big chunks against the mighty Steelers defense which is ranked 5th against running backs. Fantasy owners should have renewed confidence in Charles who looks to be back on the RB1 plateau.
Of course, the headline from this game was the shoulder injury suffered by Big Ben Roethlisberger. Landing awkwardly on his throwing arm, Ben was forced to leave the game and was later seen being taken to the hospital for further evaluation. It’s never a good sign for a player’s future availability when he exits the stadium in order to receive further medical examination. More news will surface in the coming days.
In relief of Big Ben stepped veteran signal caller Byron Leftwich en route to 73 passing yards and zero touchdowns. Although Leftwich is off the fantasy radar, owners of Mike Wallace should take solace by recognizing the Steelers did not reign in the backup quarterback, allowing Leftwich to throw the football 14 times, including a couple of deep down field shots. Even if Leftwich starts next week, Wallace’s value will only dip slightly into the upper WR3 variety.
Isaac Redman opened the game in the Steelers backfield, but a first quarter fumble immediately relegated Redman into a backup role opening the door for Jonathan Dwyer. In this game Dwyer was handed the ball 19 times, but he was only able to amass 56 hard fought yards. When evaluating the Steelers running game, we should also recognize the likely return of Rashard Mendenhall as we are staring a three-headed-monster squarely in the face.