Philadelphia: The question here is, which Eagles team will show up?
Will it be the team that showed a lot of toughness in gritting out a close game against arch rival New York Giants last week, or the team that went out on the road in Week 3 and rolled over for a decent but not great Cardinals team?
If the latter shows up, the Steelers will likely eat the Eagles for lunch.
Key to which team shows up is whether or not Michael Vick remains upright long enough to deliver strikes down the field.
So far this year, the Steelers rank dead last in pressuring the quarterback, but that could change with the return of James Harrison and Troy Palomalu. Vick’s offensive line played much better against the Giants, so there could be hope here for the Eagles to steal a win.
The Steelers are a team that can be beat by the big play, and none is better at picking up large chunks of yardage in the passing game than Desean Jackson. As long as Vick can stay standing, he’ll take at least a handful of deep shots at Jackson, with a good chance of him hauling in one or two.
Jeremy Maclin is still working at getting healthy; the Steelers matchup better against possession receivers, so Maclin’s not a great start.
The big question is what’s going on with Lesean McCoy? McCoy was likely the third running back off the board in fantasy drafts, and he’s done fine yardage wise as he’s 3rd in the league in that category.
The problem is he’s only scored once in four games, which means he’s on a pace of just four TDs on the entire year; a far cry from his 20 a year ago. Now, he of course won’t score just four touchdowns on the year… but when is he going to start busting a run or two into the end zone?
Good Start: WR DeSean Jackson, RB LeSean McCoy
Middle of the Road: QB Michael Vick, WR Jeremy Maclin, TE Brent Celek
Bad Start: None
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers come off their bye week at only 1-2, having been stunned by a late Raiders rally in Week 3. So far, the offense hasn’t really been the problem, specifically the passing game. Pittsburgh ranks a robust 7th in the passing game, and triggerman Ben Roethlisberger is definitely worth a start against most defenses.
So much for being rusty after a long holdout; Mike Wallace looks like he hasn’t missed a beat even though he didn’t have the benefit of training camp. Antonio Brown still has more targets (29 vs. 22), but Wallace has three TDs to Brown’s one; so Big Ben still looks for Wallace more when it’s time to get in the end zone.
Heath Miller has also had a good season so far; He’s caught at least one score in each of the first three games, and has had no less than three catches. He’s a solid start as the outlet receiver against an aggressive Eagles defense.
This week is supposed to mark the return of Rashard Mendenhall; the regular starter has been out up until this point recovering from his ACL tear, so don’t expect a great first game back. In fact, it’s likely Mendenhall will be on a play count, and will share quite a bit with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, making all of them bad fantasy options.
Good Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Mike Wallace, TE Heath Miller
Middle of the Road: WR Antonio Brown
Bad Start: RB Rashard Mendenhall, RB Issac Redman