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Steelers vs. Packers Fantasy Advice: Start Ben Roethlisberger, Sit James Jones

As much as it is a must-win week for your fantasy team, it's also just as big of a game when the Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field in Week 16.

Rob Carr

Congrats on making it this far thanks to (in spite of? :) ) my fantasy advice this season. Now, that we're at Week 16, you're all hoping that all of your hard work, draft prep, waiver wire diligence and blind budget management are going to pay off in a major way. In fact, one lucky winner in the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) is about to walk away with $250,000 come Tuesday.

Now, you may not be playing for that much, but you still want to win just as badly. So how do you beat your opponent? Simple: Just outscore him or her. In all honesty, there's not much you can do at this point. Almost anything can happen in a week, so luck plays a much bigger role in fantasy championships.

My best advice to you is this: You've made it this far by going with your gut and not over-thinking it. If you're mulling between two players, just keep mulling until one player separates himself in your mind. Go zen with it. Maybe the vision doesn't come to you until five minutes before kickoff, but it will come to you. Trust me. Without further adieu, here's how I see the Steelers/Packers game shaking out:


Matt Flynn looked like the 6-touchdowns-against-the-Lions Flynn in the second half last week. Does that mean we can expect that going forward now? Probably not, but I think Flynn is going to be more than just a game manager now. He made some tough, daring throws last week, and don't think that went unnoticed. Ben Roethlisberger has a lot of stuff going for him here: He faces a bad Packers defense with a competent running game and four solid weapons in the passing game. I'd feel just fine starting him for a league title this weekend.

Flynn: 245 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Verdict: Start as a solid QB2 in 2-QB leagues

Roethlisberger: 280 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Verdict: Start as a low-end QB1 in 12- and 14-team leagues


Two Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates will go at this week in this match-up, and neither should disappoint. Eddie Lacy should soften up that Steelers defense most of the first half, and the Packers offense will enjoy the spoils of that in the fourth quarter. Green Bay doesn't really have a good answer for Le'Veon Bell coming out of the backfield to catch passes or running between the tackles. They're both must-starts for me this week.

Lacy: 95 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches, 25 yards
Verdict: Start in all leagues

James Starks: 20 rushing yards, 1 catch, 5 yards
Verdict: bench in most leagues

Bell: 80 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 catches, 40 yards
Verdict: Start in all leagues


Flynn showed last week that he is capable of putting all three of his big receivers in positions to succeed. That won;t change this week. Ike Taylor may slow Jordy Nelson up a bit, but I really like Boykin this week. ESPN Wisconsin's Jason WIlde tweeted this out Thursday. I knew there was quite a disparity between James Jones and Jarrett Boykin, but I didn't realize the chasm that separated them. We saw what Dallas #1 wide receiver Dez Bryant did to the Packers defense last week, and I don't expect that to change with Antonio Brown in Week 16. I'd bet dollars to donuts that Emmanuel Sanders sneaks behind the Green Bay secondary for at least one big play, too.

Nelson: 5 catches, 65 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in most every league

Boykin: 6 catches, 70 yards
Verdict: Start as WR3/WR4 in 12-team PPR leagues

Jones: 3 catches, 45 yards
Verdict: Start as desperation flex in 14- and 16-team PPR leagues

Brown: 8 catches, 110 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in every league

Sanders: 5 catches, 60 yards
Verdict: Start as a WR4 in 12-team PPR leagues

Jerricho Cotchery: 3 catches, 30 yards
Verict: Start as desperation flex in 14- and 16-team PPR leagues


You'll show 'em all next year, Brandon Bostick! Truth be told, I'll admit I was too high on Project Bostick too early in his career. He just hasn't developed into a well-rounded tight end that I thought he would become this season. A successful recovery from foot surgery and a good off-season will go a long way for him next year. Meanwhile, Andrew Quarless has looked fantastic recently. He could be the TE1 in Green Bay next year. On the other side of the ball, Heath Miller is playing very well also. He should flourish over the middle on Sunday.

Quarless: 4 catches, 40 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start as a TE2 in TE-premium leagues like the FFPC

Miller: 6 catches, 55 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start as a low end TE1 in 12-team leagues


I am predicting a touchdown-heavy game here, and the fact that Green Bay is going to see three-to-six inches of snow won't help matters. When every point counts so much this week, look to other kickers to get in your starting lineup. These two won't be enough.

Mason Crosby: 1 field goal, 3 extra points
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Shaun Suisham: 3 extra points
Verdict: Start in all leagues where 3 points from your kicker will get it done. :)


While I am not projecting any touchdowns from either side, anything is possible in the snow, right? Pittsburgh won't have LaMarr Woodley, but Jarvis Jones is the better playmaker at this stage of the game anyway. The Green Bay defense really answered the call in the second half last week, but forcing Roethlisberger into mistakes is always tough. Sacking him is even tougher.

Packers: 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 380 yards allowed, 21 points allowed
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Steelers: 4 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 360 yards allowed, 24 points allowed
Verdict: Consider as a low-end option