The Chiefs take on the Steelers for this week' Monday Night Football matchup. We break down the fantasy implications.
This week's Monday night game is comprised of two teams going in completely different directions. Kansas City continues its awful run in 2012 entering with a 1-7 record, while Pittsburgh now possesses the No. 1 ranked defense in the league and looks destined to clinch a playoff berth.
You won't see two rosters with fantasy studs all across the board tonight, but there is some decent talent for your lineup here. Mainly on the Steelers side of the ball. The Chiefs are averaging just 16.6 points per game, not exactly a total that excites any owner.
Instead of just saying "sit every Chief", let's take a look at which players you need to start here, and which ones you need to bench for Week 10.
Matt Cassel, quarterback - Do you ever start Cassel in your lineup? Hopefully the answer to that question is no. A turnover machine, Cassel has recorded at least one pick and one fumble in every game but one this season. He didn't manage a single touchdown last week either. How should you feel about him going up against the top pass defense in the league? You should turn and run, far away. Avoid Cassel.
Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, running back - Charles took a hard hit last in Week 9, forcing him to miss the end of the game against the Chargers. Fortunately he's had plenty of time to recover since that Thursday night game, and he looks ready to go against the Steelers. Unfortunately, though, he'll face a defense giving up just 89 yards per game to opposing rushers. The Chiefs aren't giving Charles enough touches either, so who knows what to expect with Romeo Crennel running the show. Hillis hasn't done anything since returning from injury, so it's safe to rule him out of this equation. You'll likely start Charles because he's a top running back, but you probably shouldn't expect much in this matchup. Along with his coaching staff limiting his time, the odds are against him.
Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver - The Steelers have allowed seven touchdowns to receivers this year. There is hope for Bowe, especially with Cassel throwing. At least he targets him often every game. Bowe's physical dominance and athleticism make him bound to put up some point regardless of his matchup. He's still worth a start, but his owners should know this one could get ugly.
Tony Moeaki, tight end - Moeaki posted season-highs in Week 8, and then followed that performance up with a blank stat line in Week 9. He's not a consistent part of the offense. He shouldn't be a part of your team.
Chiefs defense/special teams - We've all heard the talk of Todd Haley facing his former team this week. He was fired by the Chiefs last year, and now he wants revenge. At least that's how the media portrays the scenario. Ben Roethlisberger admitted there's a little more incentive to win this one, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the Steelers ran up the score a bit. Aside from that notion, the Chiefs defense is just bad in general. They're giving up 30.5 points per game. Crennel relinquished his defensive coordinator duties to Gary Gibbs, the team cut cornerback Stanford Routt and improvement is still unlikely. Don't bother with this D/ST.
Ben Roethlisberger - Taking into account the aforementioned talk of running up the score, Big Ben will be a great play for Week 10. The Chiefs have given up multiple passing touchdowns in every game but one (the Ravens took that day off it seems). Roethlisberger threw five touchdowns in his last two games, and you can expect plenty more tonight. Expect him to target Javier Arenas, who now starts in Routt's stead. Big Ben will make his owners proud in Week 10.
Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, running back - Pittsburgh's backfield is a little cloudy for Monday night. Redman racked up the yards last week with Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall out, but Dwyer proved his worth in Week's 7 and 8. Both are healthy this week, and Mendnehall is unlikely to play. Redman said he will be the one to start against the Chiefs, so take that into account. Mike Tomlin has talked about riding the hot hand, though, so either back could get going against Kansas City's porous defense. Redman is the one you'll want to start this week. Dwyer could be a flyer, though.
Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, wide receiver - The Chiefs gave up 521 yards and six touchdowns to opposing receivers in their last three games. That should be a green light to start both of these guys. Antonio Brown is out, so Sanders sees an increase in workload. Both scored touchdowns in Week 9, and both could very well repeat that success this week. Jerrico Cotchery will also see an expanded role as the No. 3 receiver, but he's only worth a look in the deepest leagues.
Heath Miller, tight end - Miller didn't score last week, but he still has six touchdowns under his belt in 2012. He's a constant red zone target for Roethlisberger, and he's been one of the better tight ends in fantasy this season. You need to continue rolling with him in your starting lineup each week unless you have an elite option over him (see: Graham or Gronk).
Steelers defense/special teams - Did we mention the Steelers have the No. 1 defense in the league? Did we mention how bad the Chiefs offense is? Yeah, you'll be fine starting Pittsburgh's D/ST.