Fantasy football start/sit advice Week 2: Bengals vs. Steelers

Gregory Shamus

Pittsburgh heads to Cincinnati to face their division rival on Monday night. We take a look at the fantasy implications.

Week 2 is nearly wrapped up. Monday Night Football can oftentimes be a moment for fantasy owners to respond to a scoring deficit or seal a win in their weekly match up. Whatever your situation might be, we're here to break down that fantasy potential of both Bengals and Steelers players as the division rivals face one another in Cincinnati for Week 2.

Bengals

Andy Dalton: Dalton put up respectable numbers against the Bears in Week 1. The Steelers haven't exactly given Dalton big fantasy outings in his two year career (688 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions in four contests). Dalton should have a solid outing against Pittsburgh in prime time, but there are simply too many better options to roll with before Monday night. Consider Dalton a solid QB2 for another week and hope he repeats his Week 1 fantasy output.

Wide Receivers: There's no reason to bench A.J. Green. Ever. His last game against Pittsburgh resulted in ten catches for 116 yards, but the last time Green faced Ike Taylor he was held to one catch for eight yards and a touchdown. The Bengals simply have no other fantasy producers worth starting at the wide receiver position. Mohamed Sanu continues to be a wait-and-see player on a lot of fantasy benches. He can be dropped in most formats, but if you're still hanging onto him, hope that he can rebound from his discouraging game against the Bears. If the Bengals decide to start Dane Sanzenbacher, keep an eye on him in deeper PPR leagues until Andrew Hawkins returns from injury.

Running Backs: BenJarvus Green-Ellis managed to find the end zone against Chicago, and could do the same against Pittsburgh. However, Green-Ellis is a flex play in most leagues simply because Giovani Bernard could be the hot hand on any given week. If you're limited on options this week, start Green-Ellis, but the Bengals backfield should be avoided if possible.

Tight Ends: Both Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert are TE2 options heading into Week 2. There's simply no telling who will get end zone looks, which is what their value will rely on. Gresham has only scored one touchdown against he Steelers in five contests and Eifert obviously only has one regular season game under his belt. Eifert may be worth a look in deeper PPR leagues, but he's a desperation play. We're still waiting to see if the duo will coexist well or cannibalize one another from a fantasy perspective.

Cincinnati defense/special teams: Cincinnati's defense is owned in 94 percent of Yahoo! leagues for a reason. Unfortunately, the game against Chicago didn't help out fantasy owners much. Look for Cincinnati's D to rebound against a Steelers offense that made the Titans a top-five fantasy producer in Week 1.

Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger is a shaky QB2 option in Week 2. He hasn't thrown more than one touchdown against the Bengals since 2011, and Cincinnati's defense is largely the same as it was in 2012. He's coming off a weak performance against Tennessee where he threw for 191 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Roethlisberger should be benched in most leagues as the veteran tries to redeem himself on the road.

Wide Receivers: Antonio Brown is a strong WR2 play in Week 2. He managed 71 yards against the Titans in Week 1, and should see similar numbers against Cincinnati. Emmanuel Sanders is a solid WR3 play especially in PPR leagues as Cincinnati's secondary will likely be eyeing Brown throughout most of the night.

Running Backs: Isaac Redman is getting another opportunity to start after a disappointing Week 1 performance. Redman fumbled twice against the Titans, and will try to redeem himself in an uphill battle against a tough Cincinnati defense. Redman should be benched in most leagues, but is a low-end flex option simply because of the volume of touches he may get. Jonathan Dwyer will be sharing carries and could end up having the bigger game if Redman struggles early in the game. Dwyer rushed for 122 yards against the Bengals in 2012, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Pittsburgh giving him a healthy share of backfield duties. Throw Felix Jones into the mix, and it's a situation to avoid for most fantasy owners.

Tight Ends: Heath Miller isn't returning just yet, which means there isn't a Steelers tight end worth starting.

Pittsburgh defense/special teams: If you're left with Pittsburgh's defense on Monday night, you'll likely be hoping for a big play on special teams. The Bengals having eclipsed 20 points against the Steelers since 2010, but Pittsburgh's defense just allowed 16 points to the Titans in Week 1. The Titans don't have a player of A.J. Green's calibur. Pittsburgh's defense shouldn't be started in most leagues, but some owners may be stuck with the decision on Monday.

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