PITTSBURGH PA - DECEMBER 19: Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers enters the stadium before the game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field on December 19 2010 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers play this week against a terrible team - fantasy owners rejoice!

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Week 16 Fantasy Football Projections: Pittsburgh Steelers

Following up on the last post about rankings, here are ESPN’s projections for this week. They think Rashard Mendenhall will have 16 fantasy points, while Ben Roethlisberger will have 14. I expect a pretty run-heavy offense against the Panthers, so that makes some sense. They have the Steelers’ defense pegged for 14 points, which is a lot for a defense, but which I think might actually be a bit conservative since, as ESPN’s blurb points out, opposing defenses have actually averaged over 12 points per game against Carolina.

Mike Wallace and Hines Ward come in right after that with 12 points and ten, respectively, which I think might be a little high, given Emmanuel Sanders’ emergence in the offense and the fact that this shouldn’t be a terribly pass-centric game. It is reasonable to think that Wallace and Ward could both score tonight, however.

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Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have a lot to play for this week against Carolina, and maybe your fantasy team does too. If so, the Steelers' Thursday night game against the NFL's worst team could be a matchup made in heaven. Here's a look at this week's fantasy football rankings, from ESPN.com.

Ben Roethlisberger: No. 11 among quarterbacks. Roethlisberger is worth a start this week, but let's not go overboard - about the one thing the Panthers do marginally well is guard against the pass, and I'd expect to see lots of running. Speaking of which:

Rashard Mendenhall: No. 6 among running backs. Mendenhall is a great play this week - he just had a very good game against a tough Jets defense, and he should have an easy time against Carolina, potentially with tons of opportunities if the Steelers get off to an early lead.

Mike Wallace: No. 16 among receivers. I love Wallace, who is also coming off a big game against the Jets. He's a clear start this week and he'll bring the big-play potential he always does, but will he be able to use it? Again, maybe not much, if the Steelers get off to an early lead.

Hines Ward: No. 29 among receivers. If you've owned Ward all season and haven't torn your hair out yet, maybe you should consider becoming a monk. Ward's pattern this year has been to have a big game, and then completely disappear for weeks at a time. Keep in mind, for both Wallace and Ward, that Roethlisberger targeted rookie Emmanuel Sanders about a million times against the Jets; who knows what that will mean for Wallace and Ward's opportunities going forward.

Heath Miller: No. 22 among tight ends. Miller should return this week after missing time with a concussion, but he's not a great fantasy option.

Steelers: No. 1 among defenses. The Steelers' defense plus a disaster of an offense equals the easiest slam-dunk decision you've ever had to make for your fantasy team.

Shaun Suisham: Unranked among kickers. Again, there's no reason not to start Suisham this week - he should get his opportunities against a week defense, and so far this year he's done a lot with his opportunities.

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