Steelers Fantasy Football: It's Not a Week to Take a Chance on the Texans

You can feel as confident as you want to in Deshaun Watson and the turn around of the Houston Texans, but you're better off focusing the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Week 2 should've brought you a victory. The Steelers had fantasy contributors everywhere, and if you listened well enough, you knew Drew Lock wasn't worth taking a risk on in the first place, so his injury should've been a non-issue.

Now, it's Week 3. The Steelers host the Houston Texans, and frankly, it isn't an equal matchup. Which should leave you with plenty of options for filling your starting lineup this weekend.

Start 'Em

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

Until further notice, Big Ben is the steal at quarterback you probably found in the 9th round and thought, "eh, maybe he'll be good."

Well, he is. Through two games, Roethlisberger has thrown five touchdowns and one interception. He's only been sacked three times, has had two 100-yard rushers, and has found the endzone with four different receivers.

We're past the 'let's wait and see' phase of the fantasy season and onto the "who's going to win me games" portion. Now, it gets fun.

Roethlisberger is only getting better as the weeks go on. He's two weeks into the first football season he's played in a year and is, well, showing no cause for concern.

Unless your other quarter is Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, or those following right behind, Big Ben is a solid move against the Texans.

James Conner, RB, Steelers

The Texans have given up over 100 yards rushing in both weeks. Conner may only have one 106-yard performance to bank on, but if we're relying on the Houston defense to be worse than the Steelers running game, it's a strong bet.

For those of you who started Benny Snell Jr. in Week 2, I apologize for nothing. There was no indication that Conner was going to come out and play an entire game, let alone rack up 100 yards on the day.

But he did. And now, everyone with Snell is hoping for the worst because fantasy football turns us into monsters. It's okay; everyone is a monster, it's not just you.

This week, the bet goes to Conner. If the Steelers are going to have a 100-yard running back each week, there's no point in not taking a risk on one of them.

This week, it's Conner.

Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers

Last week, I said it's about waiting on Johnson to find the endzone and prove he's a big-play guy once again. All he had to do was shake some rust off, and here we are.

Now, he's an automatic starter for anyone who only needs him in the flex. A reliable receiver, who's going to get his 10 targets a game, and if he finds the endzone you're in for a big week.

Johnson is a high upside WR2 in deeper leagues. He's a player who will need to score to get you into those high teens, but someone who will have plenty of opportunities to do so.

Plus, his punt returning skills are off the charts. He took an 80-yard return to the house in Week 2, but it was called back. I'm not saying that's an every-week thing, but it certainly helps that there's potential for an extra six points.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers

No, Smith-Schuster didn't find the endzone in Week 2, and maybe that hurt your fantasy team. 49 yards isn't what fantasy owners want to see from the Steelers top receiver, but in weeks where run is the scheme, you'll deal with outcomes like this.

Smith-Schuster worked primarily out of the slot again in Week 2. He didn't have the success he had the previous week, but that doesn't mean it's time to bail on him.

When a defense schemes against a player after opening week, it's because he was the only player making a strong enough impact to have to worry about. Smith-Schuster was that guy in Week 2.

Now, teams have to worry about Johnson, Chase Claypool and hopefully James Washington. This adds way more to the table than the Broncos had to worry about last Sunday.

Houston doesn't have the freedom to sit back and just try to shut out one option for Roethlisberger. It'll open up Smith-Schuster for more opportunities in Week 3.

Steelers Defense

I feel like I shouldn't have to keep saying start the Steelers defense but I will for the betterment of the people.

Last week, Pittsburgh allowed 21 points and still finished with more than 10 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues. The Houston offense has yet to score more than 20 points. I find it very unlikely they will at Heinz Field.

Expect sacks, expect turnovers, and expect more fantasy points than any defense you'll find on the waiver wire.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans

Last week, Cooks showed he's capable of being that deep ball threat the Texans need him to be. He stepped up without Will Fuller and quickly filled Deshaun Watson's No. 1 receiver role.

He could have to do the same against the Steelers as Fuller is still dealing with a hamstring injury. Whether he plays or not will be a big factor in starting Cooks, but we're going to act as if he'll be ruled out.

Cooks might be faster than any cornerback in Pittsburgh, which he could use to his advantage. The Steelers have given up more deep balls than they'd like to admit, so there's some hope Cooks finds one through four quarters.

He's a low-end flex option, but in deeper leagues, he's worth a start. Only if Fuller is out, though.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

Like, I'd feel strange saying don't start Deshaun Watson, but I was very close to putting him on the Sit 'Em list.

Here's my opinion for Watson, if he's your only option, start him. If you have someone else on your bench you believe can crack 20 points in Week 3, keep Watson away from your quarterback slot.

He doesn't have the tools around him to succeed in fantasy football right now. No matter how many times he'll need to pass the ball, he'll always be dealing with pressure, mediocre receivers and a hit-or-miss running game for support.

The Texans are not built for Watson's standards, and it's been extremely noticeable through two games. You can't rely on a quarterback who has to make everything happen on his own. If DeAndre Hopkins was still around, this conversation would be different.

Sit 'Em

David Johnson, RB, Texans

Melvin Gordon got the best of the Steelers defense in Week 2 and still only rushed for 70 yards on 19 attempts. After allowing him to break free multiple times, Pittsburgh will be focused on shutting down Johnson and putting this game in Watson's hands.

Honestly, there might not be a better defense at adjusting than the Steelers. They are fully aware of their mistakes in Week 2 and plan to rectify them.

Johnson only rushed for 34 yards in the Texans Week 2 loss. He didn't get much action after the team went down early.

Expect much of the same this weekend.

Eric Ebron, TE, Steelers

Don't give up on Ebron just yet. The Steelers are confident he's going to find his stride in the passing game, but for now, he's still working out the kinks.

Keep him on your bench and keep him as a late-season steal. You'll be surprised what time can do for a player who didn't have a real offseason, preseason games and a quarterback who's played two games in a year.

Nothing is here to help Ebron get accustomed to his new offense. He's been open from time to time but really hasn't been utilized as much as the Steelers want him to be.

He'll find his groove, but it's going to take some time.

Texans Defense

The Houston Texans defense shouldn't even be on your roster at this point. They've been embarrassed by two of the best offenses in football and now need to climb their way back out of a 0-2 start.

I get it, you're not going to get any more horsepower than Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, but the Steelers offense isn't anything to sleep on.

Don't think Week 3 is the Texans bounce back week, especially on defense. Just keep them on the waiver wire and find someone new.

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.