Fantasy Football Player Breakdowns | Super Bowl Week
Welcome, Ladies and Gentleman, to Super Bowl 45. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Most likely, your favorite team isn’t playing in it. But it’s the game that we all seem to watch every year, regardless of who is playing, simply because it’s the best team of the AFC against the best team of the NFC.
What’s not to love about a matchup like that?
We’re watching the Pittsburgh Steelers try for their third Super Bowl victory since 2005 and seventh overall. That’s a pretty impressive feat, second to only the New England Patriots whose dynasty over the last 10 years ranks among the tops in NFL history.
While Pittsburgh is on their quest for the Stairway to Seven, the Green Bay Packers are moving on with The Aaron Rodgers Era.
This will be the Packers first Super Bowl appearance since 1997, when Desmond Howard took the game over with his 99-yard punt return for a touchdown, as the Packers rolled over Drew Bledsoe’s Patriots 35-21.
But we haven’t forgotten about those of you who are still playing in fantasy football leagues, as well as Super Bowl pools at work.
NFL Soup gives you its final Fantasy Football Player Breakdowns for the 2010 NFL Season. It’s been yet another fantastic year for fantasy sports, and we won’t stop with the coverage until there is no more football to be played.
Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers is facing a defense that’s given up the third least amount of touchdowns in the air for the 2010 season. The Steelers rank among the Top 5 in interceptions defensively as well, doing an excellent job of forcing turnovers. But Rodgers is playing hot right now, and he is destined not to let anybody stop him. ****
Game prediction: 27/44 267 yds 2 TD, 1 INT, 16 rush yds
RB James Starks- The Pittsburgh run defense is tops in the league. As well as Starks has produced in the playoffs, he’s just not going to be extremely effective against such a tough run defense. **
Game Predictions: 18 rush 44 yds, 1 TD
RB Brandon Jackson- With the emergence of Starks, Jackson receives just a few carries a game, and comes in mostly as a third down back. There’s no value here against this run defense. *
Game Predictions: 3 rush 5 yds, 2 rec 16 yds
WR Greg Jennings- The matchup against Ike Taylor is sure to be a good one. Ike Taylor has been a solid corner for most of his career, but has been known to struggle down field. Jennings is going to be working the middle of the field, stretching the sidelines, and working on the come back routes. He hasn’t scored in the playoffs yet, but he will get in the end zone once. He has the advantage over Taylor, slightly. ****
Game Predictions: 7 rec 97 yds, 1 TD
WR Donald Driver- Driver will work against Bryant McFadden and Anthony Madison. He’ll get work in the slot, as well as the flanker at times. McCarthy will be looking to find mismatches against the lack of depth at cornerback for the Steelers. Driver should have a solid game, but not spectacular. ***
Game Predictions: 5 rec 54 yds
WR James Jones- Like Driver, Jones will work in different positions. He’ll line up against Anthony Madison and William Gay the most, which is a matchup that he is favored. Jones has been average in the playoffs, but he’ll have to play a big role if the Packers want a victory. ***
Game Predictions: 3 rec 46 yds
WR Jordy Nelson- Here comes the X-Factor for the Packers. Nelson has come up huge for the Packers in each of their last two wins, finding space in the zone coverage, and making plays after the catch. He’ll be called on, yet again, to produce for Rodgers. ***
Game Predictions: 4 rec 59 yds 1 TD
TE Andrew Quarless- If there’s one matchup that doesn’t favor the Packers offensively, it’s at the tight end position. Quarless has been ineffective, and has been known to drop a few passes. This is the one receiver you want to avoid. *
Game Predictions: 1 rec 7 yds
Green Bay Defense- It’s not going to be an easy feat for the Packers defense going against the veteran Ben Roethlisberger who has been to two Super Bowls already. But, they have been getting to the quarterback frequently in the playoffs, and you know that Clay Matthews will be playing with a chip on his shoulder after being snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year to Troy Polamalu. The Green Bay pass rush will have the advantage, especially since it’s seemingly likely that Maurkice Pouncey is out, and the Steelers injury riddled offensive line will be playing with inexperienced players. ****
QB Ben Roethlisberger- Big Ben doesn’t always make it look pretty, but he gets the job done, and he makes the necessary plays to lead his team to victory. The problem with Ben in this game is that his offensive line has taken quite the hit with their most recent loss of center Maurkice Pouncey, who has been, arguably, their best offensive lineman. He’ll have to play with the inexperienced Doug Legursky, and will likely have little time to throw against the tough pass rush of the Packers. Add in the fact that the Packers are second in interceptions for the season, and you have an interesting recipe that could lead to disaster. ***
Game Predictions: 20/33 231 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, 7 rush 19 yds
RB Rashard Mendenhall- If Pittsburgh wants to win this game, they’ll have to do it on the shoulders of Rashard Mendenhall, rather than Big Ben. The Packers give up an average of 4.7 yards per rush, and have been more of a bend but don’t break defense against the run. While the Packers don’t always shut down the yardage, they do a great job of minimizing the amount of times runners get into the end zone. ***
Game Predictions: 21 rush 88 yds, 1 TD
WR Hines Ward- Ward will most likely be mirrored by Charles Woodson for a good part of the game. Green Bay runs quite a bit of zone coverage, however, so Ward will have to find the soft spots in coverage, and try and make his plays that way. But it won’t be easy. Ward has been a non-factor in the playoffs, and has had a rough season overall. **
Game Predictions: 5 rec 45 yds
WR Mike Wallace- Wallace is perhaps the biggest big play threat on both teams. He has had quite the sophomore season in Pittsburgh, averaging a whopping 21 yards per reception. However, he’s been shut down in the playoffs, and he could have another rough day against a Packers defense that has improved quite a bit. Still, his speed can’t be underestimated, and his ability to sneak behind the coverage is uncanny. ***
Game Predictions: 4 rec 65 yds, 1 rush 16 yds
WR Emmanuel Sanders- Sanders has emerged as the most unlikely candidate to make big plays, but he’s made a few for the Steelers in the playoffs. He’s going to be a sleeper, but he’ll have to face the tough zone coverage, and his inexperience being a rookie and in a big game makes him a worrisome fantasy option. The Packers secondary is hard hitting, and he’s not the biggest guy and has had the ball jarred loose on a few big hits in the past. **
Game Predictions: 4 rec 34 yds
TE Heath Miller- The X-Factor for the Steelers will be Heath Miller. Miller had an up and down season as he battled nagging injuries that effected his overall game play. The Packers rank 22nd in the league against tight ends, as they are missing the linebackers that can effectively cover the middle zone. Miller has played a big factor in the last two playoff games for the Steelers, and will play the same role in this one. He’s a big time red zone target and has a knack for finding the first down marker as well as the end zone. ****
Game Predictions: 7 rec 74 yds, 1 TD
Pittsburgh Defense- There’s no doubting that Pittsburgh will shut down the run game of the Green Bay Packers. The secondary forces turnovers, and can make plays all over the field, while also making big hits and instilling fear in the opposition. Pittsburgh will have to take that hard nosed mentality into Dallas if they want to beat Aaron Rodgers and that powerful passing game. The Steelers are known to give up a bit of yardage in the air, but they don’t allow many touchdowns in the passing game. But they have yet to face a top notch pass offense such as the Packers who also has a chip on their shoulders. ****
Green Bay Packers- 31
Pittsburgh Steelers- 20
Super Bowl MVP- Charles Woodson