RB Baron Batch - Pittsburgh Steelers
|5-10, 203||Born: 12-20-1987||College: Texas Tech||Drafted: Round 7|
Week 20: at New England Patriots
Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. New England defeated the Steelers 27-16 at Heinz Field back on October 23rd, 2016. However, in that game Ben Roethlisberger sat out due to his torn knee meniscus cartilage that had been surgically repaired just prior to the Week Seven game. Without Roethlisberger to menace the Patriots' secondary, LeVeon Bell had just 21/81/0 rushing (with 13 targets for 10/68/0 receiving, though, as Landry Jones often dumped off passes to his star running back in that game). Last week, Pittsburgh couldn't muster a single TD in Kansas City and yet won the game 18-16 thanks to a post-season record performance from place kicker Chris Boswell (6/6 in field goals). Bell handled the ball 32 times (30/170/0 rushing with five targets for 2/-4/0 receiving) during the game at Kansas City. Bell also handled the football over 30 times in the Wild Card round (29/167/2 rushing with two targets for 2/7/0 receiving) - he's averaged 170 yards from scrimmage over his two post-season starts, friends. Bell is the engine that drives the Steelers' offense. New England held the Texans to 23/105/0 rushing during their 16-34 win at Foxboro last weekend. Lead back Lamar Miller managed 19/73/0 rushing (with seven targets for 4/16/0 receiving). New England wound up 2016 regular season ranked third in the NFL (tied with New York Giants) averaging 88.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with just six rushing scores given out all year (least rushing TDs allowed in the NFL over 16 games), and Houston didn't add to that total last weekend. The Patriots averaged a mere 10.4 fantasy points per game allowed during Weeks 15-17, also least allowed in the NFL during that time span. Jay Ajayi and the Dolphins had just 23/75/0 rushing during the season finale vs. the Patriots. This is a hard-nosed rush defense, folks. Bell has been on fire, but he faces a tough challenge in the Conference Championship game, on the road to Gillette Stadium.