Ranks reax: Losing faith in the Steelers 

October, 5, 2011
Whenever I look at any rankings, either the ESPN Week 5 rankings or other ones, there's always a name or two that just feels out of place. For me, heading into Week 5, those names belong to individuals on the Pittsburgh Steelers. I felt good about Ben Roethlisberger as a top-10 quarterback and Rashard Mendenhall as a top-10 running back and the team's normally stingy defense before the season ... but no longer.

Roethlisberger is likely to play this weekend, but fantasy owners who leave him active simply based on his name, loyalty or previous numbers are missing the obvious: Not only is he limping around on a sprained left foot, but his situation reminds me of a far quicker and just as compelling quarterback calling another Pennsylvania city home. Michael Vick can't stay healthy behind a beaten and battered offensive line, and neither can Roethlisberger. At least Vick is playing decently; Big Ben ranks 28th in standard quarterback scoring so far. Even Donovan McNabb has more! Aaron Rodgers scored more in Week 4 alone than Roethlisberger has scored all season. Don't drop Roethlisberger, but a show-me game against a strong Tennessee Titans defense -- a top-10 fantasy defense so far -- is no time to expect a turnaround.

Same goes with Mendenhall, who is averaging a poor 3.0 yards per rush. He's 30th in the league in rushing yards, but of the fellows ahead of him, only Chris Johnson -- their teams go head-to-head this week! -- has a lower yards per carry. And Johnson's best is clearly to come. With Mendenhall, nursing a sore hamstring and unlikely to practice much this week, I can't say that. Watch the Steelers and you'll see the line is a big problem, more so than in prior seasons. I was the only ranker to think Mendenhall will play Sunday, but his No. 26 rank certainly is out of whack with the first four weeks, or last year for that matter.