The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles’) and Issac Redman (ankle) for their division tilt against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. Both players missed practice this week, leaving fantasy owners scrambling to pick up expected starter Jonathan Dwyer.

Dwyer, who’s owned in just 15.7 percent of ESPN leagues and five percent in Yahoo leagues, is one of three healthy backs on the roster, and he’ll likely receive the bulk of the carries on Sunday. On the season, he’s rushed for only 70 yards on an average of 2.9 yards per carry, and his lack of production is a big reason why he was dropped so early and so often.

Dwyer was a deep sleeper pick in most drafts back in August with Mendenhall expected to be out for a number of weeks to start the season, but all Dwyer did was disappoint owners. Now, the former sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft is a must start. Baron Batch and Chris Rainey are the other two backs on the roster, but I wouldn’t expect either of them to see much action.

The Bengals defense allows 116.8 yards per game on the ground (21st in the league), so expect some positive numbers out of Dwyer if the Steelers’ offensive line can hold up.

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