Week Fifteen Analysis: What a difference a quarterback makes. In Mike Wallace's three games with Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch at the helm he totaled 10 catches for 79 yards and did not score. In one game with Ben Roethlisberger returning, he hit Wallace with seven catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns last week. This was Wallace's best game in two years, so why isn't he flying up into the top ten? Because the Dallas secondary is pretty good. In the last five weeks only two receivers have topped 68 yards, although seven different wideouts have scored. I don't hate Wallace this week, but I certainly wouldn't bank on a repeat of last week.
Week Twelve Analysis: It's disappointing that Mike Wallace has only topped 66 yards once in his last seven games, but what's more disheartening is the quarterback situation in Pittsburgh. Rib injuries to both Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich leave Charlie Batch as Sunday's likely starter against the Browns. Speaking of the Browns, the Joe Haden effect is enormous. In the five games in which Haden has suited up for the Browns they have allowed four touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. In the five games that Haden wasn't on the field, the Browns have yielded 10 touchdowns to enemy receivers. A pesky oblique injury could cause Haden to miss a second consecutive week. If that happens, Wallace becomes startable. If Haden plays, he's a flex option at best.
Week Eleven Analysis: There are many mixed factors going into Mike Wallace's ranking this week. First, his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not likely to play due to a dangerous rib injury and a shoulder sprain, leaving Byron Leftwich in to lead the offense. The combination of Leftwich and Big Ben last week only netted Wallace a measly three catches for 14 yards against the lowly Chiefs last Monday. Fortunately, he scored. This week he faces the beatable Ravens and cornerback Cary Williams. Williams has allowed the third-most yards to opposing wide receivers according to Pro Football Focus. The Ravens also yielded touchdowns to both Raiders wide receivers last week.
Week Ten Analysis: While it's widely publicized how bad the Chiefs are, many of you may not realize that they have allowed the fewest receptions in the NFL to opposing wide receivers. At the very same time Kansas City is allowing the most yards per reception to wideouts in the league and one in six receptions by a wide receiver is going for a touchdown. That is an absolutely pathetic number. A number that gets a big name cornerback like Stanford Routt cut mid-season, which the Chiefs did earlier this week. When you factor in a Monday night matchup with Mike Wallace and the pass-happy Steelers, it spells trouble for KC. Wallace leads NFL wide receivers with four touchdowns from 20-plus yards and has scored in five of eight this year.
Week Nine Analysis: While Mike Wallace has not scored in two straight weeks against seemingly easy matchups in Cincinnati and Washington, he has tallied 15 receptions and 24 targets in those contests. I'm chalking the last two weeks up to bad luck, and starting Wallace this week as he faces off against the Giants. Last week against Dallas, the Giants picked off four Tony Romo passes, but also allowed both Miles Austin and Dez Bryant to gain 110 or more yards. I like Wallace's opportunity to do the same this week, especially if he can find the always burnable Corey Webster.
Week Eight Analysis: Every game that Mike Wallace plays seems more puzzling than the last. For a field-stretching speedster, Wallace has topped 75 yards only twice this season, but has scored in four of six games. In Week 6 against Tennessee he was targeted only four times, but last week in Cincinnati Big Ben threw 15 balls in his direction. Guess which game he had 94 yards and a touchdown in? The four target game! Go figure. This week if Wallace is given a modest amount of opportunity, he should do some big time damage against Washington. The Redskins have allowed at least one wide receiver to top 94 yards in all seven games this season, and they've allowed the second-most yardage to the position.
Week Seven Analysis: Mike Wallace squares off against his division foes, the Cincinnati Bengals. Last time Wallace faced the Bengals he had a James Jones-like stat line of three catches, 38 yards and two touchdowns. But the Bengals are a decent squad against the pass. Cincy has not allowed a wide receiver to top the century mark this season (although Josh Gordon was close last week with 99 yards) and have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing wideouts. Wallace has been a consistent producer, though, and remains highly startable.
Week Six Analysis: It took until Week 5 for Mike Wallace to fail to score in a game, but that wasn't the most disappointing part. In eight targets, Wallace only had two catches for 17 yards, while Antonio Brown went for seven and 86. Fortunately, Wallace doesn't need a lot of receptions to dominate a Titans secondary that can't shut down anyone. Tennessee has allowed four different wide receivers to top 69 yards and score in the last three weeks. And Antonio Brown doesn't score.
Week Five Analysis: Mike Wallace has scored in each of his first three weeks and has increased his yardage total by about 40 yards every week this season. At this pace he will be racking up about 400 yards per game by Week 11. Nnamdi Asomugha suffered a eye poke last week, but came back to the game to help secure the win over the Giants. Despite Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the secondary, the Eagles are allowing opposing number one receivers to crush them for an average of 112 yards and a score in the last two weeks. Still, this isn't a sure thing matchup.
Week Three Analysis: Like last year, Mike Wallace is off to a hot start to a season, scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks. Wallace looks to continue with a visit to the Black Hole of Oakland. And he'll likely do it. The Raiders have allowed 100 yards, a touchdown or both to opposing wide receivers in each of the last 11 games. What's interesting though is that Oakland's top cover corner Shawntae Spencer has essentially shut down opposing wideouts so far this season. Pro Football Focus notes that Spencer has only allowed opposing wide receivers to gather three catches for 25 yards in the first two weeks. Spencer could be the next Nnamdi Asomugha, but I still like Wallace as the greatest threat to score in the Steelers passing game.
Week One: With Mike Wallace back as a member of the Steelers offense, offensive coordinator Todd Haley finally seems to have his full complement of weapons to play with. That is, unless of course you consider Rashard Mendenhall a weapon, which I don't. Mendenhall is the opposite of a weapon, like an olive branch or a white flag or something. Wallace had a bit of a disappointing finish to last season with only one game with more than 70 receiving yards and only three touchdowns in his final nine games. A matchup against a tandem of talented cornerbacks, Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter won't likely be the welcome back party that Wallace thinks he deserves. In fact, the last game that Wallace played in was a playoff game against Denver, in which the Broncos kept him bottled up, recording only three catches and 26 yards.
NEXT: #13 DEZ BRYANT