Kickoff: Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Betting Odds: PIT -3, 51 Total via Oddsshark
Baker Mayfield (Sit)
Baker Mayfield has shown some flashes this season of being a special quarterback but he struggles to stay consistent. He was banged up in last week’s game and has been practicing on a limited basis this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers are no slouch and their defense allows the fourth fewest yards to quarterbacks. I would recommend leaving Baker on the bench this week.
Kareem Hunt (Start, RB1), D’Ernest Johnson (Sit)
Kareem Hunt assumed the workhorse role that Nick Chubb left behind and dominated the usage last week with 23 touches. That being said, expectations should be tempered this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league and it will be tough for the Browns to get anywhere on the ground or through the air against this team. Despite that, Hunt sees so much volume that he cannot be put on your bench, especially during bye weeks. D’Ernest Johnson is simply a handcuff option for now until we see more from him or the Browns get an easier matchup to run the ball against.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Odell Beckham Jr. (Start, WR2), Jarvis Landry (Flex WR3), Austin Hooper (Sit)
As is the story with the rest of the offense this week, I am fading Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. if I can. Most of us do not have that luxury but I do not envision a high-ceiling game for either of these two. OBJ is about the only one I would play unless I had no other options, as Landry has been a bit disappointing and is battling a rib injury as well. And while Austin Hooper has seen an impressive 17 combined targets over the past two weeks, he hasn’t made a huge impact and gets a tough matchup this week. There have certainly been some bright spots for this passing offense this year but this does not look to be one of them. Start Odell, Jarvis, or Hooper at your own risk.
Ben Roethlisberger (Start)
Ben Roethlisberger is certainly not my first choice as a fantasy quarterback but he had a great outing last week and should do fine against the Browns’ secondary. The Browns are allowing the third-most passing yards behind on the Seahawks and the Falcons and could be burned through the air Sunday by Big Ben and his new toy Chase Claypool. I wouldn’t suspect these two to connect for four touchdowns again but they could both have a very good day against these Browns.
James Conner (Start, RB1)
The Browns have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards on the season this year, but James Conner faced a similar challenge last week but was still able to find the end zone. In this offense, Conner always has a chance to score, which is where most of his value comes from. This is not a great matchup for Conner but the Steelers should be able to move the ball through the air and get Conner into scoring position so that he can capitalize for fantasy managers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, WR2), Diontae Johnson (WR3, Flex), Chase Claypool (WR3, Flex), Eric Ebron (Start)
If you own any member of the Steelers’ receiving corps you should feel good this week. The Browns are near the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed and I don’t see that changing this week. Chase Claypool had a monster day last week and could be in for another one if Diontae Johnson can’t go. As it stands right now, Johnson is questionable for Sunday’s game and it will be a situation to monitor moving forward. All of these guys are capable of having big days in this offense and it will be tough to predict who has the most production from week-to-week. Given the state of the TE position, Eric Ebron is certainly in the conversation to start this week.