Expectations were high for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns entering this season, but the Week 11 “Thursday Night Football” matchup has the potential to be a dud.
Due in part to injuries and underachievement, the two AFC North rivals will meet at FirstEnergy Stadium as teams that theoretically could make the playoffs but have been underwhelming for much of the season — although a recent surge for the Steelers put them in the sixth seed in the AFC, so now it’s their wild-card spot to lose. But even though they’re very much in the playoff hunt, a mostly bad offense makes the Steelers an unreliable bunch from a fantasy perspective.
So, here’s who you should start and sit in Steelers vs. Browns:
Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers. He gets a ton of targets, so he’s worth starting in an offense that has limited weapons in the air.
Steelers D/ST. The Browns tend to shoot themselves in the foot by committing plenty of turnovers, so there’s a good chance the Steelers’ defense will have a nice day.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns. Teams still have to treat Odell Beckham as the No. 1 receiving option, which has opened the door to some recent success for Landry. That very well could continue against Pittsburgh.
Browns D/ST. Again, Pittsburgh has very few offensive weapons. So even though Cleveland’s defense isn’t anything special, it still could be a useful unit this week.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Steelers. He’s by no means been a disaster, but he doesn’t do enough to warrant fantasy attention.
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Steelers. James Conner likely will be back this week, and Samuels was trending in the wrong direction, anyway. He’s best left on the bench.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns. Nick Chubb probably will keep Hunt from getting attention on the ground. Even though Hunt got worked into the offense through the air, he’s a bit of a gamble for now.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns. Mayfield has been so lackluster this season that it’s tough to rely on him, even after a decent Week 10 against a sharp Buffalo Bills defense.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images