Last updated: November 29th at 8:15am ET
Team Totals: Browns 21, Steelers 19
Baker Mayfield comes off his season-best fantasy game with a rude followup on the road against the Steelers, who rank No. 3 in the NFL in sacks (38) and No. 1 in QB hits (82) and will undoubtedly play Sunday’s game with a chip on their shoulder after Week 11’s Cleveland-Pittsburgh brawl. The Browns are in danger of missing LT Greg Robinson (concussion) against one of the NFL’s fiercest pass rushes. In what sets up as a low-scoring affair, Mayfield is a weak QB1 streamer even with his production trending up. The Browns have much softer draws on deck versus Cincinnati and at Arizona in Weeks 14-15. … Hardly affected by Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb visits Heinz Field with 17-plus touches in 11 straight games and individual touch counts of 22 > 27 > 24 since Hunt’s activation. While Pittsburgh’s run-tough defense warrants mentioning, Chubb’s stable workloads, long-run capability, and voluminous scoring-position usage continue to buoy his matchup-agnostic RB1 fantasy stock. Chubb ranks No. 2 in the NFL in carries inside the ten-yard line (26) and No. 4 in carries inside the five (12). … Hunt has logged double-digit touches in all three games since coming off the reserve/suspended list, playing over half of the Browns’ offensive snaps in all three and earning locked-in flex treatment in season-long PPR leagues.
Mayfield’s Weeks 10-12 target distribution: Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry 30; Hunt 20; Chubb 9; Demetrius Harris 4; KhaDarel Hodge 3; Rashard Higgins 2; Stephen Carlson and Ricky Seals-Jones 1. … Beckham paid dividends (6/84/1) while popping in Week 12’s Air Yards Buy Low Model and stands atop this week’s rendition, making OBJ an exciting fade-matchup DFS-tournament play. Just one wideout (Tyler Boyd in Week 12) has cleared 100 yards against Pittsburgh all year. OBJ ranks top five in the NFL in Air Yards over the past three weeks (366). … Cleveland’s most-trustworthy pass catcher all season, Landry has 60-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-11 games and tagged this same Pittsburgh secondary for 4/43/1 receiving in Week 11. Landry is an every-week WR2. … David Njoku’s (wrist, I.R.) Week 13 availability is to be determined after he wasn’t activated on schedule for last week’s date with Miami. Harris, Carlson, and Seals-Jones wound up sharing time at tight end, none making fantasy noise.
Desperate for an offensive spark after their failed Mason Rudolph experiment, the Steelers will enlist Samford UDFA rookie Devlin Hodges at quarterback on the grounds that, “He hasn’t killed us (yet),” according to coach Mike Tomlin. Pittsburgh’s game plan is to play run-first, defense-oriented football and deploy its quarterback in game-manager fashion. Hodges’ low-ceiling fantasy appeal is entirely limited to two-QB leagues. … Rookie Benny Snell surprisingly took over as Pittsburgh’s Week 12 feature runner in his first game back from a knee scope, out-snapping Jaylen Samuels 35 to 21 and out-touching him 22 to 5. Snell is the favorite to pace the Steelers’ backfield until James Conner (shoulder) returns, which isn’t expected before Week 14. A downhill bruiser with limited passing-game experience, Snell is nevertheless flex-play viable based on opportunity and matchup. Snell’s no-nonsense, downhill running style fits the lunch-pail mentality of Pittsburgh’s current team construct, while Cleveland has generously yielded 4.64 yards per carry to enemy backs and is missing three-down difference maker Myles Garrett.
Hodges’ target distribution: Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster 7; Diontae Johnson 6; James Washington 5; Samuels and Vance McDonald 3; Snell 1. … With JuJu (knee) looking likely to miss another week, the Steelers’ three-wide set projects to field Johnson and Washington outside with Tevin Jones in the slot. Deon Cain and Johnny Holton operated as last week’s Nos. 4 and 5 receivers. OC Randy Fitchner will go out of his way to limit Hodges’ attempts, creating volume concerns for all of Pittsburgh’s pass-catcher corps. A boom-bust WR4, Johnson offers big-play potential and is popping in Week 13’s Air Yards Buy Low Model. … Washington has been hot lately, but this sets up as a letdown spot against stingy Browns perimeter CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, who between them have allowed two touchdown passes on 75 targets this year. … McDonald is a touchdown-or-bust streamer without a game above 40 yards all season. The Browns have permitted the league’s sixth-fewest receptions to tight ends (41).
Score Prediction: Browns 20, Steelers 17