After an incredibly bad stretch of weeks in the BTSC fantasy league, I finally got a win against Tyler W., thanks to Nick Chubb and Kirk Cousins. I am 2-7 and in 13th place, but I was informed by Yinzer that I have scored more points this season than two of the teams inside the top five. It just goes to show you that it is not who you play, but rather when you play them.
We are halfway through the 2021 NFL season, and the fantasy playoffs are just six weeks away for standard leagues. These next few weeks will either make or break your season, so it is important to know who you should be putting in your starting lineups and who you should be shying away from. Today, your favorite fantasy aficionados are back to give you the best fantasy advice surrounding the upcoming Steelers matchup.
So without further adieu, here are your starts and sits for the Steelers vs. Lions matchup this Sunday. (Note: Obvious starts such as Najee Harris will not be listed.)
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Jeremy: Needless to say, Big Ben hasn’t been a fantasy asset so far in 2021. However, in week 10, No. 7 might just have a useable fantasy game vs the 0-8 Lions. If you typically start a Joe Burrow (bye) or Tua Tagovailoa (questionable) and need a streaming replacement, you could do worse than Roethlisberger, who’s actually on a hot streak… for him. He’s also a decent option this week in 2-QB Leagues.
RB: D’Andre Swift, DET
Andrew: The Steelers give up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Swift could honestly be put in the same category as Najee Harris. At this point of the season, there are so few dependable running backs that you cannot afford to even put the matchup into consideration. Swift is currently RB9 in PPR formats, and I expect him to get a good amount of volume as a receiver out of the backfield this week.
WR: Diontae Johnson, PIT
Jeremy: Week 9 was not DJ’s best, but with Chase Claypool ailing and very unlikely to play, Johnson is a top 10 WR play vs a poor Lions secondary. Don’t be fooled by Detroit’s relatively good rankings vs the pass, game script has often caused a run heavy approach for Lions opponents with big leads. Expect a bounce back from the 10th ranked WR in Average PPR points per week.
TE: Pat Freiermuth, PIT
Andrew: I was very high on Pat during this past draft cycle, but tight ends to not generally do much their rookie season. However, the injury to Eric Ebron allowed Freiermuth to see more volume, and he has now proved himself to be the best tight end on the roster. The matchup is mediocre, but he and Big Ben are clicking. Unless your starting tight end is Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, or George Kittle, I would probably give Freiermuth the nod.
TE: T.J. Hockenson, DET
Andrew: Hockenson is the number four tight end in PPR leagues, but in the league that I own him, it is non-PPR, where he is currently TE10. Nonetheless, I think you need to start Hockenson, no matter which scoring format your league has. The Steelers give up nearly 12 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends, and with left tackle Taylor Decker potentially coming back from injury, it may free Hockenson from an overabundance of blocking. If that actually comes to fruition, I expect the number of routes run per game to increase, which should only help him from a fantasy perspective. Let’s hope he sees more volume.
K: Chris Boswell, PIT
Jeremy: Fantasy’s 10th ranked Kicker through 9 Weeks, The “Wizard of Boz” draws another favorable matchup (pretty much a consistent theme against DET) in Week 10. Bos has scored 11, 13, 3, and 16 pts in his last 4 games, and could have done much better than those 3 pts in Week 8 if he had not been blasted out of Heinz Field on the infamous fake FG try. Ride the hot streak another week!
Andrew: The Steelers have only hit double digits in fantasy points three times this season, but do not be surprised if their fourth time comes this week against the Lions, who give up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
QB: Jared Goff, DET
Jeremy: Justin Fields had his best game of the year against this Steelers D, but Fields also has a more unique skill set in that, um well, in that he’s actually skilled. That’s a little harsh but Goff is the epitome of game manager and the Steelers D should have no trouble limiting the former No. 1 overall pick’s fantasy production.
WR: James Washington, PIT
Jeremy: The loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster was supposed to elevate Chase Claypool into an every week WR2 play in fantasy. That didn’t happen, and I don’t see an injury to Claypool doing it for Washington either. There are too many good WRs this year to mess with trying to start J-Wash.
All of Detroit’s WRs
Jeremy: Kalif Raymond has been Goff’s top weapon in recent weeks, but that means squat for valuable fantasy football production, especially against a Defense that boasts the havoc wreaking front 7 that the Steelers have. Also, TJ Hockenson and D’Andre Swift are the top receiving options in this offense, and Andrew already told you what to do with those two guys.
For more great fantasy advice, make sure you check out one of BTSC’s newest podcasts, The Steelers Fantasy Football Fix, hosted by Jeremy Betz. You can listen to this week’s episode in the player below.
Which Steelers and Lions players would you start this week? Will the running backs dominate the spotlight, or will we see a breakout game from a wide receiver? With Chase Claypool likely out, who will be the biggest beneficiary from a fantasy perspective? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and stay tuned to BTSC as we get you ready for the Steelers vs. Lions matchup on Sunday.