The Steelers might just be playing in a “must-win” game to steady their rocky start before a daunting stretch of the schedule. It’s a somewhat tiresome rhetoric, but it can't be overlooked. That upcoming stretch includes 3 playoff participants from 2021 and an upstart Miami squad that has already beaten the presumptive Super Bowl favorites.
For fantasy purposes, the Week 4 matchup vs. the Jets could be just what the doctor ordered for a passing game that has yet to find its feet. The Jets have been handing out big plays and the Steelers bevy of weapons should be able to take advantage.
As for the Jets, they’ll be starting their 2nd year QB, Zach Wilson, for the first time this season. He figures to be rusty which could limit his own impressive cast of skill position players, but the Steelers did give up big days to Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper in Week 3 against Cleveland, so New York figures to have a couple players that will have a fantasy impact for managers this week.
Let’s get into it!
RB: Najee Harris, Breece Hall
WR: Diontae Johnson
TE: Pat Freiermuth
K: Chris Boswell
This feels like a Najee Harris game where the Steelers will feed their supposed workhorse back and hope he can carry the team to victory. I expect him to have a decent passing game role as well. He’s a solid start. Breece Hall is about to face the squad that made Nick Chubb, who’s a fine runner, no doubt, look like Jim Brown. He’s a matchup-based start this week.
Diontae Johnson continues to rack up the targets, and eventually it will lead to a big game. We’ve already mentioned the Jets struggles in coverage, so start DJ with confidence.
Pat Freiermuth looks to have a bounce back week after not seeing a lot of looks in Week 3. It shouldn’t be too hard for Matt Canada and Mitch Trubisky to figure out that he’s a matchup nightmare for defenses and should be involved early and often.
The Steelers defense has a chance to feast on a rusty young QB in the boisterous confines of Acrisure Stadium. You’re banking on a big turnover or two here with the Steelers pass rush that’s not near as effective minus T.J. Watt.
The Steelers struggle to finish drives, but they should be able to get into Jet’s territory a few times. It could pay off to ride the “Auto-Boz” this week as a solid stream at Kicker (Harrison Butker owners, for example)
RB: Michael Carter
WR: Garrett Wilson
A couple of Jets players make this list. Michael Carter splits the load with the already mentioned Breece Hall, and given the Steelers struggles against opposing RBs, he’s got FLEX value in this matchup.
Garrett Wilson has been on a tear... with Joe Flacco at QB. Enter Zach Wilson, who, if you haven't heard yet, might be a bit rusty in his first action of 2022. Without having an opportunity to build chemistry with his Rookie Wide-out, expectations for the Wilson-to-Wilson connection should be tempered this week.
DFS VALUE OF THE WEEK
WR: Chase Claypool
Chase Claypool is dirt-cheap in DFS contests this week, but his usage is at least encouraging in the Steelers offense. He always has the chance to break one, and with the Jets struggles stopping the big play so far this year, he is the ultimate boom or bust play this week. If you need a cheap WR or Flex in your DFS contest, Claypool could be worth the risk.
QB: Mitch Trubisky, Zach Wilson
RB: Jaylen Warren
WR: George Pickens, Elijah Moore
TE: Tyler Conklin
Neither QB is a start-able fantasy asset this week. Period.
I put Jaylen Warren on here in case any Steelers fans out there think the undrafted Rookie could steal a few more of Najee’s touches this week after decent success in Week 3. Warren put the ball on the turf again last week, and until he proves more careful with the football, he will not get anything more than 6-8 touches/game in relief of a resting Harris.
You may feel about Pickens this week like I feel about Claypool, and you may strike gold. However, I’m more of a “wait until we see it once or twice before sliding him into my lineup” kind of guy. We’ve seen Claypool have a big game. Better to wait on Pickens. Elijah Moore has been an afterthought so far under Joe Flacco. We do know he has chemistry with Zach Wilson, but there’s too much risk here for my taste. I’ll pass.
With a relative dearth of consistent TE options out there, you may be forced to play Conklin this week. However, if you have a choice, I’d go a different direction when you account for the well-documented (at least in this article) issues at QB for the Jets.
There you have it. Just remember, if you heed my advice and it goes well, I’ll own it! But if it goes south…that’s on you, friend.
Who would you rather start in your fantasy league this week vs. New York?
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