I think it’s time for a re-evaluation for some Steelers fantasy assets based on what we’ve seen from the Offense so far in 2022. Things could change again if the offense shows growth, but for now, here’s an updated Najee Harris seems to be a little rusty to start the season, and that has led to low-end RB2 results through two games. I’d expect him to get better as he gets rolling, but for now, temper expectations for 22.
As for the WRs, Diontae Johnson gets demoted to high-end WR3 as long as Mitch Trubisky and the offense struggle to gain traction in the passing game. Until we can see some consistency out of Chase Claypool, he should not be in your lineups. The same should be said for George Pickens, who has yet to be involved in any substantial way in the offense.
At TE, Pat Freiermuth should still be started as a low end TE1 with the ability for more. His role should remain more stable than the rest of the skill position talents even as the offense evolves throughout the season.
Here’s hoping we see some improved performances out of the Steelers offensive playmakers against Cleveland on Thursday. Here’s how I see the Fantasy players from each squad stacking up on Thursday night.
NOTE: Because this matchup is on Thursday Night Football, there will be no DFS Value Pick this week.
RB: Nick Chubb
Chubb will be used and used a lot against Pittsburgh on a short week with a suspect passing game led by Jacoby Brissett. He needs to be in your lineup.
RB: Najee Harris
WR: Diontae Johnson
TE: Pat Freiermuth
K: Chris Boswell
The draft capital you spent on Harris means you start him, albeit with tempered expectations as I wrote above.
Diontae should be a viable starting option based on volume alone in this matchup, especially in PPR formats.
Pat Freiermuth just needs to be in your starting lineup if you have him. He’s getting plenty of looks, and as we saw last week, he’s going to get those valuable Red Zone targets.
The Steelers Defense should be able to create some splash against the Browns. This is a bit of a projection, but I think the Steelers will be able to pressure Brissett better than they did Jones, and maybe that produces a big turnover.
Boz is automatic. What more do you want?
RB: Kareem Hunt
WR: Amari Cooper
Hunt gets a ton of valuable touches in the passing game and in the Red Zone. He’ll get plenty enough work to warrant a flex play, although the Steelers have been much stingier against opposing RBs so far in 2022.
The Steelers are quietly giving up big games to opposing WRs, and Amari Cooper is coming off a big day against the Jets. Cooper has a chance to really pop this week, although he will be keyed on by the Steelers secondary with Cleveland’s relatively inconsequential supporting cast at Wideout.
WR: Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Donovan Peoples-Jones
TE: David Njoku
K: Cade York
The three wide-receivers above are part of less-than-stellar offenses, and for now are just not consistent enough to be considered start-able options with the plethora of receiving talent in the league to work with.
The Browns defense is going into this matchup potentially severely undermanned with Jadaveon Clowney already ruled out and Myles Garrett less than 100%. If Garrett can’t go, it’s hard to find anyone else to create splash.
I don’t expect the Browns to be in scoring position a lot, and that will limit York.
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.