Welcome to your Week 11 TNF Fantasy Start/Sit!
Welcome to your Week 11 Thursday Night Football preview! This past week (especially that MNF matchup) was chock-full of crazy upsets and wild finishes. With Week 10 in the books, it’s time to look ahead to Week 11, beginning with the Thursday Night game.
The 5-4 Steelers travel into Cleveland to take on the divisional rival Browns. While Cleveland (3-6) hasn’t looked the part that they auditioned for in the offseason, they are (somehow) undefeated in division (W against the Ravens in Week 4). The Steelers are looking to change that and win their 5th in a row to make a sleeper run at the playoffs.
As always, I’ll provide my master key for how I break down each fantasy-relevant player:
Start: These are players who have an enticing matchup, and could prove a massive asset to your fantasy team due to a vulnerability by an opposing defense or a breakout performance.
Sit: Players in this category have a poor matchup and could be rendered completely useless by game script or a digression in opportunities.
Flex Start: Players in a flex position are also usually controlled by a game script, but this opportunity benefits them (such as a WR2 receiving less attention than the WR1, thus increasing odds for a good performance).
Sleeper: For players that fly under the radar, the sleepers are potential breakouts for this particular matchup. Players that are not considered as big of a threat but have an increase in things such as targets or snap counts are ideal for this category. They could surprise you for the week with a big game.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Start: James Conner (RB)
Conner is returning from injury after sitting out the last two weeks and has been listed as a full participant on the Steelers injury report. You still need to keep an eye on him in case his availability status changes, in which case move up Jaylen Samuels (who I expect to still get some work this week). That being said, the Browns are tied for the 4th-most yards per attempt for running backs (4.9), a full yard ahead of Conner’s average. Cleveland is also in the bottom half of points allowed to running backs (24.6), making Conner a great start (once again, if he’s available).
Flex: JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR), Jaylen Samuels (RB)
The disappointing season for Juju continues on against a tough Browns secondary. Cleveland is giving up the 12-fewest points to wideouts (33.1), which caps Juju’s already capped upside. Samuels is also in flex consideration, but more so if you have multiple flex spots. Conner’s return significantly drops Samuels’ relevance, and I wouldn’t even play him at all unless it’s PPR.
The Steelers’ wideouts are hard to trust these days. Rudolph’s limited upside severely hurts every fantasy wideout, as he’s thrown over 200 yards only three times in 7 starts. The return of Conner also means the end of barely fantasy-relevance for Edmunds. Vance McDonald, meanwhile, has been too rollercoaster this season to accurately predict. His chemistry with Rudolph is almost non-existent, and so is my hopes of starting him.
Start: Nick Chubb (RB)
You better get used to just seeing Chubb up here as my only start. The only not disappointing member of the Cleveland offense is a tough start this Week against T.J. Watt and his front 7. Pittsburgh has allowed the 9th-fewest points to RBs, but Chubb’s overall volume and demand of attention from the offense makes him a weekly RB1.
A slight revitalization in Cleveland last week bumps up some former benchwarmers. The offense chugged along fine enough last week, but don’t expect that this week. The Steelers have been dominating on defense, especially after their acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Hunt has always been a PPR machine, so he should see plenty of passing work out of the backfield. Mayfield may have to air it out a little more than usual, setting up OBJ and Landry up for WR3/flex numbers.
Sit: Baker Mayfield (QB)
Pittsburgh is the 12-toughest matchup for opposing quarterbacks, allowing about 16.6 points per game. Mayfield’s stock has been on a slight rise, but don’t expect much from him this week. Bench him.
Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.