Thursday games are always tricky, though that’s not groundbreaking news. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more questionable decisions for tonight’s game and try to decide who we should trust and who should be avoided:
How Good Of A Play Is James Conner In His Return…
After missing the past two weeks Conner has been listed as practicing in full this week and is set to return against the Browns. While Jaylen Samuels has shown the ability to catch the football in recent weeks, the Steelers got nothing from their running game in Week 10 against the Rams:
- Jaylen Samuels – 14 carries for 29 yards
- Trey Edmunds – 4 carries for 1 yard
While Conner has not been great this season and could lose a few targets to Samuels (27 receptions over the past four weeks), he should step right back into the lead role. Of course the matchup with Cleveland isn’t ideal, as they are tied for allowing the eighth fewest points per week to opposing RB over the past four weeks (including 82 rushing yards or fewer twice in the past three weeks).
Obviously Conner is a must start option in a starting role, but the risk of Samuels playing a role and the matchup he’s more of a RB2.
Will Odell Beckham Ever Get Going In 2019…
There were high expectations for Beckham and the passing game, but thus far things have fallen flat. Beckham, who long has been considered one of the elite wide receivers in the game, just hasn’t reached those levels as of yet in ’19:
44 receptions, 632 yards, 1 TD
The yards ranks him 20th in the league, despite ranking 12th in terms of targets. If you want to blame Baker Mayfield it’s fair, as his 59.9% completion percentage is among the worst in the league (among QB with at least 250 attempts only Josh Allen and Jameis Winston are also below 60%). Still that’s not about to change.
Over the past four weeks the Steelers have allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing QB, even fewer than the Patriots. This doesn’t seem like a get right spot, and Beckham also continues to struggle finding the end zone. Throw in the returning Kareem Hunt immediately taking a significant role, and Beckham is closer to a WR3 than a must start WR2.
What Kind Of Role Will Kareem Hunt Have…
In his first game of 2019 Hunt was immediately thrust into a significant role:
- Rushing – 4 carries for 30 yards
- Receiving – 7 receptions for 44 yards
After that game we got this tweet regarding his role moving forward:
#Browns coach Freddie Kitchens on whether he expects Kareem Hunt’s role to grow: He’s a good football player, he did really good for his first time back and he’ll continue to get opportunities, yes— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) November 11, 2019
While Nick Chubb should be viewed as the workhorse, in PPR formats it’s clear that Hunt belongs on the map. Consider him a viable PPR option, depending on your alternatives.
Pittsburgh Steelers Start/Sit Decisions:
- Mason Rudolph (QB) – Sit ‘Em (low-end QB2)
- James Conner (RB) – Start ‘Em
- Jaylen Samuels (RB) – Sit ‘Em (FLEX option for those in PPR format)
- JuJu Smith-Schuester (WR) – Start ‘Em (best used as WR3, but desperation WR2)
- Diontae Johnson (WR) – Sit ‘Em
- Vance McDonald (TE) – Sit ‘Em
Cleveland Browns Start/Sit Decisions:
- Baker Mayfield (QB) – Sit ‘Em
- Nick Chubb (RB) – Start ‘Em (viable RB1)
- Kareem Hunt (RB) – Sit ‘Em (FLEX option for those in PPR format)
- Odell Beckham (WR) – Start ‘Em (best used as WR3, but desperation WR2)
- Jarvis Landry (WR) – Sit ‘Em
- Ricky Seals-Jones (TE) – Sit ‘Em
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: