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NFL Week 6 Sunday 6pm – Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Preview, Predictions, and Fantasy advice
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Cleveland Browns take their 4-game win streak to Heinz Field this week to take on the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers in what could be an explosive match up. There is no love lost between these teams at the best of times, but tensions will be even higher than usual going into this game with memories of the clash between them last year which involved the infamous incident between Steelers QB Mason Rudolph and Browns star Defensive Lineman Myles Garrett where Garrett ended up swinging Rudolph’s own helmet at his head. Both teams have been in excellent form thus far and should be confident of taking an important W and stay hot on the heels of the Baltimore at the top of the AFC North.
Money line: Browns6/4Steelers8/15
Points Spread: Steelers –3.5
With so many unknowns before decisions are made on who plays for Cleveland, it’s tough to call how it will go. No Mayfield, Landry, Beckham would surely see that points spread shoot up. But if they all play, and Ogunjobi and Vernon who are listed as questionable too, this could go down to the wire. Austin Hooper, who I’m a big fan of, is good value for1st TD at 13/1.
Fantasy Football Outlook:
The Browns will once again be without the services of Running Back Nick Chubb, who was instrumental in the Browns being the no.1 ranked team in the NFL in Rushing Yards per game. His deputy, Kareem Hunt did a solid job taking on that mantle last week, although was limited to 3.6 yards a carry and faces a suffocating Steelers Defensive frontthat rank 2nd in rushing yards allowed per game. He does offer a threat in the passing game too so could still be a solid contributor.
The big issue here is the Browns injury report which as of now includes the names of Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and Quarterback Baker Mayfield as questionable. Landry took a painful looking shot to the hip last week and Beckham has been absent from practice due to illness, though has been cleared in a Covid test. Mayfield has been limited in training with a chest injury but the talk coming out of Cleveland is positive on his chances of playing.
If none of those are available, it’s a huge opportunity for the support cast to step up, especially Tight Ends Austin Hooper and David Njoku. If you have either of these in your squad, it’s worth keeping an eye on the status of Landry, OBJ and in particular Mayfield.
The Steelers will be looking to take advantage of a shaky looking Cleveland pass defense that has given up the 4th most passing yards per game in the league. And with rookie Chase Claypool and Juju Smith-Schuster supplying veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger with ample weapons on the outside, fantasy points could be there to be had. Be wary of including RB James Conner against a run defense that sits 4th in yards allowed/game and 2nd in forced fumbles.
Again, hard to predict this game without knowing the injury status of key members of the Browns line-up. We know Chubb is out, and that in itself is a hammer blow. But if theylose some, or all, of the others, it’s hard to see them staying in this game for long. But if they are all fit and ready to play, this could be a hell of a game. At full strength, I’m leaning towards a narrow Browns win
Browns by 2