The next team that will try to knock the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) from the ranks of the unbeaten is one that hasn’t tasted victory in its last eight games. But hey, anything can happen in the NFL.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) weren’t given much of a chance to hang the Packers in Green Bay last week, but they ended up falling just short, 24-20. Running back James Robinson continued his stellar rookie campaign as he grinded out 109 yards on 23 carries. The problem was sixth-round rookie QB Jake Luton. In his second career start, he completed just 18 of 35 passes at 4.8 yards per throw. He recorded one touchdown, one interception and generally sunk the Jaguars’ offense. One week after Luton and D.J. Chark hooked up for a 73-yard touchdown, the two connected four times for just 56 yards against the Packers. Keelan Cole scored Jacksonville’s only offensive touchdown and added 47 receiving yards.
The Steelers had their way with another rookie in Week 10; they harassed Joe Burrow and the Bengals en route to a 36-10 triumph. Ben Roethlisberger got all of his top wideouts involved as Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster all exceeded 20 DraftKings points. The only Steeler who was locked into most fantasy lineups and failed to meet expectations was running back James Conner. He took 13 carries for only 36 yards and tacked on two catches for 12 yards.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 22
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
James Conner, RB, $6,600
Conner has finished with fewer than 50 rushing yards in three straight and hasn’t made an impact as a receiver either. Teams had a lot of success running on the Jaguars earlier in the year, but that defense has bowed up recently, allowing just 87 yards on 29 carries to lead backs in their past two contests. Conner has to remain in most season-long lineups because he is always viable to fall into the end zone. But he’s becoming less and less of a comfortable start.
WR Diontae Johnson, WR, $5,900
Even though he has turned in a useful stat line in three of his last four games, Johnson remains the most affordable of the Steelers’ Big Three at wide receiver. And that’s even with a $700 price hike this week. He’s averaged about 10 targets per game over the last four, including a total of 21 in his last two. He has big-play ability and a pretty nice floor with at least six catches in three of the past four weeks. He’s a WR2 in season-long formats and a solid value in what should be another romp for Pittsburgh.
James Robinson, RB, $6,400
The Steelers know what’s coming. That’s still not going to stop the Jaguars from giving Robinson the rock at least 20 times Sunday. He has topped 15 fantasy points in each of his last four games, but those performances came against some admittedly weak run defenses. The Ravens ran roughshod over the Steelers a few weeks ago, but otherwise, Pittsburgh hasn’t allowed a running back to top 80 rushing yards all season and has permitted the fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Robinson is an easy start in season-long leagues still, but the matchup and his reduced involvement as a pass-catcher makes him an iffy DFS buy.
D.J. Chark, WR, $5,700
Chark’s Week 10 line doesn’t inspire confidence, but at least Luton still took some shots downfield to him. They were able to connect in Week 9; this time, the windy conditions in Lambeau thwarted any of those passes. Hopefully Luton keeps at it because the Steelers can be beaten in the secondary. They have allowed 13 touchdowns to WRs — third-most in the NFL.