|20.0%||1||Opp. Rush %||43.3%||21|
|80.0%||32||Opp. Pass %||56.7%||12|
- The 30-point loss by the Steelers in Week 1 was their largest season-opening loss since 1989 (32 points).
- The Seahawks are 4-10 straight up and 3-10-1 against the spread in road games in the month of September since they drafted Russell Wilson in 2012.
- Wilson has been the QB15 or lower for fantasy in 10 of those starts.
- The 418 passing yards allowed to Andy Dalton were the most a quarterback had against Seattle since Ben Roethlisberger had 456 yards passing versus them in 2015.
- Roethlisberger has now averaged 6.3 yards per pass attempt over his past four games without Antonio Brown active.
- Chris Carson ran 17 pass routes Week 1 after averaging 9.8 per game in 2018.
- Carson was targeted on 41.2% of his pass routes (the highest rate for any back in Week 1) after being targeted on 16.1% of his routes in 2018.
- The Seahawks’ wide receivers totaled eight targets in Week 1, 31st in the league. The Steelers’ wide receivers were targeted 37 targets, second in the league.
Trust (spike production for that player)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: Going against Pro Football Focus’s number two graded cornerback a year ago in Stephon Gilmore, Smith-Schuster was relatively shut down until late in the game before reaching a respectable 6-78 line on eight targets. There a no Gilmore in a Seattle secondary that allowed Cincinnati wideouts to 22 passes for 276 yards in Week 1. With his toe injury expected to be minor, Smith-Schuster should build up from his WR36 scoring week to start the season.
- James Conner: I’d also anticipate a rebound performance from Conner as the Steelers come back for their home opener. Conner had just 65 yards on 14 touches in Week 1, but he still handled 82.4% of the backfield touches, which was good for the sixth-highest rate in the league. Seattle was strong up front in Week 1, allowing just 31 rushing yards on 13 carries to Bengals’ backs. But we know the Steelers offensive line is one of the better units, so I’d be comfortable going right back to Conner this weekend as an RB1 as a home favorite.
On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)
- Chris Carson: He had just 46 rushing yards on 15 carries in Week 1 but a short rushing score and a newfound passing game usage (6-35-1) elevated him to RB8 on the week. That usage in the passing game can give Carson a stable floor if it remains steady while he played 41 snaps compared to just 14 for Rashaad Penny.
- Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger has yet to show us a ceiling without Antonio Brown in the lineup, but Foxboro has also been a house of horrors for the Steelers, so we should give them another week to recalibrate. Coming home against a Seattle defense that recently allowed over 400 passing yards to Andy Dalton could be the elixir to get this passing game going, but I expect that they’ll be more balanced in Week 2.
- Russell Wilson: It was completely a 2018-type of game for Wilson. He threw just 20 passes in Week 1, yet still managed to have a middle-ground performance as the QB16 in fantasy since he threw two touchdown passes and averaged 9.8 yards per pass attempt. I’d expect the attempts to rise here as road dogs and Pittsburgh’s struggles defending the pass in Week 1, but Wilson and the Seahawks have a checkered past playing on the road early in the season.
- Tyler Lockett: Just when we thought he was going to get jammed with targets, Lockett received just two looks in Week 1. In 2018 Lockett-fashion, he made his nearly non-existent opportunities count as his lone reception went for a 44-yard touchdown. That performance makes us pump the breaks on Lockett being a full-fledge option who can flirt with weekly WR1 clout and expectations, but the Steelers had a wealth of issues on the back end in Week 1, allowing 13.4 yards per target to New England wide receivers (26th). To compound matters, Joe Haden left Week 1 with an injury and is questionable entering the week.
If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play)
- Vance McDonald: McDonald played 71% of the snaps and ran 32 pass routes (seventh), but was targeted just four times in a game in which the Steelers threw the ball 47 times. The Seahawks allowed Cincinnati tight ends to catch 9-of-11 targets for 93 yards to keep the lights on for a bounce-back performance, but expect the overall team attempts to come down in Week 2.
- D.K. Metcalf: He had six targets compared to two for Lockett in Week 1, reeling in four catches for 89 yards. As mentioned with Lockett, Pittsburgh gave up a plethora of splash plays in Week 1, leaving the door open for Metcalf to be a FLEX dart in Week 2.
- Donte Moncrief: He led the team with 10 targets in Week 1, was particularly dreadful with them, catching just three for seven yards. As mentioned with Smith-Schuster, the Seahawks gave up a ton of production on the back end in Week 1 to wideouts. I don’t expect the Steelers to be so pass-heavy in this matchup as they were in Week 1, but Moncrief played 90% of the snaps and is still ahead of James Washington for the time being.