The Worksheet, a comprehensive fantasy football preview by Rich Hribar, breaks down everything you need to know about the season-opening matchup between the Steelers and Browns on Monday Night Football.

Find a breakdown of every Week 2 NFL game in our Worksheet Hub.

-2.5 Spread2.5
21.0 Implied Total18.5
3.02Points All./Gm30.026
54.04Opp. Plays/Gm66.020
4.913Off. Yards/Play3.924
2.61Def. Yards/Play5.931
37.04%7Opp. Rush %51.52%24
62.96%26Opp. Pass %48.48%9

  • With 239 yards on offense in Week 1, the Steelers have not reached 400 yards on offense in 49 straight regular-season games, the longest streak in the league.
  • The next closest team is Arizona at 16 games.
  • 25% of the Cleveland rushing attempts gained 10 or more yards in Week 1, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Browns allowed a league-low 9.7 yards per drive in Week 1, their fewest in a game since Week 3, 2021.
  • Just 31.6% of the set of downs against the Browns resulted in a new first down or touchdown in Week 1, the lowest rate in the league. The league rate was 67.2%.
  • 66.1% of the Cleveland touches in Week 1 were by running backs, second in the league.
  • 43.9% of the Pittsburgh touches in Week 1 were by running backs, 30th in the league.

Trust = spike production for that player


Deshaun Watson: Playing in the rain, Watson still had some of the passing struggles we had a year ago, but his dual-threat ability came through on his way to a QB6 (20.7 points) week.

Watson completed just 16-of-29 passes (55.2%) for 154 yards (5.3 Y/A) with a touchdown and an interception. His 8.2 passing points were 23rd on the week.

But Watson added 45 yards and a rushing touchdown for a league-high 10.5 rushing points among quarterbacks in Week 1.

We are still waiting to see if or when Watson will come around as a passer in Cleveland, but his rushing has remained consistent and keeps him in play as a boom-or-bust QB1 while we wait on that passing output.

The Pittsburgh defense failed to show up against the 49ers in Week 1, but I expect this defense to be better than the effort put on the field in the opener.

Pittsburgh was 30th in passing points allowed per attempt (0.579) in Week 1.

Watson faced the Steelers in one of his starts with Cleveland last year, ending the week as the QB8 (17.6 points) in that game.

Watson threw for 230 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding on 22 rushing yards.

Kenny Pickett: We entered last week looking to test Pickett’s strong preseason as fact or fiction against a front-end defense, and the results were more of what we had from 2022.

We are now 13 starts into Pickett’s career, and he has not finished a week higher than QB12 for fantasy.

Pickett was QB21 (9.7 points), completing 31-of-46 passes for 232 yards (5.0 Y/A) with a touchdown and two interceptions.

The interesting part about Pickett’s performance in Week 1 was that he was good under pressure, completing 14-of-18 passes for 137 yards (7.6 Y/A) with a 98.4 rating.

But from a clean pocket, Pickett was 17-of-28 for 95 yards (3.4 Y/A) with a 49.0 rating.

Pickett had a 36.7 rating when blitzed in Week 1, 29th in the league. The Browns blitzed 41.2% of dropbacks (fourth) after a 24.9% rate (16th) in 2022.

The Browns defense thumped Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Week 1, allowing just 3.3 passing points.

Pickett made one start against Cleveland last year, completing just 13-of-29 (44.8%) of his passes, which was a season-low.

Pickett is stuck as a QB2, with his primary appeal in this game coming from only two quarterbacks being available in single-game DFS.

Running Back

Nick Chubb: Chubb opened the season in typical efficient fashion, rushing 18 times for 106 yards (5.9 YPC).

What was new is we saw Chubb used more in the passing game to open the year.

Chubb caught just four passes for 21 yards, but his 13.8% target share was the third-highest rate in a game in his career.

In Week 18 of last season, Chubb had five catches for 45 yards and a touchdown through the air.

If we can flirt with 4-6 receiving points per game in PPR formats, Chubb becomes a more stable RB1 that is not touchdown-dependent.

While that production was needed in the passing game, Chubb did only run a route on 34.3% of the team dropbacks.

Chubb gave the Steelers issues in 2022, closing as the RB10 and the RB1 in their two games.

The Steelers could not stop Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers on the ground in Week 1, allowing 162 yards rushing to San Francisco backs. They also will be without Cam Heyward.

If looking at Jerome Ford’s production, eight of Ford’s 15 carries came in the fourth quarter after the Browns went up 24-3.

Steelers RBs: Najee Harris and the Pittsburgh backfield were erased through the game script and the matchup on Sunday.

Harris ended up playing 33 snaps (52.4%), handling eight touches for 33 yards.

He held off Jaylen Warren, who played 25 snaps (39.7%), but Warren still matched Harris’s eight touches of his own (albeit for 18 yards).

Harris ran 24 pass routes to 18 for Warren, but Warren was targeted six times while Harris earned just two looks.

San Francisco has smothered backs, so we are looking for a better runout here. As good as the Cleveland pass defense was in Week 1, they did allow 4.4 YPC to backs (24th) to Cincinnati backs.

In two games against a Cleveland roster running a different scheme that was awful against the run, Harris rushed 38 times for 140 yards (3.7 YPC) but saved each game with a rushing touchdown.

Harris is an RB2 while Warren has yet to showcase standalone value.

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper: Cooper caught 3-of-7 targets for 37 yards in Week 1.

He gets a slight pass for the weather conditions, but Cooper has now played seven games with Deshaun Watson and finished higher than WR30 just once.

That includes catching 2-of-3 targets for 51 yards in Pittsburgh during Week 18 of last season.

Cooper was tied for the team lead in targets (seven), but he ran fewer pass routes than both Donovan Peoples-Jones and Elijah Moore (28 each).

The Steelers allowed 11.5 yards per target (31st) to 49ers wide receivers in Week 1 to provide a carrot to chase for upside, but Cooper is a volatile option on the WR2/WR3 line.

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