The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 14  Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon game on December 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm ET.
23Implied Total20.5
18.86Points All./Gm29.231
65.123Opp. Plays/Gm68.432
41.7%19Opp. Rush %40.0%14
58.3%14Opp. Pass %60.1%19
  • Steelers road games have averaged 35.0 combined points per game, the fewest in the league.
  • The 3.2 yards per play on offense by Arizona last week were a season-low after averaging 5.5 yards per play prior. 
  • Kyler Murray has four games averaging fewer than 5.0 yards per pass attempt, the most in the league.
  • Murray is averaging 5.9 yards per pass attempt without the use of play-action, ahead of only Mitchell Trubisky (5.5 Y/A) and Marcus Mariota (5.3 Y/A) of qualifying passers.
  • 28.6% of the Pittsburgh offensive touchdowns have been scored on the road this season, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Steelers average 0.9 red zone touchdowns per game, ahead of only Washington (0.8).
  • Arizona is tied in allowing a league-high 2.3 red zone touchdowns per game with Carolina and Miami.
  • Opponents have scored on just 17.0% (9-of-53) of their possessions against the Steelers over their past four games, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Steelers have scored on 22.0% of their drives over that span, the lowest rate in the league.

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Benny Snell: With James Conner looking more doubtful to enter the week than probable, Snell will once again be the primary ball-handler for the Steelers. Jaylen Samuels out-snapped Snell 34-23 last week, but Snell out-touched Samuels 17-9. The one reservation with Snell is that he’s similar to Bo Scarbrough in that if he doesn’t fall into the end zone, you’re stuck with empty-calories. Snell has three catches on just three targets this season and ran just one pass route all of last game. This is a good source for volume, however. Opposing backs average 23.6 rushing attempts per game against Arizona (26th).

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Kyler Murray: Murray has a trump card with his legs, but the Cardinals have been consistent in incorporating the Horizontal Raid in games in which they face an elite pass rush. Murray has five games against teams in the top-12 in pressure rate and in those games, he’s averaged 5.7 yards per pass attempt with a 5.3 yard average depth of target. He has a 8.4 aDOT and 7.1 Y/A in his other games. He’s been held to fewer than 5.0 yards per pass attempt in three of those games. The Steelers are second in the league in pressure rate and have allowed one top-15 scoring week over their past 10 games.  
  • Kenyan Drake: Drake played 79.7% of the snaps and had 15 touches last week while David Johnson played 15 snaps and Chase Edmonds played zero. Holding down the backfield didn’t help him as he had just 51 yards on those touches with just two catches. No back has reached 100 total yards against Pittsburgh this season with just one reaching 90 yards. They’ve yet to allow an RB1 scoring game and have allowed just six top-24 scoring weeks to backs with two of those coming back in Week 1.
  • Devlin Hodges: Hodges has been the QB23 and the QB26 in his two starts this season. Both of those came in far worse matchups and Arizona is a defense we’ve repeatedly targeted all season. But Mike Tomlin keeps using phrases surrounding Hodges with the emphasis of just not losing the game for the team, which gives pause in chasing the matchup alone. Hodges has thrown 21 and 20 passes in his two starts and both of those came in games in which the Steelers were underdogs entering the week. 

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • James Washington: Washington has three top-15 scoring weeks over his past four games despite having just 16 catches and 23 targets total over that stretch. He’s found the end zone in those three games and ranks 10th in the league in air yards (369) over that span. Natural variance on his deep targets is going to find him, but the matchup is still top-shelf. Arizona has allowed a league-high 60 completions to gain 20 or more yards this season and 45 completions on throws 15 yards or further downfield (31st).
  • Vance McDonald: McDonald has done next to nothing this season, but that hasn’t mattered much for tight ends facing the Cardinals. McDonald has just two top-20 scoring weeks this season with 6.4 or fewer points scored in his other nine games. But Arizona is dead last in every receiving category to tight ends and have allowed 10 different top-10 scoring weeks to tight ends this season, including Tyler Higbee (23.7 points) and Ross Dwelley (17.4) the past two weeks. 
  • Cardinals WRs: This all comes down to Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk and neither one is overly appealing to count on here. Fitzgerald has been a better bet for a floor, posting three straight WR3 or better scoring weeks, but has scored just once over his past nine games with 44 yards receiving per game over that span. Kirk has a 6-138-3 game against the Buccaneers over his five games back in the lineup, but 19-151-0 in his other four games combined over that span. 

More Week 14 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

DAL at CHI | DET at MIN | BAL at BUF | SF at NO | IND at TB | CIN at CLE | DEN at HOU | WAS at GB | CAR at ATL | MIA at NYJ | LAC at JAX | TEN at OAK | KC at NE | PIT at ARI | SEA at LAR | NYG at PHI