Get the Blackhawks Championship Package  Give the Gift of SI
SI.com Home
Fantasy Football, Fantasy Baseball and More

Fantasy Player Projections

 
Cleveland Browns
Heinz Field | Sunday, December 28 | 1:00 p.m. EST (CBS)
Pick: Steelers 20, Browns 6
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos.PlayerProjection
QBKen Dorsey
155 pass yards, 2 INT
Dorsey continued to struggle in the starting role, passing for a putrid 68 yards last week as the Browns were shut out by the Bengals. He suffered a rib injury but the team expects him to be ready for this week's game. Whether that's a good thing or not is another question. Even though the Steelers will likely rest their key players this week, there's no reason to believe Dorsey will put up any meaningful production. Avoid him as usual.
RBJamal Lewis
1 rec, 5 rec yards, 65 rush yards
Lewis was the lone bright spot in last week's loss, rushing for 76 yards on 16 carries. That was only the second time in his last five games he's topped 60 yards rushing and he hasn't scored since Week 10. He could find some success against the Steelers' backups this week but given the sorry nature of the Cleveland offense it's best to just project him as a so-so RB3 this week since he lacks upside.
RBJoshua Cribbs
25 rush yards
The Browns are getting Cribbs more involved but it's been as a runner, not a receiver. He's received 16 rushing attempts the past three games but has been held under 35 yards in each game. He's basically just a gimic right now and isn't worth starting in any fantasy league.
WRBraylon Edwards
4 rec, 40 yards
Edwards caught four passes for 35 yards last week, the second straight game he had posted four receptions or more in a game. Given what a bust he's been this season, that actually constitutes progress for Edwards. On the down side, he's only topped 40 yards receiving once in the past month and the Browns' issues at QB prevent him from having meaningful upside. Don't expect much from him again this week even against the Pittsburgh reserves.
TEDarnell Dinkins
1 rec, 5 yards
With Kellen Winslow not expected to play again this week, Dinkins will be the starting tight end. He's a poor fantasy option given how he only five receptions this season.
KPhil Dawson
2 FGs
Dawson turned in a big fat nothing for his owners last week as the Browns were blanked by Cincinnati. He has only one FG the past two games and although the Browns might have some mild success against the Pittsburgh backups he isn't a recommended play given what a mess this offense is.
Defense
1 sack, 1 INT
The Browns rank among the league's worst in total defense and are giving up 21.6 points per game. They catch a bit of a break this week since the Steelers' top dogs likely won't play much, if at all. But this isn't a good defense at home, much less on the road. Keep them benched.
Pos.PlayerProjection
QBByron Leftwich
200 pass yards
It would be a major surprise if Ben Roethlsiberger played much in this game and it wouldn't be a surprise if he didn't play at all. Either way, look for Leftwich to get most of the work at QB this week against a sorry Cleveland defense that gives up 205.3 passing yards a game. Leftwich's most extensive action this season came in Week 9 when he relieved an injured Roethlisberger and passed for 129 yards and a TD in the second half against Washington. If you need to dig deep for a QB this week and Leftwich gets the start, he has some upside.
RBMewelde Moore
3 rec, 20 rec yards, 65 rush yards
Look for Willie Parker to either sit this game out or exit early as the Steelers would be smart to make sure he's healthy for the playoffs. That means Moore will likely start although he could give way at some point to Gary Russell. But if he gets 2-3 quarters of action against a bad Cleveland run defense (150.3 yards a game), he should be able to do well. He's at least a strong RB3 this week and only the uncertainty of his playing time limits his upside.
RBGary Russell
70 rush yards, 1 rush TD
If Parker sits and Moore exits early, Russell could get a lot of the work against Cleveland's woeful run defense. Russell has shown some goal-line expertise, scoring a pair of touchdowns this season. The Steelers won't need to expand the playbook much this week so if Russell gets a chance, he could deliver some solid production. Make sure the Steelers plan to sit Parker but if they do, Russell is worth a flyer as a RB3 this week.
WRHines Ward
2 rec, 20 yards
Ward had a strong game in Week 16, catching seven passes for 109 yards and a TD. It would be a surprise if he played much this week, however, so it's best to find another option rather than take the chance of being burned if he departs early.
WRSantonio Holmes
1 rec, 15 yards
Like Ward, Holmes might not play much this week against the Browns. He also scored last week and now has five touchdowns this season. Unfortunately, with Pittsburgh having nothing to play for, it's too risky to start Holmes in a meaningless game. Find another WR option this week.
WRNate Washington
5 rec, 70 yards, 1 TD
If Ward and Holmes don't play much, Washington could be the big beneficiary. He's been the No. 3 WR for the Steelers this season and he's had some productive games. For the season, he's caught 39 passes and three TDs. The Steelers like to take 1-2 shots downfield for him even when Ward and Holmes are playing so that will likely occur again this week. He's a fine sleeper pick if you're in dire straits in this final week.
WRLimas Sweed
3 rec, 35 yards
The Steelers' No. 1 pick hasn't done much this season, catching only six passes. But this would be a great week for the team to get him on the field given how it has nothing to play for. It's too risky to go with Sweed unless he's announced as a starter and even then he's probably just a WR4 in PPR formats since the Steelers won't need to throw it much to beat the Browns.
TEHeath Miller
3 rec, 25 yards
Miller is closing out the regular season in fine fashion. He caught eight passes for 69 yards last week and has 18 receptions in his past four games. As is the case with all of the Pittsburgh starters this week, his playing time might be minimal, though, so he's far too risky to start in any league.
KJeff Reed
2 PATs, 2 FGs
Reed mustered only two extra points last week in the loss to the Titans. That marked the third game in a row his scoring had declined in a game. It will likely rebound this week as the Steelers will have no trouble scoring on the Browns. He's not a bad option this week in larger leagues.
Defense
4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 Fumble
The Steelers were a fantasy killer last week, mustering only one point in many formats in the loss to the Titans. Even though their starters may not play much this week. That may not matter against the lowly Browns. Cleveland has nothing going right offensively so the Steelers should be able to get plenty of sacks and some takeaways even with their backups. Look for a much stronger performance than in Week 16.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2013 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint