TNF Preview, Week 3

The new Thursday Night Football era on Amazon Prime got off to a stirring start last week as the Chiefs and Chargers clashed. This week, we get another divisional battle as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cleveland to battle the Browns. Both teams are limping into this one, coming off tough Week 2 losses after winning in Week 1.

For the Steelers, it’s a 1-1 start but the offense has yet to get going. A fierce defensive effort proved to be enough against the Bengals in Week 1, but it couldn’t carry the day at home against the Patriots. The home fans began agitating to see First Round Pick Kenny Pickett, and post-game Coach Mike Tomlin noted he needed to see more explosion from the offense. Mitch Trubisky is still the starter, for now, but it’s clear the fans and coaches need more from this offense.

While Mitch plays a role, it’s clear the problems run deeper. There hasn’t been much room for Najee Harris to operate and there hasn’t been a lot of time to throw, either. The line needs to be better and the offense needs to produce more, but will it happen in Cleveland?

The Browns, meanwhile, are going through their own growing pains. They brought in Deshaun Watson this off-season, but he’s not available. It’s Jacoby Brissett and in Week 1 that was good enough to beat former quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Panthers. In Week 2, the Browns held a 13-point lead with less than two minutes left after Nick Chubb rushed for three touchdowns and Brissett got the passing game going with new receiver Amari Cooper. Then Joe Flacco came back… A 31-30 loss stings. Now the Browns need to get back on track facing a tough defense and a fierce divisional opponent.

That sets the stage for a great matchup. But what about the implications for your fantasy team?

For the Steelers, you’re starting Harris, though I have him in the RB2 range, and likely Diontae Johnson, who’s more of a WR3. I do like Pat Freiermuth, who’s done well this season. He’s a TE1 for me. For the Browns, I’m starting Chubb, who is in the RB1 range for me. The bigger question is the passing game. I am still starting Cooper, but I have questions about whether this passing game can support more than one fantasy-relevant receiver. That makes Donovan Peoples-Jones, who had a decent Week 1, and David Njoku somewhat of a gamble. Needless to say, I’m not starting Mitch or Brissett unless something’s gone awry on my roster.

Now, on to the Week 3 picks!

NFL Picks, Week 3:

Steelers Over Browns
Bears Over Texans
Raiders Over Titans
Chiefs Over Colts
Bills Over Dolphins
Lions Over Vikings
Ravens Over Patriots
Jets Over Bengals
Eagles Over Commanders
Saints Over Panthers
Chargers Over Jaguars
Cardinals Over Rams
Seahawks Over Falcons
Buccaneers Over Packers
Broncos Over 49ers
Cowboys Over Giants

Last Week: 8-8
Season: 15-16

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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