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The Bills are heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers this Sunday night. This is looking to be a great, tough game with two very physical teams going head to head. Despite missing Juju and Roethlisberger and Conner, the Steelers have been finding ways to win and they’re currently sitting at 8-5. Their defense is a big reason for their success, with the acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick doing wonders for them. They lead the league in takeaways and are a top 10 defense against both the rush and the pass. The Bills have been another surprise this year, and their run game has propelled them to a lot of wins this season. They’ve also been a great defense this season, especially against the run. I’m expecting a great defensive matchup this Sunday night and a close game, but I think the Steelers will come out on top. Click here for more details and betting information on the Bills @ Steelers matchup.
Date: Sunday, December 15, 2019
Time: 5:20 PM PST
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Bills: Corey Liuget (Q), Ty Nsekhe (O), Jon Feliciano (Q)
Steelers: James Conner (Q), JuJu Smith-Schuster (O), Vance McDonald (Q)
The Bills have been getting most of their offensive productivity out of their run game. They rush for 135.3 yards per game, the 5th most in the league. The Steelers are going to be hard to run against, but that doesn’t mean the Bills won’t be able to get it done. Josh Allen has been a great weapon in and of himself. He has 8 rushing touchdowns on the season, one more than the sensational Lamar Jackson. Their biggest problem on offense is most likely going to come from the Steelers pass rush. Allen has been sacked 33 times this year, tied with 4 other quarterbacks for 7th most this season. The Steelers have the most sacks in the league at 48. Josh Allen’s rushing ability is one of the Bills biggest weapons, but with the pressure of an incredible pass rush like that of the Steelers there’s a big potential for Allen not to be able to get much done on the ground. Throwing against the Steelers won’t be that easy either, as they are a top 5 passing defense. Points are going to be hard to come by this game, but I think if the Bills stick to their rushing roots they’ll be able to put some on the board.
This is going to be a defensive game, and the Bills defense is what has been giving them a lot of their wins. The Bills have been pretty great against the pass, allowing only 191.5 yards through the air per game on average. The Steelers have been getting most of their offense done through the air, which bodes well for the Bills. The Bills have been a little more lenient against the rush, which might not be great as the Steelers are potentially getting James Conner back this game. However, their run defense is still ranked in the top half of the league and therefore I’m still expecting this to be a close one, even if Conner is in.
Buffalo Bills Depth Chart
The Steelers offense was looking pretty grim earlier in the season. With Roethlisberger and Conner out, and then Mason Rudolph (their 2nd string quarterback) and eventually JuJu too, it’s impressive that they’ve been able to be as productive as they have been. Devlin “Duck” Hodges has stepped up to the challenge in a big way and is undefeated this season. He’s thrown for 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions for an overall rating of 103.2 this season. Other weapons like James Washington and, especially last game, Dionte Johnson have been stepping up big time to keep their offense moving. Johnson had 6 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown and one rush for 16 yards against the Cardinals last week. The week before, James Washington had 4 receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. Their weapons keep showing up big time to get them their points, and that’s what is going to need to happen against a tough Bills defense, especially through the air. There’s a possibility James Conner comes back which would give their offense a boost, but I think they’ll be able to put up points regardless.
The Steelers defense is what has been carrying them this season. Minkah Fitzpatrick has really galvanized their defense and turned it into a force to be reckoned with. The Steelers lead the league in takeaways with 33 on the season, 18 of those being interceptions (the 2nd most in the league). Their defensive line has also been great headed by T.J. Watt, and they lead the league in sacks. The last time a team led the league in both sacks and takeaways was when the Steelers did it before in 1974. I think the Steelers are going to get the win this weekend due to their strong defense, as I think they’ll make it tough for Allen to be productive through the air, and more importantly, the ground.
Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart
The Steelers have a couple of receivers on the waiver wire that are good pickups especially with JuJu still out this week. Dionte Johnson had a big 25.6 point game in PPR leagues last week against the Cardinals with his 6 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown plus a cherry-on-top 16 yard rush. James Washington has been more consistent, with an 18.8 point game in week 12 and a 21.1 point game in week 13. He fell off a little in week 14 with only 7.3 points (mostly because Diontae Johnson was having his big day) but I think he’ll keep being featured in this offense. The Bills receiver Cole Beasley is still available in a little under 2/3 of fantasy leagues and has averaged 14.3 points over the last 6 games, including a high of 23 against Dallas, his former team. However, I’m expecting this to be a defensive game, so you might want to consider looking to other matchups for big points.