Matchup Analysis: Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Rams 24, Steelers 21

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Los Angeles Rams Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Rams Offense26.8 (+4.2) (8)97 (-14) (20)287 (+48) (4)
Steelers Defense21.1 (-1.4) (13)108 (-4) (16)228 (-10) (10)

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Steelers Offense22.0 (-0.6) (18)88 (-23) (26)202 (-36) (27)
Rams Defense21.8 (-0.8) (15)97 (-14) (10)241 (+2) (19)

Rams Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Steelers defense.

The Rams dominated the NFL on the ground in 2018, but this is year’s version is a much different animal. Through 8 weeks, they sit just 19th league-wide in rushing yards per game (97) and 24th on a per-carry basis (3.9). Despite a firm grip on the lead role, Todd Gurley hasn’t produced more than 51 yards in a game since Week 2. There are subtle differences between last year’s group and this one, including a big hole at left guard, where the team lost its best blocker (Roger Saffold) in the offseason and his replacement (Joseph Notebloom) to injured reserve. Of course, Jared Goff’s noticeable regression as a passer hasn’t helped. With the Rams’ downfield game lacking, defenses are able to key more easily on Gurley and Darrell Henderson. That’s resulted in lots of stuffs at the line, and it’s limited their chances to break big, game-changing runs. A date with the Steelers’ stingy run defense doesn’t make for an ideal get-right opportunity.

The Steelers continue to field a strong defense, though not an impenetrable one. Dating back to Week 4, they’ve allowed only two runners (Lamar Jackson and Marlon Mack) to top 65 yards. That said, there are some exploitable points in play here. The Steelers still struggle with agile, quick-footed runners, as Jackson and Mack (among others) have shown. The team misses underrated star lineman Stephon Tuitt, and they’re still seeking out their best linebacker rotation. Rookie Devin Bush alternates big plays with head-scratching ones, while Mark Barron, long a major liability against the run, still draws 40+ snaps a game. That allows opposing runners to turn short gains into solid ones, and solid ones into huge ones. This is a dicey unit to test in fantasy, but it can pay off in the right matchup.

Rams Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Steelers defense.

Jared Goff doesn’t look like the same quarterback that opened 2018 on a tear. Around midseason last year - around the time trusted slot receiver Cooper Kupp went down - Goff seemingly lost much of the poise and decisiveness that had taken the league by storm. Thus far in 2019, he’s dropped nearly a full yard per attempt, and his touchdown rate has dropped nearly 40% from last season. Still, even with his warts, he’s plenty capable of blow-up games, with performances of 517, 395, and 372 already on the books. In Week 8, he took advantage of a horrid Bengals secondary to rack up 12.0 yards per attempt in one of his sharpest games ever. He’ll move forward for awhile without Brandin Cooks, whose concussions have become a serious concern. But as long as Kupp and Robert Woods are healthy and engaged, Goff will carry as strong a weekly ceiling as anyone. Kupp has already topped 100 yards 5 times this year - including 220 last week - as an explosive dominator in the slot. His connection with Goff is strong (a 67% catch rate), and he’s already found the end zone 5 times. Woods hasn’t seen much of a boost without Cooks, but always looms as a versatile target all over the field. Even tight end Gerald Everett has gotten in on the fun, with 44+ yards and/or a touchdown in 3 of his last 5 games.

The Pittsburgh pass defense remains a volatile unit, one that’s flashed brilliance albeit against weak opponents. All in all, there are enough holes here for dynamic pass games to exploit for big plays. The Steelers sit 10th league-wide in net yards allowed, but 24th in touchdowns, with even Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer posting multi-touchdown games lately. The biggest vulnerabilities are inside, where the linebackers and safeties still struggle mightily in coverage. Slot cornerback Mike Hilton has fallen off from a strong start; he and rookie linebacker Devin Bush both gave up easy touchdowns last week to the Colts. Trade acquisition Minkah Fitzpatrick has also suffered his share of lapses down the field. This unit generally holds its own against shaky quarterbacking, but a matchup with Jared Goff and the Rams’ receivers could go one of any number of ways. It’s easy to project, at the very least, a handful of big slot plays from Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

Steelers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Rams defense.

The Steelers’ Week 10 outlook remains up in the air, as James Conner again looks to be on track for another late-week decision as he was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. If he can suit up, he’ll come fresh off a 145-yard breakout against the Dolphins and a week of rest. Still, it’s worth noting that that was his first finish above 55 on the season. Conner works behind an imposing front line, but he lacks the speed and suddenness to consistently maximize those running lanes. He can certainly feast when game flow is on his side, but his overall upside is capped with the offense in such transition. Opposing defenses aren’t respecting Mason Rudolph’s downfield arm much, which keeps the clamps on the run game. Last week in Conner’s absence, the Steelers split work between Trey Edmunds (12 carries for 73 yards) and Jaylen Samuels (8 for 10). Most of that production came on a single Edmunds run; apart from that, they averaged just 2.0 yards per attempt. Whoever leads this attack in Week 10 will likely see even less big-play opportunity against the Rams’ imposing front.

Despite a daunting schedule of opposing runners, the Rams run defense has held up generally well thus far. They’re holding opponents to just 3.6 yards per rush, third-best in the league, despite early matchups against Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, and Chris Carson. With Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers dominating up front, the Rams tend to win frequently at the point of attack. That opens things up for linebacker Cory Littleton, who continues to improve by the week, to roam and pursue. Littleton (99% of snaps thus far) is the Rams’ only fixture at linebacker, and his open-field playmaking is more than crucial to this group. This isn’t looked at as a shutdown fantasy unit, but perhaps it should be. They’ve held up decently well in brutal matchups, and they’ve taken care of business in the weaker ones.

Steelers Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Rams defense.

Mason Rudolph has shown competence and growth over his first six NFL starts,

But he’s still not much of a fantasy option, and he’s definitely taking a toll on the value of his receivers. The team is keeping the offense simple and run-based for Rudolph, and he’s not testing things downfield much. Most Steelers completions are now check-downs and quick-hitters that don’t generate much yardage (just 196 per game since Ben Roethlisberger’s injury). JuJu Smith-Schuster has taken the starkest post-Roethlisberger hit - he’s drawing just 6 targets a game, and he’s been held under 20 yards 3 times. Still, there’s at least weekly opportunity for him to shine. His 3-catch, 16-yard line last Sunday, for example, would have been much bigger had he not dropped two big catches on the opening drive. Most of the value in this passing game comes through the high volume in the check-down game. Last week, the tight ends and the running backs combined to draw 22 of Rudolph’s 35 targets. Unless the coaching staff opts for a drastic overnight change, Jaylen Samuels and Vance McDonald should continue to draw the most dependable volume. Smith-Schuster is always a consideration, but his floor has proven low enough to derail fantasy lineups.

The Rams pass defense is one of football’s more volatile units. It’s a star-studded group, with huge names both up front and in the secondary. But it’s also a bit prone to lapses, particularly in downfield coverage, that allow some opponents to produce big lines. Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson both posted 4-touchdown games in this matchup earlier in the year, averaging 327 yards in the process. Still, overall, this always has the makings of a tough matchup. Any unit with Aaron Donald collapsing the pocket and Jalen Ramsey shadowing the No. 1 wideout is a strong one. They also get strong work inside out of slot man Nickell Robey-Coleman and linebacker Cory Littleton. While there are holes to exploit here and there, this isn’t a great spot to project Mason Rudolph’s arm to break out.

Steelers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15 (-0.5)15 (-0.5)11 (-1.5)14 (-0.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.1)17 (+0.0)14 (-1.5)16 (-0.7)
6Philip Rivers6226443202210022.022.016.820.8
8Ryan Fitzpatrick60213419022517017.217.213.314.3
9Brian Hoyer5617261683116020.020.016.317.3

Jared Goff (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $6200)

7@ ATL7222372682033127.727.725.025.0
8vs CIN6217313722000026.626.622.925.9
10PROJ-Dodds23372721.61130.119.919.919.9 (H=43)19.9 (H=57)
10PROJ-Tremblay24382741.61.1240.1202020.0 (H=44)20.0 (H=57)
10PROJ-Bloom23332461.81.1110. (H=40)19.1 (H=53)

Steelers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.0)7 (-2.6)7 (-3.3)6 (-3.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-9.3)2 (-10.2)2 (-10.1)2 (-11.2)
6Melvin Gordon378180433004.
6Austin Ekeler285140431402.
8Mark Walton5211350631905.
8Kalen Ballage10380111101.
9Marlon Mack392189000008.
9Nyheim Hines20170312102.

Todd Gurley (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $6100)

7@ ATL461841011.013111.412.411.912.4
8vs CIN321044110.00010.410.410.410.4
10PROJ-Dodds13550.62.2160.111.313.512.4 (H=21)13.5 (H=29)
10PROJ-Tremblay12470.52.5170.11012.511.3 (H=18)12.5 (H=26)
10PROJ-Bloom16520. (H=17)12.1 (H=24)

Darrell Henderson (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4100)

7@ ATL261131011.0803.
8vs CIN301149032.02006.
10PROJ-Dodds8320.20.86055.85.4 (H=6)5.8 (H=10)
10PROJ-Tremblay6230.20.2103.63.83.7 (H=3)3.8 (H=4)
10PROJ-Bloom4170. (H=4)4.7 (H=7)

Malcolm Brown (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $4600)

7@ ATL000000.000000.00.0
8vs CIN000000.000000.00.0
10PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
10PROJ-Tremblay3100.10.2101.71.91.8 (H=1)1.9 (H=1)
10PROJ-Bloom4150.10.0002.12.12.1 (H=1)2.1 (H=1)

Steelers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21T (+1.6)17 (+1.5)17 (+1.2)16 (+0.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+2.7)20 (+3.3)20 (+2.4)18 (+1.9)
6Mike Williams561057200007.212.29.712.2
6Jason Moore5224300004.
8Allen Hurns20111210007.
8Albert Wilson1821510006.
9Zach Pascal676576100013.618.616.118.6
9Chester Rogers46532210008.211.27.710.2

Cooper Kupp (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $7300)

7@ ATL4786.05000005118.011.0
8vs CIN60107.02201000283531.538.0
10PROJ-Dodds6.7870.500011.718.415.0 (H=26)18.4 (H=42)
10PROJ-Tremblay6.5860.500011.618.114.8 (H=26)18.1 (H=41)
10PROJ-Bloom7.0870.600012.319.315.8 (H=29)19.3 (H=46)

Robert Woods (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $5600)

7@ ATL5875.08001608.613.611.113.6
8vs CIN6122.03604604.
10PROJ-Dodds4.6560.32908.312.910.6 (H=17)12.9 (H=29)
10PROJ-Tremblay4.4560.321008.412.810.6 (H=17)12.8 (H=29)
10PROJ-Bloom5.0590.4290.19.814.812.3 (H=22)14.8 (H=38)

Josh Reynolds (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3800)

7@ ATL1910.000000000.00.0
8vs CIN5583.07311-1013.216.214.716.2
10PROJ-Dodds3.4450.30006.39.78.0 (H=14)9.7 (H=26)
10PROJ-Tremblay3.4460.30106.59.98.2 (H=14)9.9 (H=27)
10PROJ-Bloom2.0290.20004.16.15.1 (H=6)6.1 (H=12)

Steelers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.4)24 (+1.9)24 (+1.7)24 (+2.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+4.2)26 (+5.2)26 (+4.7)27 (+6.0)
6Hunter Henry4198100222.
8Mike Gesicki38321001.
9Jack Doyle55432218.211.29.711.2

Gerald Everett (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4500)

7@ ATL56104.0501111513.015.0
8vs CIN3032.01501.
10PROJ-Dodds3.2340. (H=9)8.4 (H=17)
10PROJ-Tremblay3.4360. (H=10)8.8 (H=19)
10PROJ-Bloom4.0420.36108.0 (H=12)10.0 (H=23)

Tyler Higbee (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2700)

7@ ATL4911.0800.
8vs CIN3411.0800.
10PROJ-Dodds2.0190. (H=3)4.5 (H=10)
10PROJ-Tremblay1.9170. (H=3)4.2 (H=8)
10PROJ-Bloom2.0140.1243.0 (H=2)4.0 (H=8)

Steelers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-0.7)8 (-0.7)8 (-1.1) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-5.0)1 (-5.0)1 (-5.7) (+0.0)
6Mike Badgley0000000.00.0
8Jason Sanders0022222.02.0
9Adam Vinatieri1212444.04.0

Greg Zuerlein (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

7@ ATL3444131315.015.0
8vs CIN1133666.06.0

Steelers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-2.9)2 (-2.9)10T (-2.1)10T (-2.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.1)7 (-3.1)10T (-2.1)10T (-2.1)
6Los Angeles Chargers2425601000223.03.0
8Miami Dolphins2739421000444.04.0
9Indianapolis Colts2627311100558.08.0

Los Angeles Rams (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

7@ ATL10.0022451201232321.021.0
8vs CIN10.0040150000559.09.0
10PROJ-Dodds20.403362.110.800. (H=20)9.3 (H=31)
10PROJ-Tremblay20.503472.51.20.800.510.710.710.7 (H=26)10.7 (H=40)

Rams vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.4)13 (-1.1)9 (-1.7)10 (-1.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-3.3)10 (-3.0)8 (-4.3)10 (-3.6)
6Jimmy Garoppolo7824332430154117.617.613.114.1
7Matt Ryan461627159011207.
8Andy Dalton8332523291014020.521.517.721.2

Mason Rudolph (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $4900)

8vs MIA7720362512100019.619.617.017.0
9vs IND6326351911135013.
10PROJ-Dodds22352421.31.1260.117.417.417.4 (H=41)17.4 (H=57)
10PROJ-Tremblay24382641.51.2250. (H=48)19.1 (H=67)
10PROJ-Bloom22352271.6100016.816.816.8 (H=38)16.8 (H=54)

Rams vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (-0.1)14 (-0.4)18 (+0.0)15 (-0.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-4.1)12 (-3.6)10 (-3.5)10 (-4.2)
6Tevin Coleman43184513216012.
6Matt Breida2813360442706.310.38.310.3
7Brian Hill175110221402.
7Devonta Freeman31719032602.
8Joe Mixon42176604411113.717.715.717.7
8Giovani Bernard333310221404.

Jaylen Samuels (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $6300)

8vs MIA000000.000000.00.0
9vs IND4081001313.07308.321.312.820.3
10PROJ-Dodds9340.35.5410.210.51613.3 (H=28)16.0 (H=38)
10PROJ-Tremblay7290.26.9490.19.616.513.1 (H=27)16.5 (H=40)
10PROJ-Bloom8290.36.0380.29.715.712.7 (H=26)15.7 (H=37)

Trey Edmunds (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3400)

8vs MIA210000.000000.00.0
9vs IND171273000.0007.
10PROJ-Dodds11470.30.0006.56.56.5 (H=9)6.5 (H=15)
10PROJ-Tremblay11430.30.0006.16.16.1 (H=8)6.1 (H=13)
10PROJ-Bloom9280.20.000444.0 (H=3)4.0 (H=6)

Roosevelt Nix (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

8vs MIA2000022.0400.
9vs IND1500010.000000.00.0
10PROJ-Dodds0000.7500.51.20.8 (H=0)1.2 (H=0)
10PROJ-Tremblay0000.5400.40.90.6 (H=0)0.9 (H=0)

Rams vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-1.8)14 (-1.0)10 (-2.0)11 (-2.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-5.5)12 (-4.0)8 (-5.3)10 (-5.4)
6Dante Pettis56634500004.
6Deebo Samuel47531801101.
7Julio Jones41969300009.315.312.315.3
7Calvin Ridley36643000003.
8Alex Erickson50769700009.715.712.715.7
8Tyler Boyd75966501306.812.89.812.8

JuJu Smith-Schuster (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $5800)

8vs MIA5795.0103100016.321.318.824.3
9vs IND4753.01600001.
10PROJ-Dodds4.8690.40009.314.111.7 (H=20)14.1 (H=33)
10PROJ-Tremblay4.9670.40009.11411.6 (H=20)14.0 (H=33)
10PROJ-Bloom4.0570.50008.712.710.7 (H=17)12.7 (H=28)

Diontae Johnson (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $4300)

8vs MIA3475.084100014.419.416.919.4
9vs IND4321.0301200.
10PROJ-Dodds3.7470.30006.510.28.4 (H=16)10.2 (H=25)
10PROJ-Tremblay4.5570.40208.312.810.6 (H=25)12.8 (H=38)
10PROJ-Bloom4.0540.40007.811.89.8 (H=22)11.8 (H=33)

James Washington (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3600)

8vs MIA3661.02100002.
9vs IND2744.06900006.910.98.910.9
10PROJ-Dodds2.5370.20004.97.46.2 (H=8)7.4 (H=17)
10PROJ-Tremblay3.0440.20005.68.67.1 (H=11)8.6 (H=23)
10PROJ-Bloom4.0510.20006.310.38.3 (H=14)10.3 (H=31)

Johnny Holton (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

8vs MIA2600.000000000.00.0
9vs IND2210.000000000.00.0
10PROJ-Dodds0.8120.10001.82.62.2 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
10PROJ-Tremblay0.7100.10001.62.32.0 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)

Rams vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+0.9)21 (+1.1)21 (+1.0)21 (+1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+2.2)25 (+4.2)25 (+3.2)25 (+5.0)
6George Kittle6588103010.318.314.321.3
7Austin Hooper505446110.614.612.614.6
8Tyler Eifert60967407.413.410.413.4

Vance McDonald (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3800)

8vs MIA6043.01901.
9vs IND5175.030191411.514.0
10PROJ-Dodds3.3280. (H=8)7.9 (H=18)
10PROJ-Tremblay2.8250. (H=7)7.1 (H=15)
10PROJ-Bloom4.0270. (H=9)8.5 (H=21)

Nick Vannett (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2500)

8vs MIA3221.01501.
9vs IND2610.000000.00.0
10PROJ-Dodds1.0100. (H=1)2.6 (H=4)
10PROJ-Tremblay0.990. (H=1)2.4 (H=3)
10PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Rams vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+0.8)23 (+0.8)24T (+1.4) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-1.6)8 (-1.6)8T (-1.7) (+0.0)
6Robbie Gould2322888.08.0
7Matt Bryant1211446.06.0
8Randy Bullock1111444.04.0

Chris Boswell (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

8vs MIA23339911.011.0
9vs IND4422141416.016.0

Rams vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-0.6)13T (-0.6)10 (-2.0)10 (-2.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-4.7)2 (-4.7)4 (-4.1)4 (-4.1)
6San Francisco 49ers7157401006610.010.0
7Atlanta Falcons373810000000-1.0-1.0
8Cincinnati Bengals2447000000000.00.0

Pittsburgh Steelers (FanDuel: $4100, DraftKings: $2600)

8vs MIA14.0023042200121213.013.0
9vs IND24.0032851211191919.019.0
10PROJ-Dodds24.003742. (H=18)8.2 (H=29)
10PROJ-Tremblay24.503722.51.10.600. (H=20)8.6 (H=31)