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NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Browns vs Steelers Wild Card Game

Larry Rupp
Diontae Johnson' fantasy outlook points to WR1 production in the Wild Card round.
Diontae Johnson' fantasy outlook points to WR1 production in the Wild Card round. / Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Wild Card round ends with an AFC North battle as the Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers head into this game as 5.5-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL playoff odds.

If you're still looking to get your fantasy football fix, there are plenty of formats available to keep playing throughout the NFL Playoffs. Here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Browns-Steelers showdown.

Austin Hooper Fantasy

Start Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns: Austin Hooper has quickly become one of Baker Mayfield's safest and favorite targets in the passing game. Hooper has scored 3 touchdowns in the last five weeks and saw a career-high 15 targets just two weeks ago. Although the Steelers' defense has been solid at defending opposing tight ends, Hooper has hauled in a combined 9 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown in two games played against them this season. He should see a healthy dose of targets again this week as the Browns will try to pull off an upset. He's worth a start.

Diontae Johnson Fantasy

Start Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson seems to have really rebounded from his midseason slump as he ended the season with three straight games of either 8 catches or 95-plus receiving yards. In his last two games played with Roethlisberger at quarterback, Johnson has seen an insane 27 targets. He also draws a great matchup here as the Browns' defense has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season as well as 20 touchdowns (tied for fifth-most in the NFL). Expect the Steelers to attack through the air, which means Johnson could be in for a big day.

Baker Mayfield Fantasy

Sit Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns: This is just a nightmare matchup for Baker Mayfield. In the two games he has played against the Steelers this season, he has thrown for an average of 157.5 passing yards per game and has just 2 passing touchdowns. Overall, the Steelers have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks all season. If the Browns want to win this game, it may very well come down to how well they are able to rush the ball. Mayfield will likely act as a game manager in this one rather than a pass-first quarterback. It would be smart to avoid him this week.

James Conner Fantasy

Sit James conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: It may seem tough, but sitting James Conner is the best course of action this week. He received just 24 carries over his last three games of the regular season and didn't rush for over 37 yards in any of them. The Browns have defended the run well all season as they are only allowing 110.8 rushing yards per game (No. 9 in the NFL). Conner hasn't played in over 64% of the offensive snaps since Week 11 and seems to still be recovering from certain lingering injuries. He just won't see enough volume to be considered a reliable start this week.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.