This article is part of our NFL Observations series.
I didn't have anything at stake fantasy-wise Monday night (except virtually locking up a $20 bonus for most points in one league), but I did make the Steelers +3.5 my best bet, and that was the right side all night. I'd be fine with the regular season being over as it should right now, but of course, we still have Week 18.
- Ben Roethlisberger managed 2.7 YPA in his final Heinz Field game, but he looked like he was having fun at least. He'll finish his career next week, fifth all-time in passing yards and eighth in passing touchdowns.
- Najee Harris (28-188-1, 3-3-18-0) finally got some blocking and showed what he could do with it. His run-out-the-clock TD was shades of Emmitt Smith or Terrell Davis, the knife in the back of anyone facing them in fantasy. Harris will be a top-five overall pick next year.
- Diontae Johnson (15-8-31-1) scored a TD, but 31 yards has to be some kind of record low for 15 targets. He could be a second-round fantasy pick next year, depending on the Steelers QB situation.
- Pat Freiermuth (6-5-22-0) is a player. Even on short passes where he was met immediately, he dragged defenders for a few extra yards. He was the rare useful rookie TE, and should be borderline top-five next year.
- Baker Mayfield took nine sacks and threw two picks, but bizarrely looked better to me than he had in recent weeks. His passes had some zip, and he moved better than earlier in the year. His first pick was egregious though as he passed up a wide open target underneath and forced the ball into coverage. Mayfield is a decent QB, but his biggest impediment to being good is not realizing his limitations.
- Nick Chubb (12-58-0, 1-0-0-0) doesn't get enough snaps or touches and is almost never used in the passing game, even with Kareem Hunt out. Are the Browns so sure he can't handle those duties? Is he such a bad pass protector it was too risky to use him in a meaningless game where the team still gave up nine sacks? Chubb's stock fell this year because unless the Browns have a change of heart, his upside is more limited than I thought.
- The Steelers defense showed up big this week after not getting off the plane last week. I count on the motivators like Mike Tomlin in these spots.