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NFL Nation Fantasy Update – What to expect from Justin Fields, Pat Freiermuth

It’s hard to believe we are through 10 weeks of the NFL season, and of course there is plenty to digest and discuss in fantasy football as we head into the weekend of games following the Baltimore Ravens’ 34-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.

Each Tuesday and Saturday during the season, ESPN fantasy analyst Eric Moody will ask our NFL Nation reporters the most pressing questions heading into the weekend and what to make of the fallout after games are played. Who is primed for a big performance, who is impacted by injuries and what roles might change? Here’s what our crew had to say about some of the biggest storylines heading into Week 11.

Should fantasy managers feel comfortable playing Justin Fields in his first game back against the Lions?

Fields carries no injury designation and will be full go against the Lions, likely with only a taped right thumb. This is the longest stretch of games the quarterback says he has missed dating back to high school, and it’s clear the 24-year-old is chomping at the bit to get back under center. Before he got injured, Fields was one of the league’s best deep-ball throwers, completing 13 of 26 pass attempts of 20 or more yards for 332 yards, 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s natural to expect Fields might have to knock off some rust as a passer after missing Chicago’s past four games, but fantasy managers should feel good knowing how much of a threat the quarterback can be with his legs and the issues Detroit’s defense had containing another running QB — Lamar Jackson — earlier this season. — Courtney Cronin

Do you expect Tyjae Spears to continue to get more work with Derrick Henry struggling?

Spears is averaging 11.6 touches per game. The rookie back will continue to get more touches because of the offensive line struggles that result in the Titans consistently being behind the chains. Henry only has 20 or more carries in three out of nine games this season, so it’s clear Spears has cut into his workload. The Titans have moved toward more of a passing offense this season under offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. They’re throwing the ball 30.2 times per game this season, an increase just short of four attempts from last year. That bodes well for Spears, especially on third downs, where his pass-catching ability makes him Tennessee’s best option at running back. — Turron Davenport

What can we expect from the Browns’ skill position players now that Deshaun Watson is out for the season?

Potentially, not much different from what we’ve seen. Remember, Watson missed four games this year with the shoulder cuff strain before the latest shoulder injury, a fracture, ended his season. The Browns will still find a way to get wideout Amari Cooper the ball. Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt will remain viable fantasy running backs (Ford because of the yards, Hunt because of the short-yardage touchdowns). Tight end David Njoku is capable of big games but isn’t consistently targeted. Beyond that, there’s not much there to utilize in fantasy. But for Cleveland, that’s nothing new. — Jake Trotter

How will the return of Pat Freiermuth impact the Steelers’ passing game?

Even before his injury, Freiermuth was less involved in the Steelers’ offense than he was a year ago. In 2022, Freiermuth averaged more than six targets per game. In four games this season, Freiermuth was targeted four times in three games and just once in the Week 2 win against the Browns. While Freiermuth, who has two touchdowns, should be a boost to the red zone offense, his inclusion isn’t going to drastically change an offense that appears allergic to throwing to the middle of the field. — Brooke Pryor

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