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Monday Night Observations

A couple weeks ago, I couldn't buy a break. Now they're being handed to me like strip-club leaflets on Las Vegas Boulevard.

I had the Dolphins plus 14.5 – thankfully, the refs ruled the lineman's forward progress stopped on the late fumble, so the Steelers got neither a defensive TD nor a potential spread-covering field goal. Moreover, I had Juju Smith-Schuster (JSS) going against James Conner in one matchup and JSS against Dionte Johnson in another. I won both games by three points.

Mason Rudolph is okay, probably worthy of an NFL backup job. He showed something, down 14-0 to a winless team after a bad interception with his career likely on the line. That might sound hyperbolic, but if the Steelers lose at home to the Dolphins and go to 2-5, their season is over, and Rudolph's associated with that failure.

Mike Tomlin also showed faith in Rudolph as he called for downfield throws all game. Say what you want about Tomlin's down-and-distance decision-making skills, but there was no panic in him, down 14-0.

James Conner ran hard through good holes and made some nice cuts – he's a solid back and even better in fantasy, given his workload. But apparently he injured his shoulder in the game and was seen in a sling afterwards.

Diontae Johnson had a nice catch and run at the end of the first half, but JSS reminds me of peak Hines Ward – a stout, strong wideout with great hands and focus. If Rudolph can sustain even decent play, expect JSS to have a big second half.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the perfect quarterback for the Dolphins. He makes 0-7 fun to watch, and he's not terrible.

Mark Walton looked okay before his fumble, but he's just a guy – even if that makes him better than Kalen Ballage.