We are here to cover the DraftKings Showdown slates for the 2021 season, continuing with Chicago @Pittsburgh. Rounding out Week 9 and bringing us to the halfway point in the year, rookie Justin Fields heads to Heinz Field, to take on Pittsburgh under the lights on MNF. The Steelers are 7-point favourites, with the O/U sitting at a miserable 39.5. This game could be a hell of a snooze fest.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Chicago @Pittsburgh Captain Picks
Najee Harris ($18,600)
Harris has been one of the brightest rookies so far in the league this year and is the clear lead-back on this Steelers’ offence. He’s averaging 98 yards on the ground across his last three games and faces a Bears defence giving up 136.6 rushing yards per game, 7th-worst in the NFL. On the surface, this Bears defence looks solid versus opposing RBs, 25th in terms of DKPTS surrendered to the position. However, a back with 54% of the team’s red zone touches in Harris is just too difficult to pass up. No other player in the league has as big a share of their team’s red zone touches than Harris – with 11 targets and 10 rushing attempts inside the 20.
Diontae Johnson ($16,800)
Johnson has had double-digit targets in 5 of the 6 games he’s played so far this year and looks to have solidified himself as the alpha receiver in terms of target share – with 24% of Roethlisberger’s passes heading his way. He’s only seen 3 red zone targets, but in a PPR-setting, his ceiling his solid with the amount of targets he sees elsewhere on the field.
Darnell Mooney ($9,600)
The Bears’ most targeted wideout this year? None other than Darnell Mooney, the 2020 5th round pick out of Tulane. He’s seen a 24% target share through 8 weeks, compared to Allen Robinson’s 21%, and has a snap count of 75%-plus in all but one game this year. In a matchup Chicago should be playing from behind in, Mooney should see a lot of the field, and offers a nice bit of salary relief. He leads the team in aDOT with 11.4 yards, and similar to Johnson, is solid in PPR scoring.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Chicago @Pittsburgh Flex Picks
Ben Roethlisberger ($10,600)
Big Ben’s best days are clearly behind him, but on a showdown slate like this, both QBs are always in consideration. Whilst Pittsburgh have a moderate implied team total of 23, Roethlisberger has a fairly safe floor on a slate devoid of many big stars. He’s only had one multi-TD game this season, and obviously has zero rushing potential, but has gone for 200+ yards and a TD in all but one game this year. He’s vital in GPPs if you’re playing multiple Pittsburgh pass-catchers, but it’s difficult to imagine him having a huge game, especially with such a low O/U.
Justin Fields ($10,400)
Fields’ NFL career has been a mixed bag so far. Chicago are currently the only team in the league with more rushing yards than passing yards, but Fields has shown some nice flashes, despite an overly conservative gameplan in the passing game. Last year he exploded for 103 yards on the ground with a TD but hasn’t been helped by his woeful O-line. No team has surrendered more sacks this year than Chicago with 30 – good for a rate of 12.6% per passing attempt, also worst in the league. They’ve also thrown a league-low 4 passing TDs (0.5 per game). This Steelers’ passing defence is around league-average, giving up 240 yards through the air per game, but only have 2 interceptions so far, 2nd-lowest in the league. If fields is to have success tonight, he’s going to need to show more of those flashes we saw last week versus San Francisco.
Chase Claypool ($9,000)
Claypool is Pittsburgh’s big-play guy, evident by his team-high aDOT of 11.85 yards. With JuJu on IR, Claypool is the clear WR2 behind Johnson, but his steep price means he probably has to find the endzone here to do well. He doesn’t see anywhere near Johnson’s volume of targets, at 17.99%, but he’s on the field for most of the game, seeing 97% of offensive snaps last week. He’s more of a boom/bust play tonight, but in a potentially low-scoring affair, he only needs that one big play to perhaps be part of the optimal line-up.
Pat Freiermuth ($7,000)
The rookie out of Penn State has seen a nice uptick in playing time since Ebron picked up a hamstring injury prior to Week 8, with a 78% snap count last week. Only Diontae Johnson saw more targets than Freiermuth’s 8 last week in Cleveland, and he also has 3 red zone targets on the year. He could see a similar number tonight, and whilst his price is a bit higher than I would have liked, the mid-range is ugly tonight, with not too many enticing options. Not a cash-game favourite of mine by any means, but the Day 2 tight-end is certainly a red zone threat.
Zach Gentry ($1,800)
Another Steelers TE drawing my attention tonight is the third-year Michigan man Zach Gentry. Ebron’s injury has elevated his playing too. He saw an average of 24% of snaps in the first 6 weeks of the year, compared to 61% last week with no Ebron. He also saw 5 targets. Whilst this Bears team has been solid against the position so far, allowing just 6.7 DKPTS per game, there’s not too much value here tonight to get too excited about, and Gentry offers a nice cheap punt option in GPPs.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Chicago @Pittsburgh Kickers and Defence
Chris Boswell ($3,800) is probably my lean in terms of kicker tonight, as I struggle to see many FG or PAT attempts for Santos and the Bears. Despite his concussion last week, Boswell looks set to go tonight, and offers a great bit of salary relief. Both defences are in play as well tonight, in what looks set to be a low-scoring affair. Pittsburgh ($5,000) certainly has a higher floor and ceiling in terms of raw points. They’re not forcing turnovers at a huge rate but facing a rookie QB always increases the likelihood of turnovers. It’s sacks where they could get a nice little bump. Chicago have surrendered a league-high 30 sacks so far, with 4 in each of their last 3 games. I can’t see T.J. Watt and co. struggling too much tonight. This Bears’ defence ($2,600) is interesting due to its low price. Despite only forcing 7 turnovers on the year, they are managing a nice 2.7 sacks per game. In what could be a low scoring affair too, they make for a nice pivot in GPPS.
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the 2021 Showdown of New York @Indianapolis! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports