The final matchup of the penultimate week of NFL action sees an AFC North matchup from Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger looks to be playing his final home game for Pittsburgh, with the Steelers still having an outside shot at making the playoffs. Sunday’s results mean Mayfield and the Browns have been eliminated from playoff contention, but you can bet that they’ll certainly be up for ruining Big Ben’s farewell party on Monday night. Pittsburgh are currently field goal-favourites, with the O/U sitting at a measly 44 points.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Cleveland @Pittsburgh Captain Picks
Nick Chubb ($17,400)
Even with the potential return of Hunt tonight, Chubb should still retain a high level of usage tonight. Chubb currently sits third in the league with 95.3 rushing yards per game and gets to face a Steelers defense surrendering 27.7 DKPTS per game – 6th-worst in the NFL. Only four teams have allowed more than Pittsburgh’s 1808 rushing yards to opposition RBs, and those four have all played an extra game. As the focal point of the Browns’ run-heavy offense, Chubb should get plenty of chances tonight, and could be in for a big game.
Najee Harris ($16,200)
The rookie is undoubtedly the alpha of this Steelers’ backfield and has 100+ all-purpose yards in three of his last four games. Not only is he a workhorse back on the ground, but he’s also averaging 5.8 targets per game, which is ideal in PPR-scoring formats like DraftKings. 14 of his targets have come in the red zone, with only Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth seeing more. I imagine that both sides will be fairly run-heavy tonight, and Harris is always in play with his touchdown-upside.
Ben Roethlisberger ($14,100)
With the emotion of the game, you can’t not at least consider Roethlisberger in this game. Sure, he has dropped off, but the crowd and the whole team are going to be doing everything they can to give him a good send-off. At a minimum, he should be able to better his Week 8 performance against Cleveland where he threw for 266 yards and a TD.
Donovan Peoples-Jones ($7,500)
DPJ is the lowest-priced of Cleveland’s starting WRs tonight and whilst he probably won’t see as many targets as Landry, he provides solid value in the captain spot, especially with his deep-threat ability. He’s certainly more of a boom/bust type of play but has seen 5+ targets in 7 of his last 8 games. With some high-priced guys on this slate, going with a value guy at captain gives you a bit more flexibility with the rest of your line-up.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Cleveland @Pittsburgh Flex Picks
Diontae Johnson ($10,400)
Johnson has seen 26.73% of Pittsburgh’s targets through the air this year, with 62 more than Claypool, who sits second on the team with a 16.24% target share. In PPR scoring Johnson provides a nice floor, but with Big Ben under centre there’s always some worry of just how efficient the passing game may be.
Baker Mayfield ($9,200)
Pittsburgh rank in the bottom-10 in the league in terms of pass DVOA and have a few key names on defense missing. Whilst Cleveland look likely to go run-heavy tonight, QBs are mostly always in play on showdown slates. Mayfield has been solid at protecting the ball, and this Steelers side have struggled to force turnovers this year, with 17 takeaways on the season, the 10th-fewest in the NFL. He’s not going to set the game alight and has topped 250 yards passing just twice this year – but offers a solid floor on a low-scoring slate.
Kareem Hunt ($5,200)
Even if he’s limited coming back from injury, he could still be a solid play at this price. Pittsburgh have been atrocious versus the run, and Hunt could still get a handful of carries. Whilst he’s seen just 17 red zone rushes compared to Chubb’s 20, his 4 TDs from inside the 20 is just one shy of Chubb’s 5. If Hunt does end up missing this one, D’Ernest Johnson ($4,800) becomes a viable play.
Ray-Ray McCloud III ($3,400)
Priced just below the kickers and defenses, McCloud could be a solid value play tonight. The 2018 6th-round pick out of Clemson has seen a steady uptick in targets in recent weeks, with 19 over the past 3 weeks. With an aDOT of just 5.98, he seems to be more suited to Big Ben’s depleting arm strength, so look for him to see a handful of underneath targets again tonight. He also returns punts and kickoffs, giving him another slight boost.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Cleveland @Pittsburgh Defenses and Kickers
In what looks to be quite a low-scoring game, both kickers certainly have the chance to outscore some of the skill players. Heinz Field could see flurries of snow tonight, and Chris Boswell should be well-suited to the more adverse conditions, as he rounds off his seventh season with the Black and Gold. Despite the potential low-scoring nature of tonight’s matchup, neither defense really appeals, mostly due to the declining efficiency of the two, with both sides struggling to create sacks and force turnovers in recent weeks.
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Image Credit: Benny Sieu – USA TODAY Sports