Starting Week 14 of the action, the 2023 DraftKings showdown slate- New England @Pittsburgh. With both teams going with QBs that haven’t seen much action, and decent defenses, this could be a slow-paced game that ends up being low-scoring. That’s certainly how Vegas sees it, with the O/U set at 30, and the Steelers a 5-point favorite.
DraftKings TNF Showdown 2023 – New England @Pittsburgh Captain Picks
George Pickens ($15,000 Capt/ $10,000 Flex)
Pickens is the playmaker for the team through the air, doesn’t get a huge number of targets generally (gets around 5-6 normally) but is electric with the ball in his hands. The issue is going to be how accurate can Trubisky be throwing the ball and the effectiveness of the Patriots secondary. But, on a slate that doesn’t have too many playmakers, he could have a big game here.
Ezekiel Elliott ($14,100 Capt/ $9,400 Flex)
Elliott gets the chance the lead the Patriots backfield in this one, with Rhamondre Stevenson ruled out with injury. He isn’t the same player he was with Dallas, but he can still make plays. Gets some usage in the passing game too, which helps his floor here. Low-scoring game should lead to plenty of carries for the veteran. If he falls into the endzone, he will smash value here.
Jaylen Warren ($12,000 Capt/ $8,000 Flex)
Warren is a nice cheap CPT play on the slate. Najee Harris has been forced to miss some practice time with an injury, and Warren has shown that he can run the ball effectively and make plays. Although it looks like Harris is going to be able to play in this one, I don’t know if he will be able to shoulder his normal workload. With Trubisky leading the team, we could see more checkdowns and carries as the Steelers look to slow the game down and control the clock.
DraftKings TNF Showdown 2023 – New England @Pittsburgh Flex Picks
Diontae Johnson ($9,800 Flex)
Johnson had a great time in his last showdown appearance, against Tennessee, having his best game of the season with 7 catches for 90 yards and a score. Since then though, he has only reached the 50 yard mark once in 4 games. The Patriots defense can be a tough one to pass against, at the price it feels like it would be tough to hit value here- and a really limited ceiling here.
Mitch Trubisky ($9,200 Flex)
What does Trubisky have to offer? Well, in the 8 games that he has thrown the ball to a meaningful way (at least 12 pass attempts) he has only managed to throw for more than 210 yards once and has never thrown for multiple TDs & had four games where he has failed to score a TD. Granted, he has thrown for a TD in each of the games he has stepped in as the starter this season, but there really is a limited ceiling here and with his struggles with turnovers, a reliable floor.
Bailey Zappe ($9,000 Flex)
Zappe is the starter now in the offense, after the decision was made to move on from Mac Jones. But, it’s like changing the deck chairs on the Titanic. This offense just doesn’t have much about it. Even against the Chargers defense, which has been beaten up through the air and ground all season, the team only managed 141 yards through the air. I’m not holding much hope here for a big game through the air- especially against a Steelers defense that has limited production to QBs.
Najee Harris ($8,400 Flex)
Harris might have some life to him still it seems, with two good performances in his last two games. Has a knee injury that he has struggled with though, but looks like he should be able to play here. Scored 3 TDs in his last 5 games, and had some decent yardage totals too. With both teams looking to slow the game down, Harris is a fine flex play here. With how this game is likely to go, I’m fine with going with Harris and Warren in the same lineup.
Pat Freiermuth ($7,400 Flex)
This season hasn’t been one to remember for Freiermuth. Has only really had one game where he has performed- against the Bengals. And every TE has performed against the Bengals this season. Has struggled with injury, and has been only getting 4-5 targets a game. This price tag really puts me off here, especially with the ability of the Patriots to defend the position.
DeVante Parker ($5,600 Flex)
Parker is questionable going into this game, but he looks like he is going to be ready to go in this one. Going to be the WR1 in the offense, and probably the only Patriots receiver worth considering (maybe the only part of the offense- other than Elliott). There isn’t much to hope for in this offense, but Parker is yet to score a TD this season. With his big-body he has redzone upside (if the team manage to get down there).
Hunter Henry ($5,200 Flex)
Henry is second on the team in TDs through the air, with 3. Two of those game in the opening two games though, so it’s been a lean phase. He does get targets in the offense, normally getting around 4 targets a game. It doesn’t lead to much though, with an average of 9 yards per reception. You need a TD for him to get there- especially against the Steelers who have only allowed 10 DKPts on average to the position.
Juju Smith-Schuster ($3,800 Flex)
Juju is the WR2 in the offense with the injuries that they have. But, with him not performing to the level that he did at the start of his career, and the struggles of the offense as a whole, there isn’t much of a ceiling or floor here. His season best was against Washington, where he caught six passes for 51 yards, but his normal game is maybe two receptions for less than 20 yards.
Dart Throw Plays (Various)
Instead of writing up a line for a few options with their own sections, thought I’d list out a few in one area. Not really worth considering these as core plays, only in multi-entry GPPs:
- Tyquan Thornton (WR, NE) $3,400 Flex – The Patriots receivers group is battered, with Bourne on IR as well as Douglas and Boutte ruled out of this one. Hard to really know what to expect from him with 13 targets on the season, but the ball has to go somewhere and Thornton will be the WR3 for the team as it stands.
- Allen Robinson (WR, PIT) $3,000 Flex – Working as the WR3 in this offense isn’t great. Had a great start to the season, with five catches for 64 yards. Since then though, his best was a 5-catch-29 performance (and there are plenty of games with less than 20 yards). Has a relationship with Trubisky from Chicago, but there really isn’t much to hope for here.
- Ty Montgomery (RB, NE) $2,600 Flex – Not sure why Montgomery has been priced up here. He has played as a RB and a WR in his NFL career, so could see some mixed usage. Has kick return duties too, but far more likely to dud here than hit value.
- Calvin Austin (WR, PIT) $2,400 Flex – Had a boom game in the middle of the season, catching a single 72-yard pass he took to the house, but not really managing to get free otherwise. Trubisky doesn’t have alot of arm talent, and this Steelers offense is far happier to hand the ball off and let their RBs do the work.
- Jalen Reagor (WR, NE) $1,600 Flex – Reagor should see some more snaps here, but really hasn’t seen much work this season. Had 6 targets against Washington, but only managed to catch one and has only caught 3 passes for 33 yards this season. With Zappe throwing the ball, I’m not interested here.
- Mike Gesicki/ Pharaoh Brown (TE, NE) $1,200/ $1,000 Flex – The TE2 role in this offense really isn’t the one to try and grab for production. Brown and Gesicki have only combined for 5 targets in their last 3 games, and the offense isn’t exactly free-scoring. I’d rather just punt to min-price here.
- JaMycal Hasty (RB, NE) $200 Flex – Hasty could be active here, and if he is, I think he will end up being the RB2 for the Patriots. At the price, you really don’t need much from him to hit value. Nice play on the slate that allows you to spend up on the ‘studs’ on the slate.
- Connor Heyward (TE, PIT) $200 Flex – Heyward became an effective receiver in the offense when Freiermuth was on the sidelines. Getting plenty of short targets and receptions, which is fine with DK’s PPR scoring. The min-price is nice. Only needs to get a few receptions and he will hit value here.
DraftKings TNF Showdown 2023 – New England @Pittsburgh Kickers and DSTs
Chris Boswell ($5,400) has ben generally fine when called upon, hitting 22 of his 24 FG attempts. Playing at home gives him an advantage, and in a low-scoring game is definitely worth considering here. Chad Ryland ($4,600) has struggled as part of this offense. It’s not exactly moving the ball effectively, and Ryland has missed 6 of the 18 FG attempts he has had this season, and they aren’t all at long distances either with 2 misses at each 30-39, 40-49 and 50+ yard distances. He could end up scoring well here, but most likely duds.
Steelers DST ($6,600) have been keeping their team in with a chance of victory, keeping the opposition score low week to week, while also getting plenty of sacks (34) and turnovers (27). This Patriots offense is not one to avoid- far from it. They are going to be a popular play on the slate, but this game feels like it’s going to be running the ball and defense. I don’t mind going with both in this game. Patriots DST ($5,000) could end up hitting value here with the pressure they bring, and Trubisky throwing the ball. They have had some decent performances since their bye, conceding just 16 points and getting 6 sacks. Trubisky has struggled with sacks and poor decisions in his career, so they could smash here.
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the 2023 Showdown of New England @Pittsburgh! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Sam Navarro – USA TODAY Sports