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NFL Showdown can be a fickle beast. These contests do not rely on median projections so much as leverage and uniqueness. Fading the highest-rostered plays can be a risky proposition. Typically, your edge is going to come by identifying the best low-rostered plays and finding clever ways to pair them with the juggernauts of the slate.
This article will have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision-making process is more interesting, given the salary premium attached to the Captain spot. FanDuel's pricing is the same for both MVP and Flex spots. You will usually need the slate's top scorer at MVP, so FanDuel strategy revolves around unique Flex builds.
Advice in this article will pertain predominantly to tournament lineups and strategy. For cash lineups, build around median projections. For head-to-head contests, continue to lean into the median projections, but if two options project closely, give the nod to the lowest rostered player.
It's hard to overstate just how moribund an offensive show we're (likely) in for. It's Mitchell Trubisky vs. Bailey Zappe, heading up the NFL's 28th and 32nd scoring offenses, respectively. They're 26th and 28th in yards per play, as well as 24th and 30th in offensive EPA. Both defenses are stout, and neither quarterback looks able to generate more than one or two scoring drives. Unsurprisingly, Vegas projects a 30-point game that will leave most us of covering our eyes. The Steelers are the nominal favorites, but it feels much shakier than any other 7-5 vs. 2-10 matchup I can recall.
This is the type of Showdown slate that can be swung by a single long touchdown. If you can find a Patriot capable of providing it, keep it to yourself and beat the field.
The Steelers will be without quarterback Kenny Pickett, pushing veteran Mitchell Trubisky back into action. More impactfully, lead back Najee Harris looks to be on the wrong side of questionable with a knee injury. That means big things for Jaylen Warren's projections.
The Patriots also lack their lead runner, as Rhamondre Stevenson could be shut down with a high ankle sprain; he certainly won't play tonight. Slot receiver Demario Douglas, still in the concussion protocol, has also been ruled out.
- Jaylen Warren (regardless of Harris' status)
- Ezekiel Elliott
- George Pickens
- Najee Harris (if active)
- Pat Freiermuth
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