Sunday Night Showdown – Week 6 – Seahawks Steelers – DFS Strategy & Picks – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

You can find me on Twitter @DelRayBoston

Tonight’s matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers has two teams with somewhat struggling offenses squaring off against two defenses that have underwhelmed versus their pre-season hype. What I see happening is a first half that favors the grounud game for both teams with just enough passing to keep the defenses honest. The second half however I believe we will see both teams trying to air it out in the hopes of getting a leg up.

The interesting thing to me though is with Russell Wilson out and Geno Smith in, most DFS players seem to be gravitating to the Steelers with running back Najee Harris ($17,700 Captain, $11,800 Flex, $16,500 FD) is looking to be over 50% owned on both sites. This is closely followed by Dionte Johnson ($14,700 Captain, $9,800 Flex, $13,500 FD) on both sites, who should be a target monster tonight against a Seahawks team ranked 28th against Wide Recievers. The interesting thing is that on FanDuel, Alex Collins ($10,200 Captain, $6,800 Flex, $9,500) is your 3rd highest play followed by Chase Claypool ($13,200 Captain, $8,800 Flex, $12,000 FD) and Ben Roethlisberger ($16,500 Captain, $11,000 Flex, $15,000 FD). So all together there isn’t a Steelers’ “Stud” below 31% owned on either site and that should give you an idea on how the public believes this game will go.

Interestingly though, when you look at the Captain/MVP ownership you start to see a lot more variance as on FanDuel you only have Harris, Roethlisberger and Diontae Johnson seeing double digit ownership, which immediately has me interested in playing some Seahawks in the MVP spot for some leverage. Geno Smith ($15,600 Captain, $10,400 Flex, $14,000), DK Metcalf ($15,000 Captain, $10,000 Flex, $13,000 FD), Tyler Lockett ($12,900 Captain, $8,600 Flex, $11,500 FD) and Alex Collins being my leading candidates. On DK you also have Harris and Johnson as your only players seeing double digit ownership in the Captain’s spot… which has me more interested in playing Roethlisberger, Chase Claypool or any of the above Seahawks at Captain. In fact I think my favorite Captain play on DK is Chase Claypool. At roughly 8% ownership in the position and the opportunity to build on his week 5 line of 5-130-1 against a Seattle defense allowing over 300 passing yards per game. Using him here also offsets his 35% Flex ownership and I love the opportunity.

The Steelers:

It is easy to understand why Najee Harris is looking to be the most popular play tonight. First he has seen 99% of all Steelers offensive snaps since week 1 and he has a matchup tonight that he must be drooling over the matchup with the Seahawks who are dead last in the league against running backs and allowing nearly 150 yards on the ground. A popular stack on Draft Kings will be Harris and the Steelers Defense ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 Flex). It actually should surprise you to know that the Steelers Defense is seeing over 20% ownership. With Geno Smith under center for the Hawks and not Russell Wilson, many DFS players are banking on the Steelers Defense, playing at home, to have a great game. I think if I am playing Harris tonight at Captain or MVP, I am going to try and cram as many Seahawks in my lineup as possible since the thought here is that the Steelers just try and grind this game out on the ground.

Last week we saw Diontae Johnson’s targets come way down but not necessarily his production, which goes to remind of his effectiveness in this offense as a deep threat. Meanwhile Chase Claypool saw more than double the targets and catches in a massive performance that we already touched on. While you certainly can double stack both of these players, I don’t know if that will be the right strategy if you are pairing with Big Ben. I prefer to go 50/50 with Roethlisberger – Johneson and Roethlisberger – Claypool stacks in tournaments which can help you save some salary. I think in Single Entry or Cash Games though, both recievers are in play as a double stack. Speaking of Ben Roethlisberger, if you are playing Najee Harris at Captain tonight, I don’t know how much I like including Big Ben in the lineup. By nature using Harris at the top you are saying that he will be the most productive Steeler and that will only limit Big Ben’s potential in the lineup. That is why I would choose to stack Seahawks in Harris led lineups. On the other hand I think if you are using Claypool or Johnson in the top spot, plugging Ben in the Flex makes a ton of sense. However in general, I am a bit down on Ben all together. He just has not looked great and he also has not been very nimble behind the line of scrimmage. Could I see Ben throw 4 touchdowns tonight while giving up 3 interceptions and a fumble – yes I could. So I would just be careful with Ben tonight.

So if you are looking at dart throws on the Steelers side, you actually have quite a few to choose from. This is largely due to the high volume of passing that Big Ben produces every week. Not all Darts are created equal however, with probably my favorite being James Washington ($7,800 Captain, $5,200 Flex, $8,000 FD). With JuJu Smih-Schuster out, I would expect Washington to see an uptick in targets and he has been a long time Big Ben favorite target over the years. I also don’t mind taking a shot on the Tight Ends – Pat Freiermuth ($4,200 Captain, $2,800 Flex, $7,000 FD) and Eric Ebron ($5,100 Captain, $3,400 Flex, $6,000 FD). Neither has really seen immense volume yet this season but as big Red Zone targets, I’ll have them mixed and matched into some lineups. You also have some really cheap recieving options that should see some action again with Smith-Schuster gone. Ray Ray McCloud ($3,000 Captain, $2,000 Flex, $7,000 Flex), Cody White ($300 Captain, $200 Flex, $5,500 FD) and TE Zach Gentry $300 Captain, $200 Flex, $5,500 FD) who each have seen a couple targets and you never know if an end zone target could fall in their hands.

If you are mass multi-entering I also would consider at least one lineup with either Benny Snell ($600 Captain, $400 Flex, $6,000 FD) or Kalen Ballage ($300 Captain, $200 Flex, $5,500 FD) in them. On the off chance that something happens to Najee Harris tonight, you’ll be glad I mentioned them.

And it isn’t that I don’t like the Steelers Defense tonight, it is more that I am not convinced even against Geno Smith that they will outscore any of the players in their similiar price range. I could see the value in using the Steelers’ Kicker Chris Boswell ($6,300 Captain, $4,200 Flex, $9,000 FD) but as always for me Kickers are a DK play only. I can’t pay $9,000 for a kicker when similiar prices exist on skill players that could easily outscore them. Oh yeah and could I see Derek Watt ($300 Captain, $200 Flex, $5,000 FD) the Full Back fall in the endzone at home tonight, yep I could. Only if you are mass multi-entering would I suggest having one lineup with him it though…


There has been an overwhelming consensus that playing DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett together creates negative correlation in your lineups. That has been exemplified this season where the play has been Metcalf more often than not. Based on Geno Smith throwing Metcalf a touchdown in prime time when Smith came in as relief for Russell Wilson, Metcalf is easily the highest owned Seahawk but in a game where we will likely see Smith trying to get the ball out and not make a mistake – I think both Metcalf and Lockett are viable and in Seahawks stacks tonight I will buck the trends and double stack Metcalf and Lockett with Smith.

I think most likely however the Seahawks will try and control the game and the clock with Alex Collins who will start and play RB1 in Chris Carson’s absence. Collins has looked good when he has seen opportunities over the last two weeks. The Steeler’s defense has been ok against the run, but the Seahawks are an elite running team and I believe Collins will see plenty of opportunities. I don’t mind including Collins in stacks with Geno Smith and one of his primary recievers, but I also love him as a run back in Steeler’s stacks. His price especially as a flex on DK is likely too cheap for the opportunity. However I don’t necessarily believe this backfield is ALL Collins. DeeJay Dallas ($900 Captain, $600 Flex, $5,000 FD) looked dynamic last week when he touched the ball and I could see th the Seahawks using Dallas as a change of pace or a third down option. The same role could befall Travis Homer ($1,200 Captain, $800 Flex, $7,500 FD) who is one up on the depth chart from Dallas and we could see him on third downs too.

The biggest concern I always have when a backup QB comes in and starts is how much will that QB be moving through his progressions. So outside of Metcalf and Lockett, I think I am ok with taking a shot on TE Gerald Everett ($6,900 Captain, $4,600 Flex, $6,000 FD) who has been reinstated from the Covid list and will play tonight. He should be at least a big target for Geno to find. To a lesser extent if you are mass multi-entering, don’t forget that Will Dissly ($2,400 Captain, $1,200 Flex, $6,500 FD) will also be out there running routes.

With the backup, I am a bit worried about going deeper than the most likely targets… but I think, uou can take a shot on Freddie Swain ($3,600 Captain, $2,400 Flex, $6,500 FD) if you are mass multi-entering. Swain as the WR3 should have been practicing with the first team with Smith all week. If you are feeling gutsy you can take a deep dart throw on WR Penny Hart ($300 Captain, $200 Flex, $5,500) who is obviously also very cheap.

I also really like Seattle Kicker Jason Meyers ($6,000 Captain, $4,000 Flex, $8,500 FD) tonight as there is a good chance they lean on his leg and don’t even mind paying up for him on FanDuel. I also am going to have at least one lineup with the Seahawks Defense ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 Flex) as the ultimate leverage play over the chalky Steelers lineup.


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