You can find me on Twitter @DelRayBoston
I am not going to say this Monday Night Football Game is just for pride because with a win here and a huge boat load of luck based on next week’s AFC games, the winner tonight has a slim chance of sneaking into the playoffs … but really, tonight’s game is all about pride. That being said a division rivalry will rekindle the cold air so let’s get into it.
For Captains from the Cleveland Browns I am willing to go kinda deep. My top two are Nick Chubb ($17,400) and Kareem Hunt ($8,100) if he plays. It’s simple here, the Steelers have been run on all season and rank 27th against Running Backs and the Browns will run first every time … even in negative game scripts. Usage + Matchup = Captains in my book. If Hunt doesn’t play, I’d take a shot on D’Ernest Johnson ($7,200) in his place. Chubb is looking to be 45%+ owned while Hunt is roughly 34% owned so both are chalk but I just think the Usage and Matchup are too strong to ignore.
Past the Running Backs I get a bit concerned. Baker Mayfield ($13,800) is the second highest owned Brown behind Chubb but he has literally scored over 20 Fantasy Points only ONCE all season. Too pricey and risky for me at Captain. I’m more inclined to look at his receivers, namely Donovan Peoples-Jones ($7,500) first for his down the field big play ability and Jarvis Landry ($12,600) for the volume he will likely see when Baker drops back. DPJ may be an all or nothing type play but I really like the price too.
While this game is in Pittsburgh and Big Ben plays better at home than on the road, I also like the Cleveland DST ($6,600) at Captain if you are mass multi-entering. Since Week 9 the Browns DST have had 3 Double Digit Fantasy performances including two back to back matchups with Baltimore. If we get another “Broken” Ben game, I like the contrarian play of the defense at Captain. Additonally if you are mass multi entering, take a shot with the Kicker Chase McLaughlin ($3,800) at Captain as I think this is going to be a lower scoring game than expected.
I’ll use Baker in Stacks with the Receivers in the Flex but I am just not sold on if you will need him in your lineup to win. He has just not been great at Fantasy this season. A few Browns dart throws to mention first are the Tight Ends Austin Hooper $5,200 Flex, David Njoku $4,200 Flex and Harrison Bryant $5,000 Flex. The Steelers have been pretty solid against Tight Ends this season but Baker looks their way often enough to warrant consideration. Same goes for Rashard Higgins $5,600 Flex. I like Peoples-Jones more for the big play but Higgins will be out there in 3 wide receiver sets and especially if Landry sees a lot of double coverage, Higgins could be in store for a busy night. You can also take a deep dart throw on WR Anthony Schwartz $1,400 Flex, who reportedly will see an uptick in snaps and potentially usage. He is a 3rd Round Pick after all and the Browns are mostly playing for Pride.
Last thing I will mention is even if Hunt plays, there is no guarantee he gets a full allotment of his normal snaps. So I’d suggest if you are mass multi-entering, a lineup with D’Ernest Johnson $4,800 in the Flex (if Hunt isn’t in the lineup already) would be smart. A Deep Dart throw on Demetric Felton at $200 in the flex isn’t a bad idea either. If Hunt is out by the way, Johnson becomes a much stronger play in Flex and Felton goes from Deep Dart throw to Dart Throw and a cheap one at that.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
Here’s the thing … if we were talking early season Ben Roethlisberger ($14,100 Captain) I’d stay away like I am Baker at Captain. But back half of the year Ben in potentially his final appearance on Monday Night Football and likely his last home game of his career … yeah I have a lot of interest here. 34% ownership be damned, 8 times this season Ben has finished with 14 fantasy points or higher, 5 of which came at Home. If this is Ben’s swan song, I’ll take my chances.
Outside of Ben his receivers have the most appeal to me. Diontae Johnson $15,600, Pat Freiermuth $9,900 and Chase Claypool $10,800. Johnson is near guaranteed 9 targets per game and with the Browns a bit dinged up in the secondary, the target share and likely catch % is too hard to ignore. Freiermuth over Claypool – yessir, the Browns haven’t stopped a Tight End yet ranked 24th against the position and I love Freiermuth’s TD Upside too. Claypool is the big play threat and if Ben wants to put on a show on his way out, he’ll look Claypool’s way often #Analysis
Much like the Browns, I think the Steelers DST ($6,900) at home is viable for the Captain Slot. Coming off of an absolutely putrid showing against Kansas City and likely full of piss and vinegar with this potentially being Big Ben’s last stand on offense, I think they are ready to tee off on Baker. Additionally kicker Chris Boswell ($6,000) is viable at Captain, if you are mass multi-entering. I really do think this will be a lower scoring game than I think a lot of people are assuming.
I am not going to say Najee Harris is a dart throw but I am not high on him tonight at Captain. I am ok with him in the Flex at $10,800 because the volume will certainly be there but the Browns have been stingy on running backs and have been allowing a hair over 100 yards per game all together on the ground. Harris is a fine flex play, but I will stay away at Captain.
Dart throw wise on the Steelers, my favorites are Ray Ray McCloud $3,400 and James Washington $2,200. McCloud has been more involved in the passing game of late and stacking him with the Steelers DST is a sneaky way for double points if he happens to run a kick back. Washington has been a long time trusted and favorite target of Ben and if this is indeed the Swan Song I could see Ben sending a couple nice bombs his way to say goodbye to his buddy. I’ll also throw in TE2 Zach Gentry $800 who also has seen a bit of an uptick in usage, partially due to Freiermuth’s absences but on 2 TE sets, he will be the 2TE running a route and you never know. Another deep dart is WR5 Cody White who saw 3 targets against KC last time out. White is $400 in the flex
Believe it or not I also don’t mind deep dart throws at Benny Snell $1,000 Flex and an even deeper dart throw on Kalen Ballage $200 Flex. Both guys will act as change of pace options behind Harris but anything can happen and sometimes in games like these a right place, right time touchdown on a low owned cheap player in your lineup is the difference between cashing and not cashing.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!