Monday Night Football DFS/DraftKings lineup advice for Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger drops back to pass during win over Bengals
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Ricky Dimon

NFL · 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

You may be out—or on the way out—of your fantasy football playoffs (*raises hand!*), but it’s not too late to try your hand at daily fantasy. The last such option for Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season comes in the form of this Monday Night Football showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh needs a win if it wants to stay within striking distance of the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while Cincinnati is playing for nothing more than pride.

Let’s take a look at our six-man lineup for Monday Night Football, and be sure to check out our full game preview prediction on the side and total.

Captain: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers ($11,800, or $17,700 as captain)

The Steelers are two-touchdown favorites even though the total is set at a mere 40—the lowest in all of Week 15. In other words, Cincinnati is not expected to score many points in this one…and we agree with that sentiment. Although that doesn’t mean you have to avoid every Bengals player like the plague, your DFS roster has to be Pitt-heavy. It should be led by Roethlisberger, who is facing a Cincy pass defense that ranks 23rd in the league in that department and has surrendered 25 touchdowns through the air while making only nine interceptions.

Flex: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers ($10,000)

If Roethlisberger has a big day, it stands to reason that some of his receivers will also put up some sizable numbers. Smith-Schuster should be one of the beneficiaries. He has been targeted 44 times over the past five games, has made at least six catches in seven of the past eight, and has found the endzone in four of the past six. In the previous matchup with Cincinnati on Nov. 15 (a 36-10 romp for Pittsburgh), Smith-Schuster caught nine of 13 targets for 77 yards and a score.

Flex: Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers ($8,600)

Claypool is a boom-or-bust kind of performer, which isn’t a bad thing in daily fantasy. If you want to win big, high-risk/high-reward guys are worth a shot. Claypool delivered a three-touchdown game earlier this year against Philadelphia and he scored four TDs during a four-game stretch in November. The rookie out of Notre Dame has cooled off of late, but there is no reason why he can’t get back on track—especially against Cincinnati. In the previous head-to-head meeting, Claypool caught four of 10 targets for 56 yards and two touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium.

Flex: Benny Snell Jr., RB, Steelers ($6,200)

Snell is also a risky play, but one that could pay off big-time. Pittsburgh starting RB James Conner is questionable with a quadriceps injury, and obviously Snell’s value would increase massively if Conner can’t go. When he was RB1 against Baltimore last month, the former Kentucky standout rushed 16 times for 60 yards and had three receptions for 33 yards. Why not roll the dice here?

Flex: Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals ($5,600)

The Bengals’ defense stinks, so their best chance of containing the Steelers is by keeping them off the field. How can the home team accomplish that feat? By running the football and keeping the clock moving, of course. Cincinnati has all the more reason to do that because third-string quarterback Ryan Finley is starting on Monday night and Pittsburgh ranks second in the NFL against the pass. It’s pretty obvious that the Bengals’ air attack will be anemic. Bernard will have to shoulder the load.

Flex: Trayveon Williams, RB, Bengals ($1,200)

None of that is to say that the Steelers struggle against the run; they just aren’t as dominant as they are against the pass. They allow 4.2 yards per carry, which ranks them outside the top 10 in that category. Cincy will have to keep the ball on the ground so often that there could be enough carries to go around for two—not just for Bernard. Williams rushed 12 times for 49 yards last weekend against Dallas and also caught all three of his targets.

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