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NFL DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings - Patriots vs. Steelers TNF Showdown

George Pickens - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Welcome back and happy Thursday, RotoBallers! We have an AFC showdown tonight. About 10 years ago, this prime time matchup would be the cream of the crop in terms of quarterback play. Unfortunately, tonight will be a little bit different as Bailey Zappe and the Patriots (2-10) head to the Steel City to take on Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers (7-5). 

We've been pretty successful so far with these showdown slates in previous years, and hopefully, that trend continues throughout the 2023 season and playoffs. Most of us started our fantasy journeys with football, so it's always nice when it comes around once again. Thanks to the advanced analytics of today, I'll do my best to provide you with as much in-depth analysis as possible regarding positional matchups, etc. to help put some lunch money in your pocket. Let's make some coin this season, gang.

I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Patriots vs. Steelers NFL DFS showdown slate on December 7. These NFL DFS lineup picks can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel. If you have any questions, you can follow me on X @LucidMediaDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with me and other NFL DFS analysts at any time you'd like!

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MVP/Captain Plays

George Pickens - WR, $16,500 (DK), $17,500 (FD)

Key Stats

  • 2023 Stats: 78 targets, 44 receptions, 748 receiving yards, three touchdowns. 
  • Opponent DVOA vs WR2: 8.26%

I'll start things off tonight with George Pickens. Obviously, Pickens may see a small drop in production with Kenny Pickett sidelined with a right ankle sprain. The question is: how much of a drop-off could it be? My model doesn't see much of one, as he projects for 4.59 receptions on 6.4 targets for 66.94 yards and 0.34 touchdowns. I mentioned Pickens over Diontae Johnson the last time the Steelers played in a prime time game. While it burnt me then, I'll run it back tonight as Pickens (marginally) has a better matchup. I will certainly be playing both, though.

Jaylen Warren - RB, $14,700 (DK), $14,500 (FD)

Key Stats

  • 2023 Stats: 102 rushing attempts, 601 rushing yards, 48 targets, 38 receptions, 243 receiving yards, three touchdowns. 
  • Projected Rush DVOA: -14.32%

I'll take a look at Jaylen Warren next, and while I think this is a solid play on both sites, I think this could be a great play on DraftKings. Warren projects to 39.89 yards on 10.3 carries but should get some work in the passing game, projecting to 2.76 receptions and 19.83 receiving yards on 3.27 targets. The Patriots rank 29th in DVOA against running backs in the passing game, and I expect Warren to be a safety blanket for Trubisky in this one.

Other Captains/MVPs: Ezekiel Elliott, Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth, Steelers D/ST

 

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DFS Flex Plays

Ezekiel Elliott - RB, $11,400 (DK), $16,000 (FD)

Key Stats 

  • 2023 Stats: 112 rushing attempts, 429 rushing yards, 31 targets, 24 receptions, 154 receiving yards, two touchdowns. 
  • Projected Rush DVOA: -13.73%

I'll flip the field and take a look at Ezekiel Elliott next. Elliott will be getting the start tonight in the absence of Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle). Zeke projects to tote the rock 14.78 times for 48.83 yards while grabbing 2.34 of his 3.67 targets for another 15.9 yards and 0.43 total touchdowns. It's not much, and I'll certainly tread lightly here. I think Elliott is a solid "floor" play for single entries, but I should note that I won't be "over-exposed" to him tonight.

Pittsburgh Steelers - D/ST, $6,200 (DK), $9,000 (FD)

Key Stats 

  • 2023 Stats: 19.08 points per game allowed, 34 sacks, 12 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns. 

I'll take a look at the Steelers' defense tonight as a solid correlation play to Jaylen Warren. This game has low-scoring written all over it. The Steelers have done a solid job of keeping solid offenses off the scoreboard in 2023, something that contributes heavily to their respectable 7-5 record. They project to a 31.28% pressure rate and a 6.98% sack rate, and I'm fully expecting T.J. Watt to make life miserable for Bailey Zappe tonight.

Other Flex Options: Pat Freiermuth, Mitch Trubisky, Najee Harris

 

DFS Value Plays

New England Patriots - D/ST, $5,600 (DK), $10,000 (FD)

Key Stats

  • 2023 Stats: 19 points per game allowed, 24 sacks, six interceptions, five fumble recoveries. 

Double defense? Double defense. This game is like the poster child for what a lot of people think Thursday Night Football matchups are. Sure, no one would want to sit down and watch Bailey Zappe against Mitch Trubisky. However, if you put money into it, it gets interesting. Nevertheless, the Patriots project a 30.28% pressure rate and a 4.3% sack rate. The fact of the matter is, I can't fade a defense that's playing against Mitch Trubisky.

Chris Boswell - K, $3,200 (DK), $7,000 (FD)

Key Stats

  • 2023 Stats: 22 field goals made, 24 field goals attempted, 16 extra points made, 16 extra points attempted. 

I'll wrap things up with Chris Boswell. Frankly, I'll be pretty shocked if tonight's winning lineup does not have some combination of Chris Boswell, the Steelers' defense, and one of the Steelers running backs in it. It just feels right. I think Pittsburgh has enough talent to creep down the field, but finding the end zone will be a different story. I'll bet on the Steelers to stall on the New England side of the 50-yard-line and send Boswell out to knock down a couple of freebies.

Other Value Plays: Tyquan Thornton, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Enjoy your night and good luck everyone!



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