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

Happy Thursday, RotoBallers! Week 14 is here! This season has been going by super quickly, but truthfully I've been having a ton of success as well as a ton of fun. We have a rather interesting contest tonight as the Steelers (6-5-1) head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings (5-7). Pittsburgh is looking to keep it rolling after beating divisional rival Baltimore on Sunday, while the Vikings are looking to bounce back after giving Detriot their first win of the season. 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 and the like to help put some lunch money in your pocket. 

In this article I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Thursday Night Football slate on December 9th. These lineups 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 Twitter @LucidMediaDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with me and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like. Let's make some coin this season gang, and let's get right to it!

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DFS Captains/MVPs

Kirk Cousins ($15,600 DK, $16,000 FD)

Key Stats:

  • 2021 Stats: 3,353 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, three interceptions. 
  • Offensive Pass DVOA: 37.2% (3rd)
  • Opposing Defense Pass DVOA: 16.8% (25h)

Kirk Cousins is having a very strong season, as shown by both his stats and the Vikings overall pass DVOA. The most notable factor in tonight's game will be Dalvin Cook's status. If Cook is out I love Cousins as a primary captain/MVP tonight, but he's a solid play regardless and draws a good matchup against the Steelers who are among the worst in the league against the pass. The game script will determine Cousins' upside, but I think the Steelers will keep the game close enough that the Vikings should throw the ball throughout most of the game.

Recommendation: Cash/GPP (DK/FD)

Best Correlations: Justin Jefferson, Diontae Johnson

 

Pat Freiermuth ($9,900 DK, $9,500 FD)

Key Stats:

  • 2021 Stats: 57 targets, 43 receptions, 353 yards, six touchdowns. 
  • 2021 Data: 12.47% target rate, 25% red-zone target rate, 5 end zone targets
  • Individual Matchup (vs Nick Vigil): 12% target per route covered, 88% catch rate, 0.2 fantasy points per route. 

Pat Freiermuth has been a high-upside tight end all season due to his red-zone ability, as shown by his 25% target rate within the 20. Diontae Johnson sucks up a lot of the targets when moving down the field, but Freiermuth still offers a third-down security blanket in a pinch. Tight ends (along with kickers, and we'll get to that) have dominated primetime games all season, and I'm confident enough that Freiermuth will take advantage of the strong matchup tonight that I'll also be betting on his anytime touchdown prop (+210).

Recommendation: Cash (DK), GPP (FD)

Best Correlations: Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins

Other Captain/MVP Plays: Najee Harris, Justin Jefferson, Alexander Mattison (if Cook sits)

 

DFS Flex Plays

Ben Roethlisberger ($9,600 DK, $15,000 FD)

Key Stats:

  • 2021 Stats: 2,758 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, six interceptions.
  • Offensive Pass DVOA: 10% (20th)
  • Opposing Defense Pass DVOA: 5% (13th)

This is more of a FanDuel play than a DraftKings one, and I'm kind of leaning against going insanely heavy on Ben tonight due to his price. However, Minnesota is 25th in points allowed and should allow some movement through the air. He's played relatively better of late, but this play is mostly an optimal play if you're playing cash games. I would avoid him in GPPs and pivot to Diontae Johnson or Najee Harris instead.

Recommendation: Cash (FD)

Best Correlations: Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth, Kirk Cousins

 

Justin Jefferson ($11,000 DK, $13,500 FD)

Key Stats:

  • 2021 Stats: 112 targets, 78 receptions, 1,209 receiving yards, seven touchdowns.
  • 2021 Data: 25.93% target rate, 27.27% red-zone target rate, 10 end zone targets.  
  • Individual Matchup (vs Cameron Sutton): 11% target per route covered, 70% catch rate, 0.19 fantasy points per route. 

It's really so unfortunate as an Eagles fan watching Justin Jefferson ball out while Jalen Reagor is dropping game-winning passes. Nevertheless, I love him here in all matchups. His target rate down the entire field is absolutely insane, and it should increase as Adam Theilen won't be suiting up for Minnesota tonight due to an ankle injury. Look for Jefferson to build on his 11 reception, 182-yard performance from Sunday.

Recommendation: Cash/GPP (DK/FD)

Best Correlations: Kirk Cousins, Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth

Other Flex Plays: Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris, Alexander Mattison (if Dalvin Cook sits)

 

DFS Value Plays

K.J. Osborn ($5,600 DK, $8,000 FD)

Key Stats:

  • 2021 Stats: 54 targets, 35 receptions, 412 receiving yards, three touchdowns. 
  • 2021 Data: 12.5% target rate, 9.09% red-zone target rate, two end zone targets
  • Individual Matchup (vs Arthur Maulet): 11% target per route, 62% catch rate, 0.2 fantasy points per route.

Like Jefferson, Osborn gets a huge boost tonight with Adam Theilen dealing with an ankle injury. Osborn had himself a solid day on Sunday, catching four of seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown. He's been a high-upside player all season as he's been able to break long passes for scores, but he's a must-play for me in all formats tonight with his floor being raised with Theilen out.

Recommendation: Cash/GPP (FD/DK)

Best Correlations: Kirk Cousins, Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson

Greg Joseph ($4,000 DK, $8,500 FD)

Kickers continue to roll in these showdown slates, and tonight should be no different. Joseph is the 7th ranked kicker in all of fantasy football this year, knocking down 24 of 28 field goals and 24 extra points made. I mentioned in a prior article how I usually play more of the kicker from the team I think will win, and Joseph is that guy tonight.

Recommendation: Cash/GPP (FD/DK)

Best Correlations: Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison, Vikings D/ST

Other Value Plays: Tyler Conklin, Chris Boswell

 

Overall Slate Note

This will be an interesting contest, as you don't really know how this game will go. However, these offenses are rather highly-concentrated with their studs and I'll be limiting my player pool to reflect that. The majority of my lineups will have the guys I listed above, with some mixing and matching of guys like James Washington and Dede Westbrook as high-upside GPP darts. Good luck!

Have a good Thursday everyone, see you soon!



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