Daily Fantasy

Thursday Night DFS Showdown Patriots vs. Steelers

George Pickens

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This Thursday Night Showdown is just the showdown we have been waiting for. The New England Patriots are averaging 4.3 points a game. The Pittsburgh Steelers are averaging 12.0 points a game in their last three games. And the quarterback matchup between Bailey Zappe and Mitchell Trubisky is on everyone’s Bingo card for the Thursday Night Showdown, right?

Let’s get right to it.


The weather in Pittsburgh for Thursday night is expected to be 45 degrees, with a nine mph wind and cloudy.


In addition to having a historically low over-under that has gone from 31.5 to 29.5, here are the rest of the lines for the game.

  • Moneyline: New England Patriots +215; Pittsburgh Steelers -275
  • Spread: New England Patriots +6.5 (-125); Pittsburgh -6.5 (+100)
  • Total: 29.5 over (-125); under (+100)


Both FanDuel and DraftKings have a Showdown single-game tournament. This article is specific to the PPR scoring system with bonus points that the DraftKings Showdown slate employs.

In DraftKings, the quarterbacks receive three bonus points for 300+ passing yards. The running backs and wide receivers get three bonus points for accumulating over 100 yards rushing and/or receiving.

The DraftKings Showdown Tournament requires six players to be rostered. The only limitation is that all six players cannot be from the same team. You must roster at least one player from the opposing team.

The Showdown Tournament also has a Captain spot that must be rostered. The player in the Captain spot has his fantasy point total multiplied by 1.5 times. His salary will also be multiplied by 1.5 times.

In the Showdown Tournaments, you can play either single entry or GPP. Which you decide to play will alter your strategy. Single-entry tournaments are closer to a cash game strategy. Meanwhile, with GPP, you get a little weird and play outside the box.


These prop bets are from DraftKings Sportsbook because we are working with two offenses tragically offensively limited in what they can do. So, let’s use our imagination and see what we can do.

DraftKings Special SPG +485 Jaylen Warren Anytime TD Scorer

Diontae Johnson has over 42.5 receiving yards.

Diontae Johnson has over 4.5 receptions.

I’m not crazy about this one, but it feels relatively safe. Warren only has three touchdowns for the season. In their last two games after the bye week, the Patriots have allowed one rushing touchdown in four games. Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Taylor rushed for a touchdown in Week 10.

With Najee Harris recuperating from knee, Warren should get most of the carries. If a score is to be had in this game, he has statistically better odds as he can score on the ground or receiving.

Johnson is a favorite of Trubisky. He is averaging 7.5 targets per game and 52.3 yards per game. Johnson should reach if Trubisky continually peppers him with targets (as expected).

  • Ezekiel Elliott anytime scorer +205

Rhamondre Stevenson is out for the game, leaving Elliott to dominate the backfield. Arizona Cardinals James Conner rushed for two touchdowns on them last week.

  • Both passing props indicate what we expect: friends, it’s not good.

Bailey Zappe over 156.5/under 156.5 passing yards (-115)

Mitchell Trubisky over 181.5/under 181.5 passing yards (-115)

In a game with a historically low over/under, and the Patriots have an implied total of 11.5 and the Steelers 18.5 (no one said there would be math), I am going under on both passing yards.


In a game with such a low implied total, maybe it is time to play GPP multi-entry.

WR, George Pickens, $15,900

WR, Diontae Johnson, $14,700

DST Steelers, $9,900

K, Chris Boswell, $8,100

DST, Patriots, $7,500

TE, Pat Freiermuth, $7,400


WR, Diontae Johnson, $14,700

RB, Ezekiel Elliott, $14,100

QB, Mitchell Trubisky, $13,800

QB, Bailey Zappe, $13,500


WR, Devante Parker, $5,500: Last week, Parker had seven targets, four receptions and 64 yards. Parker is listed as questionable.

TE, Hunter Henry, $5,200: Henry led all the Patriots’ tight ends in snaps (74.9%), routes run (275) and targets (50).

WR, Tyquan Thornton, $3,400: Thornton was on the field for 51 of the 64 snaps last week.

WR, Allen Robinson, $3,000: The Patriots have the second-best DVOA ranking against WR1. Who is WR1 in Pittsburgh, Johnson or Pickens? Either way, Robinson is not, and the Patriots have been more generous to WR2 in the middle.

Last week, Robinson was targeted four times.

RB, Ty Montgomery, $2,600: With no Stevenson and Elliott banged up, Montgomery is RB2.

TE, Connor Heyward, $200: Last week, Heyward ran 10 routes (Freiermuth 20 routes) and had two targets (Freiermuth 3).

More Notes

Because of the low score, running backs and defense will be the core that I go with. The Patriots are trying out two kickers, Matthew Wright and Chad Ryland, so that I will go with neither.

Here is my lineup for the GPP Showdown

Captain: J. Warren, $12,000

Flex: DST Steelers, $6,600

Flex: K, C. Boswell, $5,400

Flex: RB, E. Elliott, $9,400

Flex: TE, H. Henry, $5,200

Flex: QB, Mitchell Trubisky, $9,200


As always, play nice, and good luck.



New England Patriots

    WR Demario Douglas, Concussion
    RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Ankle
    DL Christian Barmore, Shoulder
    LB Chris Board, Back
    WR Kayshon Boutte, Shoulder
    OT Trent Brown, Ankle/Hand
    WR DeVante Parker, Knee
    OL Riley Reiff, Knee
    WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ankle

Pittsburgh Steelers

    QB Kenny Pickett, Ankle
    RB Najee Harris, Knee
    S James Pierre, Shoulder
    DT Keeanu Benton, Oblique
    C Mason Cole, Neck
    LB Elandon Roberts, Groin
    DT Cam Heyward, Not Injury Related – Resting Player / Groin
    G Isaac Seumalo, Shoulder
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