Monday Night Football DraftKings Showdown: Steelers at Bengals
Monday Night Football Preview
Steelers -14.5 at Bengals I Over/Under 40
This week we get a one-sided matchup when the Steelers head to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The Steelers come into this one having lost two in a row after starting the year with 12 straight wins. The Bengals come in having lost five straight and are just looking to close out the year without sustaining any more significant injuries. The Steelers should control this game from the start and get back in the win column: all salary and spread information from DraftKings.
HOW THE STEELERS WIN
On paper, the Steelers are the far superior team in this matchup and should be able to take care of the Bengals, but this is the NFL, and anything can happen. The Steelers have to take care of business in this one like they had the first 12 weeks of the season. The air was taken out of the Bengals when they lost Joe Burrow for the year, and at this point, they’re just playing out the string.
HOW THE BENGALS WIN
In the NFL, you never want to say it can’t happen, but this is one of those times where it is improbable that the Bengals walk away with a win in this one. They have played terribly since losing Burrow and are outmatched on both sides of the ball. The Steelers are also among the most formidable defenses in the league and can disrupt the games for opposing quarterbacks. This is a game that could be over by halftime.
Ben Roethlisberger ($11,800)
Big Ben is having one of the best years of his career. He’s got at least one touchdown toss in every game this year and has four games with over 300 passing yards. Unfortunately, he seems to have been bitten by the turnover bug as he has thrown three interceptions in his last two games. The Bengals are allowing 254 passing yards per game and have given up 25 touchdowns on the year. Big Ben has the weapons and the ability to shred this team and put up big numbers.
Ryan Finely ($8,000)
The Bengals are making a quarterback change this week and will go with Ryan Finely. Finely has some NFL experience and has two career touchdowns and four career interceptions. The Steelers allow 226 passing yards and have given up only 19 touchdowns on the year. If the Bengals fall behind, there will be garbage time points, and the Steelers may even pull some of their starters; even in this scenario, Finely is a pass.
James Conner ($6,600), Benny Snell ($6,200)
We are still waiting for reports on whether Conner will play or not; he’s in a great spot if he plays. Snell has had his opportunities this season but didn’t capitalize on any of them and hasn’t impressed much. If Snell is forced into action, it’s nice knowing that the Bengals allow 116 rushing yards per game. The Steelers may run the ball more in this one if they jump out to an early lead, giving this running game a chance for garbage time production.
Gio Bernard ($5,600), Samaje Perine ($1,400), Trayveon Williams ($1,200)
This backfield is a mess without Joe Mixon, and it has gotten worse now that Burrow is out. The running game has a combined 156 rushing yards since Burrow has gone down. Gio Bernard figured to step right in but hasn’t done much of anything with the role and was benched last weekend. Perine and Williams then took over, with Williams out-producing Perine. It doesn’t matter who is lined up in this backfield against this stout Steelers defense as they are allowing just 77 rushing yards per game. It’s wise to avoid this running game if possible this week as they will call continue to struggle.
Chase Claypool ($8,600), Diontae Johnson ($10,200), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($10,000)
The tide has turned for the Pittsburgh receiving core. A few weeks ago, Smith-Schuster was the odd man out, but as of late, he’s proved to be the surest bet out of this group. He’s got 26 targets in the past three games and has snatched 21 balls for 120 yards and two scores. Johnson has seen 32 targets but has caught a case of the drops hauling in just 20 balls. Claypool has only 19 targets and has cooled off considerably after his breakout earlier this year. All of these guys are in play against this Bengals team that allows 159 receiving yards per game. Smith-Schuster is the safest of this group and the best chance to produce.
Tee Higgins ($6,800), Tyler Boyd ($8,400)
The Bengals receivers all took a significant downgrade once Brandon Allen was announced as the starting quarterback and will fall even further in rankings now with Finely taking over this week. Higgins has a bright future in this league and hasn’t been awful with Allen as he’s averaging seven targets a game with five receptions, it’s not setting the world on fire, but it’s consistent enough to contribute. Boyd, on the other hand, has averaged six targets and three catches. Neither of them will light up the scoreboard here, but at least the numbers back up Higgins as being a decent floor play.
Eric Ebron ($6,400)
There’s nothing spectacular about Eric Ebron, but he’s been consistent, and that’s worth noting. He’s had double-digit targets and over 50 yards in two of three games but hasn’t found pay dirt since Week 11. The Bengals have given up a league-high 867 yards to the position and seven touchdowns on the year. Ebron is in a smash spot this week on a team that loves to throw the ball.
Drew Sample ($4,200)
The Bengals have more than enough issues to sort out on offense than to be worried about getting the tight end involved. Sample has been decent at times this year with 40 or more yards in five games and has five games with under 10 yards. The Steelers have given up only 496 and two touchdowns on the year to tight ends. It’s not a good matchup for Sample this week.
Steelers -14.5 I Over 40
- Ben Roethlisberger- Captain
- Steelers Defense
- Eric Ebron
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Tee Higgins
- Trayveon Williams
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Being from New York Nick is loud and opinionated. Known as the Hot-Headed Italian within his circle, his takes are bold, with facts and stats to back them up. While playing across multiple leagues and serving as commissioner of his hometown league for the past 13 years, he's been consumed by football. Being a seasoned player, he's had success in various formats and league setups. When he's not reading or writing about football he can be found spending time with his wife and son.