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NFL DFS Showdown value plays for Steelers vs. Patriots in Week 14

Chet Gresham takes you through his value picks and approach for the DraftKings Showdown contest for Patriots vs. Steelers in Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season.

Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers T.J. Watt #90 and Alex Highsmith #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate a sack during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium on December 03, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Thursday Night Football is well known for having some bad games, and here is another one! If you aren’t a Steelers or Patriots fan (both looking for a Steelers win), then the only way you can stomach this game is to throw a couple DFS Showdown lineups into the mix.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the value plays available to you in the DraftKings Showdown between the Steelers and Patriots.

Injuries

WR Demario Douglas, WR Kayshon Boutte, and RB Rhamandre Stevenson are out for TNF.

WR DeVante Parker and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster are listed as questionable.

RB Najee Harris is questionable, while QB Kenny Pickett is out.

Update: Harris is expected to play, per Tom Pelissero. Both he and Jaylen Warren have value for fantasy in this matchup.

Value flex options

Devante Parker, WR, Patriots ($5,600)

UPDATE: Parker is INACTIVE. This should boost Hunter Henry, Tyquan Thornton. JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ty Montgomery. And with Jamycal Hasty not active as well, Montgomery should get moresnaps than we thought he might.

Parker and Bailey Zappe have had a good connection in their limited playing time together. Last week, despite scoring no points against the Chargers, Parker saw seven targets and caught four for 64 yards, which led the team.

Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots ($5,200)

Henry led the Patriots tight ends in snaps, routes run and targets last week, while Mike Gesicki was leapfrogged by Pharaoh Brown, who saw no targets. If the Patriots score a receiving TD, there’s a good chance it’s to Henry.

Allen Robinson, WR, Steelers ($3,000)

The Patriots can still take away your No. 1 receiver, as shown by their 2nd-best DVOA ranking against the position. But, they have no qualms giving up work to WR2 and WR3s. Deciding who the No. 1 receiver between Diontae Johnson and George Pickens is tough, but the No. 3 receiver is Robinson and he caught 3-of-4 targets last week. His upside is low, but in a game like this, he could be useful for his low price.

Ty Montgomery, RB, Patriots ($2,600)

Montgomery is a wild card, as he did backup Ezekiel Elliott last week after Rhamondre Stevenson was forced from the game, but his usage this week is tough to predict. Last week he had just one carry on three snaps. It would seem likely that the team would get him more involved this week, as they know Stevenson is out and will have prepared Elliott’s backup for more responsibility.

Punt Play

Connor Heyward, TE, Steelers ($200)

Heyward has seen two targets in each of the last two games. You probably don’t need a punt play for this matchup, but he’d be my choice with the hope he’d grab a short TD. He ran 10 routes to Pat Freiermuth’s 20 last week and had two targets to Freiermuth’s three.

D/ST and Kickers

Steelers D/ST, ($6,600)

The Steelers get to face Bailey Zappe, who has only completed 50% of his passes, thrown no touchdowns, and has been picked off twice. His numbers from 2022 are much better, so he’s probably not quite as bad as he’s been this season, but he’s been bad.

The Steelers D/ST ranks 11th in sacks per game and 10th in interceptions, but only have two defensive touchdowns, which both came in Week 2. The good news is that the Patriots won’t have Stevenson and we know how bad Zappe can be. The Steelers D/ST will likely be highly rostered and for good reason.

Patriots D/ST, Team ($5,000)

Mitch Trubisky hasn’t been as bad as Zappe in his limited playing time this season, but he hasn’t been good either. He threw two interceptions in relief of Pickett against the Jaguars and took two sacks, which shows just how poor he can play when losing. The Patriots D/ST likely won’t be as popular as the Steelers’, but they still have good upside against Trubisky.

Chris Boswell, K, Steelers ($5,400)

The Patriots have two kickers vying for the job on Thursday night, as Chad Ryland has been off, giving Matthew Wright a chance. I’m wary of playing whoever starts there, but I do like Boswell at home. He’s hit double-digit DK points in two of his last four games and the Patriots have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to kickers this season.

Overall Showdown strategy

This is a Showdown where you probably don’t need a punt play, as the most expensive player to roster is WR George Pickens. This game has an over-under of 30 for a reason, as the Steelers have their backup QB, Mitch Trubisky in, while the Patriots benched their starter Mac Jones for Bailey Zappe. Neither have shown much ability to move an offense of late.

That means I’ll likely consider D/STs, kickers, and running backs as my core. Trubisky did tell reporters he would be aggressive downfield, which he probably will be in comparison to Kenny Pickett, but that’s not enough for me to be sold on any of the Steelers passing game. amd could make me lean toward the Patriots D/ST.

Ezekiel Elliott should see the bulk of the work for the Patriots with Rhamondre Stevenson out, and will be rostered a bunch for this matchup. He had 22 looks (carries + targets) last week, while Stevenson had 10 before leaving with his ankle injury. He might not be overly productive, but he’ll get his chances on the ground and in the air.

The Steelers backfield is split between Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, with Harris questionable with a knee injury. Just how questionable is an open question and reports have him probably playing. The injury does make it easier to go with Warren, who has actually seen his role slightly decrease since Matt Canada was let go. Warren is the upside play no matter what, but, if people jump off Harris due to the injury, he has plenty appeal with his lead role and goal line work. Playing both isn’t out of the question.