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Fantasy Football Picks: Steelers vs. Dolphins DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Pearce Dietrich gives his top DraftKings NFL Showdown picks for Sunday Night Football.

The Week 7 Sunday Night Football contest features a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins.

Let’s look at this game from a DraftKings NFL Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (PIT vs MIA)


Captain’s Pick

Tua Tagovailoa (CP $16,500)

Is it too early to trust Tua? Miami wouldn’t start him if he wasn’t ready. Well, that might not be true, but they wouldn’t risk it again would they? One has to assume that Tua is 100% and 100% Tua has been very good this season. Against Baltimore he threw for 469 yards and six TDs. How can anyone fade that type of ceiling on a normal slate? How can anyone fade that production on a showdown slate? Who is going to fade Tua to pick Kenny or Mitch? Pittsburgh’s offense is ugly. Why go there? “Game theory,” the nerds scream. That’s not game theory. Heavily playing Steelers is a vote of no confidence in Tua — it’s a bet against his health. Take that bad juju somewhere else.

Both of these defenses have been miserable, but only one offense has proven it can be productive. Miami’s offensive attack has been formidable with three separate quarterbacks starting games this season. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. They are loaded at the skill positions and Mike McDaniel is an offensive guru. The Steelers played well last week, but that’s just one game. Take a look at how bad they have been this season. Pittsburgh’s defense ranks 31st in Passing Yards, 29th in Passing TDs, 23rd in Depth of Target, 31st in Air Yards and 25th in YAC. They’re not blitzing as much as normal (19th), and as a result they’re not getting to the quarterback (30th in Hurry%, 22nd in QB Knockdowns, 20th in Sacks and 29th in Pressure%). This is a really good matchup for Tagovailoa.

FLEX Plays

Chase Claypool ($6,600)

It looks like Kenny Pickett will start on Sunday night despite suffering a concussion last week and the solid play of Mitch Trubisky in relief. It would be nice if the Steelers had a solid QB and decent offensive line, but they don’t. This leaves the Steelers skill-position players on shaky ground. Pittsburgh’s receivers and running backs have talent and they’re in a great matchup, but they can’t do anything without consistent blocking and passing. That’s why Tua — despite his health status — is a much better play. However, someone is bound to go off against this poor Miami defense.

Miami’s defensive numbers are just as bad if not worse than Pittsburgh’s numbers. Miami is 25th in defense DVOA (31st in Pass DVOA). In terms of fantasy points allowed, Miami ranks 30th vs. QB, 20th vs. RB, 27th vs. RB (receiving), 26th vs. WR and 26th vs. TE. And the numbers just get worse — 27th in Passing Yards, 24th in Passing TDs, 19th in Depth of Target, 24th in Air Yards and 28th in YAC. They ARE blitzing (8th), but are not getting to the quarterback, which is worse (28th in Hurry%, 31st in QB Knockdowns, 20th in Sacks and 30th in Pressure%). This is a really good matchup for Chase Claypool or any of the Pittsburgh pass catchers.

Claypool broke out last week, but with the revolving door at quarterback in the Pittsburgh offense, it could be anyone’s day. Rest assured it will be someone’s day. Miami's secondary is a mess. The Dolphins lost three defensive backs in last week’s game. They were already without key cornerback Byron Jones and rookie DB Kader Kohou. It’s open season, but can a Steelers QB consistently complete passes?

Tyreek Hill ($11,200)

He cannot be stopped. Not by good defenses and not by third-string QBs. The freak is going to get his points one way or another. That way should be easy this week. His first-string QB is back and he’s facing a bad defense. The only reason to fade Hill is his hefty price tag, but that’s not good enough of a reason. It’s really a bad idea when you factor in how poorly the Steelers’ offense can perform based on their QB play. If the Steelers’ offense lays an egg, a very real possibility, then all of the points in this showdown contest are coming from Miami, and likely through Hill and Tagovailoa.


Najee Harris ($8,200)

Poor quarterback play could help or hurt Harris, but given the choice, having a good quarterback is always preferred. It’s likely that the Pittsburgh quarterback isn’t very helpful on Sunday night, and the same can be said of the Steelers’ offensive line. This unit is producing 3.5 yards per carry for their running backs (30th). That’s not going to get it done. At the same time, Harris isn’t doing much either. He’s dancing around in the backfield waiting for holes to open up that never do and never will. This happened all last season, and history is repeating itself. If you squint, it’s almost like old Big Ben is leading these perpetual three-and-outs for Pittsburgh. The more things change, the more things stay the same.


Anything can happen when two bad defenses take the field. Some might say that Pittsburgh took a big step towards turning things around last week in their win over the Buccaneers. Don’t overlook the fight in the depleted Miami defense that held the 5-1 Vikings in check. If the Dolphins did not turn the ball over three times and allow a big run in the fourth quarter to Dalvin Cook, then the Dolphins win that game. That being said, the defenses are still bad and only one real offense is taking the field on Sunday night.

Final Score: Miami 27 , Pittsburgh 13

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (PIT vs MIA)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.