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Fantasy Football Picks: Steelers vs. Colts DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Steelers and the Colts with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

I know the AFC South is a particularly awful division, but isn’t it sort of insane that the Indianapolis Colts can still make the playoffs? The team is 4-6-1, yet with the Titans losing on Sunday, the Colts somehow remain alive, despite Jeff Saturday being their head coach and an offense that ranks 31st by DVOA. It isn’t a stretch to say win No. 5 isn’t around the corner, either, as the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of their own terrible campaign.

It’s Monday Night Football. Get excited.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (PIT vs IND)


Captain’s Picks

Jonathan Taylor ($17,100 CP) - While it’s been a disappointing season for Taylor, no one has benefitted more from the team’s swap at head coach. In the two games Taylor’s played with Saturday calling the shots, the running back has averaged 24.5 touches and 22.4 DKFP. In fact, the 22 carries Taylor’s received in each contest are the most he’s seen in a start since all the way back in Week 1. So, in short, volume won’t be an issue on Monday. It is somewhat concerning that Steelers D/ST ($4,400) has been excellent at stopping the run in 2022 — Pittsburgh’s conceded just 67.3 opponent rushing yards per game dating back to Week 8 — but in a matchup that projects to be low-scoring, there’s safety and upside in Taylor’s massive workload.

Kenny Pickett ($14,700 CP) - Speaking of volume, let’s break down the recent performance of Pickett. Though it’s rarely led to anything tangible, the rookie pivot has been asked to do quite a bit since taking over as Pittsburgh’s starting QB. To wit, from Week 5 on, Pickett ranks fifth in the NFL in drop backs with 259, trailing only the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Justin Herbert and Aaron Rodgers. However, thanks primarily to a touchdown rate that is dead-last among qualified quarterbacks by an insane margin (1.3%), Pickett hasn’t been able to translate those opportunities into DKFP. Well, tonight’s as good a night as any to start banking on a little normalization. Plus, Pickett’s ability to scramble and create with his legs gives a slight bump to his ceiling, especially eight days after the Colts surrendered 86 yards and a touchdown to Jalen Hurts.

FLEX Plays

Steelers D/ST ($4,400) - While I do think Matt Ryan ($9,600) gives Indianapolis the best chance to win games, he’s basically a statue in the pocket at this point in his career. Ryan’s complete lack of mobility has come to the forefront with the Colts’ offensive line issues this season, as the unit has allowed an AFC-high 40 sacks. As you might expect, Indianapolis also owns the AFC’s highest adjusted sack rate at a whopping 9.4%. Ryan’s been sacked at least three times in six of his nine starts in 2022. Yikes. This presents obvious problems in a vacuum, but these problems are particularly troublesome when presented with a defense like Pittsburgh. Though the team hasn’t been elite through 10 games, the Steelers have forced a turnover on 12.7% of opponent drives — a top 10 mark in the league. With T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick healthy again, look for the Steelers to wreck some havoc.

Jelani Woods ($1,400) - Woods has not been able to play since Week 9, however the rookie TE does not carry an injury designation into tonight’s tilt with the Steelers. The same can not be said for Kylen Granson ($4,800; illness), who is doubtful. While it’s the veteran Mo Alie-Cox ($3,600) that will likely be the largest beneficiary from a raw snaps perspective, Woods should step into a relatively large role in his return if Granson is unavailable. Obviously, cheap backup tight ends have been a staple of the Showdown format for years, yet Woods is of particular interest. Not only did the third-round pick have a very solid senior season at Virginia, but Woods was a God at the Draft Combine, showcasing his rare combination of size, speed and strength. Woods is also a threat in the red zone, with three of his seven receptions this season going for a touchdown.


Matt Ryan ($9,600) - As mentioned above, I expect this matchup to be low-scoring and relatively tight throughout. That means a neutral script for a team that has thrown the football far less often with Saturday in charge, which also means bad news for Ryan. The veteran is averaging just 12.0 DKFP in the three games he’s thrown fewer than 35 times this season, a figure that includes a 22.7 DKFP outburst against the Raiders, which was mostly the product of an insane 39-yard scramble and Ryan’s lone rushing TD. That’s not exactly a repeatable blueprint for success. For 2022 as a whole, Ryan’s posted a putrid 0.38 DKFP per drop back — the fourth-lowest mark of all QBs who have started at least eight contests. Expect Ryan to play second fiddle to Taylor all night, and to be under quite a bit of pressure.


I really don’t have a lean on this game, other than assuming it’s going to be an atrocity to watch. In situations like this, I would generally recommend taking the points, but simply betting the under might be the better course of action. Also, not to be the bearer of bad news, but every MNF matchup is pretty terrible until Week 17. So, you know, strap in.

Final Score: Indianapolis 17, Pittsburgh 16

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (PIT vs IND)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.