The Steelers started the season 11-0 and lost their last two games to drop to 11-2. With the Chiefs setting a 13-1 pace at the top of the AFC, the Steelers are going to have to win in Week 15 to follow them, and they should have a chance of doing so against the Bengals. Cincinnati have fallen to 2-10-1 this year and are in their third quarter after losing Joe Burrow to a torn ACL and Brandon Allen to a knee injury. They’ll seek revenge on the Steelers for a 36-10 blowout earlier in the season, but can a Christmas miracle come sooner? Our lineup choices for a single FanDuel match suggest that we don’t think there’s much of a chance the Bengals will remain competitive in this one.
We use four members of the Steelers and a Bengal in this lineup – it’s the heaviest we can do. We wanted to be exposed to all aspects of the Steelers’ offense, as defenses are not a playable option in single game rosters, so we take a balanced approach. We have a QB, RB, WR and TE from the Steelers and we get it back on track with the Bengals WR who we think has the most advantages. We spent on a few better Steelers, but despite that, only one of our picks fell below the $ 10,000 price bracket. To gain further differentiation and improvement of the lineup, we are riding a WR as a semi-contrarian MVP choice.
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Picks for a single FanDuel match: Bengals vs Steelers
MVP (1.5x points): JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers ($ 14,000)
The Steelers have the fifth highest passing percentage in the NFL, so whenever they play it’s imperative to use Ben Roethlisberger or one of their receiving options as captain. This week, Smith-Schuster looks like a good choice. He has seen 26 targets in his last three games and has caught at least six assists in each game during that time while scoring twice. With some of his teammates having faced crashes in recent weeks, Smith-Schuster and his 78.2% catch rate (best over the Steelers) should see plenty of goals and could be the focal point of the attack. Pittsburgh. We will ride with him as the team’s most consistent receiver and to achieve roster differentiation from Ben Roethlisberger, who is probably the most played MVP in FanDuel contests.
FLEX: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers ($ 16,000)
We don’t play Roethlisberger at MVP, but we’re still going to play him. Roethlisberger hasn’t totaled more than 19.2 FanDuel points in the Steelers’ last four games, but he’s thrown two touchdowns in all but one of those games while attempting at least 37 passes. The volume should be there for Roethlisberger, and the last time he faced the Bengals he posted his best days of the year – a 333 yard, four touchdown outing in which he missed just under 30 points. FanDuel. Roethlisberger should do well again in this game, so we’re going to roll with him and hope he and Smith-Schuster can connect for a few touchdowns in this one.
FLEX: James Conner, Steelers ($ 11,000)
Conner (quad) is questionable for this game, so if he’s absent, the obvious pivot here would be Benny Snell. Either way, it’s a good game for the Pittsburgh RBs. The Bengals have surrendered the sixth-most rushing yards to the RBs this season, and while the Steelers haven’t run the ball well lately, they should be able to find at least some success given the Bengals. Conner is certainly a risk, but given his strong TD potential and low potential due to recent fights and injury designation, he’s worth including in this roster. And again, if he ends up missing the game, we can just turn to Snell and have the same high TD, just at a lower price.
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FLEX: Tee Higgins, Bengals ($ 10,000)
Higgins has slowed down considerably since breaking Burrow’s season-ending ACL, but he’s still producing. In three full games without Burrow, Higgins recorded seven targets, five catches and 49.7 yards per game for the Bengals while scoring once. The Steelers sit in the middle of the pack against the WRs and have surrendered 16 touchdowns to position, which is tied for sixth in the NFL, so Higgins should have a shot at producing in this contest. Either way, we need a Bengal in our roster, and Higgins had seven catches, 115 yards and one touchdown in his last game against the Steelers, so he’s the safest bet to come up with, even with Ryan Finley in the QB lineup.
FLEX: Eric Ebron, Steelers ($ 8,500)
Ebron is a potential boom game in the range of $ 10,000. The Bengals have allowed the third-highest TE yards this year (867) and are one of three NFL teams allowing more than 10 fantasy points per game for position. Ebron has averaged 8.5 targets, five catches and 47 yards over his last four games, so he should continue to see a lot of Roethlisberger’s targets in a favorable game. Between Ebron and Smith-Schuster, our opportunities to double the points are staggering, which improves the ceiling of this lineup.