If only we could make a showdown lineup completely out of 1 team ...
The Bengals head into tonight’s game with the week’s lowest Vegas-implied point total at 13, and even that seems high.
Cincinnati has finished 2 straight contests with just 7 points -- including last week against a poor Dallas defense -- and 4 of the past 4 weeks with 10 points or fewer. That stretch began with a 36-10 loss at Pittsburgh in Joe Burrow’s final full game of the year.
Since then, though, the Steelers have also struggled to a surprising degree on offense. They have fallen short of 20 points in 3 straight games, most recently managing only 15 points and 224 total yards in last Monday night’s loss at Buffalo.
Pittsburgh has posted less than 70 rushing yards in 3 consecutive outings and 6 of the past 7. So whether James Conner plays through his quad injury tonight might not matter all that much.
The Steelers’ 333 passing yards in the 1st Cincinnati meeting stands as a season high, though. And the Bengals continue to look like a defense ready to allow whatever Pittsburgh feels like trying.
Let’s get to the values ...
Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine pop as values because they each got touches last week and hit tonight with small salaries. Either could help fill the 1-Bengal requirement, though neither is likely to do much. Perine wound up leading last week’s backfield by 1 snap, while Williams led in both carries and targets. Williams and Gio Bernard each saw the bench after fumbles, though.
Tyler Boyd has had solid production over his career vs. Pittsburgh, averaging 4.4 catches and 49 yards per game. That actually included a 5-101-1 receiving line in Week 10 of last year with Ryan Finley behind center. Boyd saw 23% of Cincinnati targets in Finley’s 3 starts last season. He’s not a bad option to try to fit. Of course, it's worth noting that Tee Higgins was still at Clemson then (and A.J. Green was injured).
Consider the Steelers defense as a captain option to help with salary. Pittsburgh registered 4 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 12 DK points in the last Cincinnati meeting (with Burrow) and have delivered 5 larger DK scores on the year -- including 2 since that game.
Watch the inactives before you play Conner. If he sits, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels come into play more. Samuels wound up leading Pittsburgh RBs in snaps last week and claimed all 4 of the RB targets. So he's another option for salary-cap relief, even if Conner plays.
Eric Ebron presents value on both sites but pops even more on FanDuel. He didn’t do much in the 1st meeting -- catching just 2 of 6 targets for 38 yards -- and the Bengals have actually been decent in TE coverage (Football Outsiders rated them 14th entering Week 15). But Ebron has seen steady targets. His 5 end-zone targets for the year isn’t a big number, though. And he has seen just 1 over the past 3 games.