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DFS Showdown Tips: Seahawks-Steelers

By Matt Schauf 5:35pm EDT 10/17/21


This week’s Sunday Night Football matchup features so much offensive firepower that neither site has a QB as the top-priced player.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel have Najee Harris as the most expensive option for the showdown slate. And it makes sense. He’s outsourcing Ben Roethlisberger by 5.8 points per game for the year on DK and 3.84 points per game on FD.

Harris’ high owned rate, though, might make him not even the most interesting RB on the slate. We’ll get to that with the value charts below.

Of course, the biggest story in tonight’s game will be Seattle starting without Russell Wilson for the 1st time since he entered the league in 2012. Geno Smith will take his place, logging his 1st NFL start in nearly 4 years.

What can we expect from the 31-year-old one-time 2nd-round pick of the Jets?


DraftKings


Smith spent 2013 and nearly all of 2014 as the Jets’ starter. He has started just 2 games since then: 1 for the 2016 Jets, and another -- famously -- for the 2017 Giants. That game, of course, found HC Ben McAdoo electing to end the starting streak of Giants darling Eli Manning -- then going back to the vet a week later.

Smith attempted just 8 passes in that final Jets start before leaving early. He went 21-of-34 passing for 212 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in his lone Giants start; adding 13 yards on the ground.

Last week found Smith performing decently in relief after Wilson’s finger injury. He completed 10 of 17 throws (58.8%) for 1 TD, with 1 INT, and gaining 23 yards on 3 rushing attempts. The aging QB can still run, which is where he could offer surprise production at Pittsburgh. Having D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as his top 2 wideouts can’t hurt either. It’s worth mentioning that Pittsburgh gets starting CB Cameron Sutton back after he missed last week’s game against Denver.

We’re obviously not projecting big numbers for Smith in this contest. But his legs plus his WRs plus Ben Roethlisberger’s deteriorating body just might equal a higher fantasy ceiling for the Seattle fill-in QB.

You’ll notice that the chart above opens with a pair of Seahawks RBs not named Alex Collins. With Chris Carson out again (and now on IR), Collins certainly figures to lead the backfield in touches again. And he might dominate in that area. But there’s also room for Travis Homer or DeeJay Dallas to steal touches. Dallas played 6 more snaps than Homer in Week 5, including a 9-5 edge in pass routes. Homer, though, has played 49 snaps to 18 for the year and run 21 more total routes.

Any production you can squeeze from either will feel like stealing at their sub-$1K salaries.

One other player worth mentioning is Steelers WR Ray-Ray McCloud. We didn’t project him for the week, because we’re betting McCloud slips to 4th among Pittsburgh WRs with James Washington back. But there’s a chance he keeps similar playing time. His $2,000 salary is still cheap enough to keep such an iffy player in consideration.


FanDuel


The fringe Seattle RBs aren’t priced low enough to matter nearly as much over here. Smith tops the value chart by virtue of trailing Roethlisberger in salary with their fantasy projections close.

Seahawks WR Freddie Swain looks like the sneakiest option in play here, unless you want to take a shot on 1 of Seattle’s TEs. Last time Gerald Everett and Will Dissly shared a field (Week 3), Everett ran 27 pass routes to Dissly’s 9.

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