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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 9 Monday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Bears vs. Steelers

Eric MacPherson

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For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will provide free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 9 Monday Night Football slate featuring the Chicago Bears vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 9 Monday Night Football

Chicago will be without running back Damien Williams (foot) tonight, though David Montgomery (knee) has a chance to return to action for Monday Night Football. Linebacker Khalil Mack (foot) is out, defensive back Eddie Jackson (hamstring) is doubtful, and wide receiver Darnell Mooney (groin) continues to manage his injury, though he is expected to play.

Eric Ebron (ankle) is going to miss another week, and JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) is on the injured reserve. Offensive lineman B.J. Finney (back) is questionable, while the defense is surprisingly healthy.

Chicago Bears: 16 Points

Quarterback

Rookie Justin Fields had a season-high eight red-zone opportunities last week against San Francisco, and he was outstanding on the ground, with 103 yards rushing and a touchdown on 10 carries. Through the air the Bears employed yet another conservative game plan, with Fields attempting only 27 passes and completing 19 for 175 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Across his six starts he has topped 185 yards passing only once (209) and has just three touchdowns against six interceptions.

Running Back

David Montgomery has been out with a hyperextended knee suffered in Week 4 against the Lions. That afternoon he was in the midst of an excellent game, with 23 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. If he is active tonight, consider him a full-go, as there is no reason for the Bears to risk him at this stage in the season. Since Montgomery’s injury, rookie Kahlil Herbert has filled in admirably with four games of at least 72 yards rushing. Damian Williams has been ruled out, so there will be opportunities to go around. In the event Montgomery is not active or not starting, Herbert would become the Bear to target alongside his quarterback.

Wide Receiver

Allen Robinson is in the midst of a lost season, with only 44 targets through eight games. That is just over half of the opportunities he has averaged over his last four healthy seasons. Only twice this season has Robinson had more targets than Darnell Mooney, and one of those games was in the opener with Andy Dalton under center. Marquise Goodwin is good for a couple targets per game, but with the conservative play calling there is just not much to go around, creating an uncertain fantasy environment.

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Tight End

Cole Kmet is third on the team in targets with 36, and he has seen at least four in six of eight games. Jimmy Graham is likely to return after missing two games in the health and safety protocol, but he has seen only three targets on the season. Jesse James had three targets in each of the games that Graham was out and likely has passed him in the pecking order.

Defense/Special Teams

Chicago is averaging a solid 2.7 sacks per game, although they are averaging just one takeaway. Pittsburgh is ceding two sacks per game, and they have suffered only seven turnovers.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 23 Points

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger is at best a game manager in his age-39 season. While he has thrown only four interceptions in seven games, he has lost three of his five fumbles. The passing volume has been there, but it is mostly checkdowns and short throws, culminating in only one 300-yard performance and an anemic eight touchdowns.

Running Back

Rookie Najee Harris has become the focal point of the Pittsburgh offense, and he has seized the opportunity. He has at least 21 touches and a touchdown in each of the last five games; collectively the other running backs are averaging less than two carries and barely half a target per game.

Wide Receiver

Diontae Johnson continues to be the go-to receiver, and he has double-digit targets in five of his six games. Chase Claypool has averaged six targets per game since JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered his shoulder injury. James Washington has been impacted the most by Roethlisberger’s inability to get the ball downfield accurately, and he has only two targets in the last three games and just six total in the five games in which both Johnson and Claypool were healthy.

Tight End

Rookie Pat Freiermuth has been solid, with seven targets in each of his last two games. He is the lead option with Eric Ebron out. Zach Gentry came out of nowhere last week to see five targets, again demonstrating that Roethlisberger is no longer a downfield passer.

Defense/Special Teams

DraftKings has bestowed an appropriate $5,000 salary on the Pittsburgh D/ST. Chicago has allowed the most sacks in the league, and Fields has been sacked four times in each of the last three games. While the Steelers only have six takeaways, they should add a couple to their total tonight.

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Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 9 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Najee Harris: The conservative game plan is going to feature him, resulting in a reasonable expectation of two-dozen touches.
  2. Diontae Johnson: Should see double-digit targets once again and does not need to score to be one of the better fantasy producers tonight.
  3. Justin Fields: Scrambling upside is the wild card, and gamers should embrace the boom/bust nature of his results in the single-game format.
  4. Chris Boswell: Lofty ranking for a kicker, particularly with the tricky winds at Heinz Field, but the salary relief is a necessity.
  5. David Montgomery: If he were not coming off the hyperextended knee injury, he would be second in the rankings despite the tough matchup.
  6. Pat Freiermuth: Should be in the mix for six targets, and he is live for a red-zone touchdown.
  7. Ben Roethlisberger: Still looking for his first 20-fantasy-point game. He has reached this plateau only twice in his last 14 regular-season games.
  8. Pittsburgh D/ST: Reasonable target is 5.5 combined sacks and turnovers tonight.
  9. Darnell Mooney: Dealing with a groin issue for most of the season; still able to play in games.
  10. Chase Claypool: Salary indicates a consistent double-digit fantasy performer, a mark he has sadly reached only twice this season. Pittsburgh tries to get him the ball since he is their most dynamic playmaker, though not with any sort of volume.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Khalil Herbert: Move to Montgomery’s line if Herbert is starting.
  2. Cairo Santos: Made all 11 field goal attempts this season; only three tries from 50-plus in last 24 games and none this year.
  3. Allen Robinson: Such a waste of talent with replacement-level quarterbacks year after year.
  4. Cole Kmet: Will need a touchdown to be a factor; has yet to top 50 yards receiving.
  5. Chicago D/ST: Negative points in their last two games and just one takeaway; risky downside, for sure.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Zach Gentry: Quality punt option with Ebron out again.
  2. Marquise Goodwin: Should see a couple of targets.
  3. Jesse James: Still a better option than Graham.
  4. Ray-Ray McCloud: Returns punts and kickoffs; over/under of 1.5 targets.
  5. James Washington: Would have excelled with the Roethlisberger version of a decade ago.
  6. Jakeem Grant: Returns punts and kickoffs; two targets on the year.
  7. Kalen Ballage: Extreme DraftKings punt if Montgomery is a no-go.
  8. Damiere Byrd, Cody White, Benny Snell, Derek Watt, J.P. Holtz, Anthony McFarland: Week 9 has been wild, so it is not a stretch to think one of these ne’er-do-wells will make an appearance to close out the action.

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Take a look at our NFL inactives, depth charts for NFL games and NFL starting line-ups. View our FanDuel DFS NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS advice for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. We also have NFL DFS showdown projections and single-game ownership projections.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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