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NFL Prime Time Games: Showdown Week 8 Monday Night Football (FREE)

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EMac has your NFL Thursday Night Football, Showdown Slate NFL DFS Picks DraftKings & FanDuel: TNF Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns.

Greetings Gamers! Welcome to the Awesemo NFL DFS Single Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights, we will be providing a free analysis for the single-slate action. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments for all your daily fantasy needs. Let’s dig into some MNF NFL DFS Picks for your Showdown slate tonight between the Steelers and Dolphins.

Tune into NFL Monday Night Showdown Picks on Tonight at 7:30pm ET as Your Ol’ Pal EMac and Nolan Kelly break down Monday’s game for Showdown formats.

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Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers -14.0 / 43.5

A team that is unabashedly tanking and a team starting a rookie quarterback.

Miami Dolphins 14.75 implied points

Quarterback

Things are looking up with the Dolphins getting 14.75 implied points. That is just over a field goal more than what they have actually produced per game this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is under center once again with Josh Rosen relegated to clipboard duty. It won’t make that much of a difference, but at least there is a chance that Miami can move the ball.

Running Back

It should not be a surprise that Kenyan Drake was traded as he did not make the trip with the team. That means we should see Mark Walton and Kalen Ballage getting most of the work. Remember back during the preseason when Ballage was reportedly getting the work over Drake? Oh how long ago that seems now.

Hopefully you were able to tune into Live Before Lock last night and get Walton onto your Sunday/Monday Prime Time lineups as he is not going to surprise anyone building rosters today. He was a fourth-rounder out of Miami who was selected by the Bengals in 2018, but he saw just 19 touches in 14 games.

For his price tag and workload, it is almost like our lineups should be preloaded with him today. That, of course, makes Ballage interesting as a pivot because anything can happen in an NFL game.

Wide Receiver

Things are going to be tough for the passing game as Pittsburgh has the third-best adjusted sack rate this season. They have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over their last four games and nobody has topped 100 yards receiving.

Preston Williams is the most intriguing option as the leadership still seems to hate DeVante Parker. Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson are healthy, but they will need to luck into a touchdown to have any impact on tonight’s action.

PlayerGPSnapsSnap %RoutesTrgtsRecptsRec YdsTDs
Preston Williams WR63088019944233141
DeVante Parker WR63368723138182843
Kenyan Drake RB62115512233221740
Mike Gesicki TE62025214822131430
Allen Hurns WR512131931181100
Mark Walton RB5972540119580
Jakeem Grant WR51433794199520
Albert Wilson WR3521432128500
Nick O'Leary TE6124323844370
Kalen Ballage RB6832235103290
Durham Smythe TE6178464431240
Isaiah Ford WR3287195290
Total6385 Team21412012844

Tight End

Mike Gesicki is not particularly inspiring and last Week’s four receptions for 41 yards was arguably his best outing of the year.

Defense/Special Teams

Despite a quarterback carousel, Pittsburgh has allowed just five sacks, five interceptions and three fumbles.

Pittsburgh Steelers 28.75 implied points

Quarterback

For some perspective, rookie Mason Rudolph actually checks in as the QB15-20 in most projection systems. He threw for two scores in three of his four games and at least this should be a cake matchup. Miami has the lowest DVOA against the run, pass and overall. They are also allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers this season.

Unless Jaylen Samuels is healthy and taking wildcat snaps, it would seem like Rudolph should approach 250 passing yards.

Running Back

Jaylen Samuels is a game time decision, though it would seem unlikely that Pittsburgh pushes him back unless he is truly ready. James Conner is lining up to be the most popular option of the night with good reason. He contributes in all facets of the game and the Fins are b-a-d BAD on defense. #Analysis

Wide Receiver

If JuJu Smith-Schuster is double-teamed by two bad defensive backs, will it even matter? It would be a stretch to pencil him in for 100 yards, but he should at least be a threat for five receptions and 70 yards. Plus, he can score from anywhere on the field. Diontae Johnson is the next viable option and Ryan Switzer is a complete wildcard.

PlayerGPSnapsSnap %RoutesTrgtsRecptsRec YdsTDs
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR63118718338253402
James Conner RB6215609627262312
Diontae Johnson WR62286413731202122
James Washington WR5197551262191400
Vance McDonald TE51925411017141272
Jaylen Samuels RB510128611513830
Nick Vannett TE3111318743330
Ryan Switzer WR6671955118270
Donte Moncrief WR4972764134180
Benny Snell Jr. RB641111021140
Johnny Holton WR67120345040
Xavier Grimble TE36017273130
Total6357 Team19012412328

Tight End

Vance McDonald is healthy and will be the TE1 with Nick Vannett around if anything should befall him.

Defense/Special Teams

Shout out to the Miami offensive line; last week, they allowed just one sack. That was their first game with fewer than three and they came in with 23 sacks allowed in five games. They are also allowing two turnovers per game, so the Steel Curtain is a live option.

Monday NFL DFS Strategy

The core build on both DraftKings and FanDuel is going to be centered around Conner. DraftKings did a good job pricing him up and it is tricky to use him as the Captain. FanDuel does not have the 1.5x salary premium and while he is the most expensive option, there is more wiggle room.

Single Game Ranking (taking into account projected production, pricing and popularity)

Notable Inactives: Jaylen Samuels, Paxton Lynch, Zach Gentry, Isaiah Ford

NFL DFS Top 10

  1. James Conneras mentioned in the strategy section above, he is appropriately priced tonight.
  2. Matt Walton: a better deal on DraftKings, but fully doable on FanDuel. He should be Miami’s top scorer.
  3. Mason Rudolphthis will be his easiest matchup all season. He will be in contention as the top overall scorer tonight.
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick: similar to the strategy with Matt Moore last night, this consolidates all of the aerial production.
  5. JuJu Smith-Schuster: from a talent and game-breaking perspective, he goes right here. Harder to work him in with Conner, but not impossible.
  6. Preston Williams: seems to be the best all-around receiving option for the Dolphins. Also returns punts.
  7. Jaylen Samuels: if he is playing, we should assume full health.
  8. Pittsburgh D/ST: before you ask, yes, you can use them in the Captain/MVP slot.
  9. Chris Boswell: he should get several attempts, let’s hope a few are field goals and not just PATs.
  10. Kalen Ballagedramatic salary relief on DraftKings, adequately priced on FanDuel for his mediocre involvement. That could change on a dime though.

NFL DFS Secondary Plays

  1. DeVante Parkerone would think he makes a fine trade chip and the Miami leadership loathes him, yet here we are…
  2. Jason SandersMiami’s rookie kicker, Heinz Field can be a tricky place for field goals.
  3. Diontae Johnsonhe is the WR2 in a system that no longer rewards one.
  4. Vance McDonaldwe need a touchdown for him to be relevant, Rudolph does not give him the same volume as Ben Roethlisberger.
  5. Albert Wilson and Allen Hurnsit just takes one long pass to pay off.
  6. Miami D/ST: keep in mind that the most you can lose for points allowed is four DraftKings points.

NFL DFS Lottery Tickets

  1. Benny Snellif Jaylen Samuels is out, move him up to the top of the Secondary Plays section.
  2. Diontae Johnson:
  3. Mike Gesicki55 yards would be a high water mark for the season.
  4. Nick Vannettwill be on the field, but needs something to befall Vance McDonald.
  5. Ryan Switzergets a target now and then, returns punts and kickoffs.
  6. Johnny Holtonfive targets on the year. Returns kickoffs.
  7. Jakeem Grant, Nick O’Leary, Durham Smythe, Isaiah Ford: some may be inactive, but the best strategy would be to just buy a lottery ticket.

As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.

Good Luck NFL DFS Gamers! ~ EMac

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 support@awesemo.com.

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