Football fans and fantasy owners will be treated to a Thanksgiving tripleheader, and the nightcap is one of the best games of Week 12. The Ravens and Steelers will square off on Thursday night in what promises to be a hard-hitting matchup, and while defensive battles generally don’t inspire excitement for NFL DFS contests, this one features a host of talented offensive playmakers who have proven they can put up points in any matchup. That gives us plenty of viable options for our FanDuel Single-game lineup.
We originally had JK Dobbins as our MVP, but about 10 minutes after we published, it was announced Dobbins and Mark Ingram will miss the game because of COVID. Thus, we pivoted to Gus Edwards, who will likely be a chalky pick but his volume will make him worth it. We’re also choosing to fade Ben Roethlisberger, who seems due for a rough game after beating up on some bad defenses the past three weeks. Pittsburgh’s offense has been solid all season — and it certainly could continue to be against a banged-up Baltimore defense — but perfection is elusive, so if we guess right on when the Steelers ball-control attack slows down, we’ll be in good shape.
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FanDuel Single-Game Picks: Ravens at Steelers
MVP (1.5x points): Gus Edwards, Ravens ($7,000)
Edwards has been solid all year, and with both JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram out because of COVID, he should see north of 15 touches in this game. That’s enough for him to put up a decent amount of points despite a tough matchup. Expect something similar to what James Robinson did against Pittsburgh last week (94 total yards on 19 touches), only with more touchdown upside. We’re hoping people are worried about the matchup and fade Edwards (or at least use him as a flex). In a game with no “favorable matchups,” we’ll go with one of the highest-volume players.
FLEX: Lamar Jackson, Ravens ($16,000)
Jackson’s struggles against the Steelers are well documented, but he still managed to post decent stats against them in Week 8 (208 passing yards, 65 rushing yards, two TDs). His four turnovers that day took away a decent amount of fantasy points, but if he posts similar yardage and a couple touchdowns without the turnovers, he’ll be a must-have for any single-game lineup. His high floor is always built in regardless of matchup, and we know the ceiling is there for much more.
FLEX: Diontae Johnson, Steelers ($13,000)
Johnson exited early when these teams met in Week 8, and JuJu Smith-Schuster led the Steelers in receiving (seven catches, eight targets, 67 yards) while Chase Claypool led in targets (9) and scored a touchdown. Johnson has been a targets machine the past three weeks (at least 10 in every game, 37 total), and with Smith-Schuster (toe) hurting, Johnson could be in line for a lot of underneath stuff. We don’t like Ben Roethlisberger’s overall potential this week, but chances are at least one of his receivers will have a good game. You could hope for a TD with Claypool or bank on JuJu being faded because of his injury (if he plays, of course), but we’ll take the guy most likely to get targets and rack up catches.
FLEX: Marquise Brown, Ravens ($9,500)
Here’s our boom-or-bust play. Brown has been a disaster most of this year, but technically this is a favorable matchup on paper. Pittsburgh has struggled more against possession receivers lately, including Willie Snead (5-106 against Pittsburgh in Week 8), but to win a single-game tournament like this, you have to hope for some big plays. Brown is still capable of those — and he’s certainly due — so we’ll hope he can get loose for one or two long gains and double-up with Jackson on some big points.
FLEX: Chris Boswell, ($8,500)
Because we don’t really trust Pittsburgh’s offense in this one, we’ll bank on more of their drives stalling out around the 25-yard line on Thursday night. That would mean some extra FG chances for Boswell, who’s hit at least two field goals in each of the past four games. We’d rather take what we feel are “sure points” than chase another Steelers pass-catcher or running back.