The Steelers are in a heap of trouble and the Chargers aren’t exactly faring much better. But that’s what the football gods have delivered for us this Sunday night, and we must do what we can with it. Let’s look at some players to target in DraftKings’ $888,888 six-man Showdown slate -- with an entry fee of $10 and a first-place prize of $200,000 -- and who to use in the critical Captain slot:
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($14,100)
Delvin Hodges will be under center for the Steelers on Sunday night, as Mason Rudolph was officially ruled out this week after that scary hit against the Ravens. Needless to say, the Steelers will be leaning all over their star running back to limit the potential mistakes by the former D-2 QB. Helping the cause is a Chargers defense that has been vulnerable to the run. If the Steelers can somehow keep this one close, Conner is going to have extreme volume to work with.
Chargers defense ($7,800)
As we said, Hodges is making his first career start, and the Steelers can’t hand it off 60 times and never let Hodges throw the ball. So the opportunity for sacks and turnovers is going to be there all night. It’s also entirely likely the Steelers never even sniff the end zone, so the low- or no-point bonus is in play here. The low salary allows for a Rivers-Ekeler-Allen-Conner stack in the flex without having to make too big a sacrifice in the sixth spot.
Austin Ekeler, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($9,200)
Melvin Gordon did not look ready at all last week and Ekeler continued to dominate. As long as the game remains competitive, this should be the outcome once again. Maybe Gordon siphons off some carries late if the game blows out, but if it blows out, it probably means Ekeler did some serious damage to make it that way. He’s as safe as they come.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers ($8,800)
He could be a Captain Courageous if you think Hodges is going to exceed all expectations. So far, JuJu has meshed well with whomever they put under center and is always capable of turning a routine slant pattern into an 80-yard touchdown. With James Washington out, JuJu will probably be leaned on heavily in the pass game. The only issue is whether Hodges can get him the ball.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jeffgo33) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.