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DFS Showdown lineup advice for Week 1 Steelers-Patriots

The Steelers and Patriots square off under the lights of Sunday Night Football to open the season. That brings a DraftKings Showdown matchup, and we’ve got advice for filling out your DFS lineup for Week 1.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger meet at mid-field after playing at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the dud on Thursday night between the Bears and Packers, we finally have a Showdown game worthy of our attention. The Steelers travel to Foxboro for the first official Sunday night game of the season and it promises to produce more than one touchdown between the two teams. Let’s look at some players to target in DraftKings’ $800,000 six-man Showdown slate -- with a first-place prize of $200,000 -- and who to use in the critical Captain slot:

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS

Julian Edelman ($14,400): JuJu Smith-Schuster checks in as the most expensive player on the board, with a salary of $16,500 in the Captain slot ($11K as a flex). That’s a little too pricey for a receiver who will see a whole lot of Stephon Gilmore’s blanket coverage. Last season, JuJu was a non-factor in his matchup against Gilmore, and with Antonio Brown no longer there, the Pats will certainly look to take Smith-Schuster out of the game. The same cannot be said on the other side, where Edelman could have a field day against the Steelers underneath defense. At a 2K discount from JuJu, Edelman is the top impact player in this game.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

Vance McDonald ($9,000): If the Pats clamp down on JuJu, the pass-catcher with the best opportunity to post a big game isn’t going to be Donte Moncrief or James Washington. It is likely to be McDonald, who checks in as the cheapest of all the top players on the slate at 9K in the Captain slot. Steelers tight ends have always had success against the Patriots and McDonald has shown the ability to have monster games. His relatively cheap salary makes him an ideal long-shot play that opens up salary flexibility elsewhere.

FLEX MEN

James Conner ($10,800): I’m not feeling either of the quarterbacks in this one, as two solid defenses could keep this game relatively low – not 10-3 low like Thursday, but not a shootout, either. I suspect both teams will be leaning on their top running backs to do much of the heavy lifting here, and Conner is in the Captain conversation after his brilliant 2018 season. Fading the QBs would certainly make for unique lineups, which is always key in such a large-field GPP.

Sony Michel ($8,000): Michel is another fine Captain play if you feel like the Patriots are going to control this game and will be playing with the lead most of the night. The Patriots would love to get their ground game going early and often to protect the elder GOAT, and Michel is the man to do it, with James White the pass-catching option.

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.