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Fantasy Football Picks: Bears vs. Steelers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Bears and the Steelers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

It’s hard to know how to feel about tonight’s contest between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I mean, is either team good? Is either team exciting? Is either starting quarterback currently an NFL caliber pivot? I honestly don’t think there are clear answers to any of these questions. There’s also no Manning telecast tonight, so we’ll were sort of just stuck with this mystery game. Fun!

Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (CHI vs PIT)




SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Najee Harris ($18,600 CP) - I’ve talked a lot about the vanishing “bell cow” back in this space. I’ve written about how teams tend to prefer a committee approach and how that’s effected the snap counts of lead backs across the league. Well, if you’re going by 1980s terminology, Harris might be one of only a handful “bell cow” RBs left in football. The rookie comes into Monday night leading all running backs in snap share at 86.0%. In fact, he’s the lone AFC RB with a snap share above even 75%. It’s not empty volume, either. Despite only having played seven games to this point in the season, Harris’ ability to stay on the field has translated into him receiving the fourth-most touches of any player (165). The former first-round pick has also managed to score at least 19.0 DKFP in each of his past six contests. With Bears D/ST ($2,600) having surrendered 160.3 opponent rushing yards per game dating back to Week 6 — the third-most of any defense within that span — I’m expecting another huge performance from Harris in primetime.

Steelers D/ST ($7,500 CP) - This is certainly one of those rare slates where you should 100% be looking to Captain a defense. Not only is the implied total of this contest less than 40 points, but you’ve got the rookie Justin Fields ($10,400) going up against a Steelers defense that has excelled at causing chaos the past few seasons. This Bears offense is also just a straight-up train wreck. Entering play in Week 9, Chicago was scoring the second-fewest points per game of any team in the NFL (15.4). On top of that, the Bears ranked dead-last in the NFC in both points per drive (1.49) and yards gained per drive (28.0), while a whopping 14.1% of their possessions ended in a turnover. If that wasn’t enough already, consider Chicago owns the league’s worst adjusted sack rate (12.2%), as well, which has resulted in 30 opponent sacks — easily the most of any team. Simply put, any defense is viable against the Bears, especially a unit as talented as Pittsburgh’s.


FLEX Plays

Justin Fields ($10,400) - Please know, I’m not thrilled about this. However, it’s not easy finding viable assets on this Bears offense. Because Fields has yet to throw for 200 yards in a start, none of Chicago’s wideouts are of particular interest. Also complicating matters is the imminent return of David Montgomery ($8,400; knee), as the RB is likely to be activated off injured reserve to play in this contest. Will Montgomery be at full-strength? Will he split snaps and touches with Khalil Herbert ($8,200)? It’s difficult to say. So, that leaves Fields, who in his current state, almost profiles like a DFS dollar-store version of Lamar Jackson. The first-round pick has rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown going back to Week 6, a stretch that includes a 29.3 DKFP showing against San Francisco. There isn’t a world where I’d ever consider Captaining the rookie pivot, but with his dual-threat abilities and the probability of a negative game script, Fields does have the ceiling to be an interesting option.

Zach Gentry ($1,800) - Obviously you’d like to have the salary to roster target machine Diontae Johnson ($11,200) or primary TE Pat Freiermuth ($7,000), but in terms of bang for your buck, Gentry is a name you need to know. In the absence of Eric Ebron (hamstring) last week, Gentry was heavily involved in a Steelers’ game plan that did not stray from it’s love of two tight end formations. In fact, Gentry logged a 60.8% snap share against the Browns, finishing the 15-10 victory with three catches, 39 receiving yards and, most notably, two red zone targets. Is it a little odd at first glance that the team’s third-string TE had as many opportunities in the passing game as Chase Claypool ($9,000)? Of course. However, we have to remember that Ben Roethlisberger ($10,600) is at a point in his career where he can’t seem to throw the ball more than eight yards downfield. Give me all the check-down options that are available to the aging QB, particularly the ones with a bargain price tag that makes the high-upside pieces fit.


Fades

Allen Robinson ($7,200) - No one is going to want to use Robinson on this slate, and while there’s certainly a conversation to be had about exploiting the low ownership of an asset this talented, I just can’t force myself to be interested. Since Fields took over as the Bears starting QB in Week 3, Robinson’s averaged 3.0 receptions and 6.5 DKFP per contest. It’s actually Darnell Mooney ($6,400; groin) who leads the team in targets (37), yards per target (8.6) and DKFP per touch (2.77) within this span, with Robinson trailing in each category by a significant margin. Maybe Robinson’s luck changes if Mooney is sidelined this evening; yet in that scenario, I’d rather take my chances with a punt play at the position like Marquise Goodwin ($4,200) or Damiere Byrd ($600).


THE OUTCOME

Woof. Let’s just say this is not a contest I’m counting down the hours for. Both of these offenses are underwhelming, and while I do think that it will be an incredible struggle for the Bears to score points this evening, I’m nowhere close to being ready to lay a touchdown with the Steelers. Pittsburgh is 1-3 ATS at home so far in 2021, while the team is also 0-7 ATS in the past seven games where its been favored. Take the points and maybe watch some basketball instead.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 20, Chicago 14

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (CHI vs PIT)


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