NFL Week 12 DFS has been quite the rollercoaster ride. We had a fantastic three-game slate to play on Thanksgiving Day where the game we least expected to pop turned out to be the highest scoring of the day. Then on Sunday, we all sat there with our mouths agape as a full day’s worth of random touchdown scorers led the way. Now here we are with a DFS Showdown slate for a Monday Night Football game with an expected game total of just 39.5-points. Yeesh! Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts have the talent to put up some points, but the real questions is – how much do we invest in the chalk and will the curse of the Week 12 dart-throw rear its ugly head once again?
Now before we begin, please take a moment to understand what exactly you are getting yourself into by playing single-game Showdown Slates. We love to have some skin in the game, for sure, but these slates are, for all intents and purposes, a lottery ticket. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but, more often than not, you need to hit on that random dart-throw that differentiates your lineup from that of the herd in order to claim the top prize. As a result, we encourage you to play responsibly and not over-invest. Stick to the GPP contests (single-entry preferred), don’t blow your whole bankroll, and understand that, unless you are a max-entry player, you should prioritize having fun.
OK. Lecture over. Let’s get to tonight’s action.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts
Spread: Colts -2.5
- Jaylen Warren, RB – knee (out)
- Kylen Granson, TE – illness (doubtful)
- Kwity Paye, DE – ankle (out)
- Yanniick Ngakoue, DE – back (questionable)
- DeForest Buckner, DT – ribs (questionable)
- Zaire Franklin, LB – illness (questionable)
2022 DVOA Defensive Rankings
- vs Pass: 18th
- vs Run: 7th
- vs Pass: 14th
- vs Run: 6th
**Please note that players not listed below are not necessarily a complete fade and any player listed can certainly be used as the MVP/Captain. These are merely suggestions for players to use when setting Showdown lineups.
George Pickens, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
He has gradually taken over as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver and has a strong on-field rapport with his quarterback, as evidenced by the steady growth in targets. He actually led the team in targets last week and has been racking up highlight reel catches each week. The match-ups against Stephone Gilmore and Kenny Moore won’t be easy, but Pickens is blossoming into a special talent who should be treated as such.
Parris Campbell, WR Indianapolis Colts
While Campbell might not be the No. 1 receiver in this offense, he is a trusted third-down and red-zone target for the Colts. His target share is actually pretty close to that of Michael Pittman, but he’s got a much more favorable match-up this week against slot-corner Arthur Maulet. With 15 targets, 12 catches, 143 yards and one touchdown over his last two games, Campbell gets the nod here for the top spot.
Pat Freiermuth, TE Pittsburgh Steelers
The Colts rank 27th in DVOA against the tight end and are allowing the 12th-most fantasy points per game to the position. Freiermuth is seeing a boatload of targets lately – we’re talking about an average of nine per game over the team’s last four and while he hasn’t hit pay-dirt since Week 2, he is still seeing a steady diet of red zone targets. He’ll hit sooner than later.
Mid-Tier and DFS Value Picks
Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh Steelers
While the Colts aren’t giving up a ton of yards through the air (194.2 per game), they’ve allowed 13 passing touchdowns and opposing quarterbacks have posted a collective 96.2 passer rating against them. If Pickett can remain that efficient, then the yardage total won’t be a huge deal because he should lead them into the end zone a couple of times, at the least.
Jonathan Taylor, RB Indianapolis Colts
The Steelers defense has really tightened up against the run, allowing the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game and just five rushing touchdowns on the year. Colts head coach Jeff Saturday has changed things up on the offensive line and Taylor has now seen 22 carries in each of his last two games and has turned them into 231 yards and two touchdowns. Expect a steady dose of carries early to try and wear down this Steelers defensive line.
Matt Ryan, QB Indianapolis Colts
Ryan emerged from his temporary benching and performed admirably against the Raiders, but when tasked with going up against the Eagles, things got a little dicey. He only threw for 213 yards and failed to lead the passing attack into the end zone. If the Steelers’ game plan is to stuff the run and force Ryan to throw, it won’t be pretty but the volume should be respectable and we should see average numbers needed to pay off his salary.
Michael Pittman, WR Indianapolis Colts
He is still the No. 1 receiver in this offense, but he’s been leaned on more between the 20s than he has inside the red zone, so he hasn’t scored since Week 1. The steady diet of targets is outstanding and in a game that should be low-scoring, his target share that has him averaging nine targets per game this year, will keep him as a strong option in full-point PPR formats.
Diontae Johnson, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
He’s taken a little bit of a backseat to Pickens these days, but given the match-up against some tough corners, Pickett may give a little more of a lean to the veteran. He’s seen just five targets in each of his last two games and despite six red zone targets in his last three games, he still hasn’t found the end zone this year, but should the Colts focus more on Pickens, Johnson could surprise some people in this game.
Najee Harris, RB Pittsburgh Steelers
The Colts run defense has been strong all year and they’re only allowing an average of 113.5 rushing yards per game with nine rushing touchdowns allowed on the season. But with Kwity Paye out and DeForest Buckner questionable, the defensive line is far from being at full-strength. He’s seen 20 carries in each of his last two games and found the end zone twice last week against the Bengals. This is a tougher match-up but you know Mike Tomlin is old-school and will push the run early.
Alec Pierce, WR Indianapolis Colts
Pierce had Ryan’s attention on the field early on in the season and has seen a bit of a resurgence since Saturday put the veteran back under center, including eight targets last week against the Eagles. We don’t expect to see that many this week, but if he can still grab five or six, we could see some decent production against Cameron Sutton. The Steelers do rank 18th in DVOA against the opposition’s No. 3 receiver, so there is a path.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST
With the return of T.J. Watt, this is a much different looking Steelers defense. The sack totals have gone up and they've tried to be more opportunistic with turnovers. The Colts have 19 giveaways on the season and we know Ryan can be careless at time. It's probably worth a shot as a salary-saver.
Mo Alie-Cox, TE Indianapolis Colts
The Steelers rank fourth in DVOA against the tight end and don’t give up much in the way of fantasy points per game to the position, so Alie-Cox may have a limited game here. However, he is a big body the Colts like to target inside the end zone, so if they get down around the five-yard line, you could see a quick out to Alie-Cox for six.
Deon Jackson, RB Indianapolis Colts
While Taylor has reclaimed this backfield as his own, Jackson is still getting some complementary work, including some third-down pass-catching work. He’s seen seven targets over the last two games and even gets a few carries here and there. Just imagine Taylor breaking a big run to put the Colts inside the green zone only to watch Jackson get the call to push into the end zone.
Steven Sims, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Colts secondary is going to be focused on stopping Pickens and Johnson, the speedy Sims might just find himself in some single-man coverage. His specialty is stretching the field, so look for Pickett to take a deep shot or two towards him downfield.
Gunner Olszewski, WR Pittsburgh Steelers
He’s listed her because he sees targets in this passing attack. Not a lot, but some. Should the Steelers go into three and four-receiver sets to spread out the defense, Olszewski could find himself alone in the middle of the field at some point.
Dart-Throw DFS Bargains
Zach Gentry, TE Pittsburgh Steelers
Freiermuth is the primary pass-catching tight end, but we’ve seen Gentry steal a few targets here and there. Considering how Week 12 has been the week of the obscure tight end, why wouldn’t you throw a contrarian dart at Gentry?
Jelani Woods, TE Indianapolis Colts
For exactly the same reasons as to why you would throw a dart at Gentry, you can do the same for Woods. In fact, we’ve even seen Woods celebrate in the end zone three times this season. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if he got the touchdown instead of Alie-Cox?
Related NFL Articles & Tools:
- NFL Week 12 Injury Report
- NFL Week 12 Projections
- NFL DFS Lineup Generator
- NFL DFS Compare Tool
- NFL Week 12 Position Coaches