Steelers-Ravens FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice for Week 12 Wednesday afternoon single-game tournaments

The Steelers and the Ravens were supposed to do battle in a prime-time Thanksgiving clash, but that game was postponed several times. The NFL elected to eventually hold the contest on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 3:40 p.m. ET, and now, fans are excited about the opportunity to watch some Wednesday afternoon football. This game will be a tricky one to prognosticate, as the Ravens will be without Lamar Jackson (COVID) and countless other players while the Steelers will be without James Conner (COVID). As such, NFL DFS owners will have to get a bit creative making lineups, and that’s just what we did with our Week 12 FanDuel single-game lineup.

Usually, if players miss a game due to injury or illness, there are pricing advantages that exist. However, because this game has been pushed so many times, the prices have been reset for the injury news, and now, the players who previously may have come at bargain costs — Robert Griffin III, Benny Snell, Gus Edwards, etc. — all are appropriately priced. And with no defenses to target and each position group’s matchup looking tough thanks to the strong defenses of both the Steelers and the Ravens, we’ll have to trust some players in non-ideal matchups and just hope that talent can win out.

As such, our strategy this week was to be as balanced as possible when crafting this lineup. We didn’t end up choosing either QB for our slate, and incredibly, every player in our lineup costs between $11K and $13.5K. We also wanted to go Steelers-heavy with our approach since we simply don’t know how the Ravens are going to look given the amount of time they spent not practicing and dealing with their COVID outbreak.

FanDuel Single-Game Picks: Steelers vs. Ravens

MVP (1.5x points): Benny Snell Jr., Steelers ($11,000)

With James Conner (COVID) out, Snell is expected to be the backfield leader for the Steelers. In Week 1 when Conner exited early with an injury, Snell ran the ball 19 times for 113 yards and totaled a season-high 11.3 FD points. Since then, Snell hasn’t carried the ball too much, but he has scored in three of his past five outings. The Ravens are typically solid against the run, but they have countless players on the COVID list right now, including Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams, two of the team’s best run stoppers. If they can’t play, Snell could run wild and makes for a good contrarian MVP choice. In a game where there are very few matchups to take advantage of on paper, this could be one of them. However, there is a worry that Anthony McFarland Jr. will run ahead of Snell or that this will be an even split, so there is some risk here, but Snell can still put up a decent amount of points with even 10 carries. 

FLEX: Diontae Johnson, Steelers ($13,500)

Part of our strategy with this lineup is fading QBs and instead focusing on adding receiving weapons to try to give us most, if not all, of Ben Roethlisberger’s passing production on the day. Johnson has logged at least 10 targets in three straight games and has averaged 16.27 FanDuel points per game (FD PPG) during that span. He is a big-time reception threat, and though the Ravens have allowed just 125 receptions to wideouts this year, good for the sixth fewest in the league, Johnson is worth having because of his explosive ability and his sheer volume in a 0.5 PPR format. 

WEEK 13 WAIVER WIRE: Top Pickups

FLEX: JK Dobbins, Ravens ($12,000)

Dobbins is currently listed as being on IR, per FanDuel’s official app, but he reportedly will be able to be activated from the COVID list ahead of Wednesday’s game. If he is, Dobbins will surely be a big-time weapon for the Ravens, as he had established himself as the team’s top running back over the past few games. Last time he played the Steelers, Dobbins totaled 113 yards on 15 rushes. Both numbers were career highs. That doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to repeat his success, but of the Baltimore RBs, he is the most explosive, so he’s worth trusting even if the Steelers allow the second-fewest FD PPG to RBs this season (15.8). If Dobbins can’t return for this game, Gus Edwards would be the logical pivot at a cost of $12,500. He would fit into this lineup as a straight-up swap, so just keep an eye on Dobbins’ status in the lead up to the contest.

WEEK 13 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

FLEX: Chase Claypool, Steelers ($11,500)

Claypool was our second-favorite non-Roethlisberger MVP choice on this slate, but we ultimately decided to put Snell in the top spot. Claypool has had a great season and has posted at least 10.7 FanDuel points in four consecutive games. During that span, he has been targeted 10 times per game and has scored four times in total. He is consistent, explosive, and has a massive 39.1 FanDuel point outing to his name from earlier in this season. Even if Claypool is only average in this game, he should pay off his price tag and continue to give us exposure to Big Ben’s production without spending up to get the top QB on the slate.

WEEK 13 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

FLEX: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers ($11,000)

Three Steelers WRs in one lineup? Yup. That’s the plan. By having the top three Steelers wideouts, we’re not only protected from missing out on Roethlisberger’s production, but we also have the opportunity to exceed it if Claypool, Johnson, and Smith-Schuster are the ones that do most of the work in terms of catches, yardages, and TDs on the day. Smith-Schuster has had an up-and-down season, but he recently scored double-digit FanDuel points in three straight games. He should continue to draw attention and could find the end zone for the third time in four games even though the Ravens have allowed the fewest TDs to WRs this year.

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