DK Showdown Captain Mode: Browns at Steelers

Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming with TWO football games on Monday night! I can’t say I understand why both games were scheduled to run more or less concurrently (start times of 7:15 EST and 8:15 EST), but I’ll take it. This article will feature picks for the game that seems to have a few more playmakers to choose from, the Steelers at home versus the Browns, although both games have somewhat low over/unders at around 39.5. 

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The Browns come into Heinz Field (I know it’s called something else) riding high off of a big win over the division rival Bengals in Week 1, while the Steelers are coming off a humbling loss to the Niners. Is the Browns’ defense this improved? Are the Steelers as inept on offense as we saw in Week 1? We’ll get some clarity tonight. I imagine Mike Tomlin will have his team ready to play and both sides will probably be a bit amped for this divisional showdown, but the nerves might make this one a bit ugly to start and maybe we don’t see much scoring until the second half. 

If you are thinking like me and you believe this will be more of a defensive struggle than an offensive explosion, then we need to build our team accordingly. And if you’re trying to win some big money in a tournament, then maybe this is one of those opportunities to use a defense in one of your slots. 


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This spot gets you 1.5x points, but on DK the player costs 1.5x more than they would have if you used them in the Flex spot, so we need to get this right. Many times you’d at least want to consider using the QB on the team that is favored in this spot. In this case, the Browns are favorites, albeit only slight favorites with just a 2 point spread, so maybe you look at Deshaun Watson. But with Amari Cooper being very questionable or possibly out, I think the pass game takes a small hit, and Watson was only able to muster 154 air yards last week and 1 TD even with Cooper in the lineup. So if not Watson, then who?

Nick Chubb is probably the most obvious answer and the player with the highest floor. If you go with him though, know that lots of other folks will be too, so you may have to take chances on the other spots in order to differentiate your lineup. If you’re going for the gold though, maybe you take a chance on the Browns D that held Joe Burrow to 82 passing yards and hope they can get you a pick-6 and a few sacks. Chubb is pretty durable, but the fact that he’s a running back that commands a high amount of touches per game puts him in a position to possibly leave the game due to injury as well. All things to consider.

So you’re not left wondering, on the Steelers side I can’t trust Kenny Pickett here and don’t think that Najee Harris does enough in the game to warrant Captain consideration. There are a couple other players I could see using in the Flex spots and we’ll go there in a moment. 

Conservative Pick: Nick Chubb

Risky Pick: Browns Defense

Flex Spots

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If you aren’t putting Chubb in your Captain slot then you’ll at least be putting him in the Flex, although he is THE most expensive player on DK at $12.2K (next is Watson at $10.6K) so he could limit your other options. I think you have to consider Watson too since he still has Elijah Moore at receiver and David Njoku at tight end, plus he was able to use his legs and run one in for a TD last week.

After Chubb and Watson, here are the other players to consider and briefly why:

  • Najee Harris ($9.4K): Harris was held in check last week but it was against a stout 49ers defense, and he doesn’t share the ball much when it comes to the run game
  • Kenny Pickett ($9.2K): Pickett had a nice preseason and has shown the ability to run as well
  • George Pickens ($8K): Pickens is an exciting player who showed last season that he could make dynamic plays, especially in the end zone. With Diontae Johnson out he should see a few more targets Monday as well
  • David Njoku ($7K): there was some hype surrounding Njoku this preseason but it didn’t bear fruit in Week 1, however, he scored in this matchup last season with Watson at the helm
  • Elijah Moore ($6.6K): this could be the sneaky play on the Browns side since Amari Cooper might not play which should free up some targets for the 3rd-year receiver; there are some rumblings that Cooper will play, but this could end up being one of those decoy situations which should still benefit Moore
  • Allen Robinson ($6.2K): Robinson is a veteran and showed last week that he still has some gas in the tank with 5 catches and 64 yards, so he could be Pickett’s safety blanket
  • Pat Freiermuth ($5.8K): speaking of safety blankets, Freiermuth has an established rapport with Pickett which should bode well for him, especially with Diontae out, and has a nice price point
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones ($5K): DPJ has had some nice games in his career and it usually occurs when another receiver is out; last season he had 10 games with 4+ receptions and 8 games with 50+ receiving yards, so he can get the job done if needed
  • Calvin Austin ($4.8K): can’t say I even knew who he was before last week, but 6 catches in a game will put you on the radar; he’d be a nice value at his price if he can replicate that production
  • Browns D ($4.6K): Pickett threw 2 picks last week and the Browns were good last week, so this too could be a value
  • Kickers (~4K): if this is going to be a struggle where both teams have a hard time finding the end zone, then perhaps those drives end in a field goal; if that’s the game script you had in mind you could consider one of these kickers, but not for the Captain spot unless you’re going super high risk for super high reward
  • Jaylen Warren ($3K): Warren can be explosive when he gets the ball, but it doesn’t happen much on the ground; last week, however, he was able to get snag 5 receptions, albeit for 12 measly yards against the niners D
  • Harrison Bryant ($2.2K): really hurting to fill out a Flex spot? Well, Bryant was the only Browns receiver to catch a TD pass last week, so maybe he does it again this week

My Team (Conservative)

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  • Captain: Chubb
  • Flex: Watson
  • Flex: Moore
  • Flex: Freiermuth
  • Flex: Browns D
  • Flex: Warren

My Team (Risky)

  • Captain: Browns D
  • Flex: Chubb
  • Flex: Watson
  • Flex: Pickens
  • Flex: Moore
  • Flex: Austin




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Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod is a long-time fantasy sports veteran, with over 20 years of experience using salary cap, season-long, best ball, and DFS formats - mainly centered around MLB and NFL. Ever since the "Sid Bream Slide" he has been a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. He also enjoys collecting trading cards and memorabilia from his favorite teams and players.

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