FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 13 (Washington at Pittsburgh)
Per our oddsFire tool, 71% of the bets on the spread are on Pittsburgh to cover. Some sharp money is on Washington, though, as only 58% of the money is on the Steelers to cover.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
This past offseason, our Brandon Gdula did a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers ($15,000)
Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable for this matchup, but assuming he plays, he's in a good spot. The Steelers have aired it out of late as Big Ben has attempted 42, 46, 46 and 51 passes in his last four outings. Pittsburgh had a positive game script in each of those final three games, and they still kept throwing.
The matchup could be better as Washington sports the 12th-best defense against the pass, per our schedule-adjusted metrics, and has permitted the 11th-fewest FanDuel points per game to signal callers (17.8). But Roethlisberger is pretty clearly the passer to pay up for in this game. We project him for 18.2 FanDuel points, 4.4 more than anyone else. He's the best point-per-dollar play, per our model.
Terry McLaurin, Washington ($14,500)
Since Alex Smith ($12,000) made his first start in Week 9, Terry McLaurin has been the focal point of this passing attack. The second-year wideout boasts a 25% target share and 45% air yards share in that time, per AirYards.com, while no other Washington receiver has more than a 10% target share or a 10% air yards share. McLaurin has put up 13.7, 10.9 and 12.7 FanDuel points in Smith's three starts despite not scoring a touchdown.
Washington will likely have a tough time against Pittsburgh's elite defense -- after all, WFT is implied for only 18.50 points -- but McLaurin offers some safety thanks to his volume. A negative game script would help, too.
We have McLaurin posting 13.0 FanDuel points.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers ($14,000)
When Diontae Johnson avoids mid-game injuries, he gets a crap ton of targets. It's been that way all season, and he's logged 10, 11, 16 and 13 targets the last four games. Over those four, Johnson paces Pittsburgh's wideouts in target share (27%) and has a 24% air yards share, which is second to Chase Claypool ($13,000; 37%).
The matchup is a tough one as Washington has surrendered the second-fewest FanDuel points per game to receivers (24.0). Johnson's overall target volume, as well as the solid air yards share, makes him my favorite play of the Steelers' receiver trio. While Claypool is plenty viable, too, Johnson played 20 more snaps than Claypool a week ago. Johnson has out-snapped the rookie in all of his fully healthy games this season.
I will have plenty of lineups with Johnson as my MVP, and we have him going for 11.5 FanDuel points, tops among Pittsburgh's receivers.
Benny Snell, Steelers ($11,500)
It sounds like James Conner ($10,000) won't play, giving Benny Snell Jr. another week in the lead role. Snell played 71% of the snaps last week in a brutal matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, and he ended up with 16 carries and 4 targets, amassing 93 total yards. He'll likely see a similar workload this week, and it's another difficult spot as Washington has allowed the fifth-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (17.4).
But volume is volume, and even though Pittsburgh has gone pass-heavy lately, Snell may get fed if the Steelers get out to a big lead. Our model projects Snell for 11.0 FanDuel points.
J.D. McKissic, Washington ($9,500)
While McKissic's snap share is trending in the wrong direction, he should benefit from Washington's expected negative game script against Pittsburgh. He played 70% and 83% of the snaps in losses in Week 9 and Week 10, garnering a massive 29 targets across those two games. Even with his snap rate falling to 52% and 41% in the last two weeks, McKissic ranks second on Washington in target share (21%) during Smith's three-start tenure.
I like McKissic more than our model does as we forecast him to total only 6.8 FanDuel points.
Anthony McFarland Jr., Steelers ($7,500)
The bargain bin is bleak on this slate. The top point-per-dollar value among players with a salary under $11,000 is Anthony McFarland Jr., according to our projections, as we have him scoring 6.8 FanDuel points.
McFarland was in on only 19% (14 snaps) of the Steelers' plays last week, getting 3 carries for 9 yards and making 1 grab for 17 yards. Admittedly, it's not easy to make a case for McFarland, but if Pittsburgh moves away from their recent pass-heavy ways or lessens Snell's load on a short week (played last Tuesday), maybe he could have a bigger-than-anticipated role.