The first place prize winner of the Showdown will receive a generous payout of $50K. Let’s see how to optimize our lineups below.
Rules & Scoring:
- Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
- Captain selection costs 1.5x standard salary
- Captain scores 1.5x fantasy point values
- Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
- You can use as many players at the same position as you’d like
- $50,000 salary cap
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- Captain: Ben Roethlisberger $15,300
- FLEX: Saquon Barkley $10,800
- FLEX: J. Smith-Schuster $9,200
- FLEX: Diontae Johnson $5,800
- FLEX: Darius Slayton $5,200
- FLEX: Benny Snell Jr. $2,600
Why This Lineup?
Ben Roethlisberger gets a more than welcoming matchup in his return to the Steelers lineup. The Giants defense surrendered the fifth-most passing yards and the third-most fantasy points (21.31) per game to quarterbacks in 2019. Big Ben has averaged 42-plus pass attempts and 20.7 fantasy points over his last 17 full games of play.
The matchup may not be the best, but give me a healthy Saquon Barkley every day of the week. The Giants RB averaged 31.6 ppg over the final three weeks of 2019, the most by any player, regardless of position. The Steelers have allowed opposing RBs to score a touchdown and/or rush for 130-plus yards in three of their last five games.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was the WR8 in fantasy just two years ago, has the opportunity to get his 2020 campaign off to a strong start tonight. Three Giants defensive backs, each of whom joined the team within the past two-three weeks, are expected to man large roles on defense. This decision could bode poorly for a unit who allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers a season ago.
Diontae Johnson had an injury scare earlier in the week, but is good to go entering Monday night. Johnson carved out a large role in Pittsburgh’s offense towards the latter end of 2019, averaging 7.75 targets per game over the final four weeks of play. Those numbers should likely increase with Big Ben at the helm. The Giants have allowed a 20-plus point fantasy outing to at least one wideout in all but one game since their Week 11 bye last season.
Even if Golden Tate is available for tonight’s contest, Darius Slayton is worthy of a place in your lineup. The speedster led the Giants in 2019 with a depth of target average of 14.2 yards, while his 15.4 yards per reception ranked 4th amongst all rookies. Expect Daniel Jones to take a handful of deep shots in Slayton’s direction.
By all accounts, Benny Snell Jr. enjoyed a stellar training camp, which is good news for a player who looked like Pittsburgh’s best running back for the majority of 2019. Yes, James Conner is back, but Snell did carry the ball 16-plus times on five different occasions over an eight-week span to close out the year. Don’t expect his usage to just completely disappear in 2020.
Final Thoughts & Obvious Omissions
The aforementioned James Conner is certainly a glaring omission. However, he averaged a combined 2.8 yards per carry over six of his 10 games last season, while the Giants defensive front is quietly one of the better units in all of football.
Golden Tate‘s health will likely be a topic of discussion up until kickoff. However, the high-volume target saw a drastic decrease in usage when fellow slot receiver Sterling Shepard was in the lineup last season. Tate went from averaging six receptions and 80+ receiving yards without Shepard on the field, to averaging 1.25 receptions and less than 24 receiving yards with Shepard in the lineup from Week 12 through Week 15.
Reminder, Monday night’s game kicks off early, at 7:10 pm ET. Be sure to set your lineups and good luck!
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