Here we go with the Single Game NFL DFS slate for Thursday Night Football of Week 11. Tonight’s matchup is between the Steelers and Browns, as Cleveland is listed as three-point home favorites with an over/under of 41.5.
We’ll highlight the top picks and best bargains to assemble a cash-inducing lineup. On top of that, the “additional notes” section will feature several tournament selections while adding context to the rest of this slate.
We will be producing these articles for Thursday, Sunday, and Monday primetime matchups every week, so be sure to bookmark the Rotoworld Daily page for those occasions - not to mention all the other fantastic daily fantasy content.
James Conner - RB - Pittsburgh
I’m just going to come out and say it: this single game slate could be a little bit ugly. The 41.5 over/under implies it, and both of these teams rank in the top half for total defense while sitting in the bottom half of the league for total offense. Conner is expected to return tonight without limitations. He’s poised for a workhorse role with Mason Rudolph still at QB for Pittsburgh. Conner has posted 23+ fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he should legitimately see 25-30 carries in his return. The Browns rank 27th against the run this season, putting Conner in position to post the best overall fantasy score of the night.
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Nick Chubb - RB - Cleveland
Kareem Hunt played last week, but that didn’t negatively impact Chubb. The Browns’ running back still posted 20 carries with four targets in the passing game. Conner and Chubb are both slated to lead their respective offenses, making each of them top plays in this single game slate. Combining them makes more sense on FanDuel than DraftKings - where the salary is more relaxed without having to pay the multiplier for your MVP. When deciding between the two, I’m siding with Conner in a better matchup. However, Chubb still demands consideration with the best “anytime touchdown odds” of the slate (-135) compared to +110 for Conner.
Kareem Hunt - RB - Cleveland
The Browns featured two-back sets with Chubb and Hunt on the field at the same time last week. That translated to an 80% snap rate for Chubb and 54% for Hunt. We can expect more of the same in this primetime matchup, making Hunt an interesting bargain filler through all formats. It seems like Hunt’s fantasy value is tied more to the passing game (7-44 last week), but he should see a handful of carries with an outside chance at scoring a touchdown as well. The bargain salary should be worth the expected volume (and upside) on both sites.
James Washington - WR - Pittsburgh
Diontae Johnson - WR - Pittsburgh
It’s difficult to parse through this Steelers’ receiving corps, especially with Rudolph at quarterback. I’ll likely play the pricing game between James Washington, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. That means Johnson stands out on FanDuel with Washington fitting in nicely on DraftKings. Johnson has posted solid efforts in two of his last three games, but you’ll have to live with the low floor while playing within this Pittsburgh run-first (and short-pass) attack. Washington seems to be picking up steam with 10-159-1 combined over the past two weeks. Most people were expecting him to emerge this season with his college quarterback (Rudolph) taking snaps, and it appears that is coming to fruition.
Both of these quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield (QB - CLE) and Mason Rudolph (QB - PIT), don’t represent fantasy-friendly options. As frustrating as Mayfield has been in real life, his fantasy lines actually haven’t been terrible lately - posting 17+ fantasy points in two of his past three. He deserves consideration through all formats tonight, especially if you are unable to squeeze in both running backs. Baker will continue to try and force-feed Odell Beckham Jr. (WR - CLE), and a breakout game is coming. It’s difficult to predict that with confidence against a surging Steelers’ defense, but OBJ and Jarvis Landry (WR - CLE) are certainly on the board tonight.
Speaking of on the board, the kickers make sense on this low over/under. Austin Siebert (K - CLE) marginally outranks Chris Boswell (K - PIT) due to a higher implied team total, but you could take both in order to save cap space. In fact, various optimizers have Siebert and Boswell in the same lineup for FanDuel and DraftKings - as a cash baseline.
We have entered the tournament-only portion of this article. Similar to the kickers, the low over/under (and shaky quarterbacks) puts the Browns Defense and Steelers Defense on the board. You’ll need to pay somewhat of a premium for the Steelers, while the Browns will be much lower owned in tournaments.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR - PIT) and Vance McDonald (WR - PIT) can only be considered in large-field GPP formats for their respective salaries. Antonio Callaway (WR - CLE) could return tonight, but we don’t know if he’ll actually see the field. He's a fine value (especially for $2,800 on DK) if he's a full-go. If news emerges that he’s not going to play (or has fallen in the pecking order), then Rashard Higgins (WR - CLE) joins the ranks of healthy bargain choices.