Yahoo! Single-Game DFS Breakdown: Bears at Steelers

Nov 08, 2021
Yahoo! Single-Game DFS Breakdown: Bears at Steelers

The Chicago Bears and their future, Justin Fields, head to Pittsburgh to take on the bionic Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

It is vital to remember that single-game slates are not simply a “max salary, play as many big names as possible, and submit” format, especially in larger tournament fields. We need to identify players that can be pieces in their offense’s success, whether in the lead or trailing, as well as the players that could be focal points in a neutral game script. The ability to then take those players and identify which will succeed in the single-game format will put us in a better position to succeed as daily fantasy players.

Vegas Total and Spread

Pittsburgh is a seven-point home favorite with an over/under of 40 points. The Steelers have an implied team total of 23.5 points, while the Bears have an implied team total of 16.5 points.

Potential Game Flow Scenarios

The Chicago Bears have to dominate the clock to keep this game within arm's reach. Justin Fields ($21), a returning David Montgomery ($22), and Khalil Herbert ($19) will be asked to soften a Steelers defense ($17) that is second in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to running backs and eighth against quarterbacks. The Steelers have only faced one quarterback with a running profile similar to Fields’s, Josh Allen. Allen averaged almost five yards per carry Week 1 against Pittsburgh and that is a floor that is attainable for Fields one week after his first 100-yard rushing performance of his rookie season.

Fields will also have to find a way to get comfortable throwing the ball. The Steelers pass rush should get home against the Bears offensive line, but one thing the Bears offense did in Week 8 was have tight ends and running backs chip 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa. In order for the Bears to get a sliver more time for Fields to pass, look for the same against T.J. Watt, assuming Bears head coach watched Week 8’s game film in which he made zero calls or suggestions because he was out due to COVID. The Steelers can be beaten by wideouts as Pittsburgh is 19th in aFPA against the position.

The Bears defense ($15) will be without Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson Week 9. Jackson is only a loss for experience because he has been on a milk carton for multiple seasons. The 49ers attacked the Bears on the ground without Mack and with a hobbled Akiem Hicks. If Elijah Mitchell can top 100 yards, then Najee Harris ($25) is in line for an excellent game. The Bears are better on defense and a game script with a heavy Harris workload is the best way to keep Fields on the sidelines and keep their own defense fresh. Slowly but surely, a consistent running attack will weaken the Bears' defense.

That also keeps Ben Roethlisberger ($22) upright. He is dealing with three injuries that are considered minor but with the mobility of a parking cone, Roethlisberger will rely on Harris and Diontae Johnson ($27). Ben’s 6.6 yards per attempt is his highest since 2018 in part to negative game scripts early in the season. Chicago is 26th in aFPA to wide receivers and will be an easy target, especially if Harris is controlling the ground game.

Close, low-scoring game

Close, high-scoring game

Blowout for home team

Blowout for road team

Cheap/Unique Stacking Option

Traditional stacks such as QB/WR1 or WR2, QB/TE, and RB/DEF are stacks seen used in winning lineups. The obvious choice is not always the winning choice. Below is a cheap stack with at least one unique quality that could break the slate.

Jesse James ($10), Pat Freiermuth ($11), and Steelers Defense ($17)

The Bears offense gives up 10.1 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses, 31st in aFPA. Pairing the defense with a pass catcher instead of running back correlates better this year than it has in the past. Freiermuth is second in targets and fourth in air yards on the Steelers since Week 6 when TE Eric Ebron (out Week 9) started to acquire injuries.

The Jesse James addition gives you a trusted option for Justin Fields that is not one of the running backs.

Low-Priced Volatile Plays

Zach Gentry ($10)

The Ebron injuries have allowed Gentry to get on the field more. Gentry had five targets in Week 8 and turned them into three receptions and 39 yards.

Anthony McFarland Jr. ($10)

McFarland got one touch in his first week off the IR Week 8. In the instance that Harris was to get injured or the game goes sideways for Pittsburgh, McFarland could see receiving work.

Allen Robinson ($12)

Sigh. Imagine if Justin Fields was given first-team reps in training camp.

Superstar Picks

Najee Harris ($25)

Only Diontae Johnson plays more snaps than Harris among backs and receiving options and no Steelers skill position player scores more than Harris in half-point PPR settings. Harris leads the Steelers in red zone receiving targets.

Diontae Johnson ($27)

I am not 100% sure that Johnson does not get shadowed by Bears' CB Jaylon Johnson, and if he does not, he should have zero issue pushing Harris for most fantasy points tonight. Johnson should see lower rostership at Superstar as the more expensive option of the two.

Justin Fields ($21)

We saw in Week 8 what Fields is capable of when given a competent game plan. The question is does Matt Nagy have one in his return from COVID?

Allen Robinson ($12)

Darnell Mooney ($15) has shown that he is Fields’ favorite receiver, but I am not putting him in the Superstar spot with an expectation of taking down a GPP. Robinson has elite talent and will be a lineup killer or winner if Week 9 ends up being the ‘Allen Robinson Game’ for better or worse.

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