Kickoff Sunday, Nov 14th 1:00pm Eastern

Lions (
17.5) at

Steelers (
23)

Over/Under 40.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Lions Run D
31st DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
24th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
29th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
24th DVOA/15th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
27th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
26th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
13th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
28th DVOA/18th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mjohnson86 >>
  • Unpredictable quarterback play and personnel deficiencies make projecting this game very difficult.
  • Detroit is coming off a bye and has been playing hard and competing every week, despite their poor record.
  • Pittsburgh is playing on a short week after winning a game they were lucky to escape from.
  • Neither team is likely to attack consistently downfield, making this game about winning the turnover battle and sustaining drives.

How Detroit Will Try To Win ::

To the Lions’ credit, they have been competitive and played very hard for most of the season despite their lack of wins. Now they are in a decent spot to try and get their first win as they are rested coming off their bye week and playing a team on short rest. The style that Detroit uses to stay competitive is making the game “ugly” and turning it into a dog fight by slowing tempo and shortening the game. Their opponent this week plays right into that strategy as a team that has a solid 5-3 record but has not beaten anyone by more than one possession. 

Detroit’s offensive philosophy will likely focus on a spread running attack and short-area passing as that is where their personnel strengths lie and also where Pittsburgh is best attacked. The Steelers have PFF’s #5 graded pass rush and the 8th ranked run defense by DVOA. The combination of those factors, along with Detroit’s 25th graded pass-blocking unit, make it likely that the Lions will use short, quick passes to try to move the ball. They will likely have some success running the ball through volume, but in order to sustain drives and score points, they will have to move the ball through the air. Also, Jamaal Williams’ availability is looking very much in doubt and the Lions try to avoid overworking D’Andre Swift. If Williams misses, I would expect a higher pass rate rather than giving more carries to Swift or a backup. Due to the mismatch at the line of scrimmage and lack of downfield perimeter threats, the Lions will not want Jared Goff to be holding onto the ball very long. Pittsburgh has a high-end pass rush that ranks 3rd in the NFL in pressure rate and 6th in sacks per game. Detroit will funnel the ball to their best playmakers — D’Andre Swift and TJ Hockenson — in the short areas of the field and try to get them isolated in space or mismatches. The greatest concern is if their lack of downfield threats will allow Pittsburgh to clamp down on those areas and shut them down altogether.

How PITTSburgh Will Try To Win ::

The Steelers survived a rocky start to their season and have rattled off four straight wins to move within a game of the division lead. While it hasn’t always been pretty, they have found ways to win close games as all of their wins have been in one-score games. After narrowly escaping a furious 4th quarter comeback by the Bears on Monday night, Pittsburgh now hosts a winless Lions team that is coming off a bye. This is an important game for the Steelers to take care of business as seven of their eight games after this week are against teams who currently have a winning record. With such a tough schedule ahead of them, they can’t afford a setback on what *should* be a “gimme”. 

Injuries among skill players continue to narrow the target distribution for the Steelers. Already down JuJu Smith-Schuster, they now appear to have lost Chase Claypool for the next couple of weeks at least — a loss that can not be understated from an X’s and O’s standpoint. Claypool is a dynamic playmaker who forces defenses to stretch the field and open up space underneath, something that is critical for Pittsburgh as Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t threaten defenses the way he once did. Big Ben ranks 33rd out of 36 qualifying quarterbacks in average depth of target, per PFF, and Claypool leads the Steelers in percentage of targets 20+ yards downfield. The Steelers offensive line is PFF’s 29th graded run-blocking unit which has forced Najee Harris to churn out tough yards consistently to keep the run game working. Detroit is likely to stack the box and load up the short areas of the passing game with defenders and dare Ben to beat them over the top. Pittsburgh will funnel short-area touches to Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson, with their tight ends and replacement wide receivers receiving sporadic work as well.

Likeliest Game flow ::

Detroit’s approach will be predictable and allow the Steelers defense to be very aggressive early on. Detroit will need to focus on escaping first-half possessions without sacks and turnovers, essentially just surviving rather than attacking. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, will likely have more success due to their more talented skill positions and Detroit’s weak defense. While both offenses will prefer to attack in the shorter area of the field, if Detroit dares Pittsburgh to go downfield and the Steelers are successful doing so it could open the flood gates on this game very quickly. While Pittsburgh has yet to truly rout anyone, Detroit is by far the worst team they have faced this year. The “likeliest game flow” is something close to what is implied by the Vegas spread, but there is a lot of room for upside on that projection if things break right.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • DET is coming off of their bye while PIT is coming off of a narrow Monday Night Football victory vs. CHI
  • 42.5 Vegas total is the lowest in Week 10
  • DET’s 17 implied total is the lowest
  • PIT -8.5 is the sixth largest spread
  • Per numberFire, DET ranks 23rd in adjusted seconds per play & PIT ranks 29th
  • DET ranks 30th in adjusted passing rate (50.9%) & PIT ranks 11th (61.2%)
  • DET ranks 26th in rushing yds, 28th in passing yds, and 28th in total yds
  • They have not scored 20 pts since Week 1
  • The UNDER is 5-3 in DET games
  • PIT ranks 28th in rushing yds, 23rd in passing yds, and 27th in total yds
  • The UNDER is 6-2 in PIT games

Jared Goff

  • Ranks 27th in PFF passing grade
  • 6.5 YPA ranks tied for 31st and 6.6 ADoT ranks 35th
  • Averaging 26 completions on 39 attempts for 249 yds, 1 TD, and 0.8 INTs
  • 32.92 DK pts vs. SF in Week 1 was his ceiling performance
  • In Week 2, he scored 20.44 @ GB
  • For the next six games, Goff has yet to hit 20 pts, and he’s had four single digit performances
  • PIT ranks 9th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (18.4)

DET Passing Attack

  • Snap share: TJ Hockenson 82.8% // Kalif Raymond 75.6% // Amon-Ra St. Brown 65.1% // Quintez Cephus 60.4%
  • Target share: Hockenson 20.3% // Raymond 12.9% // Amon 12.3% // Cephus 7.4%
  • No DET WR ranks in the top 75 in PFF grade
  • Raymond has the only 20+ pt DK performance, @ LAR in Week 7
  • Cephus is the only other WR with a score above 15, but his return from IR is unclear
  • PIT ranks 23rd in DK ppg allowed to WRs (40)
  • Among all TEs, Hockenson ranks sixth in receiving and air yards, fifth in target share, fourth in air yard market share, and sixth in WOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • His 13.3 DK ppg ranks seventh
  • DK log: 25.7 // 20.6 // 3 // 8.2 // 4.2 // 15.4 // 10.8 // 18.9
  • PIT ranks 14th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (12)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: Cole Kmet 14.7 // Darren Waller 11.5 // Foster Moreau 11.4 // Dawson Knox 8.1

D’Andre Swift

  • Among all RBs, D’Andre Swift ranks second in target share, third in WOPR, and seventh in RBOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • DK log: 24.4 // 11.8 // 23.7 // 8.9 // 22.4 // 17.7 // 28.4 // 9.1
  • Swift’s 18.3 DK ppg ranks eighth
  • Only Alex Collins has scored 12+ DK pts against PIT
  • Notable RBs held below 12: Aaron Jones 11.9 // Joe Mixon 10.4 // David Montgomery 10 // Nick Chubb 7.9
  • Jamaal Williams scored 25 DK pts in Week 1 vs. SF, but has yet to hit 15 since then

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Ranks 32nd in PFF passing grade
  • 6.6 YPA ranks tied for 29th and 7.1 ADoT ranks tied for 33rd
  • He averages 25 completions on 37 attempts for 248 yds, 1.25 TDs, and 0.5 INTs
  • His 3.3% TD rate is a career low and his 1.3% INT rate is tied for a career high
  • Has yet to score 20 DK pts this season, but has always been in double digits
  • DET ranks 18th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (20.3)

PIT Passing Attack

  • Snap totals after losing JuJu Smith-Schuster (Week 6 onwards): Diontae Johnson 202 // Chase Claypool 193 // Pat Freiermuth 154 // Zach Gentry 105 // Ray-Ray McCloud 89 // James Washington 83
  • Target totals: Johnson 32 // Freiermuth 20 // Claypool 17 // Washington 5 // Gentry 5 // McCloud 3
  • Among all WRs, Johnson ranks third target share, 12th in air yard market share, and sixth in WOPR
  • Claypool is dealing with an injury and likely to miss multiple weeks
  • Johnson hasn’t scored 20+ DK pts since Week 4 @ GB
  • Between Washington and McCloud, only Washington has hit double-digit DK pts this season, also in Week 4 @ GB
  • DET ranks 13th in DK ppg allowed to WRs
  • Freiermuth began out snapping Eric Ebron in Week 4
  • From Week 4-Week 9, he’s tied for second in red zone TDs (4) for TEs (per Lineups.com)
  • His DK log from that time: 2.1 // 2.7 // 12.8 // 14.4 // 21.3
  • DET ranks 11th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (11)

Najee Harris

  • Among all RBs, Harris ranks second in rush share, fourth in goal line share, third in target share, fourth in WOPR, and first in RBOPR
  • DK log: 5.9 // 19.1 // 31.2 // 21.1 // 25.2 // 24.7 // 21 // 16.8
  • His 20.6 DK ppg ranks fourth at the position
  • DET ranks 31st in DK ppg allowed to RBs (31.5)
  • In eight games, there have been four instances of RBs scoring 25+ DK pts vs. DET: David Montgomery 25.6 // Joe Mixon 26.3 // Alexander Mattison 30.3 // Aaron Jones 41.5