Kickoff Saturday, Dec 24th 8:15pm Eastern

Raiders (
17.75) at

Steelers (

Over/Under 38.0


Key Matchups
Raiders Run D
17th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
12th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
8th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
13th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
24th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
7th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
28th DVOA/24th Yards per pass


Saturday Night Football has the Raiders visiting the Steelers for a 38 total game in which Pittsburgh is favored by 2.5. This feels like a weird total as it has the Raiders implied for just 18 points, a total they have beaten in all but three games this season. Is it the Steelers elite defense? Well, they’re 13th in overall DVOA, so not terrible but not great, more middle of the pack (though in fairness, they have been playing better of late, especially against the run). Is it the weather? The current forecast has it being awfully cold (low teens) but with relatively mild winds so unless that changes, the weather shouldn’t have much impact. I don’t really bet lines/totals but this one feels weird to me (especially the Raiders side). Let’s see if we can figure it out. 


On the Steelers side, Najee Harris is no longer in a bell cow role and hasn’t really been in one all season, averaging mid-70s snap percentages while sharing time with Jaylen Warren. Najee can still get a lot of work, as he’s had 20+ running back opportunities five times this year, but getting to that workload is not the lock that it was last season. In particular, his passing game role has largely dried up; after averaging 5.5 targets per game last year, he’s dropped down to just 2.9 per game this year. The matchup here is awesome against a Raiders defense that is dead last in DVOA, and if the Vegas line holds up and Pittsburgh wins, there’s a good chance Najee played a solid role in that victory. But, at $9,600, his floor is lower than I would like to see. He has a place in builds but he’s not someone I personally want to anchor the slate on. Warren has gotten somewhat priced up to $4,600, where he needs to beat out the kickers, and his highest score on the year is 11.9 Draftkings points. You can certainly bet on a lucky touchdown from Warren to go along with a few catches to push him up into the mid-teens, or of course, if something happens to Najee he’d be the primary beneficiary, but at his price, he’s more of a “hope for good variance” play than a strong value option.

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, the Steelers are leaning primarily on Diontae Johnson and George Pickens at wide receiver, with Steven Sims, Gunner Olszewski, and Miles Boykin rotating through the WR3/WR4 roles. Diontae has been one of the worst receivers in the NFL this season with zero touchdowns and a high of 20 Draftkings points despite regularly seeing double-digit targets (and he only hit that 20 mark once, last week). The volume keeps him involved in the conversation and his floor is rock solid. His ceiling is somewhat questionable, but on a single game slate, he’s competing against a much smaller subset of other plays, and I’m totally comfortable with him as a viable option. Pickens has been more boom/bust as he’s had two games of just shy of 20 DK points (good, especially at $6,800), but also four games of under 5 DK points (Diontae only has one such game). He’s a tough one to evaluate as his ceiling has really been more theoretical than real this season, but I believe he’s going to show it at some point (and after as much as I’ve played him on main slates, it would be fitting for it to show up on an island game Showdown). The other three wideouts are all thin punt options – despite somewhat reasonable snap counts, they do not have a single game of five or more targets between them (Sims seems like the highest floor option between them, but whichever one you play is almost certainly going to need a touchdown in order to be relevant). At tight end, Pat Freiermuth was a major part of the passing offense for much of the season but has somewhat inexplicably fallen off the radar a bit in the last four weeks. Up until week 11, Muth had 7+ targets in 7/9 games, but since then, he’s had target counts of 4, 5, 6, and 0. He’s also seen his snaps fall from in the 70% range to down in the 50s in the last few games, so there appears to be something more than just variance in play here but I don’t know what it is. Maybe he’s nursing a nagging injury, maybe there’s something else, I don’t really know. What I do know is he’s down near the cheapest he’s been in Showdown play this season, and I’m generally one to bet on underlying talent over shorter-term variations, so he’s a pretty easy overweight position for me in this elite matchup. TE2 Zach Gentry is primarily a blocker though he’s on the field plenty, and at $600, seems like a reasonable punt option, while Connor Heyward can be included as an MME option as his snaps have crept up in the 20% range in most recent games. 


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