Kickoff Sunday, Nov 28th 1:00pm Eastern

Steelers (
20) at

Bengals (

Over/Under 43.5


Key Matchups
Steelers Run D
13th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
22nd DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
7th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
14th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Bengals Run D
28th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
12th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
21st DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mjohnson86 >>
  • Second divisional game of the season for these two teams, with Cincinnati taking the first matchup 24-10 in Pittsburgh.
  • This game will have large playoff and divisional implications for both teams. 
  • Be careful in your fantasy takeaways from the first matchup. There were some fluky things that happened that had a large impact on how things played out.
  • Both teams are better at defending the run than the pass, perhaps opening a path to a more aggressive matchup than we would think at first glance.

How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::

The Steelers offense has shown some signs of life lately as they have improved their scoring output and efficiency. The total points scored in Steelers games had a season high of 46 points through Week 8, with games that totaled 56 and 78 points in Ben Roethlisberger’s last two starts (there was also the 16-16 tie with the Lions when Mason Rudolph started at QB). This could be a fluke, the offense could be getting in a groove, or it could be driven by the defense not playing at the same elite level we’ve come to expect from Pittsburgh. In any regard, it is important to consider all options when making lineups this week because the game’s relatively low total will not reflect the somewhat larger range of outcomes that are here.

There were a lot of concerns about the Pittsburgh offensive line entering the season, and those concerns have mostly been validated by a unit that ranks 30th by PFF in run blocking through 11 weeks. Cincinnati boasts a top-10 DVOA run defense as well, so this is not a matchup where that area of weakness will be easily covered up. Najee Harris will still see a heavy workload and they won’t completely abandon the run (they can’t at this point in Ben’s career), but we should have limited expectations on what the production will look like. The Bengals worst defensive games of the season were back-to-back weeks against the Jets and Browns where they were exploited by weaker armed QBs who dink and dunked their way down the field by attacking the short areas of the field. This should be the recipe for success for the Steelers this week due to the difficult matchup in the running game and the fact that they are unlikely to have success deep down the field (Roethlisberger ranks 28th out of 36 qualifying QBs in PFF grade on throws 20+ yards downfield).

How cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

Cincinnati enters Week 12 on the heels of a convincing win over the Raiders that featured a whopping 30 carries for Joe Mixon. However, the box score for that game does not tell the whole story of how things played out, or the approach the Bengals took throughout the game. Cincinnati actually called pass plays on over 60% of their plays prior to opening up a multi-score lead in the second half and coasting to a big win. As has been noted many times over the last few weeks, Cincinnati has become a more aggressive team as they get deeper into the year and has settled in right around the league average in situation-neutral pass rate recently.

Enter a matchup with the Steelers and some clear signals that the Bengals may be encouraged to lean on the pass game. PFF grades Pittsburgh’s rush defense as the 4th best unit against the run while giving their secondary the 4th worst grade in coverage. Joe Burrow had a highly efficient game in the first matchup between these teams, and with the run defense stacking things up so well, and a coverage unit that has been bleeding production lately, it is likely that the Bengals look to leverage their talented receiving corps in this matchup. It would also benefit Cincinnati to come out with an aggressive offensive mindset in this game, as an early lead would put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger to keep up. As noted above, Roethlisberger has really struggled to push the ball downfield. He has also been the 3rd worst QB in the league against pressure, ranking above only Jimmy Garoppolo and Justin Fields in PFF grade when under pressure. Cincinnati will be aggressive early on so that they can get Pittsburgh in predictable passing situations where they can pin their ears back and apply pressure.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game is likely to flow in a similar fashion to last week’s Bengals game against the Raiders. The Bengals defense is solid (especially against middling competition) and will likely keep Pittsburgh from having a fast start. Meanwhile, the Bengals offense will likely have some early success but the familiarity of these teams and the talent the Steelers possess on defense should keep things from getting out of hand in the first half of the game. It is worth noting that even in the two high-scoring games the Steelers have had recently, the halftime scores were only 14-3 and 17-10.

At some point, it is likely that Cincinnati’s passing game will make a couple of big plays and Pittsburgh turnovers could also contribute to an earlier than expected lead for the Bengals. In their Week 3 matchup, two Pittsburgh turnovers left Cincinnati with short fields that they converted for touchdowns, and Ja’Marr Chase had a 54-yard touchdown on a three-play drive. It will be interesting to see how this game plays out if there aren’t any fluky plays which alter the game script for both teams. In Week 3, Cincinnati became very conservative and run-heavy once they built the lead, and Ben ended up throwing 58 times. This game has a huge range of outcomes. It is very possible the game plays out close to its over/under of 45 points, but there are also very clear scenarios for this to turn into a classic AFC North slug-it-out game, or it could get out of hand with a back and forth scoring affair.


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DFS+ Interpretation :

By Alex88 >>


  • Vegas total of 45 is the fourth lowest in Week 12
  • CIN’s implied total has risen by 3.25 pts since opening, PIT’s has lowered 4.25
  • CIN’s 24.75 implied total is tied for seventh highest
  • PIT’s 20.25 implied total is the third lowest
  • The UNDER is 7-3 in PIT games
  • The UNDER is 6-4 in CIN games
  • CIN averages the fewest penalties and fewest penalty yardage on offense
  • PIT opponents average the third most penalties and third most penalty yardage on offense
  • Per numberFire, PIT ranks 30th in adjusted seconds per play (31.7) and 11th in adjusted passing rate (61.1%)
  • CIN ranks 26th in adjusted seconds per play (31.0) and ninth in adjusted passing rate (62.3%)

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Ranks 35th in PFF passing grade
  • PIT QBs are averaging 39.4 passing attempts per game (fifth most)
  • Six yards per attempt ranks tied for fifth fewest, 9.3 yards per completion is tied for third fewest
  • Averaging just 15.44 DK ppg
  • Week 11’s SNF 37-41 loss to the Chargers produced Ben’s ceiling output this year of 22.92 DK pts
  • It was only the third time he scored 20+ DK pts in a year
  • In Week 10 last year, he scored 32.32 vs. CIN
  • CIN ranks 11th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (19.1)
  • Notable opposing QB scores: Kirk Cousins 25.04 // Aaron Rodgers 23.76 // Lamar Jackson 23.08 // Mike White 31.1

PIT Passing Attack

  • Third highest usage rate of 11 personnel (73%)
  • Snap share: Diontae Johnson 78.3% // Chase Claypool 64.4% // Pat Freiermuth 57.7% // James Washington 49.6% // Ray-Ray McCloud 36.3%
  • Target share: Johnson 24.1% // Claypool 15.5% // Freiermuth 12.4% // Washington 6.9% // McCloud 6.1%
  • In nine active weeks, Johnson has seen 13 targets five times
  • Among qualified WRs, he ranks fourth in target share, ninth in air yard market share, and fourth in WOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • His 18.1 DK ppg ranks 12th
  • His lowest DK output has been 11.7 pts, his highest has been 26.1
  • Claypool ranks 13th in air yard market share and 21st in WOPR
  • He has only one game with 20+ DK pts (27 vs. DEN)
  • He’s scored less than 15 DK pts in seven out of nine games
  • In Week 3 vs. CIN, he scored 18.6 DK pts (Johnson was inactive)
  • McCloud saw 12 targets in Week 10 with Claypool inactive and Mason Rudolph under center
  • In Week 11 with Claypool & Roethlisberger returning he had just two
  • He scored 15.3 in Week 10 but has otherwise failed to hit 7 pts
  • Washington hasn’t scored 15 DK pts in over a year
  • CIN ranks 11th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (35.4)
  • Only two opposing WRs have scored 20+ DK pts: Adam Thielen 30.2 // Davante Adams 40.6
  • Freiermuth rose to prominence with Eric Ebron’s absence
  • In Week 11, his snaps dropped to effectively an even split with Ebron
  • Ebron may now miss the rest of the season with an injury
  • Freiermuth’s target counts since Week 6: 7 // 7 // 6 // 9 // 7
  • DK log in those games: 12.8 // 14.4 // 21.3 // 7.1 // 11.1
  • CIN ranks 16th in DK ppg allowed to TEs
  • Notable opposing TE scores: Robert Tonyan 1.8 // Mark Andrews 7.8 // Pat Freiermuth 11.2 // TJ Hockenson 15.4 // Darren Waller 21.6

Najee Harris

  • Among qualified RBs, Harris ranks second in rush share, fifth in goal line share, fourth in target share, sixth in WOPR, and first in RBOPR
  • His 20.2 DK ppg ranks sixth
  • Despite all the usage, Harris has scored just 7 TDs on the season
  • That’s tied with RBs like Cordarrelle Patterson, Damien Harris, James Robinson, and Melvin Gordon
  • CIN ranks 29th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (28.2)
  • Notable opposing RB scores: James Robinson 20.6 // Dalvin Cook 21.4 // Najee Harris 31.2 // Michael Carter 32.3 // Nick Chubb 33.3

Joe Burrow

  • Ranks seventh in PFF passing grade
  • 8.4 YPA ranks second and 8.8 ADoT ranks ninth
  • 19.1 DK ppg ranks 13th
  • In the past two weeks, his combined total DK pts scored is less than 20 pts
  • In the five weeks prior to this cold stretch, he scored 20+ DK pts each week
  • In the first three weeks of the season, he failed to hit 20 pts (including Week 3’s 18.58 pts @ PIT)
  • PIT ranks 10th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (19)
  • Notable opposing QB scores: Derek Carr 27.18 // Aaron Rodgers 24.12 // Justin Herbert 38.28

CIN Passing Attack

  • Fourth highest usage rate of 11 personnel (72%)
  • Snap share: Ja’Marr Chase 88.2% // CJ Uzomah 75.5% // Tyler Boyd 74.4% // Tee Higgins 61.3%
  • Target share: Chase 24.8% // Boyd 19.7% // Higgins 18.8% // Uzomah 9.7%
  • Among qualified WRs, Chase ranks 14th in target share, second in air yard market share, and eighth in WOPR
  • His 19.1 DK ppg ranks seventh
  • He’s scored in the single digits just once (9.9)
  • His DK salary started at $4,800 in Week 1 but is $7,300 in Week 11
  • In 10 games this season, Boyd has scored in the single digits five times
  • DK log in the other five: 14.3 // 13.6 // 23.8 // 19.74 // 12.3
  • Higgins saw his fewest targets on the season in Week 11 (3) and yet had his highest snap count (59)
  • His DK log: 15.8 // 17 // 10.2 // 7.4 // 13.2 // 13.7 // 13.8 // 3.5
  • PIT ranks 25th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (39.1)
  • Notable opposing WR scores: Darnell Mooney 20.6 // Mike Williams 20.7 // Ja’Marr Chase 22.5 // Keenan Allen 23.2 // Randall Cobb 23.9 // Henry Ruggs 25.5 // Courtland Sutton 28
  • Uzomah averages 3.1 targets per game
  • His five TDs is tied for second most at the position this season
  • He’s scored in the single digits in six out of nine games
  • DK log in the other three: 26.5 // 10.5 // 24.1
  • All five TDs came in those games
  • PIT ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (11.2)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: CJ Uzomah 0 // Robert Tonyan 2.8 // Foster Moreau 11.4 // Darren Waller 11.5 // Cole Kmet 14.7

Joe Mixon

  • 65.4% snap share, 8.2% target share, and 20.2 touches per game
  • Among qualified RBs, ranks fourth in rush share, second in goal line share, 25th in target share, and eighth in RBOPR
  • His 18.9 DK ppg ranks ninth
  • 11 TDs is tied for fifth most among all RBs
  • PIT ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (23.4)
  • Prior to Austin Ekeler’s 41.5 pt explosion in Week 11, no RB had hit 20 DK pts against PIT and only two had cracked 15+ (D’Andre Swift 19.5 // Alex Collins 19.8)