Game Overview ::
By papy324 >>
- The Steelers should let Ben throw in what is probably his last game.
- Dionte Johnson is priced for his floor, but has a great matchup.
- The Ravens backfield swings between featuring Devonte Freeman and being a timeshare.
- Mark Andrews is priced $800 above the second most expensive TE (George Kittle).
How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::
The 8-7-1 Steelers are coming off an emotional win against the Browns and barring a crazy circumstance, it will be Ben Roethlisberger’s last home game. Speaking as a lifelong Steelers season ticket holder that will always remember your first game and your last, thanks Ben. Despite the win last week, the Steelers still need help to make the postseason. They must win, and the Colts need to lose to the Jaguars. The Colts aren’t likely to lose to the Jaguars, but you never know, which will keep Pittsburgh playing hard.
The Steelers play quickly (8th in situational neutral pace) and stay within the top 12 in pace regardless of score. They want to attack with an up-tempo short passing game designed to hide their deficiencies along the offensive line and Ben’s aging arm. The Ravens are weak against the pass (30th in DVOA) and strong against the run (6th in DVOA) presenting one of the clearest pass funnels in the league. This matches up well with how the Steelers want to attack, and Pittsburgh is unlikely to deviate from its normal short-passing strategy. Considering the narrative that this is probably Ben’s last game, against the biggest rival of his career, there is every reason to think the Steelers will come out throwing.
How baltimore Will Try To Win ::
The 8-8 Ravens come into Week 18 having totally collapsed down the stretch. A month ago, the Ravens looked as if they would cruise to an AFC North title, with a shot at the top seed. Four weeks later, they aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but would need a win plus a minor miracle. This sliver of hope will keep the Ravens at full speed, with the added motivation of playing a long-time rival (Ben) in his final game. Three of the Ravens four straight losses have come by a combined five points, and they’d like nothing more than to take that frustration out on Pittsburgh.
The Ravens play slow (27th in situational neutral pace) and stay slow in all circumstances, only speeding up (15th in pace) if trailing by more than a touchdown. The Steelers defense has been middling against the pass (13th in DVOA) but uncharacteristically pounded on the ground (27th in DVOA), posting one of their worst seasons defending the run in recent history. It’s uncertain if we see Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley, but they are similar enough players that it shouldn’t affect the Ravens game plan. The Ravens have been surprisingly pass-heavy recently (probably due to their deficiencies at RB), but this matchup should tilt them towards the ground. Despite the matchup, the Ravens limitations at RB should keep them balanced rather than run-heavy. Expect Baltimore to try and take a lead early by playing balanced, and then relying more heavily on the ground game late to run out the clock.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
This game has a low total (41.5) because both offenses have looked poor lately. Neither defense has been particularly strong, but bad offenses are bad offenses for a reason, and they don’t become good by facing a weak defense. Both defenses have been weak defending one area (the run for the Steelers, the pass for the Ravens), rather than overall sieves, and both are likely to get up for an always physical division rivalry game. The Steelers appear to be in better position to take advantage of the Ravens defensive weakness, but it’s worth noting the Ravens have mostly been victimized by deep passing, something the Steelers don’t do well. The Ravens would normally set up well against a team that can’t defend the run, but injuries have decimated their RBs making it less likely they slam it down the Steelers throat. The most likely game flow is a closely contested contest between two teams that know each other well ending in a one-score game that is decided late in the 4th quarter.
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DFS+ Interpretation ::
By Alex88 >>
- Tied for the fifth lowest total of the week
- PIT’s implied total of 18 is tied for the ninth lowest
- BAL’s implied total of 23.5 is the 11th highest
- PIT has scored 20+ pts three times in the past six games: 20 // 28 // 26
- Their opponents have scored fewer than 20 pts in three out of six (19, 13, 14) and 30+ in the other three (41, 36, 36)
- BAL is in the midst of a five game losing streak, scoring 24+ pts just once
- During that streak, their opponents have scored: 20 // 24 // 31 // 41 // 20
- On the season, each team’s defense ranks in the bottom half of ppg allowed (BAL 21st with 23.5, PIT 22nd with 24.1)
- Technically, both teams are still in the playoff race
- ESPN’s FPI gives PIT an 8% chance at making the playoffs (need to win, have IND lose to JAX, and to not have LAC/LV end in a tie)
- BAL has a 4% chance (need to win, and have losses from IND, CLE, LAC, and MIA)
- Unless their 8% chance of a playoff game hits, this should mercifully be Big Ben’s last game
- In his final home game in Heinz Field, last week vs. CLE, he completed 24 of his 46 passing attempts for an historically low 123 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT
- That’s an ungodly low 2.7 YPA, the lowest in a win by a QB with 40 attempts
- On the season, he ranks 33rd in PFF passing grade
- He’s scored 20+ DK pts twice this season: 22.92 @ LAC in Week 11 // 28.82 @ MIN in Week 13
- BAL ranks 31st in DK ppg allowed to QBs (21.4)
- In half of their games, the opposing QB has scored 20+ DK pts
PIT Passing Attack
- Snap share: Diontae Johnson 84% // Chase Claypool 68.7% // Pat Freiermuth 57.7% // Ray-Ray McCloud 44.5% // James Washington 43.8%
- Target share: Johnson 25.6% // Claypool 15.8% // Freiermuth 11.3% // McCloud 9.2% // Washington 7.1%
- Among qualified WRs, Johnson ranks fourth in target share, ninth in air yard market share, and fifth in WOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
- His 18.2 DK ppg ranks ninth
- His Week 18 DK salary ($7,600) is a career high
- He’s scored 20+ DK pts four times in 15 games
- Among qualified WRs, Claypool ranks 18th in air yard market share and 22nd in WOPR
- He’s scored 4x his Week 18 DK salary ($5,100) just once in 15 games
- In the past two weeks, McCloud has out targeted Washington 18 to 3
- Both of them have scored 4x their Week 18 DK salaries once this season
- BAL ranks 30th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (40)
- Nine opposing WRs have scored 20+ DK pts vs. BAL
- Notable scores: Darnell Mooney 26.1 // Diontae Johnson 33.5 // Ja’Marr Chase 37.1 // Tee Higgins 46.4
- Freiermuth’s target counts from Weeks 6-11: 7 // 7 // 6 // 9 // 7
- His target counts from Weeks 12-17: 4 // 4 // 3 // 4 // – // 6
- Among qualified TEs, he ranks 24th in target share and 21st in air yard market share
- His 9.4 DK ppg ranks 14th
- His Week 18 DK salary ($4,600) is a season high
- He’s scored 12+ DK pts four times in 15 games
- BAL ranks 27th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (15.8)
- CJ Uzomah’s 24.1 DK pts in Week 7 are the last instance of a TE scoring 15+ DK pts vs. BAL
- Among qualified RBs, Harris ranks second in rush share, fifth in goal line share, fourth in target share, fifth in WOPR, and first in RBOPR
- His 18.9 DK ppg ranks fourth
- His 32.6 DK pts last week were a season high
- His only other 30+ score came back in Week 3 vs. CIN
- $7,200 Week 18 DK salary is $1,200 lower than his season high back in Week 11
- BAL ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (22.3)
- Just three opposing RBs have scored 20+ DK pts vs. BAL: D’Andre Swift 23.7 // Joe Mixon 31.5 // Jonathan Taylor 34.9
- Lamar Jackson is said to have a chance to play but has yet to practice
- Tyler Huntley practiced in full on Wednesday
- He ranks 25th in PFF passing grade (Jackson ranks 24th)
- Stat lines in his three starts: 26/36:219:0:1 @ CHI // 28/40:215:2:0 vs. GB // 20/32:197:0:1 vs. LAR
- PIT ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (18.2)
- Four opposing QBs have scored 20+ DK pts vs. PIT: Patrick Mahomes 22.32 // Aaron Rodgers 24.12 // Derek Carr 27.18 // Justin Herbert 38.28
BAL Passing Attack
- Snap share: Mark Andrews 74.3% // Marquise Brown 74% // Rashod Bateman 65.9% // Devin Duvernay 50% // Sammy Watkins 37.3%
- Target share: Andrews 23.8% // Brown 23.8% // Bateman 11.1% // Watkins 8.3% // Duvernay 8.1%
- Among qualified WRs, Brown ranks ninth in target share, 19th in air yard market share, and 13th in WOPR
- His 15.4 DK ppg ranks 20th
- He’s scored 4x his Week 18 DK salary ($5,900) three times in 15 games: 23.6 vs. MIN in Week 9 // 26.3 vs. KC in Week 2 // 36.5 vs. IND in Week 5
- Bateman has scored 4x his Week 18 DK salary ($4,900) once in 10 games: 20.3 @ CLE in Week 14
- Duvernay has scored double digit DK pts once this year
- Watkins has scored double digit DK pts three times, with a ceiling of 13.9 @ PIT in Week 13
- PIT ranks 13th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (35.4)
- Ten opposing WRs have scored 20+ DK pts vs. PIT, but none have hit 30+
- Among qualified TEs, Andrews ranks first in target share, second in air yard market share, and first in WOPR
- His 18.7 DK ppg ranks first
- His $7,500 Week 18 DK salary is a career high
- He’s scored 20+ pts four times this in 17 games: 29.5 @ CIN in Week 16 // 31.5 @ CLE in Week 14 // 38.6 vs. GB in Week 15 // 44.7 vs. IND in Week 5
- PIT ranks ninth in DK ppg allowed to TEs (10.5)
- Just four opposing TEs have scored double digit DK pts vs. PIT: Foster Moreau 11.4 // Darren Waller 11.5 // David Njoku 12.8 // Cole Kmet 14.7
- Snap share: Devonte Freeman 45.4% // Latavius Murray 28.9%
- Target share: Freeman 6.9% // Murray 2.2%
- Touches per game: Freeman 10.7 // Murray 8.7
- Freeman has scored 3x his Week 18 DK salary ($5,200) three times in 14 games: 16.3 vs. MIN in Week 9 // 20 @ CHI in Week 11 // 20.7 @ PIT in Week 13
- Murray has scored double digit DK pts twice in 12 games: 11.9 @ DEN in Week 4 // 13.6 vs. LAC in Week 6
- PIT ranks 26th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (26.5)
- Notable opposing RB scores: Freeman 20.7 // Joe Mixon 35.3 // Dalvin Cook 38.2 // Austin Ekeler 41.5
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