FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4 Monday Night
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
Bookmakers currently have the Steelers as -3.5-point home favorites, presenting us with what should be a close and interesting game, as the over/under is set at 44.5.
Andy Dalton ($15,000) - Despite the Bengals being 0-3, Dalton has been very consistent to start the season, scoring a low of 18.1 FanDuel points and a high of 20.72 points. A very reliable option to use in the MVP spot, who will be looking to exploit a weak Steelers defense allowing 20.4 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, which is the ninth-worst in the league. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Steelers have allowed two or more touchdowns and over 300 yards in two of their three games.
Cincinnati also appears to be committed to the passing game ahead of the running game, as Joe Mixon has 11 or fewer rushing attempts in two of his three games. The Bengals lead the league in passing play percentage at 72.92%, too, and Dalton is averaging 43 passing attempts per game, the fifth-highest mark in the league. Dalton comes in as our third-highest projected player tonight, giving him strong upside if he is utilized in the MVP spot.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($13,500) - Smith-Schuster has been the best offensive player for the Steelers this season, so it's a no-brainer to target him as an MVP option tonight. He leads the team in targets, receptions, yards, air yards, target market share, and market share of air yards. The Steelers are making it a point to get JuJu the ball early and often, which should only continue tonight.
The Bengals are allowing 27.5 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, which is one of the lower marks in the league, but they've faced the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills in two of their games. The Bengals' secondary has yet to face a receiver who is borderline elite, which is why their numbers are rather strong.
John Ross ($11,500) - The Steelers are allowing the third-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, putting Ross in the ideal matchup. Ross started the season on fire with two touchdowns and 158 yards in a win over the Seattle Seahawks. He followed that up with another 112 yards and a touchdown versus the San Francisco 49ers but fell flat last week in a tough matchup versus the Buffalo Bills. Two strong games and one bad game, but the former is looking likely tonight.
Ross leads the Bengals in yards, air yards, average depth of target (aDOT), and market share of air yards. As noted above with Dalton, the Bengals are passing the ball more than any other team this season, which feeds right into Ross racking up more fantasy points. It also helps that the Steelers have allowed a reception of 30 yards or more in two of their three games this season and getting downfield has been the strong suit of Ross his entire career.
Nick Vannett ($5,000) - With Steelers starting tight end Vance McDonald set to miss this game, newly acquired Vannett is likely to have a role within the offense. He comes in at the minimum salary, which offers an immense amount of roster flexibility in a single-game format. Our projections have Vannett as the third-best value play tonight, along with a 4.21 target projection, which is the seventh-highest on the slate.
He will likely be very popular due to all this, but that shouldn't scare you off of Vannett since his point-per-dollar value can be exceeded with a single touchdown. The Steelers have an implied team total sitting at 24.00 tonight, which suggests multiple touchdowns, one of which could go Vannett's way if they reach the red zone. McDonald is going to be out due to an injury, but what is interesting is the fact that both of his receiving touchdowns have come while in the red zone this season. If the Steelers are making it a point to target their tight ends in the red zone, you want some shares of Vannett tonight.
James Washington ($6,500) - Washington is another value option to consider tonight, coming in slightly above the minimum salary. In Week 3, Washington played on 49-of-54 (92%) offensive snaps, which was the second-highest on the team behind Smith-Schuster. He only turned that into five targets for two receptions and 14 yards in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The usage within the offensive isn't immense right now, but the opportunity is worth going after against this Bengals secondary.
Once Mason Rudolph took over the starting job at quarterback, there was plenty of discussion surrounding the idea that Washington and him share an "on-field" connection. They played together in the preseason over the past two years and were teammates at Oklahoma State, where they played three seasons together. From 2015 to 2017, Washington recorded over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in each season, giving this a bit of merit. Regardless if you buy into that narrative, the lower price and offensive opportunity are strong for Washington.
Tyler Eifert ($7,500) - Eifert can often be a boom or bust player, but the matchup versus the Steelers is worth attacking tonight. Pittsburgh is allowing 10.3 FanDuel points per game to tight ends, which is the 12th-worst in the league, presenting a clear path to value tonight. Eifert is tied for the team lead with two red zone targets, one of which has resulted in a touchdown.
If a player lacks overall usage and consistency within the offense -- like Eifert -- he can make up for that with high equity targets in the red zone. Consider adding him to your player pool as you build out multiple lineups.