FanDuel NFL Picks & Optimal Lineups for Chargers vs. Steelers Single Game

The NFL action doesn’t end with the afternoon games, and fortunately for fantasy football players, there are ways to take in the late game as well. FanDuel offers a single-game option and for Sunday Night Football in Week 13, they have a variety of options once again.

The primetime matchup to cap Sunday’s action features two teams jockeying for position in the AFC in the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers. In turn, this game is a big one for both, and there’s a good chance we could see quite a few points as well from the two high-scoring offenses.

For this game, I’m going to provide my top picks and an optimal lineup for the FanDuel single-game matchup. For those who haven’t played this style game yet, the rules are fairly straightforward, but here’s a quick look at the general idea behind the game.

  • Select five players (one MVP) while staying in the $60,000 salary cap
  • MVP choice will receive 1.5-times the points as regular flex plays
  • Can use any position, including kickers and defenses
  • Can play two quarterbacks if you choose to

Let’s jump in by first breaking down the top MVP plays of the slate and then roll into the optimal lineup.

Top FanDuel MVP Picks for Saints vs. Cowboys

For any fantasy players who use both DraftKings and FanDuel, you’ll find there is one glaring difference in single-game slates. On DraftKings, they have a “captain” spot, which costs 1.5-times the price and receives a bonus for whichever player you choose there. While FanDuel has the same concept in the form of an “MVP,” there’s no price increase there. In turn, you’ll want to build FanDuel lineups with a top-tier option as your MVP, but also do your best to be unique to differentiate your lineup.

Here’s a look at my favorite MVP targets, starting with the highest level of interest:

  • Antonio Brown ($14,500)
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster ($13,500)
  • James Conner ($13,500)
  • Keenan Allen ($13,500)
  • Austin Ekeler ($12,000)

It was tough not to put Ben Roethlisberger in this mix, and to be clear, if you have the space for him then he’s absolutely worth using. Not only has Roethlisberger been excellent in primetime games, but he’s a force when playing at home. As StatMuse shows, Big Ben averages 312.2 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions in five home games this year.

Simply put, the upside of both Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, along with the reliability we’re going to have from James Conner is hard for me to pass on. Conner faces a Chargers defense who’s allowed 68 receptions for 680 yards to running backs this season, so he should be busy.

FanDuel Optimal Lineup

  • MVP: JuJu Smith-Schuster ($13,000)
  • James Conner ($14,000)
  • Keenan Allen ($13,500)
  • Austin Ekeler ($12,000)
  • Justin Jackson ($7,500)

I really wanted to get Ryan Switzer in at just $8,000, but the numbers didn’t work out to fit the top four plays in. In turn, dropping down to Justin Jackson is a fine option for the price. Although Austin Ekeler is expected to do the heavy lifting, it remains unknown as to whether or not he can handle a huge workload and large volume as a pass-catcher.

Jackson work didn’t increase until after Melvin Gordon’s injury in Week 12, but he finished the day by rushing seven times for 57 yards. There’s going to be work for Jackson, and although he’s not going to break the slate open, he should be able to do enough to justify paying down to afford the top plays. Ekeler and Jackson saw a 26-13 split in offensive snaps last game (per Football Outsiders) but those numbers are tough to gauge considering Gordon also saw 26 snaps.

Speaking of Ekeler, he hauled in hauled in 10-of-11 targets last game while rushing five times for 35 yards and one touchdown. His attempts will increase here, and I expect them to land somewhere around the 10-14 mark, depending on how much work he handles as a pass-catcher. Regardless, he provides a safe floor and an appealing ceiling.

READ NEXT: DraftKings NFL Picks & Lineups for Chargers vs. Steelers Showdown

Source: Heavy Sports