The Pittsburgh Steelers play host to the Tennessee Titans tonight on TNF. We’ll look to take advantage of what should be a competitive matchup tonight. With fantasy glory and a hefty $500,000 to first place, it’s now more crucial than ever to assemble a winning DraftKings lineup that can dominate the competition. This article offers DFS insights on who should take the coveted captain slot, which core player should anchor your player pool, a value gem that can boost your salary cap flexibility, a sleeper pick with breakout potential, and one player to steer clear of – the dreaded bust. Get ready for an interesting DFS showdown on TNF.
*Disclaimer: These picks have been constructed with the mindset of building a single lineup. When building large field/multi-entry tournaments, if the player sees the field you’ll want to have a piece of him somewhere, my “busts” included.*
Thursday Night Football Showdown DraftKings Picks
DraftKings Captain Salary- $ 17,400
Derrick Henry’s season began just as many of his games do, slow. But sure enough, as the game moves along, he just seems to get stronger and stronger. The same can be said about this season. He began the year on a bit of a sour note but has truly found his stride in the last couple of games. Henry’s rushing yardage totals in the first three games of the season (63, 80, 20) were not the elite numbers we’ve been used to seeing. Since then, Henry has recorded three games over 95 rushing yards, including two games over the century mark.
This is the "Derrick Henry" game!
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 15, 2023
King Henry’s TNF matchup is as juicy as can be. Long gone are the days of fearing the Pittsburgh DST. While this defensive unit can certainly still put pressure on the opposing quarterback, it has been vulnerable against the run this season. In fact, they’re a top ten best matchup for fantasy running backs. Just last week, this same defense gave up 149 total yards and a touchdown to Travis Etienne.
DraftKings Salary- $8,400
Welcome back Diontae Johnson, this Steelers offense really missed you. In his return from a four-game absence, Johnson played just 66% of snaps against the Los Angeles Rams. Last week the team ramped up Johnson’s workload giving him 91% of his team’s offensive snaps. The 14 targets he received was by far the most on his squad. Oddly enough, only two other wide receivers recorded a reception last week. Calvin Austin III caught two passes for 19 yards, while George Pickens caught one pass that went for a 22-yard touchdown.
The separation in targets last week was a telltale sign that Kenny Pickett (and Mitchell Trubisky for that matter) both view Johnson as the alpha receiver in Pittsburgh. Like our captain Henry, Johnson also has a very favorable TNF matchup. The Titans DST is the 6th best matchup for fantasy wide receivers this season. If everything goes according to plan for the Titans and they’re able to get King Henry going, then Johnson would undoubtedly be an integral part of any sort of comeback attempt.
DraftKings Salary- $6,400
There used to exist a clear separation between Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. This gap does not seem to exist this season. Naturally, that would mean that either Warren has taken a step forward or Harris has taken a step back. I think that we have reason to believe that the former is true. Week 1 was the same old song and dance for Warren as he commanded just a 40% snap count. After a productive Week 2, where he caught 4 passes for 66 yards, Warren’s playing time slowly began to ramp up.
This play is what Jaylen Warren was fined $48, 556 for from the NFL pic.twitter.com/9hi16MJvSb
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) October 28, 2023
In Week 4 against the Houston Texans, Warren was one percent shy of a 50% snap count. You won’t see any of Warren’s stats pop off of the page, but one thing is certain when you watch with your eyes. Warren has more juice. Najee Harris has not topped 75 rushing yards all season long. The NFL is a results-driven league, anybody can be replaced. TNF could be the game we see Warren take the next step in overtaking this Pittsburgh backfield.
DraftKings Salary- $3,800
I can’t provide much analysis on a wide receiver who really hasn’t played all that much this season. But Treylon Burks should be poised to ramp up his activities tonight on TNF. After missing the last three games, Burks returned to action last week against the Atlanta Falcons. As expected, Burks was eased back into play, garnering 51% of his team’s offensive snaps. The result (0 catches on 2 targets) was less than spectacular. Luckily for Burks, his TNF matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary is as sweet as any.
There is admittedly a ton of guesswork going into this selection. For Pete’s sake, this is just the second time that we’ve seen Burks and Will Levis on the field at the same time. It already appears that Levis is willing to throw the ball up to Hopkins, praying that the vet will come down with the ball. It’s usually a good bet to make. Burks offers some of the same jump ball, big-bodied ability that Hopkins possesses. A red zone score would be all that it would take for Burks to catch fire at his salary of just $3,800 DK dollars.
DraftKings Salary- $9,200
Kenny Pickett has zero 20 DK point efforts so far this season. His best fantasy performance came in Week 3 against the Raiders. In that contest Pickett 16 of 28 pass attempts for 235 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. This represents Pickett’s only game this season in which he’s thrown for at least 2 touchdowns. He’s also managed to NOT have a game with both a passing and rushing score. Point being, Pickett is not dynamic. At $9,200 he’s stripping you of a lot of salary, but doesn’t necessarily have the stuff to get it done. Generally speaking, you’d like your quarterback to get you at least 18 points. That’s a feat that I don not see Pickett accomplishing on TNF tonight. The Tennessee secondary has been heating up as of late. The last time that the Titans DST gave up multiple passing touchdowns to a single quarterback came in Week 3, when Deshaun Watson tossed two scores. You can find a better way to spend your salary tonight.