Wild Card Weekend’s Showdown for Saturday night features the Browns visiting the Steelers. My thoughts for Showdown are below, and be sure to check out Rich Hribar’s Fantasy Football Worksheet for a full breakdown of Cleveland at Pittsburgh.

As usual, I expect the favored team to be more popular for stacks and onslaughts. Per Rich Hribar, “In five career games against the Steelers, Baker Mayfield has yet to throw for 200 yards or more than two touchdown passes.” Adding in the road underdog status, first-time playoff quarterback, and COVID issues, the Browns are expected to fail here.

Given the Steelers rushing woes, Ben Roethlisberger passing stacks will likely be a popular starting point for lineups. A strong case can be made for each of Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Chase Claypool. Mixing in James Washington and Eric Ebron will help differentiate some. Ray-Ray McCloud III is an MME dart-throw.

I’d like to see exposure projections before committing to anything with Pittsburgh RBs. I’m not very interested but James Connor is priced fairly and in a good spot. Even Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels are worth a look priced near and at the minimum. I tend to use a rule for at most one RB per team.

The Browns passing attack should be somewhat contrarian, but I’m not interested in Baker Mayfield for CPT. QB’s tend to go over-rostered and I doubt his ceiling here. I do however think using his pass-catchers and including him at flex offers leverage. My top choice would be Rashard Higgins who has a much higher yards per catch than Jarvis Landry, who is a fine option as well.

The Cleveland TE’s have been featured more recently, but there are three of them to choose from. Austin Hooper is the TE1, with Harrison Bryant being my second choice and David Njoku behind him. All three are worth playing, but I want to restrict the number that appears in lineups together. I usually use a rule for at most one TE per team, but negative boosting or at most two also make sense here.

Nick Chubb looks overpriced and Kareem Hunt projects as a decent value. I much prefer the former, as his explosiveness and lead-back role give him much higher upside. I’ll need to see ownership projections to decide how to proceed with Cleveland’s backfield.

(UPDATED) Ownership:

  • Roethlisberger and Johnson both project for just over 13% ownership at CPT. Roethlisberger looks to be 20% more owned in the flex near 60%.
  • Landry is second with (10.8% CPT / 44.8% total)
  • A group of seven players are projected between 5 to 8% CPT: Smith-Schuster, Chubb, Claypool, Mayfield, Connor, Hunt, Higgins.
  • I like going overweight Higgins and underweight Landry for direct leverage. I also recommend considering the same strategy with Smith-Schuster and/or Claypool (overweight) rather than Johnson (underweight).
  • From Chris Boswell ($3,600) and below, no one is expected to be owned 20%.

DK Values:

  • James Washington ($1,400)
  • Rashard Higgins ($5,000)

DK Leverage:

  • James Washington ($1,400)
  • Harrison Bryant ($800)

DK Build Guide:

  • Max 1 DST
  • Max 1 K
  • Max 1 TE from each team
  • Max 1 RB from each team
  • If CPT RB, negative boost opposing DST/K
  • If CPT QB, force 2+ pass-catchers (or boost)
  • If CPT WR, force/boost QB
  • Leave salary on the table, especially with chalky CPTs

FD Values:

  • Eric Ebron ($8,500)
  • Austin Hooper ($7,000)

FD Leverage:

  • Chase Claypool ($12,000)
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones ($9,000)

FD Build Guide:

  • No K MVP
  • No TE at MVP
  • No solo CPT in 1-4 construction
  • Focus on 3-2 build construction
  • Max 1 QB (wins nearly 3x as often)
  • Max 1 TE from each team
  • Max 1 RB from each team
  • If WR CPT, boost or force QB
  • Leave salary on the table, especially with chalky MVPs