Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off with a classic AFC North battle between the Steelers and Browns on Thursday Night Football. The Steelers and Browns are looking to bounce back after rough Week 2 losses to the Patriots and Jets, respectively. This divisional matchup does not have the star power at quarterback but has a good number of talented skill position players, which is good news for NFL DFS players putting together a FanDuel single-game lineup.
Before getting into our picks and strategy, here are the notable scoring settings for FanDuel single-game contests: The point total for the “MVP” is multiplied by 1.5, but he doesn’t cost any additional money like the “Captain” in DraftKings Showdown contests. FanDuel’s default scoring is half-point PPR and four-point passing TDs, and there are no bonuses for 300-yard/100-yard games like on DraftKings.
MORE FD SINGLE GAME: How to win a FanDuel single-game contest
FanDuel Single Game DFS Picks: Steelers vs. Browns Week 3 Thursday Night Football
$60,000 budget, need at least one player from each team
MVP (1.5x points): RB Najee Harris, Steelers ($13,500)
At the MVP, we will save some salary with the selection of Harris. The second-year running back has gotten off to a slow start but could pick up against a Browns’ defense that is allowing 17.5 fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Harris was a factor in the running and receiving games for the Steelers last week, totaling 20 touches for 89 yards and 11.4 fantasy points. However, he was held out of the end zone, which is a streak that needs to snap on Thursday, if you want to get ahead in your Showdown contest. The Browns are a stout run defense, but Harris does enough through the air. Coupled with an injury to Myles Garrett (neck), and Harris should pay off.
FLEX RB Kareem Hunt, Browns ($13,000)
Sticking at running back, we will roll with Hunt, who is a lock to get double-digit touches in a Browns’ offense that is centered around him and Nick Chubb. Last week against the Jets, Hunt had 13 carries for 58 yards and two receptions (two targets) for 16 yards (8.4 fantasy points). Even though the veteran running back failed to score a touchdown after scoring twice in Week 1, it’s good to see him getting targets in the receiving game. The Steelers are ranked 22nd against the run and 30th against the pass. You have to think that the Browns will try to get Hunt rolling on the ground and get him involved as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Fading Chubb is risky, but at least we have one of this dynamic duo.
FLEX QB Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers ($14,500)
Neither quarterback in this game is worth going crazy over in DFS, but with the Browns likely looking to take Harris out of the game, the Steelers will need Mitchell Trubisky to make some plays with his arm. The veteran quarterback has not thrown for over 200 yards this season and only has two touchdown passes in two games. The hope for Thursday is that Trubisky can move the offense down the field against a Browns’ defense ranked 25th against the pass. We saw what Joe Flacco was able to do on Sunday. There’s no reason why Trubisky can’t put the ball in the air.
FLEX TE Pat Freiermuth, Steelers ($10,500)
Many DFS players will opt to put Diontae Johnson in their single-game lineup, which makes sense since he’s Pittsburgh’s best wide receiver. However, a good pivot from Johnson on Thursday night is Freiermuth. The young tight end has been getting a consistent target-share (17 targets through two games), which is what you want to see in half-PPR leagues. Freiermuth has rewarded DFS players with back-to-back 10-point performances and a touchdown in Week 2. In two games last season against the Browns, Freiermuth had nine receptions (13 targets) for 66 yards and a touchdown. Look for Freiermuth to be a factor in the red zone, where the Browns are allowing teams to score a touchdown 71.4 percent of the time this season.
FLEX WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns ($8,500)
Peoples-Jones is looking to rebound after a tough Week 2 performance. After recording six receptions for 60 yards in Week 1, the Jets held Peoples-Jones without a catch last Sunday. The good news for Peoples-Jones is that he has a favorable matchup against the Steelers, who are allowing 213 yards and 17.5 receptions to wide receivers this season (second most in the NFL). With Amari Cooper commanding attention on the outside, Peoples-Jones needs a couple of receptions to get going and hopefully score a touchdown.