Patriots vs. Steelers ‘Thursday Night Football’ DFS picks: Mitch Trubisky, Diontae Johnson
Tonight were in for a real treat as the New England Patriots battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football in a game that will showcase a pair of backup quarterbacks and carries a historic-low total.
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Lets dive in and look at three picks for tonights game.
Mitchell Trubisky less than 13.5 rushing yards
In a game that could be very ugly, perhaps a mobile quarterback will take it upon himself to do damage with his legs. Many experts are hyping up the mobility of Trubisky tonight, but Im not so certain we will see him outside of the pocket as much as we did in years past.
Trubisky ran for 18 yards against Jacksonville on Oct. 29, so maybe there is a bit of recency bias here.
But going back to the beginning of last season, across the last nine games that he played at least 50% of the snaps, Trubisky has only had one game where he eclipsed his total for tonight against the Jaguars in that late-October game.
Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Getty Images## Diontae Johnson more than 41.5 receiving yards
We wont be seeing Kenny Pickett tonight at quarterback, but that doesnt change my view on Johnson being the go-to guy against man coverage.
The Patriots have played the most man coverage in the NFL through 13 weeks. Both Johnson and Pickens combine for a majority of Pittsburghs target share against man, but its Johnson that owns a massive 51% air-yard share.
Schematically, the Pats play much more single-high than 2-high coverage, and Johnson seems like even more of the alpha receiver against that look. Although their target shares against single-high have been similar, Johnson has just 22 fewer receiving yards in 26 fewer routes.
I think hell have a chance to squeak over this number in a game where Trubisky should be looking for his possession receiver.
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DeVante Parker more than 37.5 receiving yards
It feels gross taking a pair of overs in a game that projects to be this ugly on offense, but Parker wont exactly have to light the world on fire to exceed this number.
Over the last two weeks, when he has been fairly involved and healthy, he owns a 31% first-read rate. That ranks first on the team with Demario Douglas nipping on his heels at 30%. However, Douglas is out tonight, while teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster has been limited all week in practice and likely isnt 100%.
Defensively, Pittsburgh will surely be sending pressure at Bailey Zappe, but it doesnt change the fact that the Steelers yield the third-highest number of first-read targets in the league to players lined up out wide.
Dont expect a crazy receiving output tonight, but Parker should be the guy to see six or seven targets.
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