Week 12 MNF Showdown: Steelers vs Colts

by Dookie Hogue · DFS

Welcome to the Week 12 MNF Showdown! Monday Night Football returns with an AFC matchup between the Steelers and Colts. Both teams will look to change their luck after disappointing Week 11 losses. The Steelers have won five straight against the Colts, but Vegas is backing the Colts as 2.5-point home favorites. The game has some star power, so some player props bets are on the table to keep us interested. The game’s lean 39.5 implied game total is No. 2 lowest on Week 12’s slate of games. Let’s dig in for Week 12’s Monday Night Showdown!

Steelers vs Colts Odds:
Colts -2.5 (-115) |
Over/Under 39.5 (-110/110) |
Moneyline Colts -144/Steelers +122 |

The Colts

Colt’s brass shook things up after a string of convincing losses. Jeff Saturday took over as head coach, and Matt Ryan was reinstalled as the team’s starting quarterback. Ryan started the season as a bumbling turnover machine but still turned out to be a better option than Sam Ehlinger (34.1 QBR). Though the game total is low, Ryan does have a path to success. The Steelers’ once-vaunted defense has struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks (74-percent Clean Pocket Percentage). They rank No. 5 or worse in pass attempts (36.2), yards (283.5), and touchdowns (2.1) allowed to quarterbacks (on average per game). I like Ryan as a capped-ceiling QB2 here.

Rushing and Receiving

Jonathan Taylor is finally healthy after a string of missed games due to a re-aggravated ankle injury. Taylor’s 2022 campaign has been disappointing, but he’s looked like his old self, especially in recent weeks. Since his Week 10 return, Taylor leads the league in running back rush yards (231) and ranks No. 4 in rushing attempts (44). The Steelers rank No. 6 against the run while the Colts rank last in Rushing Success Rate (41-percent success). Taylor profiles as a volume-sustained, low-tier RB1/2 in this difficult spot.

With Ryan under center, Michael Pittman has been the team’s unquestioned WR1. Pittman has been the chain-mover as the offense has struggled to run the ball. He’s the team leader in both wide receiver targets (78) and receptions (57). Though he’s hit the century mark just once this season, Pittman has been a steady scorer in PPR leagues.

Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce are the other Colts’ receivers worth noting. Both players have Target Shares in the teens (15.4 and 14.3 respectively), but my gut is to go with the upside of the rookie Pierce. Pierce saw a team-high 47-percent Air Yard Share in Week 11 and now faces a Steelers secondary that has been repeatedly exposed over the top (No. 2 in explosive pass plays of 20+yards allowed). His Anytime Touchdown scoring prop is sitting at +290 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Steelers

Kenny Pickett has been an easy fade during his rookie campaign. He’s logged just one top-12 performance via a game in which he scored a rushing touchdown.  The Steelers rank last in Passing Yards while the Colts rank No. 2 in fewest Passing Yards allowed. The play here is betting unders for Pickett’s Passing Yards props (o/u 215.5). If you can find alt-unders for plus-money, I like that too.

Rushing and Receiving

Najee Harris is fresh off his best game of the season. Harris finished Week 11 as the overall RB3 after rumbling for a pair of touchdowns. Harris has recorded 20 Carries (season highs) and 90+ Rushing Yard performances in back-to-back games. I like Harris in this spot against a Colts team that’s better against the pass than the rush. Teams are opting to run the ball against the Colts at a 44-percent rate (No. 5 highest rush rate against) in an effort to avoid their stingy pass defense. Harris is shaping up as a strong RB2 with upside in what looks to be a low-scoring scrum in Indy.

Diontae Johnson and George Pickens are both sub-WR40. The early dysfunction with Mitch Trubisky coupled with the growing pains from Pickett has kept the Pittsburgh wideouts low in the rankings. These guys profile better as dynasty trade targets than season-long starters. Neither receiver has hit a 20-percent Target Share since the team’s Week 9 bye.

On the other hand, Pat Friermuth has been a security target for Pickett. His 22-percent Target Share is No. 3 best at his position just behind Travis Kelce. Friermuth has posted two top-four TE performances in his last five games to boot. To the detriment of his wide receiver teammates, Friermuth has cleared a 30+-percent Target Share in two straight games.  Friermuth leads the Steelers with 482 Receiving Yards.

Score Prediction: Colts 20 Steelers 17