Well we are past the halfway point of this season, the trade deadline has come and gone, and teams are gearing up for the stretch run.
Chicago at Philly
Chicago is currently a 5.5 underdog on the road in Philly. Bears have been on a skid lately, much due to the struggles of Trubusky. Eagles have been hot and cold all season but are still in the divisional hunt in the NFC East.
Over 41.5 points
First TD Scorer Philly D/ST +1800 or Miles Sanders +1400
Washington at Buffalo
Washington has moved it’s eyes to the future and are sending our Dwayne Haskins for his first career start. In limited action this season Haskins has compiled a stat line of 12-22 140 yards 0 TDs and 4 INTs. Fully expect the Bills Defense to eat the young QB alive today.
Under 37.5 Points
First TD Scorer Josh Allen +700 or Frank Gore +650
Minnesota at Kansas City
Patrick Mahomes is inactive again today. Even with Mahomes, the Chiefs have been shakey at home this season with a 1-3 record in Arrowhead Stadium. Vikings march into Kansas City on a 4 game winning streak. They seem to have hit their stride and I don’t see Matt Moore doing much damage to this Vikings Defense.
Jaylen Samuels has been ruled INACTIVE for tonight’s game – pivot accordingly! We see a small uptick in points for JuJu and big value in Snell Jr. Here is our updated lineup
Dolphins @ Steelers (-14.5) – MNF
Holy cow could this game have any more potential to be a complete disaster? The Steelers are favored by two touchdowns at home against the Dolphins who are managing to average a measly 10.5 points per game. The Steelers defense has played solid this year and will be jumping at the chance to get to Dolphins QB Fitzpatrick early and often. This is shaping up as a game where the Steelers get an early lead and just pound the rock on the ground to kill the clock, though they will still be scoring touchdowns along the way.
Steelers Defense Potential
Showdown lineups have started trending towards a higher usage in DST (thanks Patriots) and even a significant % of Captain usage (Patriots 40% yesterday) and the Steelers are in a position tonight to gain a ton of points – but at a FLEX price of $8k, will it be enough to justify using them at Captain?
To answer that, I want to look at the potential that James Conner has tonight. He should get 15+ looks on the ground and 5+ catches in the game tonight which gives him potential for 150+ total yards and he always has 2 TD upside. Let’s say he goes for 120 total yards with 5 catches and a TD – that puts us at 23 DraftKings points – 34.5 in the CPT spot. The Steelers would certainly need to get a DST Touchdown to match that kind of production, and the additional money saved by using them as the Captain would allow us to move Boswell up to McDonald – I’m not sure that McDonald has a huge advantage on Boswell, and while the D may be productive tonight – I don’t think they will out perform Conner.
I think Conner will be the highest owned player in the slate and be close to the highest Captain % along with Steelers D. The contest we are playing in is very small with only 28 lineups, so we don’t want to be too risky. I think that a Steelers game script that has a lot of pounding the ground is the most likely so I want to stack Samuels with Conner, use Rudolph to correlate with both as they do well in the passing game, play the Defense because it’s the Dolphins and then I need to play one Miami guy so I’m going with Ballage. He will rely on finding pay dirt in order to help us out here, but that is true for any of the Dolphins players and Ballage is +200 as an anytime TD scorer which is tied for the Dolphins favorite with Walton (though he’s much cheaper than Walton).
Notice there is no JuJu… Total pass yards for Rudolph props are set at 239 yards, and with Conner, Samuels and McDonald, I just don’t think there is enough of an upside for JuJu unless he can find the endzone twice (which is totally possible against this Dolphins defense, but I don’t think the game script favors the Steelers throwing a lot).
Welcome to Thursday Night Football Pick Six! This two part weekly article will cover the DraftKings Thursday Night Football Showdown as well as my favorite choices for a 6-leg NFL Parlay that includes the TNF game.
Redskins @ Vikings Showdown
Remember when I said that we finally had a Monday Night football game that wasn’t going to be a snooze fest? Well, I was right… the Patriots defense put on a SHOW. Sam Darnold was “seeing ghosts” and we were seeing dollar signs
The Patriots started us off on the right foot and tonight we look to continue that success by banking on a similar strategy.
The Vikings are 5-2 on the season and averaging almost 28 points per game. Their offensive weapons range from steady (Adam Thielen OUT) to explosive (Diggs), and Dalvin Cook cleans up the rest. Those 3 players account for 75% of all Vikings touchdowns. They are priced accordingly and we are going to have to decide who will give us the best value tonight.
Diggs has really stepped up his game and is averaging over 18 yards per reception. Thielen is not far behind (14.5YPR) and seems to find the end-zone more consistently. With Thielen sitting this game out for a hamstring injury, his market share needs to go somewhere. That means Diggs is about to have a day and Olabisi Johnson is also going to have an opportunity to be more involved. Rudolph will be there, just like he has been all season.
Dalvin Cook is the rushing threat for Minnesota. He averages over 100 yards rushing per game and over 5 yards per attempt on the season. He has 8 touchdowns and gets some involvement in the receiving game as well. He should be a lock for tonight.
The Redskins haven’t had the worst season so far (looking at you Miami) but they are 1-6 and average a measly 12.9 points per game. With Chris Thompson ruled out and AP Questionable…… I’m trying to find some positives for this team but there really just isn’t any outside of Terry McLaurin – Over 17 yards per reception and 5 TD’s on the season. The only downside is his volume, averaging 4 receptions per game.
HOWEVER – Wendell Smallwood is in a position to open a can of whoop-ass in terms of DraftKings points. If AP is not ready to go, or is limited – that leaves Smallwood ($1800 – DK) taking reps as a starter. With his small price tag, it won’t take much for it to payoff, especially if he is involved in the passing game. I expect him to be HIGHLY owned.
I expect this game to go quickly in the favor of the Vikings. They are 16 point favorites at home, and I think that’s generous for the Redskins. Washington can’t generate anything on the ground (just two rushing TD’s all season) and are up against a Vikings D that has only allowed 1 rushing TD all season and a measly 90 yards rushing per game against. AP being out only furthers this narrative. Vikings will go up early and for good, and the Redskins will need to throw the ball. A. Lot. Does this script remind you of anything?
Oh that’s right! Exactly what I said about Darnold before he got lit up for 4 INT’s and a fumble. The Vikings are not as good at defending the pass as the Patriots and, though just barely, the Redskins are better producing through the air than the Jets. That means I don’t expect a shutout, but with an expected total of 13 for the ‘Skins – we might not get a whole lot of action. I think if you give Keenum enough attempts (which he will have), he can find the end zone at least once – which means McLaurin will be a great option.
I do believe the Vikings will run the game and I do believe going with 5 Vikings players is the right move here. Defense included.
We will be entering our lineup into a Single Entry contest with 388 total entries. First place pays out 50X and min. cash is 2X.
Our captain options will boil down to 1. Volume 2. Big play potential 3. Not a Redskins player
This leaves us with Cook, Diggs, and Cousins. As mentioned above, I think the Vikings will get things started quickly and never turn back. That means a lot of rushing plays to keep the clock moving and end this blowout as quickly as possible. I think Cook will outperform Diggs in terms of DK points, but the extra $1000 in salary we gain from having Diggs as CPT instead of Cook and will prove valuable.
Can we trust Diggs in this situation? Absolutely.
That extra $1000 we saved is going to allow us to upgrade Dan Bailey to Kyle Rudolph. Which leaves us with the lineup below. We cover the Vikings from every angle (except QB) and Smallwood gives us the best value on the Redskins.
We have our first cash on Beers and Bets after nailing the Patriots domination over the Jets. Nothing big, but 42nd out 681 was good enough to 3X our entry and start things off on the right foot.
White did not snag a TD which ended up hurting, and a Bell TD would have swung in our favor as 90% of the lineups ahead of had the Patriots DST in the CPT spot. We are back at it again on Thursday Night when the Redskins head to Minnesota to reenact what we just witnessed here on MNF.
Alright folks, we finally have a Monday night game that isn’t going to be a complete snooze fest. The 6-0 Patriots visit the 1-4 Jets…. oh wait, I thought this wasn’t going to be snooze fest?
The Patriots will put this game away in the first half, which makes for some difficult decisions at the Captain position tonight. As always, we want to look for correlation within our lineups to ensure we maximize the game flow should it go how we expect. If you were going to Max Enter 150 lineups into an MME, this would be a great game to spread the love around 4-5 Pats at the Captain spot, but as usual, I’m playing in a single entry tournament this evening (681 entries) so I want to go with a high floor, high ceiling guy to build around.
As I mentioned above, I think the Patriots will put this game away in the first half. They are 10 point favorites on the road, and have been firing on all cylinders for the entire season. Vegas has the implied totals at Pats – 26.5 and Jets – 16.5.
Sam Darnold only played one game before getting a bout of Mono and has only played one game since returning from the illness. He got the luxury of playing with the lead the entire time both games (Save for one drive at the end of the Buffalo game where he went 2-8 for 9 yards)
The last time these two teams played, the Patriots were up 30 – 0 before 2 defensive TD’s from the Jets, so I have zero confidence in their ability to hit their implied total today.
Patriots will go up early and control the clock with their ground game. Darnold will be playing from behind and forced to try and move the ball through the air. He hasn’t been tested against the clock and trying to keep the game relevant, so I’m banking on the Patriots D taking advantage of some mistakes tonight.
The Patriots have too many weapons which makes it difficult to rely on anyone on any given game day. I do think they will keep the ball on the ground a lot and so my biggest decision is between White and Michel for Captain – DraftKings is 1 point PPR so I think White is the safest bet here as he gets equal opportunities in the rushing game as he does the passing game. He is $11.1k in the Captain spot so we will need him to find paydirt to give our lineup a shot at cashing, but I’m betting on 2 TD’s tonight.
I mentioned earlier that I thought Bell was the only value on the Jets offense, and he will be the only Jet I play tonight. A 5-1 Patriots onslaught will win the slate tonight. Edelman is the safest bet to rack up targets out of the Pats WR’s and I believe he will the highest owned and highest CPT % tonight.
A strategy that has paid off in the past, but not often, is stacking White and Michel together. I think this is the perfect opportunity for this stack as the rush game will be the main point of attack and especially with Burkhead being ruled out tonight. This also means I want to fit in Brandon Bolden because the Pats LOVE to utilize as many RB’s as possible to throw everyone off in fantasy. Stacking 3 RB’s on the same is a strategy I will ONLY employ for the Patriots in a blowout scenario. Proceed with caution.
This leaves me with $7500 left and the Pats defense is the most expensive DST I’ve seen on a showdown this season. I hope this will turn people off of using them because there isn’t a better game script than Darnold playing from behind in his second game back against the best defense in the NFL. Lock them in tonight (playing a DST is another strategy I rarely employ in showdown).
Beverage of the Game
Tonight I will be sweating my lineup while also streaming the best team in the NHL (Shoutout to Altitude for not being available to watch anywhere) and so I will be drinking Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche Ale in support of the Colorado Avalanche tonight – at least when my showdown lineups crashes and burns, I will have the ice to soothe the pain.