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Giants vs. Washington Thursday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown and NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 2 Thursday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 2 Giants vs. Washington Thursday Night Football matchup.

Week 2 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The Giants head to Washington on Thursday night for the first game between NFC East opponents this season. Washington is reeling from the loss of newly acquired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and having placed Fitzpatrick on IR this week, they will now turn to Taylor Heinicke, an unproven backup who dazzled during the 2020 NFL playoffs in relief of Alex Smith. The Giants fell completely flat against the Broncos in Week 1, getting gashed on the ground by the Denver’s’ backfield combination of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams in a 27-13 beatdown that was not as close as the scoreboard indicates.

The Giants are Easing Saquon Barkley In

While it is true that Saquon Barkley may be on a pitch count to begin this season, he still received a massive number of touches last weekend, earning a 25% share, but he only had 50% of the team’s running back carries. Still, the Awesemo projections see Barkley’s rushing prop line of 48.5 yards as an easy over pick. He is tough to get to at $10,000 on DraftKings, but Barkley is expected to be rostered less than Antonio Gibson and still has the highest ceiling of any player in this game. In this case, it makes some sense to pay up to be contrarian.

Antonio Gibson is Ready to Roll

In the opposing backfield, Gibson should be a full go this week despite being listed as limited in earlier practices. The Giants defense has been a sieve against opposing running backs, ranking dead last in yards per carry allowed over their last three games dating back to last season. It makes sense that Gibson is expected be the highest-owned non-quarterback on the slate, and he makes for a perfect cash game play.

J.D. McKissic is an Interesting Pivot

Tournament players can also consider J.D. McKissic, who should go pretty much ignored after an extremely quiet Week 1. Though Heinicke is more of a rushing quarterback than Fitzpatrick, it is reasonable to expect Heinicke to lean more on dump-offs and checkdowns. Do not play Gibson and McKissic in the same lineup, but consider McKissic as a leverage play against the two other big running backs.

Kenny Golladay Has Multi-Touchdown Upside

Kenny Golladay is not the best play on paper, but comparing his expected ownership with that of Terry McLaurin (38%) and Sterling Shepard ($27), Golladay becomes a more intriguing option, especially considering the ceiling projections for Golladay and McLaurin are very similar. McLaurin is a quality play in cash games, but pivoting down to Golladay makes a ton of sense in tournaments and allows for more salary flexibility for premium running backs.

Dyami Brown Could be a Value Play

The Awesemo projections have identified Dyami Brown as one of the best value plays on the slate, particularly on DraftKings. Though his floor is quite low, Brown’s four targets in Week 1 were extremely encouraging, and at $1400, he is a high-quality tournament play and salary saver. No other player below $2,000 besides Brown has a projection over 5 points for Thursday’s game.

Get to know Taylor Heinicke

In Heinicke’s one full regular-season start, he threw for 274 yards and rushed for 33, making him the slightly better value at quarterback compared to Daniel Jones, but not by much. Cash game rosters should begin with Barkley, Gibson and either of the quarterbacks and then figure out their lineups from there. If Heinicke is the only quarterback that fits, then so be it.

The Bottom Line

With the Giants more susceptible on the ground than through the air, look for Washington to establish Gibson early and often while possibly mixing in more of McKissic and even Jaret Patterson, allowing for Heinicke to extend drives through easy completions. Logan Thomas could see a few extra checkdowns as well. The Giants do not project to have a ton of success on the ground but are equally unlikely to attempt to air it out despite that being the best way to attack Washington’s defense. Over their last three games (dating back to last season), Washington has allowed the fifth-fewest yards per carry, but they are league average in yards per pass attempt allowed. Jones should have a few chances to connect with Golladay and Darius Shepard downfield, but with his subpar accuracy, that is far from a sure thing.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

Week 2 Thursday Night Football Prediction: Giants 22, Washington 21


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Take a look at our inactives, NFL depth chart list and starting line-ups. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL advice for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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