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Rams vs. Seahawks Thursday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 5 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 5 Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Thursday Night Football matchup.

Week 5 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The Rams and Seahawks square off for the first time since Los Angeles ended Seattle’s 2020 season with a 10-point victory during Wild Card weekend. This Thursday the NFC West rivals battle it out in what should a game with plenty of offensive firepower. With both squads among the top five offenses in yards per pass attempt and in points scored per play, there should be a lot of passing from quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford, and lots of scoring as well. That will provide plenty of NFL DFS options for this Showdown slate. The Las Vegas total for this game is 54.5, the second highest of Week 5.

A Three-Way Race for Top-Scorer

In one-game slates the two starting quarterbacks typically dominate the top-scorer probability, available in the Showdown Boom-Bust Tool. However, there is a third player who has a rock-solid probability of being the top producer on the slate: Cooper Kupp. Kupp had his first down game of the season in Week 4 but still leads the NFL in expected fantasy points and fantasy points scored above expectation. And because of that insane early-season efficiency, Kupp has a salary higher than both quarterbacks on DraftKings and is just $1,500 south of Wilson on FanDuel. Kupp has been spectacular thus far, but he has the lowest leverage score (a metric that compares a player’s probability of being in the optimal lineup to their projected ownership) of any player on DraftKings this Thursday.

Matthew Stafford on DraftKings, Russell Wilson on FanDuel

While it is advisable to fit both quarterbacks in cash game lineups if at all possible, the Awesemo projections indicate that on DraftKings gamers should lean towards Stafford, who comes in at a $400 salary discount compared to Wilson. Stafford ranks top five in yards passing, yards per attempt, touchdowns passing and fantasy points per game, making him an easy choice when the salary is below Wilson. On FanDuel the salary ranks are swapped, with Wilson coming in $500 less than Stafford. Unsurprisingly, with their projections within a point of each other, Awesemo’s value metric loves Wilson’s discounted salary on FanDuel.

Is Robert Woods Lost in the Trees?

Sean McVay vowed this past week to get Robert Woods more involved in the offense, which is a good thing since up to this point Woods has been uncharacteristically quiet from both an opportunity and production standpoint and has been a massive disappointment compared Kupp. Woods ranks outside the top 40 receivers in target share, air yards share, deep targets and yards per route run, but at the very least, his six red-zone targets rank top 10 at his position. It looks like Woods is becoming a touchdown-dependent play rather than the volume-based option he has been in the past, which explains why he ranks 12th on DraftKings and eighth on FanDuel in Awesemo’s value metric among all players projected for 5 or more fantasy points. He is a fine play on this Thursday Night Football slate but no longer a priority.

Chris Carson’s Availability Is Highly Questionable

The biggest injury news coming into Thursday night’s game is the injury status of Chris Carson, who is dealing with a flare up of a chronic neck issue. Carson has been dealing with this injury for some time, but it appears to be worse than usual during this short week of practices, and he looks to be in danger of missing this game altogether. Should Carson be unavailable, a majority of the backfield touches should go to Alex Collins, who impressed mightily during the preseason and has an extremely modest salary of $3,200 on DraftKings and $7,000 on FanDuel. He will likely be the most popular player on the slate should Carson be ruled inactive, which is why it is not crazy to consider fading Collins, or even playing a dart throw like Deejay Dallas, in large-field tournaments.

Seahawks Pass Catchers Offer the Best Floor/Ceiling Combos

D.K. Metcalf is an excellent plays this Thursday, but at a $500-plus salary discount on both FanDuel and DraftKings, Tyler Lockett looks like the better value play since he will not see as much shadow coverage from All-Pro Jalen Ramsey. Lockett has had two relatively quiet games in a row but already has two games with over 100 air yards and has at least four receptions in every game this season. Lockett has the second-highest leverage score of any player with a DraftKings salary of $8,000, behind only Darrell Henderson. Henderson is a rock-solid floor play in his own right, having earned 17, 18 and 20 total opportunities in the three games he has played this season. He has seen five-plus targets in back-to-back weeks, making him the top skill position play on the slate.

Two Tight Ends Offer Salary Savings

Tyler Higbee has been on the field much more consistently than in seasons past, ranking second among all tight ends in average snap share, but he ranks outside the top 12 at his position in route participation and targets per route run. But due to Los Angeles’ frequent trips to the red zone, he ranks top five at his position in targets inside the 20, making Higbee a quality value play, particularly at $7,000 on FanDuel. Gerald Everett has not been nearly as involved within the Seattle offense but had a season-high five targets a week ago and already has two 10-plus PPR games in three weeks. Everett has a chance to return from the COVID-19 list in time to be activated for Thursday’s game and has a modest salary of $4,000 on DraftKings.

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The Bottom Line

While the new-look Rams offense, the high Vegas total and the sheer plethora of productive fantasy football options imply a shootout, there is always a concern that two division rivals, especially those who know they might meet again in the playoffs, might play a bit conservatively. Still, with highly efficient quarterbacks who are unafraid to take deep shots and four top-tier receiving options, the most likely game scenario involves both looking to out-pass the other. Los Angeles’ defense is more capable than Seattle’s reputationally, but they have almost identical ranks in points per play allowed. However, Seattle’s secondary has been a different level of inept, ranking bottom 10 in the NFL in yards per pass attempt allowed and bottom five over the last three weeks.

Week 5 Thursday Night Football Prediction: Rams 27, Seahawks 24


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

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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