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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 6 Thursday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Buccaneers vs. Eagles

Eric MacPherson

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For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 6 Monday Night Football slate featuring the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 6 Thursday Night Football

Tampa Bay will once again be without Rob Gronkowski, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is in the concussion protocol. Tom Brady is dealing with a thumb issue on his right hand but is expected to play. Dallas Goedert is in the COVID-19 protocol and will need two consecutive negative tests before being active. Tackle Lane Johnson (personal) is currently away from the team.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 29.75

Quarterback

Brady continues to be impressive at age 44 and he is leading the league with 353.4 passing yards per game, resulting in 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions. Surprisingly, Philadelphia has the 10th-best passing DVOA this season while allowing the fourth-fewest yards per attempt. It is allowing two touchdowns passing per game, which is in the bottom third of the league, and it simply does not have the personnel to cover all of Brady’s receiving options.

Running Back

Leonard Fournette finally seems to have cemented himself as the lead running back for Tampa. However, in game-flow-neutral situations, the Bucs run only 33.84% of the times, which is the fifth-lowest rate in the league. Fournette is active in the passing game and has 24 targets on the season — with at least four in every game.

Giovani Bernard missed Week 4 and had just two targets in Week 5. We are likely to see sporadic big games from him, which will be dependent on Tampa Bay playing from behind. While he did have 10 targets in Week 3 prior to his injury, he has seen only seven targets in the other three games. Ronald Jones looks to be an afterthought at this point, playing between 14-17% of the snaps the last three weeks with 5.3 carries per game when spelling Fournette.

Wide Receiver

Things have been somewhat consolidated with the Big Three in the two games without Rob Gronkowski and Scotty Miller. Mike Evans (8, 12) leads the trio in targets, with Antonio Brown (11 8) and Chris Godwin (11, 5) close behind. Well down the list is Tyler Johnson (3, 2), who was on the field for a season-high 51% snap share last week. Brown sees the most targets per route, as he is on the field only around half the time. In a bit of a twist, Brown also comes with a significant discount to Evans and Godwin. Anyone taking the field with Brady is live for a multi-touchdown game, and he is happy to take what the defense gives him while racking up the production.

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Tight End

O.J. Howard has been on the field for 60% of the snaps since Gronkowski succumbed to his rib injury. In the first game without Gronkowski, Cameron Brate had the same snap share as Howard, though last weekend he had 16 fewer plays than his counterpart. On FanDuel, there is only a $500 premium for Brate, who has each of the red-zone targets for this position the last two games. DraftKings makes things interesting, with Howard providing a $3,200 savings compared to Brate.

Defense/Special Teams

Despite its defensive reputation, Tampa Bay has just 10 sacks, which is in the bottom third of the league, while Philadelphia has been decent, ceding only 10 of its own. The Bucs are averaging two takeaways per game, while the Eagles have just four turnovers, which is the second-lowest mark in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles: 22.75

Quarterback

The Buccaneers have the 18th-best passing DVOA and are allowing a league-worst 314.4 yards passing per game. Yes, teams are forced to pass when they are trying to keep pace with Brady, but Mac Jones and Jacoby Brissett each had 275 yards and a pair of touchdowns in their games against the Buccaneers. Jalen Hurts is by far the most dangerous rushing threat this defense has faced all season, and he is an intriguing option in all formats Thursday night.

Running Back

This is going to be a tough matchup for the Eagles against the third-best rushing DVOA and the defense allowing the fewest yards (2.9) per carry. Miles Sanders is clearly the lead option, and he was on the field a season-high 75% of the time last week. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell has played on about a third of the snaps while Sanders gets a break. Sanders has just over a 2-to-1 advantage for carries, though Gainwell has both touchdowns on the ground. It is an even split in the passing game, which makes both players viable against this veteran defense. Boston Scott is the only other running back to see the field on offense, and all four of his snaps came back in Week 3.

Wide Receiver

Rookie DeVonta Smith has been the clear top option in the passing game this season, and he has been on the field for 92%-plus of the snaps each of the last three games. Jalen Reagor is second, and while he is on the field around 70% of the time, Quez Watkins has seen more targets (10 to 6) over the last two games. Greg Ward has just three targets, though they have all been in the red zone and he has brought in two touchdowns and 30 yards, making him a deep dart-throw option, particularly if Goedert is out.

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Tight End

Zach Ertz has 21 targets against Goedert’s 12 over the last three games. With Goedert unlikely to clear the COVID-19 protocol, Ertz will be a phenomenal, albeit popular option tonight. Undrafted rookie Jack Stoll has only seen a handful of snaps each game and he has yet to have a pass thrown his way.

Defense/Special Teams

Even with the volume, Tampa Bay has suffered only nine sacks this season and Philadelphia has managed only 11 of its own. The Buccaneers have five turnovers, while the Eagles have five takeaways.

Thursday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 6 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Jalen Hurts: The rushing upside makes him a tantalizing option, along with potential garbage time against a prevent defense.
  2. Tom Brady: Brady is again a top prime-time option for the third time this season.
  3. Antonio Brown: Take the discount and do not look back.
  4. Leonard Fournette: Nice to see that he is firming up his hold on the lead job.
  5. Zach Ertz: Hard to let him go lower than this if Goedert is inactive which would all but lock him in for half a dozen targets.
  6. Mike Evans: Gamebreaker every time he steps on the field; the lofty salary should balance out his popularity.
  7. DeVonta Smith: We are not getting a discount on either site, though Hurts has to throw to someone, and double-digit looks are in play.
  8. Kenneth Gainwell: The savings are needed, and he could have a significant role approaching 10-12 looks if this game is a track meet. Also returns kickoffs.
  9. Chris Godwin: Could easily be the Tampa wideout who tops 100-plus with two scores.
  10. Miles Sanders: Salary indicates he should be in an 80/20 split, though in a pass-heavy scenario that will slip closer to 60/40.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. O.J. Howard: DraftKings special, go with Brate on FanDuel.
  2. Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor: Similar salaries and opportunities have them with equal popularity on both sites. Reagor also return punts.
  3. Jake Elliott and Ryan Succop: Slight discount and home-field advantage give Elliott the nod on FanDuel, let personal preference be your guide on DraftKings.
  4. Tampa Bay D/ST: Though not a shutdown defense, tonight marks Hurts’ 10th career start.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Ronald Jones: Needs an in-game injury to Fournette or potential mop up duty.
  2. Cameron Brate: Swap him with Howard’s ranking on FanDuel where he is just $500 more. If he does not reach 10 DraftKings points, he is a bust there tonight at nearly triple the salary.
  3. Giovani Bernard: No salary discount on DraftKings and half-PPR scoring on FanDuel keep him well down the list.
  4. Philadelphia D/ST: Brady is so good at limiting sacks and turnovers.
  5. Tyler Johnson and Greg Ward: Former benefits from the voluminous offense, latter gets a boost with Goedert out.
  6. Jaydon Mickens: Dual return specialist and gets the occasional offensive snap.
  7. Jack Stoll, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Boston Scott: Likely will be active, but best left for those approaching 100-plus lineups.

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

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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