For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will provide 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 9 Thursday Night Football slate featuring the New York Jets vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 9 Thursday Night Football
Tonight the Jets will once again be without rookie quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) and running back Tevin Coleman (hamstring). It is unlikely that Corey Davis (hip) will play after missing Week 8 and not being able to practice on the short week. Indianapolis is once again missing T.Y. Hilton (quad), and fellow wide receiver Parris Campbell is still on the injured reserve while recovering from foot surgery.
After attempting his first career pass in Week 7 while replacing the injured Zach Wilson, Mike White rolled up 405 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions while leading the Jets to an upset victory against the Bengals. That outcome was a little bit of luck due to Cincinnati looking beyond the game to Week 9 and the “Any Given Sunday” mantra.
The Colts are not a particularly fierce passing defense, though they also are unlikely to be caught off guard by White. For perspective, the Awesemo quarterback projections for the full week have White with the lowest projection. However, this is a single-game slate, which makes him a viable option in all formats.
Michael Carter has had solid back-to-back fantasy performances and should continue to be the lead option with Tevin Coleman on the sideline. While Carter has been buoyed by 25 targets in these two games, with 17 catches for 162 yards, he has 26 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. That also gives Carter touchdowns rushing in three of the last four games. Ty Johnson has been the main backup the playing 30% of the snaps since the Week 6 bye. La’Mical Perine has stepped on the field for only seven plays the last two games and would likely need something to befall his counterparts before he would get a carry or target.
On Sunday, with Corey Davis out, Denzel Mims (70%), Keelan Cole (65%) and Jamison Crowder(61%) led the wideouts in snap share. Rookie Elijah Moore (36%) and veteran Jeff Smith (24%) trailed significantly. However, targets were an entirely different story, with Crowder (nine), Moore (six) and Cole (five) getting the bulk of the opportunities. Crowder should again lead the way as the main possession receiver, but it is uncertain after that, and it could easily be any of Moore, Cole and Mims.
Over the last two weeks the tight end position has seen only six targets. Ryan Griffin (two, one) leads the team with 18 for the whole season, while Tyler Kroft (zero, two) is next with 12. Trevon Wesco (one, zero) did not play a snap last week and has only two targets this year.
Indianapolis is allowing two sacks per game, while New York is logging 2.4. The Colts are in the middle of the pack in turnovers per game with 1.3, while the Jets are second-to-last with only five takeaways.
Matchups are key in sports, and Carson Wentz can collect disparaging fantasy analysis when facing the Buffalo defense yet look like a strong option against the Jets with their No. 27 passing DVOA. Over the last three games, New York has allowed multi-touchdown performances to Joe Burrow, Mac Jones and Matt Ryan. Wentz arguably is better than the latter two and has a variety of above-average pass catchers on the receiving end of his throws. Wentz now has five straight games with at least two touchdowns passing, and he has thrown only two interceptions, both of which came last week against Tennessee.
Jonathan Taylor has seen 65%-plus of the snaps over the last two weeks, with Nyheim Hines on the field about 25% of the time and Marlon Mack getting only five snaps over the last two weeks. The Colts could not drum up any trade interest in Mack and elected to keep him on the team for depth. While Taylor is getting the majority of the workload, it is not overbearing, with 14 to 17 carries per game, though he does have three-plus targets in four of his last five. Hines has been essentially nonexistent unless the Colts are playing from behind. Across eight games he has a paltry 270 combined yards and one touchdown rushing, and he has 29 targets compared to the 21 for Taylor ,which is just over one more per game on average.
Michael Pittman Jr. has stepped into the WR1 role, and even if T.Y. Hilton were healthy, there would still have been a changing of the guard. Pittman is 12th in the league in yards receiving per game with 74.3 and 11th in targets. While he only has four touchdowns on the season, three have come in his last two games, including a pair against the Titans.
Zach Pascal has been on the field for close to 90% of the snaps this season and generally sees half a dozen looks. After a hot start, logging three touchdowns in the first two weeks, Pascal has not scored since. Even more telling is that he has yet to surpass 50 yards in a game, which is disappointing. Ashton Dulin is an undrafted free agent in his third year with the Colts. Although he has played in just 16 games, he has popped up on the radar, with four targets in each of the last two games. While this has resulted in just two receptions for zero yards, it is something to keep in mind when looking for discount dandies tonight.
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Jack Doyle has 332 snaps, compared to Mo Alie-Cox’s 280. Kylen Granson is a distant third with 82 on the year. Targets have been a much different story, with Doyle getting six over the last five games, while Alie-Cox has 19. Alie-Cox had four touchdowns between Weeks 4 and 7, while Doyle had just two receptions. Last weekend it was Doyle who had the score, and his counterpart did not log a catch. The point here is that this is a tossup, so consider the popularity and the likelihood that Doyle will be at half of Alie-Cox in tournaments tonight.
The Colts are logging just over two sacks per game, while the Jets are ceding just over three. On the turnover front, Indianapolis is averaging three takeaways per game, which is the second most, while New York has the second-most turnovers in the league, with 2.2 per game.
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 9 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Jonathan Taylor: While he likely will cap out around 23 touches, he is a clear top option.
- Michael Pittman Jr.: The 15 targets from last week are not likely to be repeated, but he now has 12-plus in three games and at least seven in all but two.
- Carson Wentz: On FanDuel he warrants strong consideration as the top option where the half-PPR scoring is not as beneficial to Pittman.
- Michael Carter: Looks like he is the clear RB1 and very involved in the passing game with White under center.
- Mike White: Last week was a career performance. While 400-plus is out of the question, he could still be in the 240 to 260 range, with a couple of touchdowns and a couple of turnovers.
- Jamison Crowder: Mostly healthy and will be the lead option with Davis likely out again.
- Ashton Dulin: Minimum salary at just $200 on DraftKings, which makes all sorts of lineup combinations possible. While he is also at the $5,000 minimum on FanDuel, there are better options for a couple grand more.
- Ty Johnson: Should see at least 12 touches in this conservative Jets offense, even as the RB2.
- Indianapolis D/ST: Five straight multi-sack games, with two-plus takeaways in five of the last six.
- Michael Badgley: He has attempted only three field goals in his three games as a Colt. Keep in mind he was already released by the Titans this season after filling in for one game, and the Chargers cut him during training camp.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Elijah Moore: Hard to count on with a quarterback taking the field for the third time ever, but he has flashed talent.
- Matt Ammendola: Two field goals could have him in the optimal lineup in a low-scoring scenario.
- Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle: Coin flip time; do not play them together.
- Denzel Mims and Keelan Cole: Mims may be running wind sprints tonight, though Cole is not very enticing either.
Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Nyheim Hines: Just eight receptions and 19 carries in the last four games. Salary based on double-digit touches, which has been hard to come by this season. Returns punts.
- New York D/ST: Meh. Even against Wentz this is not particularly interesting on DraftKings.
- Ryan Griffin: Just a fraction of the salary compared to Kroft on DraftKings.
- Tyler Kroft: Arguably more talented than Griffin but has been dealing with an injury that knocked him out for a month.
- Marlon Mack: Mop-up duty or an injury to Taylor are his paths to fantasy production.
- Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith: Lurking, but well down the pecking order. Berrios returns punts and kickoffs.
- Kylen Granson and Mike Strachan: Hard to see even the 150-maxers getting there.
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We also have NFL single-game projections and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections. Take a look at our NFL depth chart list, NFL lineups and inactive players. View our FanDuel NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL rankings. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football picks for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and NFL DFS stacking.
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