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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 8 Thursday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Packers vs. Cardinals

Eric MacPherson



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 8 Thursday Night Football slate featuring the Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 8 Thursday Night Football

Green Bay will be without Davante Adams who is in the COVID-19 protocol and did not travel to Arizona. Fellow receiver Allen Lazard has been ruled a close contact and will not play. Finally, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is eligible to return from the injured reserve, though he has been out for the last month with a hamstring injury. For Arizona, DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) has not practiced on the short week, and he will be a game-time decision. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt (shoulder) has been ruled out, and Rashard Lawrence is questionable with a calf issue and has not practiced this week.

Green Bay Packers: 21.75


This is not going to be an easy path to victory tonight for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They are without two of their top three wideouts and potentially could be missing all three. Arizona is the final remaining undefeated team, and they boast the second-best pass DVOA and seventh-best run DVOA. The Cardinals have not allowed a 300-yard passer and have ceded only nine touchdowns passing through the first seven week. Tonight the Packers will likely rely on the run as much as possible with a controlled passing game.

Running Back

Aaron Jones should be the focal point of the Green Bay offense tonight, with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard out of commission. Arizona will be all too aware of this and likely will key in on Jones and load the box whenever possible. Jones is a threat in the run and pass game and can score from anywhere on the field. However, without any receiving threats capable of consistently opening up the field, this is going to be a tough row to hoe. A.J. Dillon plays on about a third of the snaps, though over the last month he has been out targeted by Jones 18-7, and it is even more stark in the red zone, with Jones seeing 15 opportunities in this stretch to Dillon’s six.

Wide Receiver

There is a massive void to fill, with Adams (72) seeing nearly a third of the targets for the Packers this season and Lazard (21) getting almost 10%. If Marquez Valdes-Scantling is able to return from his hamstring injury, he would become the primary receiving option downfield, with veteran Randall Cobb working the short routes. Rookie Amari Rodgers has 22 snaps and one target in the last four games, while Equanimeous St. Brown is averaging 12 snaps per game and has two targets and one carry in the same timeframe. Special-teamer Malik Taylor could see a few offensive snaps if Valdes-Scantling is a no go.

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Tight End

Robert Tonyan is third on the team in targets with 25, and DFS gamers are well aware of his red-zone proclivity. However, he has not seen a lot of work between the 20s, with more than 10 yards receiving only two times this year. That will likely change tonight, but he is not overly prolific, with just six games of more than 50 yards receiving in 47 total games in his four-year career. A couple targets may go to 16-year veteran Marcedes Lewis, who is on the field for nearly half of the snaps.

Defense/Special Teams

Arizona is allowing just over two sacks per game, and they have suffered only six turnovers. Green Bay is seventh in the league in takeaways with 11 and sacks with 18.

Arizona Cardinals: 28.25


Although Green Bay has done a decent job with takeaways and sacks, both their rushing and passing defensive efficiency ratings are in the bottom third of the league. Kyler Murray is averaging 286 yards passing per game and has 17 touchdowns against five interceptions while leading Arizona to a 7-0 record. His rushing is down to a career-low 18 yards per game, and he has fumbled six times, but he does have three touchdowns.

Running Back

James Connor has 336 yards rushing and six touchdowns. However, he has only five targets, while his counterpart Chase Edmonds is outpacing him with 33 targets and 397 yards rushing on 21 fewer carries. Though Edmonds has yet to find the end zone, that could change at any time. If Arizona can get out to a lead, Connor could take on the featured role while they lean on the running game. Edmonds is the more dynamic playmaker and has the higher fantasy upside when accounting for the fickle nature of touchdowns.

Wide Receiver

Though DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) has not practiced this week, the expectation is that he will take the field if he feels good during pregame warmups. The additions of veteran A.J. Green and rookie Rondale Moore have made Murray much less reliant on Hopkins than last season. Christian Kirk has also become a consistent contributor, which has spread out the opportunities for this position.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day
Player Targets Rec Yards Avg TDs
DeAndre Hopkins 47 33 420 12.7 7
Christian Kirk 36 30 408 13.6 4
A.J. Green 35 24 406 16.9 3
Rondale Moore 31 26 303 11.7 1

In large-field tournaments, each of these players is a viable option, and gamers can mix and match based on salary constraints, popularity and personal preference.

Tight End

Maxx Williams has been lost for the season, so the Cardinals traded for veteran Zach Ertz. In his debut last week, Ertz was on the field for 35 snaps and saw five targets for three catches, 66 yards and a touchdown. He is yet another option for Murray and will help keep the Packers from overloading to stop any particular facet of the game.

Defense/Special Teams

Arizona has 19 sacks, which is the fifth most in the league, to go with 14 takeaways, which is the third most. Green Bay is allowing just shy of one turnover per game, with a middle-of-the-pack 2.4 sacks allowed per tilt.

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 8 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Kyler Murray: While the rushing production has not been there, he still calls his own number in the red zone.
  2. Aaron Jones: The discount to Rodgers and absence of Adams make him a core option.
  3. Aaron Rodgers: Multiple touchdowns in six straight, with 15 passing and two more on the ground.
  4. DeAndre Hopkins: Is expected to play and is the lead option, though there are plenty of alternatives for Murray.
  5. Randall Cobb: Better on DraftKings ($3,600) with full-PPR scoring, but salary is also low on FanDuel ($7,000).
  6. James Conner and Chase Edmonds: Coin flip between touchdown equity and big-play upside.
  7. Marquez Valdes-Scantling: If active, assume he is mostly healthy; hamstrings are easily reaggravated, though.
  8. A.J. Green: Moves behind Rodgers if Hopkins is a no-go.
  9. Christian Kirk: Moves up with Green if Hopkins is out. This duo still has more upside and safety than the kickers. Also returns punts.
  10. Matt Prater: He has been solid this season, with 12 of 15 field goals and all 27 PATs.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Mason Crosby: Only nine attempts from 50-plus yards in his last 39 games; 12 of 16 on the season is still respectable.
  2. Zach Ertz: Knows his role and has already assimilated as well as can be expected. Now has two weeks of practice under his belt.
  3. Rondale Moore: A rookie that is going to be good but still gets lost in the shuffle of the many offensive options. Returns kickoffs.
  4. Arizona D/ST: Rodgers generally avoids sacks and turnovers, but without Adams this becomes a predictable offense.
  5. Green Bay D/ST: Murray has been turnover prone when going for big plays through the air or on the ground.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Amari Rodgers and Equanimeous St. Brown: DraftKings only, though at $600 and $400 they are worth rolling out even if they are likely to see half a dozen targets combined; no need to play them together. Rodgers returns punts.
  2. Robert Tonyan: Narrowly misses out from making the Secondary category; should still be considered an above average-play, though very touchdown reliant.
  3. A.J. Dillon: Seems to be only a viable option in mop-up duty if the game gets out of hand.
  4. Marcedes Lewis: Playing for a lucky red-zone target.
  5. Malik Taylor, Dominique Dafney, Kylin Hill: Backups of the backups but should at least see a few snaps collectively. Hill returns kickoffs.

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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS picks for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. View our DraftKings NFL DFS rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL rankings. Take a look at our inactives, NFL depth chart list and starting lineups. We also have NFL showdown projections and NFL showdown ownership projections.

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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