Thursday Night Showdown – DFS Strategy & Picks – Brady vs Foles II aka Bucs and Bears

Nick Foles beat Tom Brady in a Superbowl that as a Pats fan I remember all too well. Seems like ages ago now though doesn’t it. Both guys are on different teams and both guys are throwing to different weapons – but none-the-less if I know one thing about TB12, it’s that he is thinking about that Superbowl loss to Foles today and I think he getting himself ready to right that wrong.

Tonight’s Thursday Night Football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears should not disappoint. I mean really, every Thursday Night Football game hasn’t so lets go 5 for 5 right? The big question marks for the Buccaneers are – Will Mike Evans play? With Godwin out, who will step up? Scotty Miller? A rookie? And on the Bears side I think Nick Foles needs a great performance to solidify his starting role for the rest of the season and Allen Robinson needs to ball out to continue to show why he should get paid. Lots of great storylines here but what it all leads to are Fantasy Points. I have seen some analysts call this a battle of mediocre offenses, but I have to believe both of these teams want to continue their winning ways this season and will play hard to do so. If that does end up being the case, you’ll want to have a piece of the action in Showdown Single Game DFS Tournaments tonight so – Let’s Go!

Editors Note: DK Pricing below reflects the flex pricing of the player. Selecting a player to the Captains role in your lineup will push the price up 1.5x but you also will earn 1.5x that player’s points. FanDuel takes this into account on all of their prices, their MVP Seat also earns 1.5x the given player’s total points.

QBs

There is a lot of volatility in skill position players tonight both with injuries and with on again off again target shares. So for me if I am looking to maximize the points in the Captain or MVP seat in my Showdown lineups, I am sticking with a QB. While Nick Foles is starting tonight, the shadow of Trubisky looms on the sidelines and so if I am playing a QB in my Captain/MVP spot I am playing the one that (barring injury) will see a full 4 Quarters of action and that is “Touchdown” Tom Brady ($11,200 DK, $15,000 FD). Why call him Touchdown Tom? How about 5 Touchdown Passes in Week 4 increasing his season total to 11. While yes it is true, Brady will be without the services of Chris Godwin this week and Mike Evans may not play. This doesn’t scare me too much. In week 4, three of Brady’s touchdown passes were caught by non-wide receivers and he will have 2 trusted Tight End Targets to throw too, plus the every shifty Scotty Miller (who is expected to play) and his running backs Ronald Jones and Rookie Keyshawn Vaughn who was a recipient of one of Brady’s non-WR touchdown passes last week. While I of course like Brady even more if Mike Evans plays, I think Brady has the chance to give you the most points today on the field and so I like him in the Captain/MVP Chair. Of course with his high price tag on DK, you will need to find some value plays to round out your lineup, so let’s see what we can dig up in this article for you.

On the other side of the ball you have Nick Foles ($10,000 DK, $14,000 FD) who since taking over for the benched Mitchell Trubisky after halftime in week 3, has done an admirable job for the Bears throwing for 487 yards in a game an a half and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown an interception in each of his two games as well. Last week Foles faced arguably the best defense in the NFL right now, the Colts and the Bears suffered their first loss of the season. He will have another tough test against Tampa Bay’s largely under rated defense and with a lot of pressure being thrown at him and him being forced from the pocket. I think there is solid opportunity for play action success – but, something about this game feels like a Mitchell Trubisky ($9,800 DK, $14,000 FD) game. I would not be surprised to see the Bears run a few “trick” plays with Frisky Trubisky under center and if Foles fails in the first half I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mitch come in either. That being said, I will have some shares with Foles but almost exclusively in Stacks with Robinson or Jimmy Graham. This has the makings of a tight game and passes will be thrown on both sides, don’t sleep on Foles especially if mass multi-entering. But I will have at least one lineup tonight with Mitchell Trubisky in as a flex play too. You never know.

WR

The Bears have the distinction that they have yet to allow a touchdown to a Wide Receiver. However, outside of maybe Atlanta in Week 2, the Bears are yet to play a WR who has the size, strength and soft hands that Mike Evans‘ possesses ($9,400 DK, $12,000 FD). IF he plays, Evans will be a lock for me – me who has egg on my face for calling him only good for 3 yards TD Catches before last week’s 7 for 122 and 1. I will never doubt Mike Evans again. I think if Evans suits up he has the best chance to break the Bear’s No WR TD record and maybe even smash it. He is in the Brady Circle of Trust, after all. We should know about 90 minutes before Kickoff if Evans will take the field.

If Evans doesn’t play, I think shifty Scotty Miller will be immensely popular tonight. After burning everyone in DFS in Week 2, Miller came roaring back in week 3 with 5 catches on 7 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown – and that was WITH Godwin on the field. With no Godwin and potentially no Evans, Miller should be more involved this week against the Bears and even if Evans is in, look for the Buccaneers to get Miller involved early. His ability to extend plays after the catch will be tantamount for their success plus – he also is in the TB12 Circle of Trust it seems.

After Miller, as you go down the Buccaneers WR depth chart it gets a little more “dart throwish”. Justin Watson, technically the wide receiver 4, is also out tonight and so that leaves fifth round pick Ty Johnson and kick return ace Jaydon Mickens available. Johnson has actually been talked about by Coach Bruce Arians over the last couple weeks as a player they want to get more involved – but has yet to see a target. Micken’s seems primed to be relegated to Kick Returns only, but with the Bucs shorthanded tonight I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some snaps. Each are fair game tonight – especially if Evans sits and are priced to play at only $200 each on DK and $5,000 each on FD. I would not play these two together in the same lineup, unless both Evans and Miller sit. But if you are mass multi-entering, I think both are fine to keep in your player pool and sprinkle in as cheap contrarian dart throws.

My favorite player on the Bears to run back a Tampa Bay stack with tonight is Allen Robinson ($10,600 DK, $12,000 FD). Robinson is the highest priced WR on Draft Kings tonight and with good reason. The clear #1 target for both Foles and Trubisky who through three games who has broken the 100 yard mark in the last two games and seen a massive 46 Targets over 4 games. Robinson is just that good. Play him naked without his QB or in a Bears Stack or how I will be using him a lot as a run back on a Tampa Bay stacked lineup.

It’s somewhat hard to fully know and trust what other Bear’s wide receivers will get enough targets or rather high value targets. Yes there is Anthony Miller ($6,400 DK, $9,500 FD) of course who is a tremendous player, but has been up and down to say the least this season. Great Week 1, no catches and 3 targets in Week 2, Good Week 3, 5 targets 3 catches 16 yards in Week 4. By the law of averages tonight should be a good a game – play him! With Tyreek Cohen going down with injuries you also have a plethora of Bears receivers that you can plug in. There’s utility man Cordarrelle Patterson ($2,200 DK, $6,000 FD) who undoubtedly will be involved in some way tonight, most likely as a pass catcher. There’s long time speed man Ted Ginn ($800 DK, $5,500) who saw two targets in week 4 and could nab a deep go route. There’s also Javon Wims ($200 DK, $5,500) who also saw 2 targets in week 4 and will be on the field. I think you need to handle these guys like the rookies on Tampa Bay, sprinkle them in if you are mass multi-entering but not stack any two together. Miller is undoubtedly the best of the group and if I had to order the after that I would probably go Patterson, Wims then Ginn.

Tight End

Gronk Smash! Right? (5,800 DK, $8,000 FD) Who knows. Weeks 3 – 7 Targets 6 Catches. Week 4 – 3 Targets 1 Catch. Now tonight – no Godwin, no OJ Howard, there is really no reason why Brady shouldn’t look the big guy’s way tonight. But I can’t give you a Green Means Go here. A couple reasons why. First, if Evan’s plays I think he receives the most attention from TB12. Second you also have longtime Bucs tight end Cameron Brate ($3,800 DK, $6,000 FD) always a Red Zone target. I think if Evans is out Gronk is a great play tonight but if he is in I have little interest. Cameron Brate is also worth a few dart throws if you are mass multi entering.

I think you need to play Jimmy Graham ($6,800 DK, $8,000 FD) tonight. Foles is clearly looking for him in the red zone and while he is touchdown dependent, he is a). coming it at much lower ownership than Gronk and b). makes for an excellent contrarian piece to your Chicago Bears stacks. I just don’t want to spend too much more time on Jimmy Graham, I kinda already feel gross.

Running Back

Ronald Jones ($7,400 DK, $10,500 FD) has a fantastic opportunity tonight to continue to show why he should be the ‘guy’ in the Tampa Bay Backfield – the question is, will he? Last week he came through 20 for 11 and 6 catches for 17 yards. The Bears have been middle of the road this year against the run and while they have had strong showings, as referenced, in their secondary I think Brady will see the opportunities to give RoJo an ample share of carries to help control the clock. Especially if the Bucs go out ahead I think you will want to have some shares of Ronald Jones tonight – however he will be extremely chalky, over 70% ownership. I think a contrarian way to attack Jones is to pair him with Brady and a Receiver as people are less likely to include the Running Back in QB/WR stacks (the most common stack you can make).

Editors Note – Leonard Fournette is officially active tonight and I think he is a solid play and at this late hour pivoting from Jones in some of your lineups may be a good idea. While I expect Jones to get the early down work, we have seen Fournette and Brady connect on big plays already and he gives Brady another weapon out of the backfield as well as the Bucs a bruiser for the goal line. Fournette is priced at $6,200 on DK and $10,000 on FD and while he will eat in on some of Jones’ massive ownership, with an hour to go I cant see his ownership getting to a point where he is anything but a great pivot off a chalky Jones if you are mass multi entering.

With the news of Leonard Fournette being active I now have less interest in anything but a few dart throws at Keyshawn Vaughn if mass multi entering. I wouldn’t play Vaughn in single entry tournaments with Fournette now active …

I still have memories of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shutting down Christan McCaffery on Thursday night in week 2 of last year and so maybe I am being gun shy, but I will likely have little interest in David Montgomery ($7,800 DK, $11,000 FD) tonight. Now look – anything can happen and he is certainly going to get the volume out of the Bears backfield, but the Bucs have been very good against the run this season and for me I will have only a few shares. Behind Jones, clearly the field is not with me as he is garnering 50% ownership across the board – so if he beats me, he beats me. But I see Todd Bowles dialing up a scheme that forces Nick Foles to have to throw to beat them and while Montgomery has been more involved in the passing game, for me I’d rather take a shot on Anthony Miller at no ownership to get that errant TD throw. Again that’s just me, play him if you feel differently – anything can happen and Montgomery certainly will see the volume tonight.

While neither defense is lights out, I think both are in play tonight. Both Foles and Brady have had their share of interceptions and sacks and again it’s 2020 anything can happen. I think defenses tonight are a contrarian piece to team stacks that will go very unowned on Draft Kings. For instance running a Tampa Bay stack with Brady in the Captain spot and the TB defense and one of the $200 receivers in as flexes basically gives you free reign to roster anyone else you want and could have a lot of contrarian juice in it. Just saying. Don’t sleep on either defense tonight. I do prefer Tampa Bay ($5,400) more but I’ll have some shares of Chicago ($4,400) too

Kickers in this game also intrigue me. Both teams will be looking to put up points no matter what and either team could have several trips to the end zone, so kinda like I was saying with defenses I think using the kicker of a team in you team stacked lineups will give you a contrarian play. Most people use Kickers in lineups with opposing defenses and I usually would recommend that, but not tonight. Using a team’s kicker in your stack of QB, RB, WR/TE is something many will not look at and if that Kicker goes off along with the other pieces, you could be in the driver’s seat. Because I like the Tampa Bay offense more I like Ryan Succup ($4,200 DK, $9,000 FD) a bit more, but Cairo Santos ($4,000 DK, $8,500 FD) is in play too!

Good Luck in your Contests!

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