Thursday Night Showdown – Giants Eagles – The NFC East Lead Hangs in the Balance!

Was it me or was there a significant amount of games over the last few weeks that have just been butt ugly and not fun to watch? We have however had a surprising constant in Thursday Night Football so far this season with some of the best games of the week coming from Thursday and tonight we have a game that could do it once again! Yes we are talking about the Giants and the Eagles here, both teams that have had their share of injuries and who have at times looked lost on the field – but it’s the NFC East and it’s anyones game!

Right now the Cowboys sit on top of the NFC East with a 2-4 record. Should the Eagles (1 – 4 – 1) pull out a win tonight they will be tied for first place in the division – and poised to strike as the Cowboys are now without Dak Prescott and have looked less than stellar with Andy Dalton thus far (ie; they are ripe for the pickings). Meanwhile the Giants (1 – 5) are riding a 1 game win streak and should they pull out a win, will be tied with Philadelphia for 2nd place and again ready to strike a struggling Cowboys team. So there is a lot to play for tonight between these two teams.

Also on the Eagles side you have nearly an entire offensive unit on the bench tonight, injured. No Miles Sanders, No Zach Ertz, No Dallas Goedert, No Jalen Raeger and Alshon Jeffery is who knows where. This has opened the door for players that we will talk about but also even further concentrated the ‘most likely’ target share of the offense. Let’s get into it.

Editors Note: The pricing that will be talked about in this article for Draft Kings reflects the player’ Flex price. Should you choose to use that player as your Captain on DK his price will reflect 1.5x the Flex Price – however you will also earn 1.5x that player’s points. FanDuel factors their MVP spot into all pricing and that is why it will appear always higher. However you also have a larger Salary Cap on FanDuel to play with.

When you are playing a single game showdown contest, you always want to lean on the player that you believe will give you the MOST (ie; a High Ceiling) in your Captain/MVP spot. However when you have to factor in the prices that player have in that spot (especially on DK) you also have to then be very strategic on what other players you will be able to use in your flex spots to stay on the salary cap. Tonight I think the most logical pick for this spot is Carson Wentz ($10,800 DK, $15,500 FD). I say logical because with so many key offensive weapons not playing tonight, it will largely be up to Wentz to make an Eagles win a reality. To Wentz’s credit he has been pushing the ball down field more and rushing more – nabbing rushing touchdowns when he sees an opening. He is a baller. He also is not only the most expensive player on both sites but also the highest owned as well at near 70%. I will be multi-entering tonight and while I will have at least one lineup with Wentz as Captain, I think the pass catchers for the Eagles present not only a (slightly) contrarian play but also one with upside and due to pricing could allow you to find more variance in your lineup. Starting with Travis Fulgham ($8,800 DK, $12,000 FD) who has become the alpha in this offense over the last 3 weeks seeing 23 targets across weeks 5 & 6 and scoring a touchdown in each of the last 3 games. If you look at the matchup he will likely see a lot of Giant’s CB James Bradberry tonight but despite the great play Bradberry has shown this season I like Fulgham a lot tonight. He is garnering a lot of ownership (60%) but one advantage Fulgham has is DeSean Jackson ($5,800 DK, $8,000 FD) and with Fulgham playing the Alshon Jeffery role, Jackson will most likely be deployed to do what he does best and stretch the field. I love Jackson’s price on DK by the way – and at more than half the ownership of Fulgham I am more than willing to take some shots on DJax as the Giants are susceptible to the deep ball. However with Jackson on the field and going over the top, it could open up opportunities for Fulgham underneath where he could also find a lot of success. Fulgham is a big guy and a solid route runner. He reminds me of AJ Brown or Deebo Samuel in that way. I like both of these guys tonight to stack with Wentz. I think you also need to be aware of Eagles Tight End Richard Rogers ($5,000 DK, $6,500 FD) who could legitimately end up playing 100% of snaps with how thin the Eagles are at the position. For the opportunity Rogers has neither site has priced him correctly in my opinion, so take advantage of it. At around 19% ownership he is a perfect contrarian piece to what likely will other wise be a chalky Eagles stack tonight.

One of the most talked about season long waiver adds this week has been Boston Scott ($8,400 DK, $6,500 FD). With Miles Sanders out, Scott will be the man leading the Eagles Backfield tonight and if you take a second look at the FanDuel pricing that is a matter that FanDuel seemingly did not take into account (he is too cheap there, play him on FanDuel – great MVP Candidate). However this also occurred in earlier this season and quite frankly, Boston Scott burned us! That risk does not matter to DFS players tonight though as Scott’s ownership across both sites rivals only Carson Wentz (70%). The Giants while ranked in the bottom half of the league defensively are averaging just over 100 yards per game to running backs (106) so while Scott could absolutely crush, there is just as much chance that he becomes a very touchdown dependent play. While I think having some shares of Scott tonight is a good idea, I favor Wentz, Fulgham and Jackson as Captain (at least on DK). The other factor that I think going against Scott is that more than likely Corey Clement ($5,200 DK, $5,000 FD) will be involved which will cut into Scott’s touches. We have seen the Eagles use Clement in passing downs and there is always a chance Clement is in the game in the redzone and his number is called. You can take a shot on Clement as a salary saver dart throw for that reason by the way.

A couple other Salary Savers you could look at taking some shots on are WRs Greg Ward ($4,800 DK, $7,500 FD), John Hightower ($1,200 DK, $7,000 FD) and the ever present JJ Arecega-Whiteside ($2,400 DK, $5,000 FD) along with Tight End Jason Croom ($200 DK, $5,000 FD). Ward, Hightower and Whiteside have all had their moments this season with so many injuries plaguing the Eagles. The most notable of this group is Ward who has a touchdown to his name, but I could also see Whiteside getting some quick targets especially sideline throws with the thinness at Tight End this week. Jason Croom also received a target last week when Ertz wasn’t on the field and we could see his role expand tonight as well. He is too cheap on DK to all together ignore.

Tonight I will have 1 lineup with Wentz as Captain, 1 with Fulgham and 1 with Jackson. I’ll want to make sure that I am stacking correctly and I think tonight going a full 4 – 2 stack is the play (4 from one team, 2 from the other). I’m not as inclined to use Boston Scott in a stack with Wentz (I do like Scott as a run back on a Giants stack) but the combination of Wentz, Fulgham, Jackson and Rogers really appeals to me. So who do you run that back with on the Giants side. Let’s figure it out.

The Giants come into tonight in a much healthier position (minus of course Saquon Barkley) but Darius Slayton, Even Engram, Devante Freeman, Daniel Jones, Golden Tate – they will all play tonight and we may even get Sterling Shepard back! I think the plays with the most upside for the G-Men or the wide receivers. Darius Slayton ($9,200 DK, $12,500 FD) has become the player to watch in this offense and we have already seen him have 2 100 yard games this season. His touchdowns have been lacking, but I think a matchup like this one could change that. Especially with Golden Tate and potential Sterling Shepard also in the game, I think Slayton will find more room to move than the has had in weeks. Slayton will be a very popular play tonight, but not close to Fulgham ownership. With Slayton $500 more on DK and $1,000 more on FD – he does make a nice pivot from Fulgham with just about the same amount of upside in my opinion. I like him tonight a lot as Captain/MVP. Sterling Shepard ($7,000 DK, $6,500 FD) could also be a really nice contrarian play tonight. If he plays, Shepard will surely command targets and I think many people will shy away from him due to him coming off the multi-week injury. My least favorite Giants receiver tonight is Golden Tate ($6,600 DK, $8,000 FD). To say Tate has underwhelmed this season may be an understatement. The thing is, I hadn’t hated his target share up until last week. Averaging 6 targets a game – I personally think a player of Tate’s pedigree should have been able to do more but with a high of 47 in Week 1 and no touchdowns on the season I just can’t see the upside – especially if Shepard is back, I think it only hurts Tate’s opportunities even more. Anything can happen in the NFL of course and who knows this could be Tate’s game, but I’ll likely let someone else take that gamble tonight. Speaking of underwhelming – Evan Engram ($8,000 DK, $10,000 FD) also is not a priority for me either. Similar to Tate, his targets had been ‘ok’ but the last two weeks he has practically been non existent. Not to mention his only score this season came as a rushing touchdown. Could this be Evan Engram’s night? On paper – sure. Philadelphia is the 3rd worst team in the league against tight ends and are giving up 233 yards per game through the air. At close to 40% ownership tonight, clearly a lot of people do think it could be the night. While I think Engram does offer more upside than Tate in this offense – it’s just not a priority for me to have him in my lineups. I think he is way over priced on FanDuel and quite frankly, I like Richard Rogers’ more in this game at half of Engram’s ownership.

This all boils down to Daniel Jones ($10,400 DK, $14,500 FD) and if he can perform tonight at the level this team needs. It’s been a mixed bag so far this season for Danny Dimes but the Eagles are prime to attack. While their front 7 has looked pretty good, there are a lot of holes in that secondary to exploit and the Giants will need Jones to perform – but here is the thing. Jones has only thrown more than 250 passing yards only ONCE over the first 6 games of the season and he has a TD to INT ratio of 3:5. Mmm… not great. But Jones also offers plenty with his legs! Jones had been rushing an average of 5 times per game for an average of 45 yards on the ground but last week – 7 for 74 on the ground. Kowabunga! Jones will be owned in over 50% of lineups tonight and that kinda makes sense. I think my only issue with taking some shots on Jones is who I am stacking him with and his cost. The most popular stack tonight will be Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton and while I don’t hate it, but if we get news Shepard is playing I think including him in that that stack will help offset the chalk. I think you will need to play Jones in a stack while I don’t think you need to do the same with his receivers. Jones is a volatile play, but any given (Thursday) he could work out, right?

Speaking of rushing I’ll close out my Giants talk with Devonta Freeman ($7,400 DK, $11,000 FD) who since coming to the Giants, has looked pretty good. Yes you still have Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman there but I think for the most part – this has become Freeman’s team. Over the last two weeks we have seen Freeman with 17 & 18 touches respectively along with an average 3 targets a game and on a team that has been throwing first due to the circumstances, that has been as close to work horse as you can be. Freeman is coming in close to 30% less owned than Boston Scott in this game and I think if we get news early that Shepard is playing there is a chance that ownership dips further. I also think that the little red 8 that DK has for the matchup will also keep people off Freeman tonight. While I don’t know if he will ‘get there’ for you, I do trust Freeman’s role in this offense more than I do Tate’s and even Engram’s right now. So I will have some shares. I think a contrarian move would be to consider including Freeman in your Jones Slayton stacks as I doubt anyone will do that and if Freeman can push 5 or 6 catches tonight, it could be a beneficial move.

I think your dart throws on the Giants side are Dion Lewis ($1,600 DK, $6,000 FD) and Wayne Gallman ($800 DK, $6,000 FD). I will say that Lewis could have a role in this game as he is a dynamic pass catcher and if you believe the Vegas line, the Giants will need to be throwing. So of the two I prefer Lewis. Gallman may get some work as a change of pace to Freeman, but I don’t see him having a similar role to Lewis’ potential one. But again – you never know.

My tactic here is to use Slayton as a Captain/MVP mainly on my Giants favored lineups. I don’t think any other player on the Giants squad offers the upside that Slayton does. I also think stacking Slayton and Jones together will be extremely popular so I don’t mind including Engram, Freeman or Shepard (if he plays) in that stack to stay a little contrarian.

I would never advocate playing a Defense as a Captain on DK but as much as this game could turn into a shootout, it has the potential for ugliness. The Eagles D ($4,600 DK) is also playing Daniel Jones who again has more interceptions than Touchdowns this year so I think having a team with the Eagles in your stacks is not a bad play. Same for the Giants D ($4,400). As much as I like Wentz to find a way to get DJax, Fulgham and Rogers the ball – there is a chance none of that works too. I don’t see either team fully dominating the other, so I am less inclined to pair the running backs with the Defense as I may normally be. If you are multi-entering, don’t forget to have a share or two of defenses on Draft Kings.

I also think both kickers are firmly in play tonight and could make for a very contrarian piece to your team stacks. Philadelphia’s Jake Elliot ($3,800 DK, $9,000 FD) and New York’s Graham Gano ($3,600 DK, $8,500 FD) are both veterans and could be called upon early and often tonight if either or both offenses struggle. I think a Wentz, Fulgham, DJax, Elliot stack will be very contrarian and I could say the same for a Slayton, Jones, Gano stack on the other side. I also likely won’t be pairing a kicker tonight with an opposing defense. I don’t feel like it is likely one team just totally dominates the other. I think it is more likely the offenses stall in the red zone often and the kickers will be valuable pieces to your lineups. Kickers are a only DK play for me however. They are highly overpriced on FanDuel (in my opinion) and I’d rather use that salary elsewhere.

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