Week 17 never disappoints and if you read my earlier article you know that there was plenty to talk about and plenty of excellent plays to make in your lineups. Hopefully you came out ahead. I should have listened to myself more, but that is what a Sunday Night Showdown is for – absolve your past errs… right?
This game between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles has a lot on the line for the NFC East. Earlier today the NY Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys which now means that the G Men are waiting with baited breath for what will happen on Sunday Night. If the Philadelphia Eagles are able to defeat the Washington Football Team, the Giants are NFC East Champions and get to play Tom Brady next week. However if the Washington FT are able to get the W, it will be Washington taking on Tampa Bay next week as NFC East Champion.
Win lose or draw I think this has to be a very big moment for Alex Smith, who looks to be good to go and starting tonight. To have a comeback story add another chapter like an NFC Title and playoff appearance would be nothing short of incredible. But they have a red hot Philadelphia Eagles team to contend with tonight so we shall see if sparks fly.
Before I begin I just want to go through the actives and inactive up front, because earlier today I dealt with an angry reader who couldn’t believe I didn’t mention a player was inactive… I will hold my comments for another day. But here we go.
Miles Sanders (RB) – OUT
Dallas Goedert (TE) – OUT
DeSean Jackson (WR) – OUT
Richard Rogers (TE) – OUT
Washington FT Inactive/Questionable
Terry McLaurin (WR) – Probable
Alex Smith (QB) – Probable
Antonio Gibson (RB) – Probable
Kyle Allen (QB) – OUT
Alright, now that we have that out of the way – let’s talk SHOWDOWN DFS and let’s have some fun!
My Captain/MVP Picks
Jalen Hurts has made the last 3 weeks of Eagles football fun and successful. It does make you wonder, what could have been. However here we are, week 17 and win lose or draw The Eagles will be on the outside looking in come next week. The gloves should be off for Hurts to perform tonight, but he does face a Washington Football Team with a ton of motivation and who are 7th Best in the NFL against Quarterbacks. The FT D is also allowing the 2nd fewest passing yards per game (218) and only giving up a hair over 110 yards on the ground. So my guess here is it will not be a walk in the park for young Jalen. However, since taking over under center in Week 14 has 2 300+ yard passing games under his belt, 238 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns including 1 on the ground. With Miles Sanders out, I could see the Eagles leaning even heavier on Hurts’ legs tonight especially if it can help to dispel the pass rush of Chase Young and company. So despite the tough matchup I do like Hurts at Captain and MVP tonight. If the Eagles have a hope of playing spoiler to the FT tonight, Hurts will need to have a big game and I think he has a chance to do so.
It has been a long time since I have said this, but I also like a likely top target for Hurts at the top of the lineup and that is Zack Ertz. Since returning from a long injury absence, Ertz has been involved but playing second fiddle to Dallas Goedert – however he is coming into the game with 7 targets in each of the last 2 games and with Goedert now out, I could see that target volume continue to rise. The Football Team is in the bottom half of the league against Tight Ends and that is has been a position to attack them with all season long. Especially with top back up Richard Rogers also out, Ertz could be the #1 Target for Hurts tonight and I think he could make a solid option at Captain/MVP.
With Miles Sanders out, I also have some interest in Boston Scott at Captain/MVP. He is coming in surprisingly inexpensive tonight on Draft Kings at only $1,400 and only $6,500 on FanDuel. But you have to love that price on Draft Kings. Scott should see the majority of the work tonight in the backfield and I think most people will not look to roster him at the top spot with the red #3 matchup symbol on DK. Yes the Football Team are 3rd Best in the league against running backs, but with an extremely mobile quarterback to deal with – plus Scott’s ability to catch balls out of the backfield, I think Scott makes for an interesting choice at Captain.
I don’t mind taking a look at an Eagles wide receiver at the top spot either, but to be honest I am worried about the upside. First, the Football Team ranks in the top 10 against Wide Receivers and a lot of that has to do with the hell that their defensive line puts on Quarterbacks. Second, the Football team has only allowed over 27 points against them once this season and in fact NINE Times this season the Football Team has held their opponents to 20 points or less. Now with a quarterback who will be mobile and able to scramble could anything happen – of course – but I don’t like the wide receivers as much as I do Ertz or Scott, if I am not using Hurts at Captain. I would rank the Eagles Receivers like this however: Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham. With the Deep Play ability of DeSean Jackson as gone just as quick as it came, I could see Watkins get more involved – he has seen 4 and 3 targets in the last two games going for a total of 97 yards and a score. He could be a deep threat that could pay off at a cheap price and low ownership. I do think Jalen Reagor will see decent ownership in tournaments, but he does have the most targets out of the bunch consistently. Ward and Fulgham are much more of a leverage play from the what I will expect to be a chalky Reagor. But I just like Watkins at only $1,600 on DK the best…
I think I will just feel good about myself playing Alex Smith at Captain/MVP tonight, but I also think there are some reasons to consider doing so. I think you have to like the matchup against a continually banged up Eagle’s Secondary who is allowing nearly 270 passing yards per game, being part of a defense that on a whole is giving up close to 400 total yards per game as well. However there is certainly a narrative that Smith isn’t playing risky with the ball and is more playing to short yardage high probability throws. Quite frankly – I don’t care. If he completes a boat load of passes and throws for 300 yards and a couple scores, he makes a great Captain in my book. However I do have a theory here that I want to express. If Antonio Gibson is “good to go” and assumes his role in this backfield, the Football Team could have a shot at establishing the run game against the Eagles defense allowing over 120 yards on the ground. If they can do that and Smith can work play action to Scary Terry and Tall Thomas, the Football Team could control the clock and the scoreboard. So I am willing to take a shot at Smith at Captain.
Speaking of Antonio Gibson, if this stud is in fact back and healthy and ready to go, I like him a lot against this Eagles defense. After firmly cementing himself as the lead back in this backfield, Gibson has seen double digit touches in 8 of 13 games he has been healthy for. Moreso in two division matchups against Dallas, Gibson saw 20 carries. Additionally he has averaged 4.6 targets per game across his season of injury woes. I’d look for the Football team to get Gibson going early and control the pace and the clock of this game and I will take a shot at him at Captain.
With Gibson healthy and active, a contrarian play at the top spot may open up with JD McKissic. Just because Gibson is starting or playing a majority of snaps does not mean McKissic won’t be involved especially with such motivation behind him. McKissic has seen 10 Targets in 3 of his last 4 games going over 70 yards in two of those games. He also is coming into tonight’s game on a two game touchdown streak. I’ll have my share of McKissic in the Captain/MVP Tonight.
Perhaps though, my favorite WFT player for my top spot tonight is tight end Logan Thomas. Thomas has emerged over the last quarter of the season as a real weapon in this offense. He has seen 9 or more targets in 3 of his last 4 games and has scored Double Digit Fantasy Points in every game since week 12. Additionally, he has been severely lacking in the touchdown category BUT tonight he gets the Eagles – 23rd against Tight Ends and they certainly have had their troubles with the position all season. I think Thomas has an excellent upside tonight in this must win matchup.
And you really can’t talk the WFT without talking Scary Terry McLaurin. The unquestioned #1 receiver, McLaurin needs to have a big game tonight to help this team get into the playoffs. It has not been an easy season for McLaurin so far. Only 5 times this season has he seen double digit targets. In fact he averages 7.3 per game. When these two teams met in Week 1, McLaurin went 5 for 61 and no scores. It comes with a lot more risk than you may assume, but I’ll have at least one lineup with McLaurin in the top seat.
I will be honest here. I do kinda feel like this could be one of those games where Kickers are the optimal Captain/MVP. This is a divisional game first and foremost and while the Eagles aren’t playing for a playoff berth, they are playing for pride. Meanwhile the WFT should have their full rosters available but there are notable offensive skill players banged up. So if you are multi entering, throw together a lineup with Dustin Hopkins (Wash) and one with Jake Elliot (Philly). It may not work out, but if it does – you’ll be glad that you did!
Flex, Flex, Flex it Up!
If I am using Jalen Hurts in the Captain spot tonight, I am likely to make sure I have Zach Ertz plus Boston Scott and a Wide Receiver with Watkins and Reagor being my favorites. Likewise if I am using any of the pass catchers at the top spot I will want Hurts in the Flex to stack with. I do like the play of including Kicker Elliot in the stack and if you want to get really contrarian, give Alshon Jeffery a shot on a lineup. I always like to play at least one Alshon lineup when I see the Eagles in Showdowns. I don’t mind taking a shot on Corey Clement as another dart throw if you are building a 5 man Eagles stack, you know he is always that guy who scores the errant touchdown on prime time, so why not take a shot on him if you are multi entering. Also being a divisional game in prime time in 2020, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest at least one lineup built around the Eagles Defense.
If I am running an Eagles stack back with Washington Football Players I am likely focused on pass catchers – be it McLaurin, McKissic or Thomas. I do not mind also using Gibson and the Washington DST either. I do not think you need to go too much deeper for a run back.
My Washington Stacks will primarily depend on my Captain Picks. If I have Alex Smith at Captain I am going 5 deep on FT players – Smith – Logan Thomas, JD McKissic and two Receivers – be it McLaurin or Cam Sims (who has seen 8 or more targets over the last two weeks) or going deeper on Stephen Sims. If you want to go really cheap and dart throw, Dontrelle Inman is only $200 on DK and Isaiah Wright also caught a couple balls last week too. If I am going with Gibson at Captain, I don’t mind also using McKissic in the Flex – I think that will be a contrarian play, with Alex Smith and the Washington FT.
The run backs for me on the Eagles side are Jalen Hurts and Jalen Hurts and Jalen Hurts. No Just Kidding, but I think Hurts should be heavy in your lineups. I don’t mind using Zach Ertz as a run back or Boston Scott but on Washington heavy lineups I am most likely going Hurts and either kicker Elliot or the Eagles DST. I know it sounds weird but sometimes you have to be weird to win a showdown.
Good Luck in your Contests!