It was just a matter of time before we ran into our first dud of the primetime schedule. Two weeks into the season, these Thursday night’s competitors couldn’t be headed in more different directions. The San Francisco 49ers have cruised to two comfortable wins over formidable opponents. Conversely, the New York Giants have looked utterly terrible for six of their eight quarters. That game script will be a factor in determining how this one plays out.
This article will discuss 3-5 of my favorite pick’ems from various DFS sites like Betr, Sleeper Fantasy, PrizePicks, and Underdog Fantasy.
Giants-49ers NFL Fantasy Pick’ems
Daniel Jones Higher 31.5 Pass Attempts
It’s hard to envision a scenario where the Giants are playing with the lead. Combined with the absence of Saquon Barkley, we’re anticipating a heavy dose of the passing attack in this one. That leads us to our first player prop, Daniel Jones higher than 31.5 pass attempts.
Even with Barkley in the lineup, we’ve seen the Giants rely on their passing game more regularly. Through two games, the Duke product has thrown the ball 65 times. The fewest of which came in a rain-soaked season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
Playing from behind from the outset, Jones was tasked with throwing the ball 28 times in Week 1. When we factor in the seven sacks and 13 rushing attempts, at least some of which were not designed run plays, it’s evident Brian Daboll is trying to get more out of his quarterback. Moreover, Jones followed that up with 37 pass attempts last week.
A similar script could play out on Thursday night. Inevitably, the Giants will be playing catch-up, forcing Jones to make more throws than usual.
On that basis, we’re betting he goes higher than 31.5 pass attempts.
Darren Waller Higher 4.0 Receptions
We’re taking a correlated approach with our second pick. The Giants don’t have an imposing receiving corps. Darius Slayton is the primary wide receiver, but his 11 targets are tied with Barkley for second on the team. Both players give way to Darren Waller, who has been Jones’ safety blanket early this season.
Waller leads the Giants in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Further, that gap could grow even wider with Barkley unavailable. As noted, the Giants’ usual running back accounted for 11 targets this season, and it’s unlikely Matt Breida absorbs the entirety of the workload. Look for Waller to take on an even more robust role against the Niners.
Last week’s outing gives us the best idea of what to expect from Waller in Week 3. Against the Arizona Cardinals, Waller was targeted eight times, reeling in six catches for 76 yards. A similar, if not increased, target share is anticipated on Thursday night.
Playing against San Francisco’s defense is no easy feat. Although the temptation may be to take the over on his modest receiving yard total, the safest play is to assume he maintains his volume in a passing-first contest.
Deebo Samuel Higher 14.5 Rushing Yards
Opponents are steamrolling the Giants this year, and the 49ers train has already left the station. Opponents are averaging 136.5 rushing yards per game versus New York, the seventh-worst in the NFL. San Fran already runs the ball more than most teams in the league, but that should be more pronounced on a short week with an anticipated big lead.
More importantly, we’re anticipating more runners being involved in the action to lessen the burden on Christian McCaffrey. Included in that is Deebo Samuel, who has a very reachable rushing yards total.
Samuel hasn’t been deployed in the running game as frequently this season, but he’s still getting a handful of touches. So far this year, Samuel’s toted the ball seven times for 46 yards. The former All-Pro only carried the ball twice in Week 1, amplifying production last week against the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Samuel ran for 38 yards on five carries.
Even with a limited amount of carries, we like Samuel to eclipse this mark. Opponents are averaging 4.6 rushing yards per carry against this leaky Giants’ run defense and Samuel has a knack for getting yards in big chunks.
George Kittle Lower 4.0 Receptions
Lastly, we’re taking a stance against George Kittle’s receptions. For many of the same reasons outlined above, the Niners’ passing game will likely take a back seat on Thursday, diminishing Kittle’s workshare against the Giants.
With an array of weapons and a seemingly endless playbook to get everyone involved, Kittle’s taken a back seat early this year. The 29-year-old has just three catches in each of the Niners’ first two games, totaling an underwhelming 49 yards.
Additionally, we’re anticipating a lighter workload for Kittle on a short week. The 49ers tight end played a whopping 96.5% of snaps against the Rams, the most he played since halfway through last season. With fewer days to recover and a -10.5 spread, his services won’t be needed to their full extent tonight.
With Samuel, McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk getting the lion’s share of looks from Brock Purdy, Kittle’s part of the supporting cast early this season. Look for him to play a secondary role in tonight’s NFC battle, staying beneath 4.0 receptions.