Here’s a breakdown of one-game DFS contests for the Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers at 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network and FOX.
Cash Game Strategy
At home against an Eagles defense that has allowed the seventh-highest Plus/Minus to opposing QBs, Aaron Rodgers has the top floor and median projections in our DK Showdown Models. Clocking in behind Rodgers is Carson Wentz, who has posted at least 19.5 DraftKings points in 11 of his past 14 games dating back to the start of last season.
Rodgers and Wentz fit in on DraftKings alongside the Packers’ two-headed running back committee of Aaron Jones (17.3 touches, 70.7 yards per game) and Jamaal Williams (11.0 touches, 47.3 yards). Being that Green Bay is at home and projected by the Vegas lines to score four more points than Philly, it makes sense to prioritize the Packers’ two-man operation over the Eagles’ three-headed attack, and instead just go with backfield leader Miles Sanders (13.3 touches, 63.3 yards).A Rodgers-Wentz-Jones-Williams-Sanders core with Rodgers in the Captain spot leaves $3,600, which is best spent on the home-favorite kicker, Mason Crosby, who has the highest median projection of remaining options in our Models. Other options are Mack Hollins, who has a higher ceiling projection than Crosby, and Darren Sproles, who will offset some of the inevitable Sanders tilt (but still leaving the Jordan Howard-goal-line vulture-and-otherwise-nonsensical-usage-pattern tilt intact).
On FanDuel, the backfield committees and pricing don’t provide much of an edge for picking and choosing between running backs, so I would just lock in Rodgers and Wentz along with Davante Adams, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert, which gives you each of the for top projected players on the slate and a min-priced buy-low on a high-upside player who saw his snaps limited last week but is now off the injury report altogether in Goedert.
Core GPP Plays
Note: These are in addition to the players already mentioned in the cash write-up and generally has a focus on pass catchers. On FanDuel, QBs generally make for the top plays in the 1.5x slot because the half PPR format creates a wider gap in scoring between QB and RB/WR/TE; on DraftKings, a RB/WR/TE who hits the 100-yard bonus is the ideal play.
WR Davante Adams, Packers: Due for a monster game against an Eagles defense that has given up the fourth-most DK points per game to WRs (50.9). Even against strong passing games, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz isn’t afraid to bring pressure and leave wide receivers in single coverage.
WR Marques Valdes-Scantling, Packers: Ditto.
TE Zach Ertz, Eagles: This wouldn’t be the best spot for him on a larger slate, since he’s on the road against a defense with strong safety play that has been funneling passes to running backs and away from downfield options. But Ertz still has the best odds of catching a pass of any Eagle every time Wentz drops back.
WR Nelson Agholor, Eagles: Lacks the skill of Ertz or Jeffery and thus is a scheme-dependent boom-or-bust option. If the Packers decide to try and shut him down, he won’t get targets, but if they focus more on Ertz and/or Jeffery, he’ll pick up the slack.
RB Miles Sanders, Eagles: Leading the Eagles backfield in touches and the Packers have forced opponents to target running backs at a 33% clip.
- Rodgers-Crosby +0.63
- Rodgers-Adams +0.54
- Rodgers-Allison +0.59
- Rodgers-Williams +0.47
- Packers QB-Opposing QB +0.46
- Jones-Packers DST +0.31
- Rodgers-Valdes-Scantling +0.23
- Rodgers-Graham +0.22
- Rodgers-Jones -0.02
- Jones-Crosby -0.38
- Jones-Williams -0.44
- Jones-Graham -0.66
Because Rodgers is so prolific in the red zone, Mason Crosby‘s usage doesn’t get impacted unless the Packers also start rushing for TDs. Rodgers is positively correlated to all his receivers, but is the least correlated to Jimmy Graham, who has a tougher matchup than the wideouts against an Eagles defense that always seems to be stingy against the tight end thanks to safety Malcolm Jenkins’ man-coverage skills and Schwartz’s blitzing. With Adams still the odds-on favorite for a red-zone score and Valdes-Scantling the favorite for a deep score, there’s only so much left over for Jones, Williams and Graham, who have been negatively correlated as they essentially compete for a share of the few remaining TDs to go around.
- Wentz-Eagles DST +0.55
- Wentz-Elliott +0.46
- Wentz-Ertz +0.38
- Ertz-Elliott +0.37
- Ertz-Agholor +0.33
- Wentz-Jeffery +0.32
- Wentz-Agholor +0.30
- Eagles QB-Opposing QB +0.18
- Ertz-Jeffery -0.35
The main thing to note here is that Ertz and Jeffery are negatively correlated, and the Eagles’ interior pass catchers (Ertz, Agholor) are positively correlated. Also note that Eagles DST and Jake Elliott are solid contrarian lineup filler options in Wentz lineups.
Players whose production would benefit owners more than expensive or highly owned players. Kickers and DSTs generally make for strong leverage plays, but those who stand out will be highlighted below.
RB Jamal Williams, Packers: Jones averages more touches per game than WIlliams on the year, but their 2019 usage is starting to converge after Williams out-snapped Jones 35-22 and out-touched him 14-11 last week.
RB Jordan Howard, Eagles: Sanders has been stuffed for minus-2 yards on two carries inside the 5 while Howard converted his only look thus far into a 1-yard score last week.
RB Darren Sproles, Eagles: Sanders will likely be the highest-owned Eagles back, meaning there’s leverage not only in pivoting to Howard, but also Sproles, who actually doubled up Sanders in routes run last week, 24-12.
WR Alshon Jeffery, Eagles: Will gut it out through a calf injury and could see single coverage if the Packers decide to focus on Ertz and trust their emerging young corners Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. Jeffery is more boom-or-bust than Ertz but should have lower ownership, which evens things out from a GPP perspective, especially with the two being negatively correlated.
Ranking the low-cost, complimentary players not already discussed in the leverage section by likelihood of having a worthwhile fantasy stat line.
- WR Geronimo Allison, Packers: Fourth on the team with eight targets but has run a route on just 54.6% of Rodgers’ dropbacks.
- WR Mack Hollins, Eagles: Tied for the team lead with 47 routes run and tied for second on the team with seven targets last week, hauling in four for 62 yards. Should still be on the field in three-wide sets, but Jeffery’s return caps his usage.
- TE Dallas Goedert, Eagles: Wasn’t healthy last week and played only nine snaps, but could see more action this week and has TE1 upside every time he steps on the field. Would be even higher if Green Bay didn’t have such strong safety play.
- WR J.J. Arcega Whiteside, Eagles: Talented rookie who tore up in the preseason but disappointingly played behind Hollins, running 39 routes and seeing two targets compared to Hollins’ 47 and seven, respectively.
- TE Marcedes Lewis, Packers: Old and slow but out-snapped Graham 30-22 last week, running nearly as many routes (10) as Graham (12).
- TE Robert Tonyan Jr., Packers: Younger and faster than Lewis but played half as many snaps and ran one less route.
- FB Dan Vitale, Packers: Nearly scored on a catch last week and always liable to get his John Kuhn/Aaron Ripkowski on near the goal-line in a Matt LaFleur offense that is using more heavy personnel than Mike McCarthy used to.
- WR Jake Kumerow/Darrius Shepherd/Allen Lazard, Packers: Kumerow (shoulder) is questionable, and Lazard and Shepherd each ran one route in his stead last week. Kumerow would be a significantly higher-upside option if active. If not, Shepherd is the preferred option due to being used as a punt returner with Trevor Davis traded to Oakland. If you’re making 150 lineups, these guys are worth a dart throw simply due to how bad the Eagles have been at covering wideouts.
- WR Greg Ward, Eagles: Active for the first time all season but didn’t run a route and could be a scratch with Jeffery back.
- TE Evan Baylis, Packers: Active for the first time all year last week but didn’t run a route and is unlikely to this week as the fourth-string tight end.
Pictured above: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and wide receiver Davante Adams (17)
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.