My Monday Night Football DFS picks were atrocious. I do want to point out that I said 99% of the time I would have stacked Saints players there, but I tried to get contrarian on a one-game slate. It proved to be too cute, as the Saints put up 43 points in a blowout win over the Redskins.
The crazy part was studs like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara had very little to do with it. Such is life in NFL DFS.
It’s onward and upward come Thursday, where NFC East rivals face off with the Philadelphia Eagles heading to New York to battle the Giants. It’s a pretty tense game, seeing as both teams already have at least three losses and really can’t afford another one.
Vegas understandably favors the Eagles in this spot, while The Sports Geek’s own Will picks the Eagles to win by three. At a +100 price, I can’t say I’m against that. We do need to keep in mind that this is projected to be a tight game (hence the -3 point spread) and a Total of 44 doesn’t exactly guarantee a very explosive game.
That being said, these games have been pretty competitive and surprisingly high scoring. The last game ended in a 34-29 win for the Eagles last year and saw Nick Foles put up four passing scores. Eli Manning (434 yards and 3 TDs) wasn’t half bad, either.
Philly’s defense has only regressed since then, as Jalen Mills has had a tough time staying in front of wide receivers. New York’s defense hasn’t been lights out, either, as they just coughed up 33 points to the Panthers last week.
Overall, I think we get more points than Vegas expects and I’m going to try to fit in as many studs as possible. Let’s see what my lineup looks like for Thursday night:
MVP (1.5x points): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants ($16k)
Odell is going to be chalk, but it’s probably down to him, Saquon Barkley or Carson Wentz for this spot. I like his matchup the most, as the Eagles have been torched by wide receivers and enter this game ranking 29th against the position.
Beckham is coming off of a huge 27-point fantasy outing and he could go on a tear here. He wasn’t active the last time the G-Men battled the Eagles, but Sterling Shepard dropped a nasty 11-139-1 line in that game. The last time Beckham did suit up against Philly, he hauled in 9 balls for 79 yards and two scores.
Beckham is going to get his in this one and whether you want him in the MVP slot or not, I think he needs to be in your lineup tonight.
FLEX: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($15.5k)
Ditto for Wentz, who has poured in 20+ fantasy points in each of his last two games and hasn’t even been that great in the process. He’s still rounding into form as he returns from a knee injury, so better days lie ahead. New York is stingy by the numbers against fantasy quarterbacks (11th), but this isn’t really a spot where I’d be scared off from using such a dynamic athlete.
I’m not expecting the world out of Wentz, but he doesn’t usually turn the ball over that much and even a modest 200 yards and 1-2 scores may make him worth the cash you’re spending. It’s certainly worth noting that nobody has given up more rushing yards to quarterbacks, so Wentz taking off a bit and maybe even scoring with his legs is certainly in the cards.
FLEX: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants ($16k)
Barkley dealt with back spasms last week and is not cheap, but he has been a flat out stud to start his Giants career. He’s posted 17+ fantasy points in every single game and while Philly has been absolutely brutal (2nd) against fantasy running backs, this might be a spot where I’d shy away from rankings a bit.
I don’t anticipate a massive rushing performance out of him, but keep in mind he is extremely useful as a receiver out of the backfield. He’s also crazy explosive and can salvage a bad night with short rushing scores if need be. Besides, as great as the Eagles are at stopping the run, they still have difficulty with pass-catching running backs.
Philly ranks just 20th in receptions allowed to rushers. Against a beast like Barkley, it would’t be too ridiculous to see their numbers dip a bit. They’re playing on the road after all.
I love that things don’t lay out perfectly for Barkely, though. Given there are a couple other studs worth spending on, I’m hoping Barkley will be the one people steer clear from. I’m not expecting it, but one can hope.
I understand this leaves Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Sterling Shepard and Eli Manning on the table, and I’m fine with that. I firmly expect Barkley, Wentz and Odell to trump all of those players in fantasy production in week six.
FLEX: Josh Adams, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($5k)
The Eagles have quite a situation on their hands when it comes to their running game. Masher Jay Ajayi is out for the year with a torn ACL and Darren Sproles has already been ruled out for this game. That leaves them with a banged up Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and practice squad body, Josh Adams.
Adams is not a safe play by any means and given Philly’s running back situation, I can’t even promise this risk pays off with low ownership. It’s a gamble worth taking, though.
Not only should Adams garner low ownership, but it’s possible he gets some touches in this one. If he can somehow muster 20+ yards and a score, I think that will be enough to help pay for my studs and collectively beat out a lot of rosters.
FLEX: Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles ($7k)
I’ll wrap things up with the rookie, Goedert. He’s had an up and down first year to this point, but we did catch his upside a few weeks ago when he hauled in seven balls for 73 yard and a score. Granted, that was when Philly was still banged up in the pass-catching department, but it was Wentz’s first game back and that chemistry can’t be denied.
I don’t think Goedert is a great play this week, but the pricing for this game really leaves you looking for scraps. That being said, I think there might be some logic to him with Zach Ertz potentially being bottled up by a Giants defense that excels (4th) against the tight end position.
The logic here is New York will fixate on stopping Ertz and Philly’s other top receiving threats, possibly leaving Goedert and more secondary options free to roam. You can also consider Jordan Matthews here, but I actually like Goedert more in this spot.
Ultimately, I’m just stacking my three favorite plays and trying to cram in some punts to make it work. They’re risky punts, but these guys will see the field and it’s not impossible to imagine them getting some touches and even scoring. If they can put up a few points, rostering them is better than aiming for a more balanced (and less contrarian) lineup.
This is an ambitious team, so I get if you’re not fully with me this week. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck. Enjoy the game!