Week 8 NFL Thursday Showdown Slate

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On paper, Thursday Night Football looks like a barnburner with two potent offenses, two pretty bad defenses, and a Vegas point total of 51.5. On closer inspection, there looks like some pretty severe winds and rain tonight which may lend to both teams keeping the ball on the ground. This is a spot where both quarterbacks are going to be pretty good plays at the MVP spot and I would tend to avoid the deep ball catchers and kickers when the winds pick up. Let’s take a look at some picks the optimizers love and some GPP pivots that may go under owned.

MVP:

Next game:

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QB

Teddy Bridgewater

Carolina Panthers

Salary: 6,900 5,300
FPPG: 17.61 18.50
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
CAR @ GB Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 8:15PM ET 7,300 16.92 5,200 17.92
DEN @ CAR Sun, 13 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,000 20.42 5,800 20.42
CAR @ MIN Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,000 14.88 6,300 14.88
TB @ CAR Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,000 20.04 6,100 20.04
CAR @ KC Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,300 28.30 6,000 31.30
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 7,300 13.04 6,400 13.04
CAR @ NO Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,800 19.16 5,800 19.16
CHI @ CAR Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,900 11.44 6,000 11.44
CAR @ ATL Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,100 20.82 5,900 23.82
ARI @ CAR Sun, 4 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,800 27.24 5,600 27.24
Date Team Game Score Comp/Att PaYd PaTD PaInt RuAtt RuYd RuTD FD FPts DK FPts
19 Dec 2020 CAR CAR @ GB 16:24 21/35 258 0 0 4 26 1 16.92 17.92
13 Dec 2020 CAR DEN @ CAR 32:27 30/40 283 0 0 3 31 1 20.42 20.42
29 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ MIN 27:28 19/36 267 1 1 2 12 0 14.88 14.88
15 Nov 2020 CAR TB @ CAR 46:23 18/24 136 2 1 3 16 1 20.04 20.04
8 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ KC 31:33 36/49 310 2 0 2 19 1 28.3 31.3
29 Oct 2020 CAR ATL @ CAR 25:17 15/23 176 1 1 5 30 0 13.04 13.04
25 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ NO 24:27 23/28 254 2 0 2 10 0 19.16 19.16
18 Oct 2020 CAR CHI @ CAR 23:16 16/29 216 0 2 8 48 0 11.44 11.44
11 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ ATL 23:16 27/37 313 2 0 3 3 0 20.82 23.82
4 Oct 2020 CAR ARI @ CAR 21:31 26/37 276 2 1 6 32 1 27.24 27.24

I still think Bridgewater rates out as a higher percentage play just because of how bad the Falcons defense is. Not that the Panthers defense is much better, which of course, puts Matt Ryan into play as well. Bridgewater has the matchups against some pretty bad cornerbacks for Atlanta with DJ Moore and Robby Anderson rate out as having excellent assignments. Do not overlook Mike Davis helping out in the passing game as well even though he has lost some work as of late, Atlanta gives up mega-yardage to pass-catching backs.

Next game:

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RB

Mike Davis

Carolina Panthers

Salary: 6,500 6,300
FPPG: 12.64 13.80
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
CAR @ GB Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 8:15PM ET 7,400 7.10 6,500 8.10
DEN @ CAR Sun, 13 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,800 23.80 6,400 26.30
CAR @ MIN Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,200 9.40 6,900 10.90
DET @ CAR Sun, 22 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,400 14.90 6,800 15.90
TB @ CAR Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,400 6.40 6,700 8.40
CAR @ KC Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,800 6.20 6,700 8.70
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 8,400 8.20 6,700 8.70
CAR @ NO Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,700 6.10 6,600 8.60
CHI @ CAR Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 7,500 10.50 7,000 12.50
CAR @ ATL Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,800 25.40 6,400 29.90
Date Team Game Score RuAtt RuYd RuAvg RuTD Rec ReYd ReAvg ReTD FD FPts DK FPts
19 Dec 2020 CAR CAR @ GB 16:24 14 59 4.2 0 2 2 1 0 7.1 8.1
13 Dec 2020 CAR DEN @ CAR 32:27 11 51 4.6 2 5 42 8.4 0 23.8 26.3
29 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ MIN 27:28 15 55 3.7 0 3 24 8 0 9.4 10.9
22 Nov 2020 CAR DET @ CAR 0:20 19 64 3.4 1 2 15 7.5 0 14.9 15.9
15 Nov 2020 CAR TB @ CAR 46:23 7 32 4.6 0 4 12 3 0 6.4 8.4
8 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ KC 31:33 1 3 3 0 5 34 6.8 0 6.2 8.7
29 Oct 2020 CAR ATL @ CAR 25:17 13 66 5.1 0 1 11 11 0 8.2 8.7
25 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ NO 24:27 7 12 1.7 0 5 24 4.8 0 6.1 8.6
18 Oct 2020 CAR CHI @ CAR 23:16 18 52 2.9 1 2 3 1.5 0 10.5 12.5
11 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ ATL 23:16 16 89 5.6 0 9 60 6.7 1 25.4 29.9

Back to the wind, Panthers should try and keep the ball on the ground a bit more against Atlanta, especially to kill the clock and keep the explosive Falcons pass-offense off the field. With CMC already ruled out, Davis should be able to carve up the Falcons’ defense both on the ground and through the air. I like Davis over Gurley, just because of how many more catches he can rack up, especially if the Falcons get out to a lead.

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WR

Julio Jones

Atlanta Falcons

Salary: 7,500 7,000
FPPG: 13.40 17.20
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
NO @ ATL Sun, 6 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,000 12.40 6,600 15.40
ATL @ NO Sun, 22 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,100 4.90 7,500 5.90
DEN @ ATL Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,200 13.90 7,200 16.40
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 8,300 17.20 7,000 23.70
DET @ ATL Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,300 13.70 7,100 17.70
ATL @ MIN Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,200 29.70 6,700 36.70
ATL @ GB Mon, 5 Oct 2020, 9:00PM ET 8,100 5.20 6,000 7.20
ATL @ DAL Sun, 20 Sep 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,200 3.40 7,400 4.40
SEA @ ATL Sun, 13 Sep 2020, 1:00PM ET 8,200 20.20 7,700 27.70
ATL @ TB Sun, 29 Dec 2019, 1:00PM ET 8,500 11.30 8,500 14.80
Date Team Game Score Rec ReYd ReAvg ReTD FD FPts DK FPts
6 Dec 2020 ATL NO @ ATL 21:16 6 94 15.7 0 12.4 15.4
22 Nov 2020 ATL ATL @ NO 9:24 2 39 19.5 0 4.9 5.9
8 Nov 2020 ATL DEN @ ATL 27:34 5 54 10.8 1 13.9 16.4
29 Oct 2020 ATL ATL @ CAR 25:17 7 137 19.6 0 17.2 23.7
25 Oct 2020 ATL DET @ ATL 23:22 8 97 12.1 0 13.7 17.7
18 Oct 2020 ATL ATL @ MIN 40:23 8 137 17.1 2 29.7 36.7
5 Oct 2020 ATL ATL @ GB 16:30 4 32 8 0 5.2 7.2
20 Sep 2020 ATL ATL @ DAL 39:40 2 24 12 0 3.4 4.4
13 Sep 2020 ATL SEA @ ATL 38:25 9 157 17.4 0 20.2 27.7
29 Dec 2019 ATL ATL @ TB 28:22 7 78 11.1 0 11.3 14.8

Julio is my play for wide receiver tonight and he seems to always come in lower-owned than Ridley. Julio has the short to mid-range area of the field on lock down and I don’t really see any of the Panthers’ cornerbacks being able to handle Julio in the short area passing game. On a windy night, it may be hard for Matt Ryan to hit Ridley downfield on a regular basis, so I like Julio to rack up a ton of yardage.

Flex:

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WR

Robby Anderson

Carolina Panthers

Salary: 6,600 5,600
FPPG: 11.41 15.10
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
CAR @ GB Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 8:15PM ET 6,700 3.00 6,200 4.00
DEN @ CAR Sun, 13 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,500 13.70 6,200 17.70
CAR @ MIN Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,400 17.40 6,100 19.40
DET @ CAR Sun, 22 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,300 8.10 6,000 11.60
TB @ CAR Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,400 4.10 6,100 6.10
CAR @ KC Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,600 10.80 6,300 15.30
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 6,600 7.30 6,600 9.80
CAR @ NO Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,400 10.40 6,000 13.40
CHI @ CAR Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,500 9.70 6,300 11.70
CAR @ ATL Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 6,200 15.50 5,900 22.50
Date Team Game Score Rec ReYd ReAvg ReTD FD FPts DK FPts
19 Dec 2020 CAR CAR @ GB 16:24 2 21 10.5 0 3 4
13 Dec 2020 CAR DEN @ CAR 32:27 8 84 10.5 0 13.7 17.7
29 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ MIN 27:28 4 94 23.5 1 17.4 19.4
22 Nov 2020 CAR DET @ CAR 0:20 7 46 6.6 0 8.1 11.6
15 Nov 2020 CAR TB @ CAR 46:23 4 21 5.3 0 4.1 6.1
8 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ KC 31:33 9 63 7 0 10.8 15.3
29 Oct 2020 CAR ATL @ CAR 25:17 5 48 9.6 0 7.3 9.8
25 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ NO 24:27 6 74 12.3 0 10.4 13.4
18 Oct 2020 CAR CHI @ CAR 23:16 4 77 19.3 0 9.7 11.7
11 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ ATL 23:16 8 112 14 0 15.5 22.5

The roles have reversed this year as Robby Anderson is no longer the deep threat he was with the Jets, and DJ Moore is no longer the PPR machine near the line of scrimmage. Given the projected weather, look for Teddy to lean on Anderson more than Moore tonight.

Next game:

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WR

Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers

Salary: 6,100 5,300
FPPG: 10.53 14.20
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
CAR @ GB Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 8:15PM ET 6,200 6.80 4,800 8.80
DEN @ CAR Sun, 13 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,900 12.50 5,200 16.00
CAR @ MIN Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,900 10.20 5,100 12.70
DET @ CAR Sun, 22 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,600 17.40 4,700 21.40
TB @ CAR Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,700 2.70 4,900 4.20
CAR @ KC Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,600 22.30 4,400 29.80
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 5,400 19.40 4,000 21.40
CAR @ NO Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,000 14.30 3,900 17.30
CAR @ ATL Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,100 8.90 4,800 11.40
ARI @ CAR Sun, 4 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,100 6.30 4,800 7.80
Date Team Game Score Rec ReYd ReAvg ReTD FD FPts DK FPts
19 Dec 2020 CAR CAR @ GB 16:24 4 42 10.5 0 6.8 8.8
13 Dec 2020 CAR DEN @ CAR 32:27 7 68 9.7 0 12.5 16
29 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ MIN 27:28 5 72 14.4 0 10.2 12.7
22 Nov 2020 CAR DET @ CAR 0:20 8 70 8.8 1 17.4 21.4
15 Nov 2020 CAR TB @ CAR 46:23 3 8 2.7 0 2.7 4.2
8 Nov 2020 CAR CAR @ KC 31:33 9 105 11.7 1 22.3 29.8
29 Oct 2020 CAR ATL @ CAR 25:17 4 31 7.8 1 19.4 21.4
25 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ NO 24:27 6 48 8 0 14.3 17.3
11 Oct 2020 CAR CAR @ ATL 23:16 5 36 7.2 0 8.9 11.4
4 Oct 2020 CAR ARI @ CAR 21:31 3 51 17 0 6.3 7.8

Samuel could come in lower-owned today but given his price he makes for an excellent play. The Panthers have used Samuel all over the field including in the backfield and on jet sweeps. If Samuel can get loose today he may put up some major yardage, and he only really needs a few big plays to return value.

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TE

Hayden Hurst

Atlanta Falcons

Salary: 5,500 3,700
FPPG: 7.35 9.10
Projection: Upgrade
Pr/$: Upgrade
Game Date FD Salary FD FPts DK Salary DK FPts
TB @ ATL Sun, 20 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,500 10.10 3,300 12.10
ATL @ LAC Sun, 13 Dec 2020, 4:25PM ET 5,500 1.20 3,700 1.70
NO @ ATL Sun, 6 Dec 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,600 1.40 4,000 1.90
LV @ ATL Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,500 6.80 3,900 8.80
ATL @ NO Sun, 22 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,500 0 4,400 0
DEN @ ATL Sun, 8 Nov 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,600 9.70 4,100 13.20
ATL @ CAR Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 8:20PM ET 5,900 7.90 4,200 10.40
DET @ ATL Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,600 9.80 4,400 12.80
ATL @ MIN Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,400 13.70 4,700 15.70
CAR @ ATL Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:00PM ET 5,700 1.80 4,700 2.80
Date Team Game Score Rec ReYd ReAvg ReTD FD FPts DK FPts
20 Dec 2020 ATL TB @ ATL 31:27 4 21 5.3 1 10.1 12.1
13 Dec 2020 ATL ATL @ LAC 17:20 1 7 7 0 1.2 1.7
6 Dec 2020 ATL NO @ ATL 21:16 1 9 9 0 1.4 1.9
29 Nov 2020 ATL LV @ ATL 6:43 4 48 12 0 6.8 8.8
22 Nov 2020 ATL ATL @ NO 9:24 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Nov 2020 ATL DEN @ ATL 27:34 7 62 8.9 0 9.7 13.2
29 Oct 2020 ATL ATL @ CAR 25:17 5 54 10.8 0 7.9 10.4
25 Oct 2020 ATL DET @ ATL 23:22 6 68 11.3 0 9.8 12.8
18 Oct 2020 ATL ATL @ MIN 40:23 4 57 14.3 1 13.7 15.7
11 Oct 2020 ATL CAR @ ATL 23:16 2 8 4 0 1.8 2.8

I would have looked at a Panthers’ tight end since the Falcons are so bad at defending them, but Ian Thomas just has not been a big part of the offense this year. Hurst actually plays a lot better when Julio is in the lineup and is another player that should fit into the game plan of short quick passes with yards after the catch. With all of the focus on Ridley and Julio, Hurst has thrived in the end zone and through the middle of the field. He has a great chance of pulling of some short catch and runs tonight.