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Fantasy Football Picks: Washington Football Team vs. Eagles DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Washington Football Team and the Eagles with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

The sequence of events that played out this week to get us all the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles in primetime is truly peak NFC East. Basically, after a wild Week 16, this was one of very few games that stood independently in terms of playoff scenarios. If Washington wins, it also wins the division. Seems simple enough, but remember what quartet of teams we’re talking about here.

Instead of letting the nation enjoy a glimpse of Jalen Hurts ($11,400) or Washington’s ferocious defensive line, this is now a slate far more defined by who won’t be playing. On Friday, Philadelphia ruled nine players out for Week 17, including starting RB Miles Sanders (knee). Washington responded by listing their three top offensive pieces — Terry McLaurin ($10,000; ankle), Alex Smith ($9,800; calf) and Antonio Gibson ($9,000; toe) — as questionable.

Getting excited yet? Well, let’s just break it all down from a Showdown perspective and see who’s left standing.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1M Sunday Night Showdown [$250K to 1st] (WAS vs PHI)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Jalen Hurts ($17,100 CP) - There’s a couple ways to look at how value-heavy this slate stacks up to be. On the one hand, you could Captain someone like Boston Scott ($1,400) who is sure to see a minimum of 15 touches with Sanders sidelined; or, knowing you have places to save salary in the FLEX, you can shoot for absolute upside at 1.5x value. Hurts represents the latter on Sunday. Though Washington’s defense has been stingy to opposing QBs all season long, Hurts’ fantasy profile is almost starting to look matchup proof. He’s averaged an impressive 29.6 DKFP in his three starts, a product of rushing for 238 yards and a touchdown within that span. Still, let’s not completely ignore Hurts’ contribution in the passing game, as he’s also averaging 10.4 air yards per attempt and 14.1 yards per completion. The rookie simply makes things happen and that’s always appreciated in DFS.

Terry McLaurin ($15,000 CP) - Washington isn’t exactly equipped with a roster that’s full of “ceiling” assets, but McLaurin, when healthy, is the best of the bunch. The sophomore wideout is enjoying his first-career 1,000-yard campaign, which is something to be celebrated when you consider the quarterbacks that have been throwing him the football. Still, this is more about the matchup that’s being presented in Week 17 than it is about McLaurin himself. The Eagles have been getting torched by opposing WRs all year long, surrendering 9.1 yards per target to the position — the third-worst mark in football. Obviously you’d be justified in pivoting to J.D. McKissic ($8,800) or Logan Thomas ($7,800) if McLaurin ends up inactive or on a snap count, yet neither is quite the same level of playmaker as the 25-year-old.


Value FLEX Plays

Jalen Reagor ($6,200) - Before I specifically dive into Reagor’s viability, let’s run down a few more of the Eagles’ inactives for Week 17. When it comes to pass catchers, Philadelphia will be without Dallas Goedert (calf), DeSean Jackson (ankle), Alshon Jeffery (personal) and Richard Rodgers (ankle). That basically leaves Reagor and Zach Ertz ($4,600) as Hurts’ potential weapons on Sunday evening. Still, the positive side of these events is that it really simplifies what has been a messy Eagles WR corps. Philadelphia has been rotating in five or six different wideouts the past couple of weeks, which has been eating into someone like Reagor’s upside. To wit, while the rookie does lead the Eagles in target rate and air yards since the beginning of Week 14, said target share is only 18.7%. I’m intrigued to see what Reagor can do with some set-in-stone volume.

Washington Football Team D/ST ($4,200) - The cool thing about loving Hurts’ upside on this slate is that such a passion doesn’t preclude you from also thinking Washington’s defense is super viable. When I say that Hurts is a big play waiting to happen, I sort of mean that for both teams. While the young QB has proven to be explosive in his three starts, he’s also thrown two interceptions, fumbled six times and been sacked on nine occasions. Some of that is being inexperienced, but a lot of it is on Philadelphia’s offensive line, that comes into this matchup ranking dead-last in adjusted sack rate for the entire season (9.6%). Washington’s front four might be the most talented in the league and they should be living in the Eagles’ backfield all night long.

Boston Scott ($1,400) - I mentioned above that I believe Scott has Captain’s pick consideration and I mean that. In the two games Sanders has previously missed in 2020, Scott saw just under 70% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps, generating 16.0 touches and 14.1 DKFP per contest — a figure that would put the diminutive RB over 10x value on this slate if he were to do it again on Sunday. Granted, Washington hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since all the way back in Week 3 — and they rank inside the Top 10 in fewest adjusted line yards conceded to opposing running backs — yet Scott’s truly too cheap to care much about the quality of the matchup. Be prepared to sweat Jordan Howard ($1,000) or Corey Clement ($200) vulturing goal line work, but that’s not nearly enough to sway me from this pick.


Fades

Alex Smith ($9,800) - In a way, it’s sort of crazy to know that Smith’s reached the 300-yard bonus twice in the seven contests he’s appeared this season, yet he’s failed to ever exceed 20.0 DKFP. Do you know how hard that is to do? Anyway, Smith is the dictionary definition of a game-manager and, if he plays, he probably won’t be operating at 100% health due to a lingering calf issue. I completely understand that starting quarterbacks have to be priced at a certain level in Showdown, but, to me, it’s insane to pay nearly $10K for an asset that lacks any sort of tangible upside. There’s just more exciting ways to spend in this matchup, even if it means leaving some salary on the table.


THE OUTCOME

What a strange slate. I’m legitimately more tantalized by the Eagles’ skill-position pieces, yet, at the end of the day, I’m very confident that Washington’s defense will help the Football Team win this game comfortably. Washington is 5-1 ATS in its past six contests and it has the NFL’s No. 2 defense by DVOA at its disposal. Conversely, Philadelphia is missing veteran starters at almost every position group. Just seems like a mismatch.

Final Score: Washington 24, Philadelphia 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1M Sunday Night Showdown [$250K to 1st] (WAS vs PHI)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.