DraftKings Showdown Week 8: Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
Our NFL DFS Week 8 kicks off with the DraftKings Thursday Night Showdown slate between the Falcons and the Panthers. There’s been plenty to like about both these teams fantasy-wise this season and with a game total set at 49, I think there’ll be plenty of points on offer.
I’m going to cover creating a cash game lineup and look at my favourite plays for GPP lineups. Read our Week 1 article to learn more about the different strategies for these two contests.
These are my personal opinions on the games and strategies at the time of writing this. I may employ different players and strategies than above if later or further information makes me reevaluate my opinions.
Week 3 Cash Game Options
Regular readers know how successful the Cash Game Cheat Code has been so far. 2 QBs, 2 RBs, and 2 kickers have cashed in five Thursday night games out of six. It appears that DraftKings has caught up to this though as to build that lineup this week, you have to play a kicker at Captain.
The big question mark as I write this is if CMC will play after Head Coach Matt Rhule said it’s a possibility on Monday. So thinking ahead for Thursday, if CMC is out and Mike Davis gets the start, it’s a simple build and you need to play a kicker at Captain.
If CMC plays and you think he’ll get the majority of reps, the cash build is a little tricker. You still need to put a kicker at captain but you can’t play them both. Instead, you will have to play someone like Brian Hill of Atlanta.
Week 2 GPP Options
There aren’t many obvious cheap punts for this week. The Panthers distribute the ball almost exclusively to Anderson, Moore, Samuel, and Davis/CMC. For Atlanta, some cheap players have been involved in the passing game in previous weeks but not on a consistent basis. Here are players I’ll have more exposure to than the field:
Todd Gurley (ATL - $8.4k, Captain - $12.6k)
Before the start of the season, there were questions about the workload Gurley would be able to handle with his injury history. Well in each of the last two weeks, he’s carried the ball over 20 times and been targeted 7 times in total. That sounds like a bellcow to me! Now he’s facing a Panther defense which gives up 24.6% of its receiving yards to running backs (highest in the NFL). I expect the Falcons to target this weakness.
Curtis Samuel (CAR - $5.4k, Captain - $8.1k)
Samuel came back after missing week 6 to secure six completions from six targets. He sat between Anderson and Moore in targets and is now priced a couple of thousand dollars cheaper than D.J. Moore. Bridgewater will give all of his receivers a chance but Samuel comes at a discount on the other options.
Brandon Powell (ATL - $200, Captain - $300)
This is my Punty McPuntface play of the day. A few pieces have to fall into place for it to work but hear me out. Last week, Powell was on the field for 25 snaps, largely due to Russell Gage being knocked out of the game for a while. He did return but now we’re on a short week and it’s very possible that Gage could either be inactive or on a snap count. The other hurdle for Powell to overcome is Olamide Zaccheaus who also took 11 snaps. There’s a reason he’s only $200 but that gives you a lot of cap space to spend on the other five spots and any points he scores are a bonus. Oh yeah, I probably should have led with this, he returns punts too!
Pharoh Cooper (CAR - $200, Captain - $300)
Just to balance things up, this is the Panther’s punt returner. After seven weeks, there hasn’t been a single punt returned for a touchdown. This streak must end at some point. I prefer Powell at the price as Cooper only sees a handful of offensive snaps a game. If you are playing multiple lineups, I would have Cooper paired with the Carolina defense so that you can double-dip on points if he returns one to the house. Do the same with Powell and the Falcons D on another lineup.