Commanders-Eagles DFS Showdown: Injury and Depth Analysis
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Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles welcome Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Commanders to Lincoln Financial Field on Monday Night Football, giving us a strong DFS showdown slate. Despite the dual threat upside that Hurts possesses, it has not been his legs lifting him to success lately. Over the past three games, he’s thrown for ten touchdowns while only rushing a combined 20 times. A close game would increase that, but Hurts understands it isn’t worth putting his body in harm’s way. Heinicke hasn’t been anything to write home about at quarterback, but he isn’t going to lose his team the game nor likely elevate them over a dominant team like the Eagles.
Miles Sanders will be the lead back for Philadelphia, averaging over 16 carries per game with upside available as the birds are double-digit favorites. He’s rushed for at least 70 yards and found the endzone in each of his last seven games, but he doesn’t have an overly impactful receiving presence. Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell nearly split the rotational work out of the backfield, with Gainwell having a slight pass-catching and rushing advantage. Scott isn’t far behind in the rushing game, but neither are prominent pieces of this offense.
Brian Robinson will be the primary ball carrier for the Commanders, as he’s recorded 15 touches in three of his last four games. Antonio Gibson has compensated for a loss of rush attempts with an increased role in the receiving game. He’s seen at least 13 touches in the last three games and could benefit from J.D. McKissic being out tonight, opening up a couple of receiving targets.
A.J. Brown makes Tennessee look dumb for trading him, averaging nearly 90 yards per game with six touchdowns. He is Jalen Hurts’s favorite target and first red-zone read, possessing a double-digit target upside that is valuable on any showdown slate. DeVonta Smith went nuclear in Week 3 against Washington, recording 169 yards off eight receptions and a score. He’s averaging almost seven targets per game and has a case as the best WR2 in football. There is a noticeable target drop-off after Brown and Smith to Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal, as they’ve only combined for 17 receptions. Still, the vertical threat that Watkins possesses cannot be overlooked, as few defensive backs can catch him.
Terry McLaurin has thrived these past three games with Heinicke in the pocket, as Scary Terry has seen at least eight targets in each outing. He won’t have an optimal matchup against either Darius Slay or James Bradberry, who have been two of the best cornerbacks in football, but they’re going to do whatever they can to get him the ball. Curtis Samuel will have a prominent role in this offense, operating primarily out of the slot, with the highest likelihood of success given that the Eagles’ starting nickel corner is out tonight. An intelligent coach and quarterback would target Josiah Scott early and often rather than testing Slay or Bradberry, but we have little confidence in Washington to do anything right. Jahan Dotson will return from injury and has four touchdowns in four games this season. Cam Sims, Dax Milne, and Dyami Brown should all rotate minimally and have insignificant roles.
No tight end in football is better after the catch than Dallas Goedert. He appears to be picking up steam, hauling in 14 receptions over his last two games. He’s eclipsed 60 yards in four of his previous five games. Still, He is facing a Washington defense that is noticeably strong against opposing tight ends, allowing only 33 yards per game, making sense of why Goedert only had 25 against them in Week 3. Logan Thomas sits atop Washington’s tight end depth chart, but it’s hard to rave about him as he didn’t record a catch in either of the past two games. Neither team has a backup tight end with a notable impact, but we can say that one will find the endzone. That’s just how it always works out!
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