Week 7 TNF Showdown


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Week 7 TNF Showdown

Week 7 starts off with a bit of an ugly game as the Giants visit the Eagles. The game total here is just 44 points with the Eagles favored currently favored by a field goal. On one hand we have an underperforming Eagles team that has had shaky quarterback play and an injury-ravaged offense and on the other hand we have a Giants team that is basically the same, though not quite so injury-ravaged.

On the Philly side, Miles Sanders is out, leaving the backfield to Boston Scott and Corey Clement. We saw this same setup in Week 1 and Scott played 56% of the snaps to Clement’s 37%, handling 11 touches with Clement seeing eight. The game was close throughout before Washington pulled away in the 4th quarter, but Scott was banged up early and might have ceded some work to Clement as a result. Philly has rarely used a bell cow back until Miles Sanders came along (and even that only became a bell cow situation late last year), so a timeshare is reasonable to expect here. The Eagles are home favorites here but the Giants defense has been better than expected this season; ranking 12th in DVOA against the run. Draftkings was also smart here and priced Scott all the way up to $8,400 and Clement to $5,200. Those are fair prices for these guys given the expected timeshare and I do not view either as a clear “must play” value; they’re both fair plays (if you play on Fanduel, Scott and Clement are $6,500 and $5,000, respectively, and are fantastic values who will be extremely chalky).

In the passing game, Zach Ertz is the latest victim of the Philly injury curse, though given how he’s been playing I’m not sure that actually hurts them much; it does, however, open up a lot of target volume as Ertz had 45 targets through the first six games. The Eagles are expected to get DeSean Jackson back. The question is how he will do in his first games back. DJax (soft tissue injury) is especially hard to trust, though the opportunity is going to be there given the lack of receiver options the Eagles have available. Travis Fulgham has been playing extremely well, so the base three-wide set should be Fulgham, D-Jax, and Greg Ward in the slot. The matchup is strong here against a New York defense that ranks 21st in DVOA against the pass, but has one cornerback in James Bradberry that is playing at an extremely high level. Bradberry should be shadowing Fulgham, which leaves DJax and Ward with much tastier matchups. Fulgham is a bet on talent and role option (knowing that ownership is likely to flow his way given his last two games and the green “23rd” in the matchups column next to his name on Draftkings), while DJax has tremendous big-play upside (if healthy). Ward possesses a fairly modest upside but a strong floor at his price, while John Hightower, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Quez Watkins are viable MME options.

Updated to reflect news of Dallas Goedert as OUT*

On the New York side, Devonta Freeman has led the backfield the last two weeks, playing 54% and 73% of the snaps. Freeman has 35 carries in those two weeks to go along with five targets. Wayne Gallman saw seven touches in Week 5 before not playing last week, while Dion Lewis has zero carries and five targets in those two games. This appears to be Freeman’s backfield for now though he has only run for 3.2 yards per carry despite two relatively easy matchups in a row. The Eagles are ranked middle of the pack in run defense DVOA at 15th, something we haven’t seen from them in several years; generally, they’re a team that opponents attack through the air due to soft pass coverage and great run defense, but we’re seeing that shift this year. Part of that is matchup and game flow driven. The Eagles have generally been playing from behind this season and they have faced the powerful rushing attacks of the Rams, 49ers, and Ravens so far. DVOA attempts to account for matchup, though it has a harder time accounting for game flow. It’s fair to say this matchup is not as imposing as in years past but is not a great matchup either, especially with the Giants as road underdogs. They would probably like to avoid asking {{Daniel Jones|QB|NYG}} to throw 35+ times here if the game allows for it. This would make Freeman a strong play in lineups that are built around the game remaining close or the Giants winning, while being significantly less attractive in “Eagles win handily” lineups. Lewis is a reasonable punt play who will see a bit of receiving work, while Gallman is a pure MME dart throw.

In the air, the Giants have a fairly talented receiving corps that might be getting Sterling Shepard back but are being held back by the poor play of Daniel Jones. Jones has always struggled against pressure and as a road underdog against the still-robust Eagles pass rush (top third of the league in sacks so far), he might be in for another rough day. If he can find clean pockets though, the matchup is fantastic against an Eagles secondary that struggles to cover anyone and is ranked 29th in pass defense DVOA. Philly brought in Darius Slay to help their coverage situation and Slay should shadow his fellow Darius, Darius Slayton. Slayton has been the one bright spot in the Giants passing game with two huge scores already this year and 44 targets through six games. Similar to Fulgham, he’s a bet on talent and role over matchup play. Golden Tate is a strong floor play who has real upside in this matchup, especially if Shepard misses. If Shep plays, that reduces Tate’s likelihood of hitting but does not eliminate it. Shepard should mostly play on the perimeter with Tate running in the slot, and Shepard is somewhat miscast as a perimeter receiver (as is Tate, which is why the Tate signing was so weird for the Giants in the first place). With Damion Ratley being released and C.J. Board suffering an injury in Week 6 that required a brief hospitalization, Austin Mack stepped in to 75% of the snaps, which resulted in one target for one yard. Mack is priced at $4000 and fits the “play punt guys who are on the field a lot” mantra in Showdown and is an interesting punt option if Shepard is out (and assuming that Board doesn’t play). At tight end, Evan Engram draws a tremendous matchup, but he has had that several times this year and disappointed; he has caught just 20 of 35 targets for an abysmal 177 receiving yards. Engram is a guy who was always viewed as “if he could just stay healthy he’s going to have a huge season,” but here we are six games in and the results are not exactly huge. Smart football people have said he doesn’t look fully recovered from his offseason Lisfranc surgery; an injury that we know can really linger and impact performance in the following season. The matchup is great and it’s possible that Engram will get better as the season goes along, as the underlying talent is strong, but for now he’s a hard-to-trust tournament play. Kaden Smith should see a handful of targets behind Engram and is a reasonable value option.

The most likely way for this game to play out is a grind. The Eagles are more willing to be aggressive while the Giants should try to play conservatively as long as the game is close. Both teams have upside in them: The Eagles have put up 25, 29, and 28 points the last three weeks against the 49ers (one was a defensive TD), the Steelers, and the Ravens, so there’s scoring potential here despite all of the injuries. The Giants haven’t done it this year, but we saw a few massive games from Daniel Jones in 2019, so there are some other reasonable tributaries in play here:

  • If Jones can have one of his unpredictable blowup games, the Giants could put up points fast against this vulnerable Eagles pass defense, leaving Wentz and company in chase mode.

  • Or, if the return of several injured players (and sadly the departure of Ertz) ignites the Eagles passing game, the opposite could happen, leaving Daniel Jones trying to chase through the air.

  • It’s even possible, though unlikely, that both of these things could happen at once. Two passing offenses that are both inconsistent and yet have upside and two bad pass defenses could lead to an ugly game shootout. With ownership likely to not be focused on this option, it’s a viable way to approach MME.

  • Overall, there are quite a few game scenarios to build for in this one, and I’m not sure that I see any real smash plays that are going to be massively owned. Slayton and Fulgham should be highly owned but are both in difficult matchups, so there’s definitely leverage to being underweight and hoping their respective cornerbacks manage to lock them down.


In cash my player pool is the QBs, the kickers, the starting RBs (notice a theme?), and I think that Goedert and Tate (especially if Shep is out) are viable cash receiver options. I’m not likely to drop below the kickers in cash unless we get some unexpected news.


In tournaments, my favorite captain options are Wentz (who has shown a tremendous rushing floor this year and who is affordable at captain on a slate without a lot of expensive receivers), Scott, Freeman, Tate, and Goedert. Fulgham, Slayton, and the rest of the starting receivers are also viable captain choices.


  • At most 1 kicker and most 1 defense as (almost) always

  • Pair captain receivers with their QBs (or consider boosting the QB if using a captain receiver if you don’t want 100% exposure to this pairing - discussed in further detail in the 2020 update to my Advanced Showdowns course)

  • If using an RB captain, apply a negative correlation to the opposing defense and kicker (you can see how to do so in my FantasyLabs tutorial video)

  • At most 1 of Giants receivers not named Engram/Tate/Shepard/Slayton

  • At most 1 of Scott and Clement unless building an Eagles onslaught lineup

  • Pair captain QBs with at least 1 receiver (both QBs have significant rushing upside and I’m not sure they need to be paired with 2, though forcing 2 would result in larger differentiation from the field)

Since Showdown launched in 2018, Xandamere has been one of the most legendary players in the game — playing DK Showdown cash games at a 70+% win rate and finishing Top Two in a major Showdown tournament 10+ times. He dives into Showdown Slates for TNF, SNF, and MNF each week for our friends at One Week Season, and is on loan to us each week for Thursday Night Showdowns!