Welcome to the Thursday Night Showdown Slate for NFL Week 5!

Well if last week’s horror show of a Thursday night match-up between the Jets and Broncos yielded a 37-28 game, we should be getting some serious fireworks tonight, right? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. Both the Bears and Bucs have significantly better defensive units and we’re also seeing a number of injuries on the Tampa Bay side. Still, you can’t count out Brady no matter who his weapons are and many are expecting/hoping that another week, albeit a short one, of practice for Nick Foles will bring about some improvement from last week’s sub-mediocre performance. A lot of questions but a lot of possibilities too.

Before we start, please allow me to reiterate that while we all love having a little skin in the game, these showdown slates are basically lottery tickets. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but more often than not, you need that random, differentiate yourself from the herd dart-throw to hit in order to claim that top prize. As a result, we encourage to play responsibly. Stick to the GPP contests (single-entry preferred), don’t blow your whole bankroll and understand that, unless you are a max-entry player, you should prioritize having fun.

OK, lecture over. Let’s get to tonight’s action.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears

Spread: Bucs -3.5

O/U: 44.5

Betting Facts:

Money line: Tampa Bay -190, Chicago +170

The Buccaneers are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as a road favorite

The Bears are 1-8 ATS in their last nine contests following a straight-up loss

Weather: High 50s, clear skies with winds ENE at 5 mph

Last 5 Match-Ups:

Bears lead 3-2

Average margin of victory of all games: 19.8

Last Match-Up: Bears beat the Bucs 48-10 on 9/30/2018

Notable Injuries:


Leonard Fournette (ankle – doubtful)

LeSean McCoy (ankle – out)

Chris Godwin (hamstring – out)

Mike Evans (ankle – questionable GTD)

Scott Miller (hip/groin – questionable but expected to play)

Justin Watson (chest – out)

O.J. Howard (Achilles – out)


Darnell Mooney (shoulder – questionable but expected to play)

Defensive Rankings (Using DVOA):


vs Pass: 4th

vs Run: 2nd


vs Pass: 5th

vs Run: 16th

Prop Bets to Watch:

The reason we are listing these here is to help you understand what the Vegas expectations are. If you aren’t routinely amazed by how accurate spreads and totals are, you haven’t been paying attention and you’re missing out on a valuable tool. Take a look at the list below and understand how to utilize for DFS. When you see the over and under have the same money line, that’s Vegas’ way of saying it can go either way. You have the base number and can determine whether you use a player or not based on that. But when there is a different money line on the over and unders (highlighted in green), Vegas is telling you what to expect. A negative money line means they feel it is more likely to happen which can help you make decisions regarding which players to play.

Tom Brady Passing Yards: 264.5 (over +115; under -143); TD Passes: 1.5 (over -137; under +110)

Nick Foles Passing Yards: 249.5 (over & under -110); TD Passes: 1.5 (over -106; under -118)

David Montgomery Rushing Yards: 49.5 (over & under -112); Receiving Yards: 21.5 (over -124; under +100)

Ronald Jones Rushing Yards: 69.5 (over & under -112); Receiving Yards: 23.5 (over +120; under -150)

Allen Robinson Receiving Yards: 70.5 (over -124; under +100)

Anthony Miller Receiving Yards: 30.5 (over -124; under +100)

Darnell Mooney Receiving Yards: 40.5 (over & under -112)

Ke'Shawn Vaughn Receiving Yards: 18.5 (over +100; under -124)

Mike Evans Receiving Yards: 63.5 (over -124; under +100)

Scott Miller Receiving Yards: 46.5 (over -143; under +115)

Rob Gronkowski Receiving Yards: 37.5 (over +100; under -125)

Jimmy Graham Receiving Yards: 31.5 (over & under -112)

Here’s a breakdown of which players we suggest looking at for tonight:


Tom Brady , TB – Overall, quarterbacks have not had great success against this Bears defense, as evidenced by the three passing touchdowns allowed and 74.4 passer rating accrued by the four quarterbacks they’ve faced thus far. Still, Brady has thrown atleast 35 times in each of his first four games and has and 11:4 TD:INT. He’s usable, but not likely the Captain/MVP.

Nick Foles , CHI – He didn’t look good last week but it was his first start and now he’s had more time to practice with the first team. The Bucs secondary is filled with ball-hawkers and have five picks to six TDs allowed through the air. Foles has jelled with Allen Robinson well and should be considered for the slate, though, like Brady, I’d be hesitant to use him in the Captain/MVP seat.

Running Backs:

David Montgomery , CHI – The Bucs run defense looks strong, ranking second in DVOA and allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (64.2) this season. Montgomery’s usage didn’t exactly go up last week in the wake of the Tarik Cohen injury and Matt Nagy continues to rely on trickery rather than lean on a supportive ground game. He’s a tough sell this week against such a strong opponent, especially when he is barely used in the passing game.

Ronald Jones , TB – The Bears defense ranks 16th in DVOA against the run and they’re allowing 115 rushing yards per game this season. With no Leonard Fournette or LeSean McCoy , RoJo saw 20 carries and nine targets last week. If that’s the volume we are looking at, especially with so many receivers hurt, we’ll push the chips all-in for RoJo and use him in the Captain/MVP spot.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, TB – Look who snuck in for 25% of the snaps last week and found his way into a receiving touchdown. He’s still a dart-throw, but word is that his role could be expanded this week, especially with Jones seeing a heavier-than-usual workload last week.

Wide Receivers:

Allen Robinson , CHI – Look everyone! It’s Nick Foles ’ No. 1 fan…and target. ARob now has back-to-back 100-yard games and has scored a touchdown in each as well. He warrants a look for the Captain/MVP seat as he will continue to get peppered with targets and will be squaring off with Jamel Dean most of the time.

Darnell Mooney, CHI – He’s been a little banged up with a shoulder issue but is expected to play, despite the questionable tag. He’s only seen one red zone target which may limit the upside for a Showdown slate, but if he is seing roughly seven targets per game, he can definitely be a nice support option.

Anthony Miller , CHI – It would be nice to see an uptick in targets, but Mooney is expected to play which pushes Miller down the pecking order again. He had such a strong second half last year, that it’s difficult to understand why he’s been phased out of the target share. He does have two touchdowns and four red zone targets over the first few games, so there is a splash of upside here if looking for a contrarian play.

Cordarrelle Patterson , CHI – Patterson hasn’t been utilized as much as everyone speculated after Tarik Cohen went down for the season, so he remains nothing more than a dart-throw. If you think Nagy has some gimmicks up his sleeve for this match-up and you’re setting multiple lineups, he could be intriguing.

Mike Evans , TB – Evans will test out his ankle in pre-game warm-ups so keep a very close eye on his status. If he plays, he’s an obvious one for your lineup. He’ll see the majority of targets and Brady knows he can throw it high in the end zone and Evans will somehow come down with it. He’s been gutting through the ankle issue the last two weeks, so we think he plays, but again, double-check.

Scott Miller, TB – All signs are pointing to Miller (groin/hip) playing and that gives us plenty of interest, especially with both Chris Godwin and Justin Watson out. He’ll move back and forth between the outside and the slot where hopefully he sees more Buster Skrine as that would be a match-up to exploit. The Captain/MVP spot might be a stretch, but I might consider it if Evans is out.  

Tyler Johnson, TB – He’s a dart-throw but there is upside here if the Bucs are down and Brady is forced to throw. I like him even more if Evans is out, but for now, he’s nothing more than a salary-saver.

Jaydon Mickens , TB – Super-deep dart-throw and only to be used if setting multiple lineups AND Evans is out.

Tight Ends:

Jimmy Graham , CHI – Tampa Bay ranks 24th in DVOA against the tight end and they’re allowing an average of 52.9 yards per game to the position. Graham gets a ton of looks inside the red zone, but keep in mind the Bucs have yet to allow a TD to the tight end position through four games. The DVOA ranking and Graham’s heavy red zone work have me looking at him, though not in the Captain/MVP spot.

Demetrius Harris , CHI – Dart-throw, that’s it. Not recommended

Cole Kmet, CHI – The Bears said they wanted to get him more involved in the offense, but he’s still learning and is nothing more than a dart-throw.

Rob Gronkowski , TB – With no O.J. Howard or Chris Godwin , Gronk could see a nice uptick in targets this week. If Evans is out, it’s even better. But he’s only seen two red zone targets and has yet to grab more than 48 receiving yards and has no touchdowns. People are waiting for the breakout game, but it’s tough to imagine that happening this week.

Cameron Brate , TB – While Gronk has seen more snaps and more targets, Brate is the one who hauled in the touchdown last week. They love dialing up his number in the end zone and he continues to excel in that role. Let others chase Gronk points that may never come. Stay with the guy who gets the looks when it counts most.


Chicago Bears D/ST – The Bears can be opportunistic and have three picks and one fumble recovery, so given the way Brady has been underthrowing his receivers, the Bears might be an interesting play. Not great, but interesting.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST – The Bucs look a little better than the Bears D right now with eight takeaways this season. The secondary is aggressive and Foles has shown he makes mistakes from time to time. A pick-6 isn’t out of the question.

Cairo Santos , CHI – With a strong defense for the Bucs, the Bears offense could stall and we could see a heavy dose of Santos. If you’re in need of saving salary, he could be worth a look. After all, this is what space smells like (some will understand, some won’t. Sorry if you feel left out.)

Ryan Succop , TB – I would only look at both kickers if I was setting multiple lineups. Using Succop over Santos depends on how much you think the Bucs offense could stall. If Evans is out, I could lean Succop, but our projections have these two right next to each other.

If you are looking for lineup help, check out our NFL Lineup Generator which can be adjusted for Showdown Slates.