Updated: Thursday, Nov. 3 at 12:20pm ET
NFL Week 9 DFS kicks off tonight with the Philadelphia Eagles heading down to face the Houston Texans for Thursday Night Football. This obviously isn’t a game we believe will be a close one, as evidenced by the 13.5-point spread, but that doesn’t matter for DFS Showdown purposes. We know the Eagles are going to score so picking out which players will soar is going to be a little tricky as they have an abundance of weapons, including their defense. It’s the same with looking at the Texans. We aren’t expecting a shutout, so deciding which Texans are going to be viable plays will be crucial to your DFS lineup’s success. Building winning DFS lineups can be tricky, but if you read through the full breakdown, our leans are pretty obvious.
Now before we begin, for those who are new to the process, please take a moment to understand what exactly you are getting yourself into by playing single-game Showdown Slates. We love to have some skin in the game, for sure, but these slates are, for all intents and purposes, a lottery ticket. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but, more often than not, you need to hit on that random dart-throw that differentiates your lineup from that of the herd in order to claim the top prize. As a result, we encourage you to play responsibly and not over-invest. 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.
Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
Spread: Eagles -13.5
Weather: Cloudy with temperatures in the high-70s w/ winds blowing SE at 12 mph
- Brandin Cooks, WR – wrist (questionable)
- Nico Collins, WR – groin (out)
- Maliek Collins, DT – chest (out)
- Christian Harris, LB – thigh (questionable)
- Desmond King, CB – knee (questionable)
2022 DVOA Defensive Rankings
- vs Pass: 2nd
- vs Run: 22nd
- vs Pass: 17th
- vs Run: 32nd
**Please note that players not listed below are not necessarily a complete fade and any player listed can certainly be used as the MVP/Captain. These are merely suggestions for players to use when setting Showdown lineups.
Miles Sanders, RB PHI – The points spread alone should tell you how this game is going to go, but if looking for added reasons as to why Sanders is going to live in my captain’s seat tonight, we can look to his 16 carries per game average and match that up with Houston being without Maliek Collins up the middle and how they allow the most rushing yards per game (186.0) and have coughed up 10 rushing touchdowns this season. The Eagles passing attack will get theirs, but Sanders should be the one leaned on most.
Jalen Hurts, QB PHI – If you think the Eagles are going to treat this game the way the Bills treat every opponent, then Hurts is likely your choice for the top spot. He’ll be pricey and you’ll probably need a solid pay-down and maybe also a dart-throw in that lineup, but with Hurts rushing ability and how much the Texans corners struggle in coverage, he’s going to rack up some strong fantasy points Thursday.
Dameon Pierce, RB HOU – If the Eagles defense has a weakness, it’s against the run, with 114.7 rushing yards per game and six rushing touchdowns allowed this season. Usually, teams fall behind and abandon the run, so the yardage allowed could be a little higher. Lovie Smith is not one of those coaches, so look for him to keep Pierce as heavily involved as he can. It also helps that the Eagles rank 21st in DVOA against running back pass-plays and Pierce has averaged five targets per game over the Texans’ last four.
Mid-Tier DFS Value Plays
Eagles D/ST – I was really close to using the Eagles defense in the captain’s seat, so don’t dismiss them for it just because of where they are listed here. They lead the league in takeaways with 16 on the season (10 interceptions, six fumble recoveries) and 23 sacks. They also just added Robert Quinn from the Bears so they’ve added an elite pass-rusher on the defensive line. Captain seat or not, these guys are a great play.
A.J. Brown, WR PHI – The match-up against Steve Nelson is a solid one, though it’s tough to think Brown is going to be held in check for this game. Hurts has been in love with Brown on the field and routinely looks his way, as evidenced by the nine targets per game average. Don’t expect him to light it up for three touchdowns like he did last week against the Steelers, but there is no reason to think he’ll be held out of the end zone Thursday.
DeVonta Smith, WR PHI – While Smith isn’t seeing the target share Brown is seeing, he’s still very much a focal point of this Eagles passing attack. He’s seeing an average of seven targets per game and will match up with rookie Derek Stingley most of the time, a corner who has the Texans ranking 25th in DVOA against the opposing No. 2 wideout. Most people will drop Brown into their lineups, so if you’re looking to be a little different, Smith should be the play.
Davis Mills, QB HOU – The expectation is that the Eagles will jump out to a commanding lead and that should put the Texans into a pass-heavy scheme in an attempt to keep pace. Despite the tough match-up, Mills is going to be throwing the ball plenty and could prove to be an intriguing play if you’re going to lean on Sanders and the Eagles ground game. You probably have to expect a few turnovers, but if he’s airing it out, we could get lucky here.
Brandin Cooks, WR HOU – We’ll have to check on his status throughout the day as he is still listed as questionable with a wrist injury. On top of that, Cooks has also been pretty vocal about his displeasure with the Texans and his desire to be traded, a move that didn’t happen earlier this week. Will the squeaky wheel get the grease or will the disgruntled employee stay on the sidelines? If he’s in, you play him. UPDATE: Just caught the tweet from Adam Schefter that told us Cooks will NOT play in tonight's game. That boosts the value of Dorsett.
Phillip Dorsett, WR HOU – We were hoping to see more out of Dorsett last week, but it is apparent that when Cooks is on the field, he garners most of Davis Mills’ attention. He’s still a legitimate No. 2 in this offense and should step up even more if Cooks is out, so just keep that in mind when pricing out which Texans you can and can’t afford.
Dallas Goedert, TE PHI – The Texans rank 10th in DVOA against the tight end position and they haven’t been giving up much in the way of fantasy points either. As great of a player as Goedert is, it doesn’t seem like the Eagles are going to rely too heavily on him in this match-up. Maybe he sees some red zone work, but he’s mostly in-play if you are a multi-lineup player and are just looking to get different.
Brevin Jordan, TE HOU – While the Eagles rank sixth in DVOA against the tight end, they are also allowing just over 51 receiving yards per game to them. With the wide receivers banged-up and inconsistent, Jordan could see a few extra looks, especially if Lovie Smith has them in more two-TE sets.
Chris Moore, WR HOU – He plays the slot in three-receiver sets for the Texans and will match up against Avonte Maddox for much of the time. It’s a tough match-up, but we’ve also seen the Eagles defense take its foot off the gas in the second half, so perhaps a big play or two is in order.
Quez Watkins, WR PHI – Probably closer to a dart-throw than a value play, but you never know. Desmond King is banged-up and questionable, so if the Eagles are having some fun out there and taking some random deep shots downfield, maybe Watkins gets a little action.
**Both kickers – Jake Elliott and Ka’imi Fairbairn can be used as a salary-saver if you need. Fairbairn would probably be my first choice, hoping for more field goal attempts.
Dart-Throw DFS Bargains
Kenneth Gainwell, RB PHI – I like Gainwell for mop-up duty in the second half, especially if the Eagles are up big. He can catch passes out in the flat and can take it between the tackles should the team just be looking to chew up the clock. If he can get into the end zone because the Texans run defense is so bad, then happy accident, I say.
O.J. Howard, TE HOU – A dart-throw like any other, but we’ve seen Howard sneak away with some decent plays every so often. The Texans are going to have to get creative with the injuries they re dealing with on offense, so perhaps they deploy Howard as a receiver a little more while they’re in catch-up mode.