NFL DFS Thursday Night Football showdown lineup advice: Patriots vs Falcons

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Howard Bender

NFL· 1 week ago

Show Bio

I have been working in the fantasy sports industry for more than 20 years. I am the head of fantasy sports content for Fantasy Alarm and DFS Alarm as well as a bi-weekly columnist for the New York Post. Welcome to the #Family.

Welcome to daily fantasy football, Pickswise users. For those who haven’t yet dipped their toes into the DFS pool, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Howard Bender and I have been working in the fantasy sports industry for more than 20 years. I am the head of fantasy sports content for Fantasy Alarm and DFS Alarm as well as a bi-weekly columnist for the New York Post. We’ve enjoyed tremendous success over the years, but this NFL season has been one of our best as our Playbook and Showdown write-ups have already brought in a million-dollar winner on FanDuel as well as several others who have enjoyed six-figure wins. We promote the process and teach you to be a better DFS player and that has certainly been the case this year. Welcome to the #FAmily….

The old adage “any given Sunday” is on full display even here for Thursday Night Football as the New England Patriots head south to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots annihilated the Browns 45-7 last week and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson looked like a beast out of the backfield. The Falcons visited Dallas and were not only decimated by the Cowboys 43-3 but they may have also lost their top offensive weapon in running back/wide receiver hybrid Cordarrelle Patterson to an ankle injury for this week. But despite the two teams trending in opposite directions, you know anything can happen; just ask everyone who wrote off the 49ers against the Rams on Monday night. Maybe the Falcons don’t surprise everyone with an upset, but don’t expect a major blowout — especially not when building your Showdown lineups.

MVP/Captain

Damien Harris, RB NE

Following a heavy workload for Stevenson on Sunday, the expectation is that Harris — who received medical clearance earlier in the week — will go back to shouldering the load in the ground attack. The Falcons are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this season due to an average of 122.1 rushing yards allowed per game and 10 rushing touchdowns allowed on the season.

Mac Jones, QB, NE

While the passing yards haven’t been abundant lately, Jones has been incredibly efficient with 6 touchdown passes to just 1 interception over his last four games. We may not know exactly who Bill Belichick will feature in this offense, but everything revolves around Jones. With the Falcons allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position, he’s worth the look in the top spot.

Tajae Sharpe, WR, ATL

Trying to find a weakness in the Patriots defense can be a daunting task and with the ground game featuring some unsavory options right now, we’ll hope the passing attack can do some work. New England ranks 22nd in DVOA against the opposing No. 2 receiver and that role tends to land with Sharpe. It’s the contrarian play to use if you believe Belichick will focus on shutting down Kyle Pitts.

Other Plays

Matt Ryan, QB, ATL

If the Falcons ground game struggles, head coach Arthur Smith will turn to Ryan and the pass pretty quickly. Ryan may not have to sling the rock for 300-plus because the Patriots are running away with the game, but he’s definitely going to have to have a strong effort to keep them in it. Remember, opposing quarterbacks are held to a 75.7 passer rating against the Patriots, so this too may be a bit of a contrarian play…like Jimmy G on Monday night.

Jakobi Meyers, WR, NE

He got his first taste of the endzone Sunday and Meyers is certainly ready for more. The Falcons are allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to wide receivers and rank 26th in DVOA against the opposition’s top target, allowing close to 72 yards per game on average to them.

Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL

He’s easily the top receiving threat for the Falcons, but as we all know, Belichick does a fantastic job scheming against the opposition’s top weapon. The Falcons are going to have to get very creative with how and where they use Pitts if he is going to find success in this one. Likely another contrarian pick, based on the cost.

Hunter Henry, TE, NE

Atlanta ranks 17th in DVOA against the tight end and are allowing close to 12 fantasy points per week to the position. That number is right in Henry’s wheelhouse as he doesn’t usually post more than 40 receiving yards per game, but with 7 touchdowns in his last seven games, you know he’s an obvious red-zone threat.

Mike Davis, RB, ATL

With Patterson being a game-time decision, the expectation is that Davis should shoulder the bulk of the load this week. Smith said Wayne Gallman’s heavy workload on Sunday was a direct result of the blowout and the short week. That should mean he was saving Davis for this game should Patterson be out or limited.

Nelson Agholor, WR, NE

He’s seen a lot of snaps, though that hasn’t exactly turned into a heavy dose of targets. But that’s the case for most of the weapons on New England. You never know where Belichick is going to direct his team. Agholor has a favorable matchup against Fabian Moreau so he could be good for some quick strikes downfield early.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, NE

If you don’t believe the Sunday workload or Harris’ presence will affect the rookie, then getting Stevenson in as a contrarian play might work. He could handle some of the short-yardage and goal-line work if he’s getting touches throughout the game.

Dart Throw

Brandon Bolden, RB NE

Let’s not forget about Bolden, especially if Stevenson is limited to alleviate wear and tear following Sunday’s workload. He may be questionable, but if Bolden is active you know Belichick finds a way for him to get work.

For a more in-depth breakdown and showdown analysis, be sure to check out DFSAlarm.com for all of your daily fantasy sports needs.

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