Thursday Night Football is always a gamble. The matchups fluctuate usually from amazing to absolute trash, but this week we have a rare “solid” matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bucs bring in their high powered offense against a young, exciting Eagles offense in what could be a potential Thursday Night Shootout. The key will be the Eagles run offense against the Bucs stout run defense. Anyway, here are some fantasy names you should use/avoid.
To start, there are automatic starts each week on these teams. Those are Tom Brady and his receiving core of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. You also have QB, Jalen Hurts of the Eagles. So we’ll exclude them from this piece.
Start: Leonard Fournette (TB)
The Bucs’ RB is emerging as “the guy” in the backfield as each game you are seeing more and more touches handed to the LSU alum. Fournette is a former top pick talent and he is starting to regain his early career form that he had with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Eagles have also been in the bottom five “fantasy-wise” in stopping running backs. His ability to be a weapon in the passing attack too also just increases his value and decreases the value significantly for Ronald Jones, who was once considered the starting running back for the Bucs earlier this season.
Sit: Miles Sanders (PHI)
The talent is there, but the RB out of Penn State has struggled to gain any sort of consistency this season. After starting off with a solid 15 points (half-ppr) in week 1, he has yet to surpass 8 points since. I can’t imagine him getting into double digits this week considering he is going up against the Buccaneers defense, unless he gets lucky scoring a touchdown.
Start: Devonta Smith (PHI)
Like Fournette, Devonta Smith is emerging as a consistent start for fantasy owners as the rookie wide receiver from Alabama has became the clear favorite for his Quarterback, Jalen Hurts. The past two weeks he has gotten nine and ten targets, and with a weak Bucs’ secondary, expect that target number to be the same and quite higher. He has great flex appeal, with high WR2 upside.
Start: Zach Ertz (PHI)
Dallas Goedert out, enter Zach Ertz. He was once considered a high-end fantasy TE, but has fallen off the grid with numerous injuries which resulted in Goedert taking over TE1 duties. Ertz is “expected to receive” an uptick in playing time and with that should result in more points. The past three weeks he’s averaging seven targets per game, which is very good for a TE and I expect that number to be the same Thursday night. More targets=more likely of a higher point total folks.
Yes, I have 3 starts and one sit, but this has the shootout potential and people got to make their decisions before the Thursday Night game anyway. Not every week will be like this, but we are lowkey blessed with a fantasy fun Thursday game. Thursday will have this game and Game 5 of the NLDS series between the Dodgers and the Giants, so we are blessed with a fun night ahead. Enjoy it!