Eagles-Buccaneers DFS Picks: Can Jalen Hurts Save Philly’s Season?! (January 15)

Monday Night Football wraps up Super Wild Card Weekend with one last hurrah in which the Philadelphia Eagles try to advance over the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. In this issue of Stokastic’s NFL DFS picks series, we’ll be providing our Eagles-Buccaneers DFS picks for the Monday Night Football Showdown slate.

Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites. This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Monday Night slate, so check out these Eagles-Buccaneers DFS picks.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Eagles-Buccaneers DFS Picks

Philadelphia Eagles: 23.0 Points


The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Jalen Hurts as the third-best fantasy quarterback for the full Super Wild Card Weekend player pool on both DraftKings and FanDuel, slotting behind Dak Prescott and Josh Allen. Things are getting a little spicy in Philadelphia as the team lost five of the last six games after clinching an early playoff berth. This includes going 1-3 against teams that did not make the playoffs, with the New York Giants suffering the lone defeat then avenging it in Week 18, handing the Eagles a 27-10 loss that was not even close.

Hurts left that game after trying to play through a dislocated middle finger on his right (throwing) hand suffered in the second quarter. In the two series after the injury, he completed one of four passes while also ceding an interception. He was ultimately replaced by Marcus Mariota for the remainder of the contest.

A.J. Brown also was injured, and he is out tonight with a knee injury. On a fun note for non-Philly fans, he has apparently removed all Eagles information from his social media accounts, something he also did with the Tennessee Titans prior to being traded to Philadelphia. This year started out so promising for the Eagles and Brown, who set an NFL record with six consecutive games of 125-plus receiving yards between Weeks 3 and 8, though he surpassed 100 yards only one other time in the subsequent nine games.

Tonight is a reprisal of Week 3, when the Eagles bested the Pewter Pirates 25-11 in Tampa Bay. Of course, that was a lifetime ago in NFL terms, so we really should not be drawing any parallels from that matchup.

Hurts still has plenty of pass-catchers as well as his vaunted rushing ability and a whopping 15 touchdowns on the ground this season. The 25-year-old is still a tremendous fantasy option, but things are certainly not as rosy as they were just eight days ago.

Running Back

D’Andre Swift did not play in Week 18 as he was dealing with an illness, but he was a full participant in practice this week, so gamers should not be concerned with his health. Though, worrying about the 11th-ranked rushing DVOA of the Buccaneers is certainly reasonable. Swift did have 16 carries for 130 yards in the Week 3 primetime matchup against Tampa Bay, but since then only Jonathan Taylor (15/91/2), Christian McCaffrey (21/78/0) and Chuba Hubbard (25/104/2 and in Week 18, 23/83/0) have surpassed 69 rushing yards.

Kenneth Gainwell is still in the picture, but this is more of a 60/40 snap-share split favoring Swift, who also has 80% of the carries and 60% of the passing targets. Boston Scott is always lurking, but he played just 16 snaps from the Week 10 bye through Week 17.

Wide Receivers

Devonta Smith was held out of the final game with an ankle injury, but he is a full go for tonight. While he is not the same caliber receiver as Brown, he would still be the top option on quite a few teams, and last year Smith set the franchise record for receptions by a wide receiver with 95 prior to Brown breaking it this season. The third-year wideout posted his second consecutive 1,000 campaign and tied his career high of seven touchdowns in one fewer game than last year.

Julio Jones and his tender legs will be going against some old friends as he was a member of the Bucs last season, but gamers need to be realistic about his role. Yes, he is likely to be on the field in most passing situations, but it is hard to envision more than four or five targets and 50 yards. His best game this year saw him with two targets, two catches and two touchdowns against Arizona in Week 17, albeit on just 34 yards. Each of those figures represents his high-water mark while with Philadelphia.

Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus should see more time on the field but a similar target volume as Jones. Returner Britain Covey is also likely to get a few offensive plays and potentially a schemed look or two as a potential spark for the offense.

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert is a core play tonight, and he should be in line for a six-target baseline, with the potential for double digits. Excluding the Week 18 debacle, Goedert had six, nine and nine targets over the preceding three games, and we know he has a tremendous rapport with Hurts.

Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra will at least see the field, though Stoll has the best chance at a target. Keep in mind he had eight targets on the season, with three games of two targets being his high-water mark. Calcaterra had four looks, with a pair in Week 16 and then another two last Sunday.

Defense/Special Teams

In the last eight games, Philadelphia had just 13 sacks, with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Tampa Bay typically allows a couple quarterback takedowns each tilt and should be good for at least one turnover at a minimum.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 20.0 Points


The Buccaneers won five of their last six games and earned homefield advantage for tonight’s game by virtue of winning the NFC South. Baker Mayfield had a solid season of redemption, but sadly he suffered rib and ankle injuries in the Week 18 clincher. He will play tonight but was only a limited participant in the last two classified practices.

Philadelphia has the No. 28 passing DVOA, and Mayfield has plenty of talented pass-catchers at every position. Of course, with his limited mobility, Philadelphia is likely going to try to pressure the signal-caller, so we could see Tampa Bay lean on the running game against the 19th-ranked rushing DVOA.

Kyle Trask is the backup and had just three snaps this season, with one pass attempt and one kneeldown. Otherwise, his career action has been limited to Week 18 last year against Atlanta when he was on the field for 10 plays, going 3 of 9 for 23 yards against Atlanta.

Running Back

In the last eight games, Philadelphia allowed five different running backs to run for 80 or more yards. Tampa Bay has been dreadful with the
No. 29 rushing DVOA and the fewest yards per carry, though volume has been key for Rachaad White, who had 990 yards on 272 carries and a solid 70 targets for 64 receptions and 549 more yards. In total he had nine touchdowns and over 80% of the running back opportunities.

Since Week 10, Chase Edmonds is the only other running back to set foot on the field as an offensive contributor. He should be on the field for around 12 to 15 snaps tonight, with half a dozen potential touches. He is not much of a salary saver on DraftKings ($4,400) or FanDuel ($8,000), and his main path to success is an errant touchdown scamper or something befalling White in-game.

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Wide Receiver

Mike Evans had his 10th straight season of 1,000 yards, and this year he led the league with 13 receiving scores. We all know what to expect from him, and the only detriment is the health of his quarterback in an otherwise tasty matchup.

Chris Godwin was a steady option once again, and he had just four fewer targets than Evans but more than all the other receivers combined. Though he only scored three touchdowns, he did have 1,000 yards for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Trey Palmer was the WR3, and while he did have 68 targets, he had just 39 catches, 385 yards and a trio of tuddies. Typically he is on the field for two-thirds of the snaps, but that could be curtailed somewhat tonight if Tampa Bay goes with two-tight end sets to help protect Mayfield. David Moore is likely to be on the field for around 15 snaps, with Deven Thompkins seeing half as many to round things out.

Tight End

Cade Otton was on the field for 96.5% of the snaps this season and saw nearly four targets per appearance. He is a decent salary saver on the main DFS sites. Payne Durham had one target (Week 16) in the last six games, while Ko Kieft had two (Weeks 14 and 15).

Defense/Special Teams

Tampa Bay does a nice job generating sacks; however, Hurts’ scrambling ability tends to negate them as he turns them into carries. With his hampered throwing hand, we could see some fluttering balls in the air, so a pick-six is very live tonight.

Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with his quarterback.

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Eagles-Buccaneers DFS Picks Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Eagles-Buccaneers

  1. Jalen Hurts: Hoping the finger is not an issue; legs can always make up for it.
  2. Rachaad White: Volume is key.
  3. DeVonta Smith: Salary does not take Brown’s injury into account; he will be wildly popular.
  4. Mike Evans: Such a great matchup; even if the defense concentrates on him, they can’t totally shut him down.
  5. D’Andre Swift: Could see a couple extra targets with Brown out and if the Bucs get pressure on Hurts.
  6. Dallas Goedert: Similar analysis as Smith.
  7. Chris Godwin: Better in full-PPR but a perfect hot-route read for a banged-up quarterback.
  8. Baker Mayfield: Ben, just one word … Toradol. Coo, coo, ca-choo. IYKYK!
  9. Chase McLaughlin: Seven teams in five seasons; found a home this year, going 29 of 31, with his misses from 40 to 49 and 50-plus yards; perfect on 21 PATs.
  10. Jake Elliott: 30 of 32, 7 of 8 from 50-plus yards, 45 of 46 PATs, earned Second Team All-Pro honors.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Eagles-Buccaneers

  1. Julio Jones: Soft tissue leg injury is all but preordained; hopefully he has a handful of fantasy points before that eventuality.
  2. Cade Otton: Being on the field for every snap is worth something.
  3. Tampa Bay D/ST: Homefield advantage and does not have to deal with Brown.
  4. Philadelphia D/ST: Gimpy quarterback and a shaky running game could help hide secondary woes.
  5. Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus: Unlikely they both get there unless one gets a score and the other a handful of catches, but they are salary-saving options. Let your personal preference and salary constraints be the driving factor.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Rams-Lions

  1. Trey Palmer: If Brown were healthy, Palmer would be above his Philly counterparts.
  2. Kenneth Gainwell: Struggled when he had the whole backfield to himself last week against the Giants.
  3. Chase Edmonds: Salary is not very forgiving; needs a touchdown to be a difference-maker.
  4. Britain Covey: Punt returner who led the league in yards and just as likely for an offensive target as the next bucket.
  5. Devin Thompkins, David Moore, Boston Scott and Jack Stoll: Different teams and positions; each live for a touch. Thompson also returns kickoffs and punts for Tampa; Scott is the Philly kickoff return man.
  6. Grant Calcaterra, Payne Durham and Ko Kieft: Will be on the field; taking the under on 1.5 collective targets is the bet.
  7. Rakim Jarrett and Sean Tucker: Just say no.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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