FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 6 Thursday Night (Buccaneers at Eagles)

On NFL odds, the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a touchdown favorite over the Philadelphia Eagles in a game with a 51.5-point total. That makes the implied score 29.25-22.25.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Tom Brady, Bucs ($16,500)

Tom Brady blowtorched the Miami Dolphins for 37.74 FanDuel points in Week 5 in what was his best fantasy outing of the year. He's now scored at least 28.00 FanDuel points in four of five games, which is pretty wild given that he doesn't do much running.

It's fair to ask how sustainable that kind of fantasy production is, but Brady's 6.7% touchdown rate is basically the same as his 6.6% clip from last year. Plus, we just saw the Kansas City Chiefs -- another elite passing game -- go nuts on the Eagles not that long ago.

Our model projects Brady for 21.4 FanDuel points, the most on the slate. He's a great play. However, I'll likely be a little underweight on him at MVP because I'm really into these next two guys, and I think Brady will likely be the chalk MVP.

Jalen Hurts, Eagles ($15,500)

Jalen Hurts is averaging 25.03 FanDuel points per game for the season -- just 2.22 fewer than Brady -- and has run for at least 30 yards in every game, which boosts his floor and ceiling.

Teams are just kinda giving up on running the ball versus the Bucs. The Dallas Cowboys showed the way in Week 1, and in the last two weeks, the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins have combined for a total of 13 running-back carries. No defense has faced more pass attempts than the Bucs have, although game scripts have played a role in that.

If Philly goes that same route, it'll be great for Hurts -- more drop backs mean more chances for passes and scrambles.

On top of that, Tampa Bay is permitting the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to signal-callers (22.2) and the second-most to wideouts (38.1). This is a beatable pass D that teams are attacking out wide.

When you add in the likely negative game script, everything points to potentially huge volume for Hurts. We project him for 21.4 FanDuel points -- the same as Brady -- and I'm fully on board with using him at MVP even though he'll be a popular choice.

Devonta Smith, Eagles ($12,000)

In Hurts' blurb, I basically made a case for using DeVonta Smith because everything going in Hurts' favor tonight is also working for Smith.

The rookie wideout is the clear top target for Hurts. He owns a 22% target share and 38% air yards share, and the air yards share is more than double that of anyone else's on the Eagles. He's got 14 catches for 199 yards over the last two weeks, and he's also had two touchdowns called back in that time. Dude is eatin'.

Volume shouldn't be an issue tonight, and I expect Smith to be a busy man. I like him as a get-a-little-weird MVP play, and our algorithm forecasts Smith to produce 11.7 FanDuel points.

Flex Priorities

Chris Godwin ($13,000) and Antonio Brown ($11,500), Bucs

The only negative with the Tampa Bay passing game is that it's hard to know who to stack with Brady. In the four games in which Evans, Brown and Godwin all played, Godwin and Evans sport a 20% target share, while Brown is at 17%.

With Mike Evans ($13,500) salaried up after a big Week 5, I'll be zeroed in on Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown.

For the season, Godwin has a 19% target share and 20% air yards share. He's got at least five targets and 50 yards in every game, although he's put up just one output of more than 16.6 FanDuel points. He does have the worst air yards share of the Bucs' big three, which in turn gives him the lowest ceiling, so if he's the one you want to fade, you won't get much pushback from me.

AB's usage is pretty dang nice for a guy at his salary. In addition to the 17% target share from his four games, Brown offers a 24% air yards share.

Our projections aren't into Evans at his salary, pegging him for 11.6 FanDuel points and rating him as the worst point-per-dollar option among those with a five-digit salary. We have Godwin (12.3) and Brown (10.9) as nearly identical point-per-dollar values.

Leonard Fournette, Bucs ($11,000)

Leonard Fournette has been operating as the lead back. He's out-snapped Ronald Jones in every game this year, including 62% to 14% last week. The big negative for Fournette is the return of Giovani Bernard, who logged a 23% snap rate in Week 5. While 23% isn't much, nearly all of Gio's snaps came at the expense of Fournette, who was in on 82% of the plays sans Bernard in Week 4 and handled most of the passing-down work.

Bernard's presence dings Fournette's outlook, but it's not as big of a deal in a game like this one, where the Bucs are 7.0-point favorites.

Philly has been a run-funnel defense this year, giving up the 11th-most FanDuel points per game to running backs (23.9) while limiting receivers to the 5th-fewest (23.5). That sets up well for Fournette. But with the Buccaneers leading the league in pass rate, it may not matter a whole lot.

Fournette projects as a good play who could be a bit overlooked if the masses try to stack Brady with two of his wideouts. With a projection of 12.3 FanDuel points, Fournette ties Godwin as the top-projected non-quarterback, according to our numbers.


Miles Sanders, Eagles ($10,000)

Miles Sanders' role is better than I thought it was prior to digging into the numbers.

He has played at least 60% of the snaps in every game and is coming off a season-best 75% snap rate last week in a game in which Kenneth Gainwell ($8,500) was out there for a season-low 24% of the snaps.

Other than the matchup, the bummer for Sanders is that Philly just isn't running the ball with their running backs all that much, as they own the 10th-highest pass rate. But Sanders' usage within the context of this offense is fairly appealing. He handled 11 of 13 running-back carries in Week 5, adding five receptions. In Week 4, he accounted for seven of 10 running back carries while making three grabs.

This probably isn't the spot where the Eagles get back to running it a lot, but Sanders does enough in the passing game to warrant consideration at a salary that is fairly easy to stomach for a guy who has a better role within the offense than maybe some people realize. That makes Sanders appealing at this salary, and he doesn't figure to attract a ton of eyeballs due to the brutal matchup with Tampa Bay's run D.

We project Sanders for 11.2 FanDuel points. He's tied with Fournette as the top point-per-dollar value outside of the signal-callers.

Jalen Reagor ($7,500) and Quez Watkins ($7,000), Eagles

I can get behind either of these two as low-salary picks, but I prefer Quez Watkins.

Jalen Reagor has played at least 70% of the snaps in every game, and he's been right at that number in two straight. Watkins has been over that 70% clip in only one game, but it was last week -- when he logged an 82% snap rate.

For the season, Reagor has a 13% target share and 15% air yards share. Watkins is at a 10% target share and 13% air yards share.

But just like with the snaps, Watkins' usage is trending up. Over the last two games, Watkins has a 12% target share and 13% air yards share, compared to Reagor's marks of a 7% target share and 4% air yards share.

With Dallas Goedert looking unlikely, there's room for these two to step up in what should be a pass-heavy game plan for Philadelphia. Our algorithm projects Reagor for 6.8 FanDuel points and Watkins for 4.4 (and that's with us projecting Goedert to play). We have Reagor as the best point-per-dollar option among those salaried under $10,000.