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Fantasy Football Picks: Eagles vs. Texans DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Eagles and the Texans with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

This is about as lopsided a game as we’ve seen all season. The undefeated Philadelphia Eagles head south on Thursday to square-off with the lowly Houston Texans. As you might expect, even on the road, the Eagles are favored by two touchdowns. It’s going to be one of those nights for Al Michaels. Maybe he can bring a crossword puzzle into the booth?

Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Thursday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (PHI vs HOU)


Captain’s Picks

Jalen Hurts ($17,700 CP) - Hurts is the exact same price as Lamar Jackson was last Thursday, which makes a lot of sense. Both are elite dual-threat quarterbacks and, entering Week 9, the pair share the league lead in DKFP earned per drop back (0.72). What else does Hurts lead the NFL in? Glad you asked. Among qualified QBs, Hurts ranks No. 1 in adjusted completion rate (80.7%), rushing attempts (81) and, of course, rushing touchdowns (6). In fact, with 25 carries in the red zone, Hurts is tied with Nick Chubb for the most rushing attempts inside the 20-yard line of all players — not just pivots. It all comes together to produce a ceiling that might be unmatched by 99% of the assets in football this season. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Texans D/ST ($3,200) has been putrid defending the run, either. Through eight weeks, Houston sits dead-last in rushing yards allowed per contest at 186.0, a figure that is 30 yards clear of every other team. Yikes.

Miles Sanders ($15,600 CP) - I can’t shake the memory of the Derrick Henry and the Titans just cutting through this Texans defense like butter four days ago. Tennessee was without Ryan Tannehill and was starting the very raw Malik Willis under center. Houston had to know that all the Titans wanted to do was run the football, and yet, somehow, they still managed to concede 219 yards and two touchdowns to Henry, while also surrendering 83 yards on eight carries to Dontrell Hilliard. Houston is the worst defense in the league against the run according to DVOA. Its given up the most DKFP per week to opposing backfields. Sanders’ fantasy upside is always going to be affected by the presence of the aforementioned Hurts, but this is without question the best possible matchup he could draw. In what should be a very positive script, I’d expect Sanders to see somewhere around 17-20 touches. That should be more than enough volume to bring back value.

FLEX Plays

Eagles D/ST ($7,000) - This is about as expensive as I can ever remember seeing a defensive unit on a Showdown slate, but it’s hard to blame the ol’ algorithm. The Eagles looked ferocious in Week 8 against the Steelers, finishing the victory with six sacks, two forced turnovers and 14.0 DKFP. Philadelphia now owns the fourth-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL at 8.8% and that’s with the newly acquired Robert Quinn having only logged a total of 20 snaps in green this season. They’ll look to harass Davis Mills ($9,000) on Thursday evening, which hasn’t been too much of an issue so far in 2022. Houston ranks 30th in drive success rate (64.0%), 29th in yards per drive (27.6) and 28th in points per drive (1.55). Mills himself possesses a 2.5% interception rate — the fifth-highest mark of the 22 QBs to throw at least 200 passes. Basically, if the Texans are going to get into a lot of obvious passing downs, things are going to get ugly.

Editor’s Note: Texans WR Brandin Cooks (wrist/personal) will not play in tonight’s game vs. the Eagles, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tyron Johnson ($200) - The big question mark for this contest is the status of Brandin Cooks ($7,200; personal), who is questionable after not being traded at this week’s deadline. If the wideout’s Twitter is any indication, he’s not happy and I have my doubts he’ll be suiting up for this one. That would leave the Texans without their top two receivers, as Nico Collins (groin) remains sidelined. While I’ll admit that Chris Moore ($5,400) and Phillip Dorsett II ($4,000) are far safer plays on this slate, I’m intrigued by the potential and price point of Johnson. The 26-year-old has bounced around the league, yet he did show some promise back in 2020 in an extended opportunity with the Chargers. Johnson logged just five snaps in last week’s loss to Tennessee, but Cooks was active, and the Oklahoma State product had been signed by Houston only days prior. With another week of practice under his belt and the Texans desperate for a warm body at the position, Johnson is viable.


Dameon Pierce ($8,600) - In general, I like what I’ve seen from Pierce in his rookie campaign. However, this is simply a terrible spot for a running back. Credit where it’s due, the fourth-round pick has been very involved in the passing attack the last month — Pierce is averaging 4.0 receptions per contest since Week 4 — yet Pierce has also benefitted from Houston mostly participating in one-possession scripts so far this season. He’ll surely get his touches in the first half, but once this score gets out of hand, I feel like we start seeing more Rex Burkhead ($4,600) than I’m comfortable with. There’s very little touchdown expectancy here, as well, with Philadelphia one of four teams surrendering fewer than 17.0 points per game.


There’s not much more to say. I’m picking the Eagles. Worry about a backdoor cover, if you must, but I don’t think this thing ends particularly close.

Final Score: Philadelphia 31, Houston 13

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Thursday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (PHI vs HOU)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.