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

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

If you’re having a distinct feeling of deja vu about this matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s more than justified. Though it was Monday Night Football last season instead of Thursday Night, these two teams squared off in Week 2, with the Eagles winning 24-7 in a rather lopsided affair.

Will we see something similar this evening? Let’s dive in.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.5M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIN vs PHI)


Captain’s Picks

Justin Jefferson ($18,600 CP) - He’s expensive, but there no way I’m fading Jefferson on this slate. After setting the NFL record for receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons, the LSU product picked up right where he left off in Week 1. Jefferson turned a 27.3% target share into nine receptions and 150 yards — already the ninth game of his career where he’s reached the 150-yard threshold. At this point, Jefferson is virtually matchup proof, though it certainly doesn’t hurt his case that Philadelphia will be without starters James Bradberry and Reed Blankenship in its secondary due to injury. Combine that with the likelihood of Minnesota being in a negative script, and I think there’s a legitimate chance that Jefferson ends up with at least 12 targets for a second consecutive contest. Kirk Cousins ($9,200) is going to be busy.

Jalen Hurts ($17,100 CP) - Hurts is coming off a poor performance against the Patriots, but I can assure you that Vikings D/ST ($3,200) is nowhere near that same quality. Also, after having to play in rather rainy circumstances on Sunday, we’re expected to have clear skies in Philadelphia on Thursday — something that should assist each team’s passing attack. Hurts was a fantasy machine in 2022, averaging an eye-popping and league-leading 0.74 DKFP per drop back. The biggest differentiating factor was Hurts’ ability to essentially be his own goal line back, sitting first by a mile among QBs in both red zone rushing attempts (45) and rushing touchdowns (13). Hurts didn’t get a single opportunity to carry the ball inside the 20-yard line in Week 1. I’d expect that figure to normalize in Week 2.

FLEX Plays

T.J. Hockenson ($6,800) - I’m a little shocked to see Hockenson’s price tag dip below $7K after a reasonably strong showing versus the Buccaneers. Though Hockenson was only able to translate nine targets into 35 receiving yards — his aDOT was a hilariously low 2.8 yards — the 26-year-old still finished the day with eight catches. For context, only one other tight end in Week 1 was able to even reel in six passes. Hockenson’s role and volume are unquestionably elite for the position, which provides an insanely high floor for him as a fantasy asset. The ceiling? Well, that will hit on the days where Hockenson sees more than zero end zone targets, as was the case this past Sunday. Speaking of, Eagles D/ST ($4,400) surrendered a touchdown to Hunter Henry last weekend. It’s obviously a small sample, but the unit is also currently allowing the third-most DKFP per game to opposing TEs.

D’Andre Swift ($4,000) - Swift is going to be popular on this slate, yet that’s for very good reason. Someone is going to have to fill the shoes of Kenneth Gainwell (ribs), who has been ruled out for tonight’s tilt after racking up 18 touches and a 62.1% offensive snap share in Sunday’s victory over New England. This has all the signs of a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” type game for Swift. Heck, Nick Sirianni literally said “[we don’t] ever want to come out of a game where D’Andre Swift has only two touches.” That was prior to Sirianni finding out that he’d be without Gainwell, too. Boston Scott ($2,200) and Rashaad Penny ($1,600) are both also viable at their modest salaries — I wouldn’t be shocked to see Penny get a goal line touch — but it’s Swift that possesses the real upside of an every-down back.


Alexander Mattison ($7,600) - In general, Mattison’s role was solid in Week 1, as the veteran saw a 73.4% offensive snap share, outpacing backup Ty Chandler ($1,200) by a pretty significant margin. Still, Mattison finished the loss to Tampa Bay with just 11 carries for 34 yards in what was an exceedingly neutral game script. That might not be a blip on the radar, either. It might be a Kevin O’Connell thing. Not only did the Vikings finish Week 1 with the league’s second highest pass rate (73.0%), they were also third in pass rate above expectation (9.3%). Minnesota passed on a staggering 83.3% of first downs against the Buccaneers — easily the highest mark in the NFL. Yet, this comes on the heels of finishing sixth in that metric in 2022 (64.5%). This is who the Vikings are. In a matchup with what might be the NFL’s best defensive line, in a contest where the team will likely be trailing, I can not invest heavily in Mattison.


This has the feeling of a high scoring game. I’m expecting the Eagles to get back on track after literally being stuck in the mud in Week 1, while the Vikings aggressive passing game should be able to take advantage of a banged-up Philadelphia secondary. However, will Minnesota score enough to keep pace? Absolutely not. Regression hit the Vikings hard in Week 1 and that will continue on Thursday.

Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Minnesota 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.5M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIN vs PHI)

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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.