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Fantasy Football Picks: Lions vs. Packers DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

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

This could get messy. Not only do are we kicking off Week 4 of the NFL season with a rivalry game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but there are a lot of unknown variables for this primetime Showdown slate. Will either starting running back be able to suit up? Will Christian Watson ($8,200; hamstring) make his 2023 debut?

It’s enough to make your head spin, so allow me to break it all down.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DET vs GB)


Captain’s Picks

Jordan Love ($14,700 CP) - Among the 31 quarterbacks who have started all three of their team’s games this season, Love sits second behind only Tua Tagovailoa when it comes to DKFP earned per drop back (0.62). In fact, only Tagovailoa, Anthony Richardson and Love are averaging at least 0.6 DKFP per drop back among all QBs. That’s some pretty decent company. Now, will Love maintain a 7.3% touchdown rate for the whole 2023-24 campaign? Probably not. Yet the former first-round pick has really demonstrated his upside through three weeks. Love sits first in aDOT (10.9 yards), third in EPA per drop back (0.295) and 10th at his position in rushing yards (74). It’s far too early to say anything definitive about the pivot, but with three good performances under his belt and the possibility of getting Watson back into the mix, I think Love’s incredibly viable on Thursday.

David Montgomery ($10,200 CP) - Obviously this play comes with a caveat. Montgomery missed Week 3 with a thigh ailment and he’s currently listed as questionable on the Lions’ injury report. However, Dan Campbell was optimistic that Montgomery would be available to go as of Tuesday afternoon, and if that’s the case, the veteran has been the workhorse in the contests he’s started. Montgomery logged a 78.6% snap share in Week 1 with 21 carries. He then followed that up against Seattle with 17 touches in the 30 snaps he was able to play prior to leaving with the aforementioned injury. It appears the plan was always to have rookie Jahmyr Gibbs ($9,600) eased into the offense, so maybe Montgomery will never sniff an 80% snap rate again, but the price discrepancy between the two backs on this slate doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — especially with Montgomery locked into the goal line work. Packers D/ST ($3,600) is surrendering the fifth-most rushing yards per game (136.7). If Montgomery is active, he needs to be in your lineups.

FLEX Plays

Amon-Ra St. Brown ($11,600) - Honestly, if you wanted to use St. Brown in the Captain’s slot, I wouldn’t argue with you, but his salary is much easier to swallow at the FLEX. What’s even left to be said about the man at this point? St. Brown is on the heels of a 36.4% target share in Week 3’s victory over the Falcons, a lopsided affair where the Lions only needed to throw on 51.6% of their offensive snaps. St. Brown has back-to-back 100-yard receiving performances and he currently owns a 57.1% target share in the red zone — the highest mark of any skill position player in the NFC. Basically, he’s script-proof and has the highest upside of any wideout on his team. Hard to argue with that type of résumé.

Jayden Reed ($5,600) - Much of Reed’s viability comes down to the availability of not only Watson, but also Aaron Jones ($10,800; hamstring), who is always a vital element of the Packers’ passing attack. Still, the rookie wideout has racked up 15 targets in Green Bay’s past two games and appears to be developing quite the relationship with Love. These aren’t empty opportunities, either. While Reed was limited to a paltry three receptions on his seven targets against the Saints, the 23-year-old posted nearly 100 air yards. These are big play chances for a man who ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Reed might need just one catch to break open a slate.


AJ Dillon ($7,000) - I don’t care if Jones suits up or not. I don’t care how big his quads might look in photos. I’m not getting within a mile of Dillon on Thursday evening. Among the 29 running backs to register at least 30 rushing attempts this season, Dillon ranks dead-last in DKFP per touch (0.39) and second from the bottom in DKFP per snap (0.16). On top of all that, Lions D/ST ($4,000) has been very stout against the run through three weeks, holding opponents to a microscopic 3.2 yards per attempt — the fifth-lowest mark in the league. Patrick Taylor ($3,000) at least gets involved in the passing game. In fact, due primarily to his four targets and three receptions versus New Orleans, Taylor actually outscored Dillon on Sunday, despite garnering only 31 offensive snaps. Woof.


It’s difficult to separate these two teams in my mind, a notion that is reflected in the tight spread over on the DraftKings Sportsbook. Heck, their similarities go right down to the injury report, where each club is struggling with key ailments along their offensive line.

Still, I trust the Lions slightly more in what could be a sloppy, low-scoring script. That feels like the kind of football Dan Campbell wants to play. Plus, if we really want to dig into the Packers’ 2-1 start, they’ve beaten the Saints without their starting QB and a Bears team that could be the worst in the league. Color me relatively unimpressed.

Final Score: Detroit 23, Green Bay 20

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (DET vs GB)

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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.