There’s one million dollars at stake tonight on DraftKings! That’s right, the widely popularized DFS app is once again giving away $1,000,000 to the first place winner in tonight’s Thursday Night Football Milly Maker. With fantasy glory and a million bucks on the line, it’s now more crucial than ever to assemble a winning DraftKings lineup that can dominate the competition. This article offers insights on who should take the coveted captain slot, which core player should anchor your player pool, a value gem that can boost your salary cap flexibility, a sleeper pick with breakout potential, and one player to steer clear of – the dreaded bust. Lock in, as we dive into the tactical decisions that could lead you to DFS victory in this Thursday Night Football primetime battle between the Green Bay Packers and the visiting Detroit Lions.
*Disclaimer: These picks have been constructed with the mindset of building a single lineup. When building large field/multi-entry tournaments, if the player sees the field you’ll want to have a piece of him somewhere, my “busts” included.*
Thursday Night Football DraftKings Showdown Picks
DraftKings Captain Salary- $13,200
Romeo Doubs had been widely known for being very productive on just a few looks. He’s a player who can do a ton of damage with just a few catches or red zone looks. Case in point is that in just three games this season, Doubs has recorded 129 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on just 11 catches! That’s over a quarter of his receptions going for 6. While that statistic surely won’t ring true at the end of the season, there’s still reason to remain optimistic about the sophomore receiver’s future productivity.
With fellow WR Christian Watson (hamstring) planning to play in tonight’s TNF matchup, Doubs should slot back into the WR2 role. The hope here is that the #2 cornerback of the Detroit Lions stays with Doubs instead of the ailing Watson. Last week, with Watson out, QB Jordan Love peppered Doubs with 12 targets. He took those 12 for 73 yards and a touchdown on 5 receptions. Hamstring injuries aren’t the easiest to come back from. They can be reaggravated at any moment, especially while playing a game as violent as football. Without the vital practice reps, there’s no telling what kind of rapport Love and Watson have held onto. Fingers crossed that the connection between Love and Doubs doesn’t waver in an attempt to get Watson up to speed.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
DraftKings Salary- $11,600
There are so many viable Thursday Night Football players tonight. I’m not sure I can afford to spend up for Amon-Ra St. Brown in the captain slot. Regardless of whether or not he’s my captain, I need him in my DraftKings lineup. His $11,600 price tag in one of your utility slots is still a hefty price tag. However, I can’t envision him having any sort of trouble paying it off. St. Brown has been a safety valve for QB Jared Goff so far this season.
Through three weeks, Amon-Ra has already racked up 21 receptions on 27 targets. Sometimes this season it has seemed like Goff has only had eyes for St. Brown. In fact last week against the Atlanta Falcons, St. Brown was one of just two WRs to catch a pass from Goff, Kalif Raymond being the other. Goff’s other attempts were either in the direction of the emerging rookie TE Sam LaPorta or to RB Jahmyr Gibbs. On primetime television, I don’t see a reason for Goff to shy away from his best option. Don’t be shocked when the Sun God walks away with his third straight game of 100+ receiving yards.
DraftKings Salary- $8,000
NOTE: I originally had a nice write up about David Montgomery here instead of LaPorta. I think he’s a strong play tonight. Then a good friend of mine (lol), Tom Pelissero tweeted that Montgomery would be out for tonight’s matchup. For the benefit of all you fine readers out there, I rushed to give you a value pick that you could depend on. Pelissero has since has retorted his statement and issued an apology for any confusion it may have caused. I have not yet received my personal apology.
There was a miscommunication, and I will just have to eat this one. I apologize for the error.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 28, 2023
Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has been coming on strong. His targets have gone up each week that he’s taken the field. In last week’s game, Sam LaPorta stood out as one of only four Lions players to record a reception. The rookie went for 84 yards and a score on 8 receptions, signaling a concentrated target share within the team’s passing game. This recent performance suggests that LaPorta is not only becoming a preferred target for quarterback Jared Goff but also highlights his potential to play a pivotal role in the Lions’ aerial attack.
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) September 27, 2023
As he continues to build chemistry with Goff and establish himself as a reliable option, LaPorta’s concentrated involvement in the passing game makes him a particularly enticing DFS play for tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the Packers. The rookie will be facing a Packers DST that has already given up 15 receptions and a touchdown to tight ends. LaPorta’s role and recent performances suggest he could be a key factor in the Lions’ offensive game plan, making him a compelling value option.
Marvin Jones Jr.
DraftKings Salary- $2,000
The sleeper pick is really important in tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup. There’s so much talent on display that you’ll really need to roster a low-salary player to make space for your studs. I really like Packers WR Jayden Reed tonight, but his $5,600 DraftKings salary puts him just out outside of what I consider to be a sleeper. On the other hand, the disrespectful $2,000 it’ll take to roster Marvin Jones Jr. sits right in that sweet spot. When I look for a sleeper on DraftKings, I generally start with the minimum-salary players and work my way up. I keep going until I land on a player that I believe can outperform their price tag. It’s certainly been a rough start to what was supposed to be a glorious homecoming. Even still, I don’t believe that we’ve seen the last of a productive Marvin Jones Jr.
I may have underexaggerated exactly how bad the start to Jones’ season has been. Depending on how your league does its scoring, Jones currently has -0.20 fantasy points through three weeks of play. The 11-year veteran has been targeted six times, only catching two of those targets for eight yards. To make matters worse, one of those catches ended up being a costly fumble in opponent territory. Since Week 1 Jones has been without a target. If you’re waiting for the good news, here it comes. WR Josh Reynolds was also blanked (zero catches) in last week’s game and Jameson Williams is still on the sideline, suspended. Through it all Jones has still been on the field, he’s played at least 41% of snaps each week. That’s a high percentage for a player of his DK salary. I’m willing to take the gamble that his career isn’t over yet.
DraftKings Salary- $9,600
You want me to pay what for Gibbs? In this economy? Oh hell no. The $9,600 DraftKings wants in order to roster Gibbs is way too high considering his role. With David Montgomery absent last week, Gibbs got the Lions’ share (pun fully intended) of backfield touches. From a touch and production standpoint, Gibbs had a solid showing, nothing spectacular, but solid nonetheless. The problem is that he didn’t force the coaching staff to reconsider the hierarchy in the running back room. At least not the way that Eagles running back D’Andre Swift forced Nick Sirianni’s hand, after dominating in Kenny Gainwell’s absence. 17 carries for 80 yards is nothing to sneeze at, admittedly. However, those numbers aren’t replicable today with Montgomery back.
While Gibbs led the team with 17 carries, it was really concerning to see that five other players recorded a carry. The biggest red flag of all, however, was Gibbs’ lack of presence in the red zone. As the Lions neared the goal line, it ended up being Craig Reynolds who was the preferred option inside the 20. To make matters much worse, the Lions’ offensive line is currently in shambles. Swing Tackle Matt Nelson and RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai have already been ruled out. LG Jonah Jackson and LT Taylor Decker are questionable, with Decker not expected to play. Oh and did I mention that the Packers have yet to give up a rushing touchdown? Gibbs’ production should come in the form of receptions tonight, I’m just not convinced that it’ll be enough to pay off his price.