Thursday Night DFS Preview: Indy-New York gives you opportunity to get creative with your lineup


Credit: Indianapolis Colts

Welcome back to Week 9 of the Thursday Night Football Showdown Build here at Aaron Torres Online. This week we get a matchup between New York and Indianapolis which, to be blunt, doesn’t get many people excited. The two teams are coming off Week 8 games that were on opposite extremes of emotions. Indianapolis jumped out to an early lead in a big divisional contest against Tennessee but were crushed when the game ended in an overtime loss. New York hosted Cincinnati and was forced to start “no name” backup quarterback Mike White, who led a furious fourth quarter comeback upset win for New York.


Will Indianapolis bounce back or will New York stay riding high? I believe we get a return to the mean this week, and I will be incorporating that into my DFS lineup build.


As you know, I come to you weekly with a column specifically focused on one type of DFS contest, the Showdown style on DraftKings. I am here every Thursday, specifically giving you players and strategy for the Thursday Night Football Showdown contests. Showdown Style is a DFS contests, also referred to as Captain Mode contests, where your roster consists of only 6 players and must include players from both teams. The positions in this type of contest are a “Captain” and 5 “Flex” players. This means that you can play a QB, RB, WR, TE, K or Defense in any of those roster spots with no minimum or maximum at any position. The player you select as the captain will score 1.5 time the standard fantasy point value for every statistic but drafting a player in the captain spot will also cost you more salary than if you were to draft them in a flex spot.


Before we get started, remember to check out my “DFS Flash” podcast, a quick whip around DFS show, that’s only 15-20 minutes and gets you ready for the full Sunday DFS slate ahead. It’s been delivering winners every week so don’t miss out! Make sure to subscribe here or listen below.

With that, let’s build out our week 9 Thursday Night Football Showdown Slate Lineup!


The Captain Spot:


As I mentioned, the player you use in this spot is going to cost you more salary by being the captain, but it will also score you 1.5 times the standard point value earned. This week, the options for me are Jonathan Taylor, Carson Wentz and Michael Pittman. Some might consider Mike White here, but I am not going to believe that lightning will strike twice for White. I’ll touch on my thoughts on White quickly and why I won’t be using him in this contest a bit later. For me it comes down to Taylor or Wentz. I said that I think things return to the mean, so I believe Indianapolis wins this game and uses a home matchup against New York to get back on track. Both Wentz and Taylor are good options to use at captain and both should be in your lineups.


I am going to use Jonathan Taylor as I believe the predictive game script will have Indianapolis playing with a lead and running the football. I also believe that Taylor will be a big part of them getting that lead as well. Taylor has been on a hot streak, totaling over 100 yards in each of his past 5 games, being a weapon on the ground and through the air. He has seven touchdowns in that same five-game span and that should continue to climb against the New York defense. New York has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season and ranks dead last against running backs in points from receiving as well. Riding a hot streak and getting a dream matchup, the stars are aligned to use Taylor as the captain this week.


Flex Spots with high salaries:


I said before that Id want to use both Taylor and Wentz in my lineup so I will be looking to put Wentz in my lineup here at a $10,800 salary. The turnovers are what killed Wentz last week with him throwing two interceptions and breaking a five-game streak without throwing a pick. He won’t be asked to do too much in this game and should be able to protect the football and not turn it over this week. Wentz has thrown multiple touchdowns each of the past five weeks and that should continue this week against a poor New York defense and an angry Wentz.


Michael Pittman at $10,200 should be the recipient of at least one of Wentz’s touchdown passes. He has become the go-to receiver in Indianapolis and is coming off a 10 catch on 15 target performance last week where he pulled in 2 touchdowns. Even in the previous week’s matchup where he only caught four passes, he still racked up over 100 yards and was clearly his quarterback’s favorite target. If you dare to roll with enough value options, I will look to get him in your lineup as well this week.


Mike White will not be in my lineup. He had a fantastic 400-yard performance last week, but he was slinging it with nothing to lose against an overrated Cincinnati defense whose secondary I frequently talk about being beatable. Indianapolis doesn’t have a great secondary, but they are a good defense overall. White now has expectations and I believe he will try to play above his abilities this week in a nationally televised game and it will cost him. The Indianapolis defense will get pressure to White and force him into bad decisions resulting in turnovers. I will be avoiding White this week.


The only other options in consideration at that $7,000 or more salary point would be Michael Carter and Jamison Crowder. Carter is coming off the best game of his pro career and looking like he has taken over the New York backfield. I like Carter, but Indianapolis has a very strong defense against the run, and I don’t like the matchup for Carter this week, so I’ll leave him out. I also like Crowder as a high target receiver, but the price tag is just too high for me at $7,800 if you’re putting all 3 high prices Indy guys in. If you don’t use Pittman, you could fit Crowder in.



Flex Spots with high salaries


I said before that Id want to use both Taylor and Wentz in my lineup so I will be looking to put Wentz in my lineup here at a $10,800 salary. The turnovers are what killed Wentz last week with him throwing 2 interceptions and breaking a 5-game streak without throwing a pick. He won’t be asked to do too much in this game and should be able to protect the football and not turn it over this week. Wentz has thrown multiple touchdowns each of the past 5 weeks and that should continue this week against a poor New York defense and an angry Wentz.

Michael Pittman at 10,200 should be the recipient of at least one of Wentz’s touchdown passes. He has become the go-to receiver in Indianapolis and is coming off a 10 catch on 15 target performance last week where he pulled in 2 touchdowns. Even in the previous week’s matchup where he only caught 4 passes, he still racked up over 100 yards and was clearly his quarterback’s favorite target. If you dare to roll with enough value options, I will look to get him in your lineup as well this week.


Mike White will not be in my lineup. He had a fantastic 400-yard performance last week, but he was slinging it with nothing to lose against an overrated Cincinnati defense whose secondary I frequently talk about being beatable. Indianapolis doesn’t have a great secondary, but they are a good defense overall. White now has expectations and I believe he will try to play above his abilities this week in a nationally televised game and it will cost him. The Indianapolis defense will get pressure to White and force him into bad decisions resulting in turnovers. I will be avoiding White this week.


The only other options in consideration at that $7,000 or more salary point would be Michael Carter and Jamison Crowder. Carter is coming off the best game of his pro career and looking like he has taken over the New York backfield. I like Carter, but Indianapolis has a very strong defense against the run, and I don’t like the matchup for Carter this week, so I’ll leave him out. I also like Crowder as a high target receiver, but the price tag is just too high for me at $7,800 if you’re putting all 3 high prices Indy guys in. If you don’t use Pittman, you could fit Crowder in.


Flex Spots with value


If you don’t pay up for Pittman, you’ll want to get Zach Pascal in your lineup at $6,600. With TY Hilton likely missing this game it should be Pascal who gets the wide receiver targets that don’t go to Pittman. I wouldn’t use both, but certainly use one of them. On the New York side, Corey Davis hasn’t practiced this week so the live options for me in the passing game besides Crowder would be Elijah Moore and $6,200 and possibly Keelan Cole as a dart throw at $2,400. Moore has become more of a factor in the passing game lately and they’re making sure they get him involved in the gameplan. Cole was targeted 5 times last week and almost had a spectacular touchdown catch but replay determined he didn’t secure the catch inbounds.


All 4 tight ends in this game are viable dart throw options as all of them can catch a touchdown. Mo Alie -Cox at $5,200 has 4 touchdowns this year and Jack Doyle at $4,600 caught his first last week. Tyler Kroft at $4,000 also caught a touchdown pass last week in his return from a back injury. Ryan Griffin at $1,400 has yet to score a touchdown and only has 10 receptions on the year. Id lean towards Kroft or Alie-Cox for the most potential to score in this game. New York and Indy are both bottom 12 teams against the tight end so I will likely have one in my lineup.


The last think I’ll consider is the Indianapolis defense. I mentioned before that I believe they will get enough pressure on White to force him to make mistakes and I may just lean into that narrative. Indy had 9 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries on the season to go with 17 sacks. They should be able to add to those totals this week and at $5,000 they could be a solid value option. They have scored double digit fantasy points 3 times already this season and this is a good matchup for them.


Final Build Thoughts


I put Taylor in my captain spot and put Wentz and the Indy defense in flex spots. After that, there were a few combinations that I considered. The biggest decision was if I built around having Pittman or Crowder in my lineup. I stayed with my thinking that White may struggle in this one and decided to build with Pittman. Once I had those 3 high salaries in my lineup, I knew my last 2 spots had to be value plays. I went with Tyler Kroft as the lowest salaried tight end that I think has a chance of scoring and finished up with a dart throw at Keelan Cole. Now, if Corey Davis does end up playing, I can change things around and wouldn’t use Cole. At that point, I would likely have to pivot those final 3 flex spots to a combination of Kroft, Pascal and Moore or a less desirable Crowder, Pascal and Griffin.


Week 9 Thursday Night Football Showdown Style Lineup


Captain – Jonathan Taylor

Flex – Carson Wentz

Flex – Indianapolis Defense

Flex – Michael Pittman Jr.

Flex – Tyler Kroft

Flex – Keelan Cole Sr.


Make sure to follow JB on Twitter @FantasyCoach JB

 

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