The Panthers will host the Falcons on a windy, rainy Thursday Night Football game to open Week 8. The weather is only thing that stopped this DraftKings Showdown lineup from including two kickers in Joey Slye and Younghoe Koo. Instead, we have a relatively unexciting lineup filled with two QBs, three WRs and a RB.
While it feels like the Falcons could actually play a good defensive game sometime soon, until that happens, we’re investing more of our DFS salary into the Panthers for Thursday night. Teddy Bridgewater’s connection with both D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson has been great, and we’re counting on that carrying our lineup. With Christian McCaffrey (ankle) an injury question mark, we’ve chosen to fade the Carolina RBs. Mike Davis is usable in place of one of the receivers if McCaffrey is out.
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DraftKings Showdown Picks: Panthers vs. Falcons
Captain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR D.J. Moore, Panthers ($12,300)
By some weird statistical happenstance, Moore has had exactly 93 receiving yards each of his past three games (that includes 93 yards and a score against the Falcons in Week 5). Robby Anderson has deservedly gotten all the headlines this season, but Moore is equally or more talented. His odds of having a big game are close enough to Anderson that taking the discount in price at captain is worth it.
FLEX: QB Matt Ryan, Falcons ($11,000)
Ryan was bad in the first meeting between these teams, and the Falcons were pretty rough as a whole, but rather than trying to be perfect in selecting Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley or Hayden Hurst, we’re taking Ryan here to try to account for the production that any of those pricey options may have.
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FLEX: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers ($10,600)
Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns the first time these teams met this season, and nothing has changed in Atlanta’s porous pass defense. With both Moore and Anderson in our lineup, we’ll go for the heavy Carolina passing stack in the hopes of hitting it big.
FLEX: WR Robby Anderson, Panthers ($9,200)
Anderson has scored double-digit DK points in every game this season. He’s a major deep threat who’s benefiting from getting away from the Jets, and like Moore, he had a big game against Atlanta the first time (eight catches for 112 yards). Just because we aren’t captaining Anderson doesn’t mean he’s a lackluster play.
FLEX: WR Russell Gage, Falcons ($4,200)
Ensure that Gage is playing after he’s been limited in the lead up to this game, but as long as he’s on the field, he’s a fun low-priced option from the Falcons’ passing attack. Since DK is PPR scoring, Gage works nicely for us. He’s pretty hit or miss, but there are paths to him having six or seven catches Thursday night.
FLEX: RB Brian Hill, Falcons ($2,200)
Hill was seeing pretty consistent secondary work behind Todd Gurley until last week when Gurley got a heavier workload. On the short week, maybe Hill makes up for some of that and gets more carries against a bad Carolina run defense. Hill is also involved enough in the passing game that he has a non-zero floor at his low price.