Buccaneers vs. Eagles Picks, Lineup Tips for Daily Fantasy FanDuel, DraftKings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 14, 2021

Buccaneers vs. Eagles Picks, Lineup Tips for Daily Fantasy FanDuel, DraftKings

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    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    Tom Brady is the best quarterback in Week 6's Thursday night matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles. But he is not the best daily fantasy option at the position for the showdown at Lincoln Financial Field.

    Brady is dealing with a slight injury to his right thumb. That could affect Tampa Bay's game plan in some capacity. But even if the seven-time Super Bowl champion looks fine and throws for a touchdown or two in the first half, he may not put up the highest yardage totals between him and Jalen Hurts.

    Hurts has a pair of 300-yard passing performances and has run for at least 30 yards in every game this year. His rushing ability and potential to score on the ground and not share touchdowns with any other player could make him the ideal top selection in DraftKings and FanDuel contests.

Take Jalen Hurts over Tom Brady

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    You may question the decision to select Hurts over Brady in a game Tampa Bay should win easily. But that is the exact reason why Hurts should be the top quarterback in your lineup.

    Philadelphia will be inclined to throw the ball more in the second half if it is trailing, as expected. Hurts attempted at least 35 passes in four of his five starts this season. He has multiple touchdowns, either passing or rushing, in the same amount of games.

    Hurts' potential to score on the ground makes him an intriguing selection over Brady because he will not share touchdowns with any other player. Brady has nine rushing attempts for 36 yards this season. Hurts ran for 30 yards in Week 5's win over the Carolina Panthers. If he does not share any touchdown plays, he could boost your lineups into the front of Thursday's DFS contests.

    Hurts is also the more healthy option at quarterback. Although Brady is set to play, the Bucs could opt for a more conservative approach by running the ball with Leonard Fournette. Brady told reporters during practice this week that he is dealing with discomfort in the thumb on his throwing hand, per ESPN's Jenna Laine.

    "I think it's just a little bit sore, but I expected it to be. But I think I should be fine for Thursday," Brady said. "There's no serious injury at all. It's more just discomfort, but I think that should be gone here in the next day or two."

    The Eagles have conceded the third-most rushing yards through five weeks. Tampa Bay could feel inclined to exploit that weakness through Fournette, who should be one of the top non-quarterback DFS plays.

    If you start Hurts, make sure you add Zach Ertz and DeVonta Smith in a lineup stack. Smith leads the Eagles in receptions, targets and receiving yards. Ertz should see an increased number of targets with Dallas Goedert on the COVID-19/reserve list.

Start at Least 1 of Tampa Bay's Running Backs

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Tampa Bay's running backs should receive a ton of DFS attention Thursday night.

    The Bucs should look to take advantage of Philadelphia's third-worst rushing defense through Fournette and Ronald Jones II. Fournette leads the Bucs with 56 carries and 251 rushing yards but has only found the end zone on one occasion. That lone score came in Week 5's trouncing of the Miami Dolphins.

    Still, he could surge over the goal line multiple times Thursday night. Fournette may receive a heavier workload because of Brady's aforementioned thumb injury and his recent uptick in form. He had 32 carries for 159 yards in the past two games.

    Jones has not had more than six carries in a single game this season, so he is much more of a DFS risk Thursday night. If you are willing to take a chance, Jones might be the perfect player because his low roster percentage could take you over the top if he breaks a big run or is called upon in the red zone in some capacity.

    However, Giovani Bernard is probably the better option as Tampa Bay's No. 2 running back. Bernard has filled the role James White occupied during Brady's days with the New England Patriots. He has a receiving touchdown in each of the past two games and is two weeks removed from a 10-target, nine-reception game versus the Los Angeles Rams.

    Bernard could be Tampa Bay's X-factor in the passing game. Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin will be dealing with Darius Slay and Steven Nelson, and Rob Gronkowski is out for another game.

    The former Cincinnati Bengal is the perfect short passing option for Brady and has the potential to terrorize the Philadelphia linebackers in coverage.

    A Fournette-Bernard pairing is not out of the question for DFS lineups, especially if you use Hurts and two of his targets to fill the other roster spots.

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