DFS Thursday Night Football: DraftKings Showdown for Week 1

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The 2021 NFL season is back! Week 1 features an exciting matchup between the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys. Before we get into the specifics of this matchup and how to approach it for the DraftKings showdown slate, I want to point people back to a few pieces of evergreen content that I think we be extremely valuable if you’re serious about winning showdown all season. I’d recommend reading/listening to this content before proceeding, especially if you’re new to showdown.

1. How to Win Showdown Contests: A detailed article looking at the data and strategy behind winning showdown lineups.

2. DFS Showdown Strategy PodcastA thorough discussion on how to beat showdown, looking at the game theory and how to leverage the field.

If you’re looking for more on this specific matchup, Kyle and I released an episode of the DFS Podcast on Tuesday talking solely about this matchup from a showdown perspective.

DraftKings Sportsbook Lines

Spread: Tampa Bay -8.5
Total: 52.0
Team Totals: Tampa Bay (30), Dallas (22)

Injuries to Monitor


  • G Zack Martin (O): Covid-IR
  • T La’el Collins: Stinger – will play but this does carry a relatively high risk of reinjury in game


  • S Jordan Whitehead (O): Hamstring strain
  • WR Chris Godwin: Will play but was added to the Bucs injury report on Tuesday with quad injury. Full participant on Wednesday in walk through.
Captain Selections

Tom Brady $16,800
Tom Brady easily projects as the best captain play on the entire slate, and DraftKings is telling us that much by pricing him as the most expensive player on Thursday. It’s hard to poke holes in TB12 in this matchup. The Bucs have a massive implied team total, and last season, Brady threw for 2+ TD in 17 of 20 games including playoffs. While Dallas may be a little better on the defensive side of the ball compared to last year, they should provide minimal resistance to Brady and his weapons. He’s probably the safest option on Thursday, and as a result, if you’re playing cash games, TB12 seems like the most obvious choice. In GPPs, if playing Brady at captain, just know he’s going to be the most heavily rostered on the slate, and as a result, be sure to get different elsewhere in your lineup.

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Stacking Recommendation: Cpt Tom Brady + At least 2 TB pass catchers

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