DFS Thursday Night Football: DraftKings Showdown for Week 11
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 are 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 Podcast: A thorough discussion on how to beat showdown, looking at the game theory and how to leverage the field.
DraftKings Sportsbook Lines
Spread: NE -7.0
Team Totals: Patriots (27.0), Falcons (20.5)
The surging New England Patriots travel to Hot-Lanta to take on Kyle’s Falcons in a Thursday night showdown between two teams trending in opposite directions. The Falcons are 4-5 on the season and have lost two of their last three while the Patriots have parlayed four straight wins into a 6-4 record, good for 2nd in the AFC East. On the Atlanta side of the ball, the outlook is bleak for the Atlanta offense as they host Bill Belichick’s team on a short week down Calvin Ridley (personal) and possibly Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle). Very quietly, Matt Ryan may play Thursday night’s game with arguably the worst skill position group in the entire NFL, trotting out rookie Kyle Pitts, a bunch of jabronies running around at WR, and veteran journeyman Mike Davis leading one of the league’s most lackluster run games. It’s not surprising to see Vegas project an Atlanta loss in this one as 7-point home underdogs. Atlanta has been a 7-point underdog in three games so far in 2021. In those games, they’ve given up 44, 48, & 43 points to their opponents.
New England, on the other hand, is projected to have offensive success in this one, with Vegas books projecting a near full TD victory and a surprising 27-point implied team total. In three of their last four games, Atlanta has given up 43, 25, and 28 points to the opposition. While the Patriots probably aren’t the first team that comes to mind when you think of prolific offenses, it is worth mentioning New England has gone over their implied team total in six straight games, and the game total has sailed over in five of the last six Patriot games. Based on these recent trends, the head coaching mismatch between old Bill and rookie HC, Arthur Smith, the Vegas spread, and the lack of explosiveness on the Atlanta side of the ball, it makes sense to build lineups around a game script where New England picks up the W.
So far this season, Atlanta dials up pass plays at a 68% clip when trailing by 7+ points while the Patriots are content to ride the running game when playing from ahead. During their recent winning streak (Weeks 7-10), New England is dialing up run plays at a 60% clip when playing with a lead. The most logical approach here would be to prioritize Atlanta’s passing game and New England’s running game. However, in roster construction where the script is flipped, it is notable that New England has trusted Mac Jones, throwing at a 62% clip when trailing by at least a TD. As for Atlanta, they don’t necessarily abandon the run when playing with a lead as they’re still throwing at a 58% rate.