FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 9 Thursday Night (Eagles at Texans)

It's one of the best teams versus one of the worst tonight in Houston.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Philadelphia Eagles are 14.0-point road favorites over the Houston Texans in a game with a 45.5-point total. That makes the implied score 29.75-15.75 in favor of the Eagles.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Jalen Hurts ($17,500 on FanDuel) is a few tiers above everyone else. We project him for 25.0 FanDuel points, an eye-popping 10.1 more than anyone else. He's by far and away the most likely candidate to lead the slate in scoring. He's surpassed 24.0 FanDuel points in five of seven games, and if he goes off on Thursday, it's hard seeing anyone being able to sniff Hurts' ceiling.

The lone negative with Hurts is that he figures to be massively popular at MVP. While you can make a game-theory case to put someone else in your multiplier spot, Hurts' dual-threat prowess and elite floor/ceiling combination make him a really tough MVP fade on this slate. I normally pivot off the chalk MVP, but this may be an exception. I'll likely just use Hurts at MVP and try to be unique elsewhere.

If you want to pivot off Hurts, you can turn to Miles Sanders ($13,000) or A.J. Brown ($14,500) at MVP.

Of the two, I prefer Sanders. He could wind up pacing the slate in scoring if he runs into some touchdown luck, and using him correlates better with fading Hurts at MVP. Plus, the Texans' D has been good against wideouts, limiting them to the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game (22.2). Sanders' snap rates are underwhelming -- just a 51% clip a week ago -- but prior to seeing only 9 total touches in Week 8, he'd received at least 15 total touches in every game this season. We project him for 12.5 FanDuel points.

As for Brown, he just lost his mind against the Pittsburgh Steelers, scoring three tuddies in a dominant effort. He has big-play upside and has been targeted at least seven times in every game. He's got a 40% target share and 33% air yards share, so the usage is outstanding. Our model is a fan, projecting the star receiver for 14.9 FanDuel points.

Using anyone other than Hurts at MVP will be contrarian. Using a Texans player at MVP will be really different. But, hey, you never know.

The Texans' path to winning this game likely revolves around keeping Hurts and company on the sideline as much as possible, which means we could see a lot of Dameon Pierce ($15,000) for as long as the game is competitive. Pierce has logged at least 20 total touches in five straight games, and he sees enough pass-game action -- 16 receptions across the last four weeks -- to be a viable play even if you think Houston gets housed. We have Pierce pegged for 14.4 FanDuel points.

Whenever any quarterback is going to be an afterthought at MVP, I'm a little interested, and that's the case with Davis Mills ($14,000) in this one. The matchup is rough, though, as Philadelphia permits the second-fewest FanDuel points per game to signal-callers (11.1) and ranks as the third-best pass D by our metrics. And it certainly doesn't help that Brandin Cooks has been ruled out. At a projection of only 12.5 FanDuel points, Mills is a tough sell at MVP but makes sense as a flex option.

Flex Breakdown

DeVonta Smith ($12,000) and Dallas Goedert ($11,000) are the best of the rest on the Philly side.

Both have taken a backseat to Brown, but they have good touchdown equity with Philly implied for close to 30 points. Smith owns a 23% target share and 27% air yards share. After getting only 23 receiving yards last week while Brown blew up, Smith might get some squeaky-wheel treatment in this one. Goedert's 19% target share and 12% air yards share give him a lower ceiling than Smith's. With that said, our model projects him for 11.2 FanDuel points to Smith's 10.7.

If you think Philly wins this game going away, Boston Scott ($7,500) and Kenneth Gainwell ($8,000) make sense as salary-saving picks. If the Eagles are up big in the second half, they could ride one (or both) of these two as they grind out the clock, opting to lighten Sanders' load on a short week with the game in hand.

For Houston, Cooks and Nico Collins are out, so it's not going to be a pretty scene at receiver. With that said, there will be gobs of targets available. My guess would be Chris Moore ($6,500) and Phillip Dorsett ($9,000) hold down the top two spots. In Week 8, when Cooks played but Collins sat, Dorsett led the Texans in snap rate (82%) while Moore played 65% of the snaps. It's hard to get too jazzed about either guy, especially Dorsett at his salary.

Brevin Jordan ($7,500) and O.J. Howard ($6,000) are worth a look, too. The Houston tight ends might be pretty involved tonight. They've both played between 45% and 55% of the snaps the past two games. Our model gives the edge to Jordan projecting him for 7.6 FanDuel points and Howard for only 3.3. Jordan Akins ($7,000) got only a 27% snap rate last game.

The Philadelphia D/ST ($10,000) is in a friendly spot and has been salaried up to reflect that. If Mills has to play without Cooks, he could really struggle, and the Philadelphia defense can feast even if Cooks is out there. The Eagles are ninth in pressure rate and have allowed the second-fewest yards per play.

I like kickers in indoor games, and Jake Elliott ($9,500) could pop in this one. He's missed only one extra point this year, but Philadelphia's offense has been so efficient that he's attempted more than one field goal in only two games. However, in a game where the Eagles should score plenty, if a few drives stall and result in kicks, Elliott is capable of getting into the optimal lineup. We peg him to produce 9.9 FanDuel points.