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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 4


The legend of Gardner Minshew just keeps on rolling.

Jacksonville's newly established signal-caller came out on top in an AFC South duel with the Tennessee Titans, throwing for 204 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding 18 yards on the ground. Despite valiant efforts from Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (300 passing yards, 34 rushing yards) and running back Derrick Henry (17 rushes, 44 yards, one touchdown), the 14 point deficit that the team was in after the first quarter was insurmountable.

On paper, this week's Thursday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers should be an exciting battle with two exceptional quarterbacks. However, with Green Bay thriving on its elite pass defense to win games and the Eagles beat up from early season injuries, it may be less exciting than many expect. Let's dive in to Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 4!

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Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers

Date and Start Time: September 26 at 8:00 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings in 2019:

Eagles Packers
Passing Yards 12th 27th
Rushing Yards 17th 24th
Pass Defense 29th 5th
Rush Defense 2nd 25th

 

Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Rodgers is on pace to finish the 2019 regular season with 372 pass attempts, which would be a career-low among seasons where the Packers quarterback has played all 16 games. That said, beating the Eagles 25th ranked passing defense will require Green Bay's offense to attack through the air and ultimately result in a bounce-back game for Rodgers.

Davante Adams (WR, GB)

Although Adams has failed to live up to fantasy expectations largely because of a lack of volume in the Green Bay passing attack, a Philadelphia secondary absent top corner Ronald Darby is ripe for exploitation.

 

Solid Options and Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

The rookie rusher finally got things going against the Detroit Lions last week to the tune of 126 total yards from scrimmage. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson must recognize that the Packers are not nearly the force against the run that they are against the pass, putting Sanders firmly in the RB2/3 conversation.

Solid Option: Nelson Agholor (WR, PHI)

Agholor has another opportunity to be a spot start for fantasy owners with DeSean Jackson still recovering from an abdominal injury. Although the Packers are a stingy passing defense, Agholor should not draw primary coverage from standout corner Jaire Alexander.

Solid Option: Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

For a tight end that was hyped up as one of the big three to own in 2019 fantasy drafts, Ertz has not produced like a top shelf option at his position. However, great production is only a matter of time given his collective 30 targets in three games. Don't press the panic button too soon.

Solid Option: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, GB)

Valdes-Scantling is only two receptions and 28 receiving yards behind lead Green Bay pass catcher Davante Adams. Firmly established as the No. 2 receiver in this offense, he has a great chance to replicate the success that Marvin Jones had last week against the Eagles secondary (6 receptions, 101 receiving yards, one touchdown).

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Given the recent string of injuries at the quarterback position, it may be difficult to sit this season's current QB-7. Unfortunately, Wentz is facing off against the Packers' top-five passing defense without his deep threat in DeSean Jackson. The return of wideout Alshon Jeffery definitely helps to increase his floor, but whether or not he has fully recovered from his calf strain remains to be seen.

Darren Sproles / Jordan Howard / Corey Clement (RBs, PHI)

A pass-catching role for Sproles has not manifested this season, while Howard can only be started as a dart throw with the possibility to vulture a goal line touchdown from lead back Miles Sanders like he did in Week 3. Clement has not been given a touch this season.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)

Just three games into the season, Green Bay defensive back Jaire Alexander has Pro Football Focus's best coverage grade of any corner in the league. Even if Jeffery is completely over his calf strain, he gets a far from ideal matchup as his return game.

Aaron Jones / Jamaal Williams (RBs, GB)

Jones's snaps have taken a sharp decline from 59 percent in Week 1 to 39 percent in Week 3. The potential for a full blown timeshare makes both Green Bay backs hard sells, especially against Philadelphia's elite run stopping unit that is allowing the second-fewest rushing yards in the league.

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB)

After being heavily involved in the red zone in Week 1, Graham has fallen off of a cliff where he has only been targeted once in each of his last two games. While he could be a streaming option with San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle on bye, fantasy owners who can afford to should keep Graham out of their lineups.

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