Week 3 Monday Night Single-Game NFL DFS: Top FanDuel & DraftKings Plays

Sep 25, 2023
Monday Night Single-Game DFS: Eagles vs. Buccaneers

Welcome to the showdown breakdown for the first game of the Week 3 MNF doubleheader, a matchup between two 2-0 squads, as the Buccaneeers host the NFC champion Eagles. Tampa has been quite impressive offensively through two games, while the Eagles have picked up right where they left off in 2022. This game presents a ton of interesting wrinkles for single-game DFS players, so let’s dig in.

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Game Environment

This chart represents the general offensive strategies for each team when the game outcome is still in question (win probability between 20% and 80%). The final two minutes of each half are also excluded. We’ll include last year’s statistics through Week 4 of the regular season. Teams in the upper-right quadrant pass more often and play faster than the average NFL team in neutral game scripts, and conversely, teams in the lower-left quadrant play slower and run more often than the average NFL team.

Eagles (-5, 25) @ Buccaneers (+5, 20); Over/Under 45

The Eagles have established themselves as perennial contenders based on their quarterback, but they are boosted by an improved run game via Kenneth Gainwell and D'Andre Swift so far in 2023. The presence of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith as deep threats has forced defenses to back off, allowing them to exploit opportunities in the run game. Even with this added wrinkle in the run game, the team keeps an uptempo pace that increases the potential for a high-scoring affair. It's unsurprising then that they're nearly touchdown favorites by 5 with a 46-point over-under.

The Buccaneers, who were predominantly focused on a pass-heavy offense with Tom Brady, have adapted a slightly more balanced approach, with the key word being "slightly." Their offense remains notably uptempo even with Baker Mayfield under center. Given the styles of both teams, a shootout seems more than plausible, despite the modest over-under figures.

Quarterback Analysis

While there may be 22 people on the field for every play, each play and game is heavily dictated by the performance of each team’s quarterback. While efficiency isn’t everything for quarterbacks, it is the best indicator of future performance, so we use a trio of metrics to suss out top performers at the position compared to lackluster ones. xDrive Success %, or True Drive Success Rate, is a measurement of a QB’s ability to turn drives into scores weighted by sample size. EPA or Expected Points Added, is a measurement of the QB’s contribution, both running and throwing, to the team’s scoring and production vs. the average NFL team. Completion % over Expected (CPOE)represents the accuracy and efficiency of a QB’s passes compared to league expectations.

Jalen Hurts has been nothing short of fantastic since the beginning of 2022. His efficiency metrics are top-tier, consistently ranking within the top six quarterbacks across per-pass, per-drive, and per-game metrics. Hurts has the capability to make sound decisions that not only protect the football but also position his team for scoring opportunities. He's also a threat to break off a big run in both scramble and designed-rush situations.

On the other side, Baker Mayfield's improvement has been notable under offensive coordinator Dave Canales. While his per-pass and per-drive efficiency remain outside the top 40, his stats this year have showcased more than commendable play. Mayfield's recent success, particularly from his time with the Rams and onward, is a positive sign for a career that seemed entirely in flux at this point last season. The Buccaneers' uptempo, pass-heavy style from 2022 remains intact.

Core Plays and Auxiliary Options

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