Kickoff Monday, Dec 3rd 8:15pm Eastern

WFT (
19.75) at

Eagles (
25.25)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Commanders Run D
16th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
10th DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Commanders Pass D
28th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
4th DVOA/25th Yards per pass
Eagles Run D
25th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Commanders Run O
25th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
3rd DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Commanders Pass O
27th DVOA/21st Yards per pass

REDSKINS // EAGLES OVERVIEW

From a DFS perspective, Monday night brings us a less exciting game than we have on Sunday night — but from a real-life perspective, this game is just as important, with a 5-6 Eagles team and a 6-5 Redskins team squaring off in the wide-open NFC East. With the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles finally rounding into form and the “find a way to win” Redskins carrying back-to-back losses into this road game and now playing with Colt McCoy under center, it feels like the home team has the big edge — though we should keep in mind the fact that most Redskins games have felt this way in 2018, and this team has still found ways to hang tough most weeks. Ultimately, this shapes up as a close, hard-fought game…though if one team pulls away, it is far likelier to be the Eagles.

Neither team has been dominant on offense or defense this year. Both offenses rank middle of the pack in yards per carry, and the Eagles are averaging a disappointing 253 passing yards per game while the Redskins sit all the way down at 214 passing yards per game on a paltry 6.6 yards per pass attempt. While Washington has allowed the seventh fewest points per game on the strength of the seventh ranked red zone touchdown defense, they rank 18th in yards allowed per game. The Eagles are also strong in the red zone (fourth lowest opponent red zone touchdown rate), but they rank 24th in yards allowed and 14th in points. Continuing the overall trend of mediocrity for these teams: each ranks middle of the pack in drive success rate on offense. With each team carrying an exploitable pass defense, Philly and Washington both rank top six in highest opponent pass play rate.

Vegas has given this game an Over/Under of 44.0, with the Eagles installed as early 6.5 point favorites. It won’t be surprising if this game plays somewhat close, but the Eagles are better equipped to separate down the stretch, and they will be the more exciting offense to target in this spot.

REDSKINS PASS OFFENSE

In spite of all the talent issues on the Eagles’ back end, they still have Malcolm Jenkins running the defense on the field, and they still have a creative defensive coordinator in Jim Schwartz. This team impressively ranks middle of the pack in yards allowed per pass attempt, and they have allowed only three more passing touchdowns this year than league-leader Minnesota. This team’s band-aid corners received bottom-rung marks from PFF last week, but they still managed to slow down Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, creating below-average expectations for a Redskins passing attack that ranks 29th in yards per pass attempts, 25th in passing yards per game, and 26th in passing touchdowns — and that now has Colt McCoy under center.

In McCoy’s first start last week, he did manage to pile up 24 completions and 268 yards while chasing points against a Dallas secondary that has similar strengths and weaknesses to the Eagles (with a lot more talent). If Philly can take a lead at home, another 230 to 270 passing yards would not be out of reach.

Targets in McCoy’s first start went:

:: Josh Doctson — 10
:: Trey Quinn — 6
:: Maurice Harris — 5
:: Jordan Reed — 8
:: Vernon Davis — 4

McCoy’s willingness to make mistakes allowed him to push the ball outside the numbers to Doctson far more frequently than what Alex Smith was doing. Truthfully, this team would prefer a conservative, win-with-run-and-defense approach, but if Philly takes a lead in this must-win game for both sides, this team will have no choice but to let McCoy attack more aggressively when he chooses to — which could once again lead to elevated targets for Doctson, who had not seen more than seven targets in any game with Smith and had not cracked 50 yards until going for 66 yards with McCoy.

Quinn is the most exciting player at wide receiver as Washington’s future Cooper Kupp. His role could be scaled back if Jamison Crowder returns this week, but if Crowder misses one more game, Quinn will soak up a few targets underneath with one or two downfield looks. If Crowder plays, this slot role is a guessing game. We may see Quinn kick to the outside, with Harris moving to the sidelines. With Reed and Doctson getting involved with McCoy and Quinn/Crowder in the mix, Harris is the least exciting play of the bunch and is simply a low-floor tourney dart on the Showdown.

Entering Week 11, Reed had cracked 51 yards only two times, and he had not topped 65 yards all year. He proceeded to go 7-71-1 and 6-75-0 across the last two weeks, with McCoy targeting him on the intermediate routes that Smith had been avoiding. This is an exciting development for the rest of the season. Selfishly — as a non-Showdown player — I’m hoping Reed disappoints and loses ownership steam heading into his next Main Slate game, but I’m expecting another six to eight targets for Reed (with room for more), with these targets carrying more upside than they were carrying before.

Vernon Davis mixed in for 26 of 63 snaps, in line with his typical deployment. He’s boom/bust, with the big per-play upside he has shown in four separate games already this year, but with limited usage and a floor of zero.

REDSKINS RUN OFFENSE

The Eagles’ run defense has continued to show cracks lately, now allowing the sixth most yards per carry in the NFL in spite of facing the second fewest rush attempts in the league, as teams continue to shy away from this front seven. The Redskins rank only 13th in rush play rate, but they have shown a strong desire to win on the ground when games stay close, opening opportunity for Adrian Peterson to see more action than most backs have seen in this spot. Peterson has tailed off after his hot start with recent yardage totals of 17 // 68 // 51 // 35, on only 3.05 yards per carry. The likeliest scenario calls for Peterson to see around 20 carries if the Redskins can keep this game close. With only 16 receptions all season, he’ll need a jolt in efficiency or a visit to the end zone to be worth a roster spot on the Showdown.

Hopefully joining Peterson in the backfield this week will be Chris Thompson, who has been practicing this week in preparation for a Week 13 return. Thompson is no lock for more than a limited role, though the Redskins could stretch him in this spot if he looks good, as they need this win in order to remain in control of the division.

EAGLES PASS OFFENSE

Washington has done a good job this year forcing short passes — shaving 10% off the league-average aDOT — but they have otherwise been unspectacular against the pass, allowing a slightly above-average catch rate and allowing the third highest YAC/R rate in the NFL. Add it all up, and Washington ranks 23rd in yards allowed per pass attempt.

Since Golden Tate joined the Eagles, target counts on this team have looked like this:

:: Zach Ertz — 16 // 3 // 8
:: Golden Tate — 4 // 8 // 8
:: Alshon Jeffery — 8 // 5 // 3
:: Nelson Agholor — 7 // 2 // 1

It stands out that Tate has played only 75 out of 116 snaps the last two weeks (64.7%), and has still seen target counts of eight and eight, with the Eagles doing what they can to get him involved. Last week, four of Tate’s eight targets came 10 or more yards downfield — including a deep crosser of 25+ yards on which Wentz and Tate failed to connect. Another five of Tate’s targets came 10+ yards downfield in Week 11, including a shot of almost 50 yards. The production has not yet been there, but Tate is seeing upside looks.

Agholor is out-snapping Tate, but he is not being schemed targets and is nothing more than a dart throw.

Alshon has, bizarrely, been used exclusively on underneath routes the last three weeks, making it difficult for him to pop for the sort of upside we are typically looking for from him. Barring a change in usage this week, he’ll be touchdown dependent.

The heaviest usage, of course, belongs to Ertz, who will match up with a Washington defense that has been above-average against tight ends, but not to any extent that should concern us for the highest-usage tight end in the NFL. With only two games all season of fewer than eight targets, Ertz shapes up as one of the safest, highest-upside plays on the slate.

EAGLES RUN OFFENSE

Washington has been middle of the pack against the run this year — ranking 13th in yards allowed per carry and facing the sixth lowest opponent rush play rate, but ranking 30th in adjusted line yards and getting handled without many issues when teams do choose to open things up on the ground against them. The Eagles rank top 10 in pass play rate, and Josh Adams’ 22 carry, 84-yard game marked a season high for this team in both carries and rushing yards — forcing us to keep our expectations at least somewhat in check, especially after running backs coach Duce Staley referred to this unit as a committee this week. It seems unlikely that Adams suddenly disappears behind an ineffective Wendell Smallwood or Corey Clement, but it won’t be surprising if he trickles back to the 14 to 16 carry range in which “lead backs” in this offense have typically settled. Somewhat discouragingly, Adams saw only one target last week. Darren Sproles is also set to finally return, and he could soak up a bit of the pass game work. Adams is best viewed as a 14 to 16 carry back with a limited pass game role in an above-average matchup, with anything over those numbers considered bonus material. Behind Adams, it will be an unpredictable mess of Clement, Sproles, and possibly even a dash of Smallwood.

JM’S INTERPRETATION

The arrival of McCoy makes the Washington pass catchers more exciting from an “upside” perspective, even if the floor remains iffy in this offense. Targets are most secure on Reed and Doctson (with Reed the safer play, but with both guys carrying solid price-considered upside). If Crowder misses one more game, Quinn is a fun play for his acceptable floor and his quality upside, though a Crowder return would introduce question marks on both guys. Davis is a boom/bust play who could literally post zero points or could pop off for another big gain.

It’s not the prettiest Showdown, which could pull Peterson into relevance. He’s at risk of something like a 15 carry, 50 yard game with only one or two receptions for seven or eight yards chipped in; but he also has multi-touchdown potential and can still pop off for yardage, making him a boom/bust play on the Showdown. Behind him, Thompson would require some faith — but it’s not crazy to think he gets overused if Washington keeps this game close. Thompson adds an element to this unit that they have been sorely missing over the last couple months.

Carson Wentz should be able to post a strong game against a Washington pass defense that has been middling against quarterbacks this year, making him an obviously solid option on the Showdown, while Ertz and Tate shape up as the strongest bets for production through the air. Tate, in particular, stands out as a guy whose results have not yet matched up with his usage, giving him an opportunity to outproduce his price tag. Behind these guys, Alshon is in play on the Showdown as a bet-on-touchdown play. Agholor is a “hope he runs into a broken play” option.

One the Main Slate (or a different Showdown), the Eagles’ backfield would be difficult to get behind, but Adams is in play on this slate a yardage-and-touchdown back, with plenty of explosiveness with the ball in his hands, but with the thin floor that comes with non-elite usage and a slim pass game role. Behind Adams, I would have a difficult time touching anything, but Clement or even Sproles has an outside shot at posting a touchdown or a long play this week.