⛽️ Week 4 Thursday Night Football Primer🔥

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Thursday Night Football Week 4 Primer

Week three just finished, and we’re already onto week four. This week is an NFC North matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. In this newsletter, we’ll look at each position and some potential options for fantasy lineups and betting lines. All Data was sourced from the 33rd Team Edge & MB Fantasy Life Utilization report.


Jordan Love through three games has looked like he could be the answer to life after Aaron Rodgers. Love is fourth in Air Yards (940) and third in passing touchdowns (7). However, he is also second to only Zach Wilson in Completion percentage at 53.1%.

Detroit pressures the quarterback position at a 39% clip, good for 5th best in the league. Love has only been pressured on 9.1% of dropbacks, so it will be interesting to see if the Lions can get home on Love. It could be a long night for the Packers’ offense if they do.

Jared Goff on the other hand has had a solid start to his 2023 campaign. Goff has a 70% completion percentage including an 83.3% completion percentage on passes over 21 yards; that’s 4th best in the NFL. Goff doesn’t possess the speed that Love does, but he makes up for it with his accuracy.

Green Bay has been STINGY so far in allowing only 219 passing yards/game. With Rashawn Gary clogging run lanes and Jaire Alexander shutting down top WR, the Packers have a strong test with Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown and company. Can the Lions be able to manufacture enough offense in this matchup?

Running Backs

We are still awaiting word if David Montgomery will play as of the posting of this primer. If he does play, expect to see him have 15-20 carries, with most of his carries being in short yardage and on the goal-line work. Another thing to monitor if he plays is who takes the two-minute work between him and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. Montgomery took 100% of those snaps in week 1, but the shift went 75-25 to Gibbs in week 2. If Montgomery does not suit up, Expect a similar usage plan of Jahmyr Gibbs getting a bulk of the touches with Craig Reynolds being the spell back.

Green Bay has allowed 100 YPG on the ground, the eleventh most in the NFL. The Packers have also been attacked in the air by running backs early in the season as well. They have allowed 49 receiving YPG (3rd worst) to the RB position. If the game script turns negative for the Lions, the running backs could be someone Jared Goff targets a lot. Gibbs has a 12% target share on the season and could show fantasy managers a glimpse of why they drafted him early in 2023 rookie drafts.

The status of Aaron Jones was tipped by his teammates that he is expected to play this week alongside AJ Dillon. Detroit is extremely tough against the run, allowing 50.3 yards per game. Dillon has struggled in the two games Jones has been out, so there is some hope that his return will help this Packer run game.

Detroit has given up the 7th most receiving yards to the running back position. So, while the run game may struggle tomorrow night, the pass work to the running back position may be something that is fantasy-worthy. Aaron Jones ran routes on 53% of his snaps and had a 15% target share in week one against the Bears.

Wide receivers

The Lions have set up 11 Personnel on 63% of their plays. The Lions’ wideout corps leader is USC WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. Alongside him has been Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds primarily with Marvin Jones and Antoine Green sprinkled in.

As mentioned before, the Packers are very tough to get yards on, and that shows in fantasy points scored. Receivers who line up outside average 11.8 Fantasy points per game, whereas slot receivers score 14.9 FP/G. Who lines up inside might have a slightly better chance at being fantasy-relevant for this Thursday night matchup.

The Green Bay Packers have a very young corps of wideouts. Christian Watson, hampered by a hamstring injury, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, Samouri Toure, and Dontaviyon Wicks make up the group. Doubs and Reed have commanded a larger share of the targets so far, accounting for 43% of the overall Green Bay target share. We don’t know how Watson will factor into this puzzle, but if 2022 is any indication, he would see around 17% of the looks. Keep that in mind when props come out for him. He could be on a snap count, but we’ve seen Watson produce in short spurts.

The Lions are also very tough to throw against, but the slot is one spot where the Packers can attack tomorrow night. The Lions allow close to 17 fantasy points/game to the slot position. If Jayden Reed stays inside, look for him to have potentially a big night.

Tight Ends

Has there been a better start to a rookie campaign for a tight end outside of Sam Laporta? He has been the number two option in the Lions’ passing attack, which shows why the front office picked him 34th in this year’s draft.

The Packers are stingy against the tight end position, allowing only 45 yards per game to the position. Laporta’s hot start could potentially cool off on Thursday. We’ll see if the Iowa rookie can buck this trend.

Luke Musgrave was one of two tight ends taken in the 2023 draft by the Packers. In the attempt to surround Jordan Love with weapons, the Oregon State product has shown early on he is someone Love trusts and is willing to throw the ball to.

I’m going to be frank here: the Lions are AWFUL defending the tight end position. Dead last in yards allowed to tight ends (87.67 per game) and worst in Fantasy points/game with a staggering 19.0. If there is a weapon that Jordan Love should target tomorrow night, it is Luke Musgrave. Musgrave props will be a target of sharps based on this information.

Final Thoughts

With a spread of -1.5 to the Lions on the road and an Over/Under of 45.5, the books see this as a tight divisional matchup. Both teams will want to establish the run with their two-headed attacks. Can the Packers establish the run and feed the TE on play action? Or will the Lions and Goff use precision and power to take an early stranglehold on the NFC North?

Props we like:

Luke Musgrave OVER 39.5 receiving yards (DK)- Hit the over in 2/3, facing the Lions’ ranked TE defense. This line has moved a bit from open at 34.5 so expect this to move into the mid 40’s by game time.

Jordan Love OVER 14.5 Rushing Yards (FD)- Love has had to scramble a bit more in the last two games, and this front four of the Lions is no joke. Love has an 8% scramble rate on the season, and 15 yards is more than doable for him.

Keep an eye on:

Aaron Jones Props- His injury status will keep the books from listing props, but his receiving line will be one to monitor. Jones had 20-yard receiving games in both matchups. Would suspect the line will be around 25-30 If he does play.

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