NFL Week 10 gets underway with a Thursday Night Football showdown between the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts starting at 8:20 p.m. ET.
If you’re unfamiliar with the single-game NFL DFS format, it differs a bit on DraftKings and FanDuel. On DraftKings, you have one “captain” spot and five flexes. The captain will score 1.5x fantasy points, but he also costs 1.5x salary. That means if you want to roster Ryan Tannehill at captain and take advantage of the scoring boost, you’ll have to pay $16,800 as opposed to $11,200.
FanDuel’s single-game format features one “MVP” spot and four flexes. The MVP also scores 1.5x fantasy points, but he doesn’t cost any additional salary. That takes away a bit of the strategy and makes the goal simple: get your highest-scoring player in the MVP spot.
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The three most expensive players in this contest all play for the Titans.
It starts with Tannehill, who has been very hit or miss recently. He’s scored at least 30.0 DraftKings points in two of his past six games, but he’s scored 18.32 DraftKings points or fewer in the other four. He continues to excel from an efficiency standpoint – his 8.76 adjusted yards per attempt rank fifth in the league – but his volume can be questionable on a week-to-week basis.
Things don’t look great this week for Tannehill from a matchup perspective. The Colts have one of the better pass defenses in the league, giving Tannehill an Opponent Plus/Minus of -2.2 on DraftKings. The Titans have also moved to one-point underdogs despite initially being listed as two-point favorites, which is definitely a bit concerning.
Still, Tannehill leads all players in our NFL Models in terms of ceiling projection, and his $11,200 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Derrick Henry will join Tannehill in the Titans’ backfield, and he’s capable of doing some serious damage in any matchup. He’s had three games with at least 200 rushing yards since 2018, and the rest of the league has four combined over that time frame.
That said, Henry isn’t your typical stud fantasy RB because of his lack of involvement in the passing game. He’s had just three total targets over the past three weeks, which gives him a lower floor than most of the high-end RBs. If he doesn’t rack up at least 100 rushing yards or score a touchdown, he can put up results like the 6.8 DraftKings points he scored last week vs. the Bears.
Henry also struggles with the same matchup concerns as Tannehill. The Colts have been just as good against the run as they have vs. the pass – they’re top five in Football Outsiders’ DVOA in both categories – so Henry could struggle to get going.
A.J. Brown rounds out the Titans’ stud trio, and he seems like the clear No. 3 option on this team for fantasy purposes. The Colts haven’t been as brutal on WRs as they have on QBs and RBs – Brown owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.2 on DraftKings – but Brown does have a very tough matchup vs. Xavier Rhodes.
He’s been the Colts top cover corner this season, and he’s expected to spend a ton of time opposite Brown. Rhodes has played almost exclusively on the right side of the defensive formation, and that’s where Brown lines up on 61% of the Titans’ plays.
If you are going to play Brown, it makes sense to pair him with Tannehill. Those players have a correlation of +0.61, which is high even for a QB-WR combination.
Philip Rivers is the only member of the Colts in this tier, but he certainly hasn’t played like a stud this season. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -2.98 through his first eight starts, and he’s coming off just 8.08 DraftKings points in his last game.
Still, this looks like a potential smash spot for him. The Titans have been dreadful against opposing QBs this season, giving Rivers and Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.4 on DraftKings. The Vegas data also points towards the Colts being a sharp play, and Rivers has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.85 when favored (per the Trends tool).
Rivers’ poor play could keep his ownership modest, but he’s grading out as arguably the top overall play on the slate.
The Colts’ RB situation is complicated at the moment. Jonathan Taylor became the presumed workhorse back after the injury to Marlon Mack, but he has struggled to live up to that billing. He entered the league with an elite pedigree – his closest comp is Ezekiel Elliott according to PlayerProfiler – but his production has left a lot to be desired. He’s averaged just 3.9 yards per attempt through his first eight games, and he also had a big fumble last week vs. the Ravens.
Taylor’s struggles have opened the door for Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins to make this a true committee. Wilkins and Hines both played on 34% of the Colts’ offensive snaps last week, while Taylor played on just 31%.
Hines is used very sparingly as a ball carrier, so he does the majority of his damage in the passing game. That gives him a solid ceiling, evidenced by two performances of at least 21.2 DraftKings points to start the year. He likely needs a touchdown to return value, but he’s clearly capable of doing that.
Wilkins is the more direct competition for Taylor as far as carries go. Wilkins outcarried Taylor 11 to six last week, so it will be interesting to see how that split plays out vs. the Titans. It’s possible that Taylor returns to the 1A role to Wilkins’ 1B, but it’s clear that Wilkins isn’t going away at this point.
Taylor definitely has the higher ceiling among these two players, but Wilkins might be the better pure value at just $5,400 on DraftKings. Regardless, you’re going to want to choose between the two give their correlation of -0.88.
Next up on the pricing spectrum are two pass catchers for the Titans. Corey Davis is coming off a poor outing last week vs. the Bears, finishing with zero catches on just three targets, but he has carried a pretty sizable workload in recent weeks. He saw 10 targets and scored a touchdown in each of his previous two games. Overall, his 19.9% target market share is only slightly lower than Brown’s mark of 25.3% over the past month.
Jonnu Smith is also in this price range, but he’s a lot tougher to make a case for. He’s had two targets in three of his past four games, and the only reason he’s this expensive is because he found the endzone last week. He was scoreless in each of his previous three contests and responded with 4.9 DraftKings points or fewer in all three. He needs a score in order to return value this week, and he doesn’t appear to offer a ton of upside even if he does. That makes him an easy fade.
The Colts have no true alpha receiver, which makes their passing game very crowded in this price range. Zach Pascal, T.Y. Hilton, Trey Burton, and Marcus Johnson are all priced between $6,400 and $5,200 on DraftKings.
Hilton leads this quartet in terms of target market share over the past month, but his fantasy production has been kept in check because he hasn’t scored a touchdown. He stands out as the best option of the group, but all four have some viability in Colts’ stacks.
- Mo Alie-Cox: $4,800 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel – He’s been the Colts’ best TE in the receiving game this season and one of the best pass-catching TEs in football. He did lose some playing time when Burton and Jack Doyle returned to the lineup, but he led the Colts’ TEs with a 51% snap share last week. He looks like an excellent value option.
- Michael Pittman: $4,400 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel – If the Colts’ passing attack wasn’t complicated enough, let’s add Pittman to the equation. He played on 87% of the Colts’ snaps last week with Hilton out of the lineup, and he’s a big part of the Colts’ future after drafting him with the third pick of the second round last year.
- Defenses & Kickers – These options are always in play in the single-game format. The total on this game sits at just 48.5, which is pretty modest for an NFL game in 2020. That should make these options more appealing than usual.
- Anthony Firkser: $2,200 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel – Firkser is the clear TE2 in Tennessee in terms of snap count, but he actually saw six targets last week compared to just two for Smith. He’s caught at least two passes in every game this season and doesn’t need to do much to pay off his current salary.
- Kalif Raymond: $1,000 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel – He operated as the Titans No. 3 WR with Adam Humphries out of the lineup last week, but that resulted in just a 25% snap share. That said, he is someone that the Titans like to take shots to down the field.