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Best Titans, Jaguars players to play in Week 3 TNF

The AFC South is under the spotlight on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 3. We break down the best and worst fantasy football options.

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The NFL kicks off Week 3 on Thursday Night Football with an AFC South affair, featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the Tennessee Titans. The game kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Last season, the Jaguars’ defense was generally a poor fantasy opponent to face, as they were a top eight team at preventing fantasy points to wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks. Their best point prevention came against wide receivers—holding WRs to the second fewest fantasy points—and it was done on the back of a strong pass defense led by 2017 All-Pro and 2018 Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey. However, Ramsey is having a turbulent time in Jacksonville, reportedly over a dispute about his role in the defensive scheme, and has reportedly requested a trade. Despite the trade request, Ramsey is expected to play Thursday. Left tackle Cam Robinson is also expected to return after missing the Jaguars’ first two games.

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This game is expected to be low-scoring, as DraftKings Sportsbook has given it a total points of 39, the lowest on Week 3’s slate. Because the game is expected to be low-scoring, fruitful offensive fantasy options could be limited. DraftKings Sportsbook has made the Titans 1.5-point favorites.

Start/sit decisions should primarily be viewed within the context of an individual fantasy roster, but with that said, here is a look at some players that fantasy owners can consider starting or sitting in their season long fantasy football leagues for Thursday Night Football.

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Start: RB Derrick Henry

Despite a tough matchup against the Jaguars, Henry’s volume in the Titans’ offense has been strong, leading the team in touches (37) by a heavy amount — 27 touches ahead of second-ranked Dion Lewis (10 touches). Henry’s 37 touches ranks 10th most among all RBs through two weeks. Henry has also been given substantial carries inside the red zone, ranking tied for fourth in red zone carries through two weeks while receiving 100% of the Titans’ total red zone carries. Henry getting a heavy share of the red zone touches bodes well for TD upside if the Titans can get near the goal line. In addition, Henry famously smashed the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football last season, rushing for an incredible 238 yards and four TDs on just 17 carries.

Sit: QB Marcus Mariota

Jacksonville’s defense has fallen from eighth best at preventing fantasy points to QBs in 2018 to 23rd through two 2019 games, but a significant part of that was facing Patrick Mahomes and an explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense in Week 1. Last week, the Jaguars looked much more like their 2018 selves, holding Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson to just 159 passing yards and 13 fantasy points. Through two weeks, Mariota has underperformed his expected completion percentage based on throw difficulty by a below average number and attempted a below average volume of 24 and 28 passing attempts, respectively, both below the 2019 league average of 36 passing attempts per team game.

Start: Jaguars DEF

The Jaguars are tied for the fifth worst fantasy scoring defense through two weeks, but a large part of that was due to the aforementioned brutal Week 1 matchup against a Chiefs offense that is close to unstoppable. The Jaguars’ defense bounced back with eight fantasy points and 13 points allowed to the Texans last week and face a Titans offense that has allowed eight sacks through two games, tied for second most.

Sit: QB Gardner Minshew

After a highly accurate passing performance in Week 1 where Minshew ranked second best at outperforming his expected completion percentage based on throw difficulty, Minshew was below average via expected completion percentage in Week 2 and fumbled three times, losing one. A projected low-scoring matchup against a Titans defense that has been strong at preventing fantasy points to QBs over the last two seasons is an unappealing one.

Start: TE Delanie Walker

While Jacksonville’s pass defense was excellent last season, they ranked as a mediocre team at preventing fantasy points to tight ends, a trend that has carried over through two games in 2019. Jacksonville allowed eight TDs to tight ends last season, tied for fourth most, and has allowed the 10th most receiving yards to tight ends through a small sample of two games in 2019. Walker leads the Titans in targets (12), receptions (9), red zone targets (2) and touchdowns (2) through two games and ranks second in receiving yards (94). If fantasy owners have no other appealing options this week at TE, Walker is a start candidate.

Sit: WR Corey Davis

Davis’ volume in the offense has been poor, totaling just eight targets and three catches through two weeks, including no red zone targets. A projected low-scoring matchup against the Jaguars’ pass defense is a poor one.

Start: RB Leonard Fournette

Fournette does not have much competition behind him for touches and leads the Jaguars in total touches by a substantial amount. Fournette’s 36 touches is tied for 11th most among all RBs, one touch behind the aforementioned Derrick Henry. Tennessee has mediocre fantasy numbers allowed to RBs through two weeks in 2019.