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Fantasy Football Picks: Titans vs. Rams DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Reid Fowler preps you for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Titans and the Rams with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

The Tennessee Titans will travel to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9’s Sunday Night Football matchup. The big question everyone’s asking is: How will the Rams play without DeSean Jackson? All kidding aside, everyone knows that the most significant news came earlier this week, with Derrick Henry expected to miss the next six to 10 weeks with a foot injury. The Titans’ offense literally and figuratively ran through Henry, so it’ll be interesting to see how Mike Vrabel and co scheme this week’s offensive attack against the Rams. Speaking of which, they get a beautiful matchup this week against a Titans pass defense that has been fantasy-friendly to opposing offenses.

Let’s look at this game from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (TEN vs LAR)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Matthew Stafford ($19,200 CP) - The game total currently sits at 52.25, and this game has all the makings of going over this number, especially with Henry out. Over the previous three games, the Titans’ defense has given up 47 attempts, 53 and 51 (50.3 att/game) to opposing QBs. Stafford has yet to hit the 50-attempt mark this season, but in his three highest attempt games this year, he’s finished no worse than QB15, with two games finishing as QB3 (Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Week 7 against his former team, the Detroit Lions). The Titans are giving up 22.1 DFKP per game to opposing QBs, ranking as the ninth-most this season.

Cooper Kupp ($18,600 CP) - The WR1 in fantasy football is in an excellent spot, with the Titans giving up the most DKFP per game to opposing WRs (48.3/gm). Kupp is also eighth in fantasy points per target (2.39) and second in fantasy points per route run (0.85). The Rams are passing it quite a bit in the red zone (RZ), and the biggest beneficiary has been Kupp, who’s seen 20 targets (14 receptions) in the RZ, which leads all pass-catchers in the NFL this season.



FLEX Plays

Ryan Tannehill ($9,800) - Losing Herny will undoubtedly change this offense, especially how the defenses line up against the Titans. A ton of the Titans’ play calling is predicated on the play-action. This season, the Titans rank eighth in pass attempts and fourth in passing yards off play-action. While newly-signed future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson ($3,000) will be active, we don’t know how he will look or play, so it’s best to stay away from AP for now. Tannehill’s finished with back-to-back top-12 finishes, and the passing TDs should start increasing now that Henry’s out. The Rams’ secondary and passing defense is giving up 19.1 DKFP/gm and just allowed Davis Mills to finish as the QB9 last week. Granted, it was a lot of garbage time points for Mills, but those still count last time I checked. I also don’t mind Tannehill as a contrarian Captain’s pick at $14,700 if his projected roster percentage is low. His usage should increase in game-neutral situations without Henry.

Jeremy McNichols ($7,800) - The pass-catching back has already registered 11% of the Titans’ targets this season. McNichols has the foremost knowledge of this offense in the RB room, and the Rams are allowing 7.5 targets and six catches per game. If the projected roster percentage becomes chalk on McNichols or Henry, I’d be willing to fade them and pivot to Van Jefferson ($6,800), who ran his most routes over the previous two weeks. Now that DeSean Jackson is gone, this opens up Jefferson’s upside.


Fades

Robert Woods ($8,600) - Wanting to play Jefferson correlates with fading Bobby Trees this week. Woods was nursing a back injury throughout the week, and even if he’s active, his production is too inconsistent at his price. Besides a two-touchdown game on six opportunities (three catches, three rush attempts) and a 14 target outing, Woods’ best finish this season is WR19.


THE OUTCOME

Over the last three weeks, the Titans have beaten the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts three teams who all rank inside the top nine in total offense, and yet the Titans will end up being somewhere near a 7-point underdog on the road. Not having Derrick Henry will undoubtedly change how the Titans operate on offense. The combination of Adrian Peterson and Jeremy McNichols will try their best to emulate some percentage of what Henry was able to do, but it’ll probably fall short. While the Titans will make this more competitive than most think, the Rams are a team playing well in each facet of the game. The acquisition of future Hall-of-Famer Von Miller earlier this week may not show up in the box score on Sunday night, but it sends the right message to the Rams’ locker room.

Final Score: Los Angeles Rams 33, Tennessee Titans 23

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (TEN vs LAR)


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.


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