Monday Night DFS Single Game Breakdown: Titans at Broncos

Sep 12, 2020
Monday Night DFS Single Game Breakdown: Titans at Broncos

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The run-obsessed Titans head into Denver to take on a Broncos team that could be without both of its best defenders. This matchup—and its viable single-game roster constructions—has changed quite a bit since the start of the week.

Below is a breakdown of single-game DFS contests on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup. Constructing single-game lineups requires some imagination, especially for large-field tournament purposes.

We want to create a lineup that reflects a certain kind of game script, choosing players who would thrive—or at least have the chance to thrive—if their teams got out to a lead or were left chasing points in the second half. There’s also the neutral script that doesn't tend to inflate opportunity for any one player or team. Understanding the likelihood of each scenario and piecing together a roster that would score a bunch of points in such a scenario is key to success in these single-game contests.

Remember: For the captain spot on DraftKings, the price (and fantasy points awarded) are multiplied by 1.5. On FanDuel, the prices are the same throughout, but the MVP slot receives 1.5 times the fantasy point value of the other roster spots.

Vegas Spread And Total

The Titans, after Denver lost Von Miller and possibly Courtland Sutton to injuries this week, are now three-point road favorites with an implied total of 22. Denver—which might also be without Bradley Chubb on Monday night—has an implied total of 19 points, the fifth-lowest of Week 1. Unlike most Week 1 single-game contests, this one shapes up as a low-scoring grinder of a ballgame.

Potential Game Flow Scenarios

Here’s a brief rundown of which players would likely benefit the most from various game flow scenarios. Alongside players who would thrive in positive script, I've included "run it back" options on the opposing team who could see volume if game script dictates a pass-heavy offense.

This, of course, is more art than science.

Close, low-scoring game

Close, high-scoring game

Blowout for home team

Blowout for away team

For those looking for a reason to use Phillip Lindsay this week, I have this: 23.7% of the targets against the Broncos in 2019 went to running backs—the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. Opposing backs saw 8.25 targets per contest against the Titans, and while Gordon—a good pass catcher in his own right—will absorb some of those potential targets, Lindsay is $3,000 cheaper here.

Cheap Stacking Options

There are going to be obvious stacking plays in every showdown slate. Quarterbacks with their WR1 and/or TE and/or WR2, a running back with their defense, and so on and so forth. Below are some cheap, volatile stacking options that could serve us well in large-field tournaments.

QB Ryan Tannehill ($15,000 FD/$10,00 DK)/TE Jonnu Smith ($7,000 FD/$5,800 DK)

More than 25% of targets against Denver's defense last year went to tight ends—the second-highest rate in the league. It makes sense: the Broncos' secondary proved a tough matchup even for the game's top wideouts. The ball has to come somewhere, as we saw last season when Denver allowed 5.6 receptions per game to tight ends. That leaves Smith—who ran a pass route on a meager 35% of his offensive snaps in 2019—to see a slight boost in targets if the Titans are indeed forced into a pass-heavy approach, or something resembling that. A sneaky—maybe too sneaky—play would be stacking Tannehill with tight end Anthony Firkser ($5,000 FD/$200 DK). Leave that for large-field tourneys though.

QB Drew Lock ($14,500 FD/$9,600 DK)/WR Jerry Jeudy ($8,000/$7,200 DK)

Jeudy will see high usage among fantasy gamers if Sutton is declared out for Monday night. But Sutton playing through his shoulder injury would keep Jeudy's ownership miniscule, making him an ideal option for single-game tournaments. Last year the Titans ranked 17th in DVOA against opposing slot wideouts. Jeudy's matchup isn't fantastic, but it's not bad either. What we're looking for is volume for the rookie, and that will most likely come if Tennessee builds a lead and Denver drops back more than they want to. Jeudy fits well in a lineup with Henry, Lindsay, Brown, and Lock.

Low-Priced Volatile Plays

Below are players near the bottom of the pricing pool in this single game contest who could break the slate—as the zoomers say—and could deliver close to nothing for DFS players. They’re best used in tournaments, where we strive for differentiation.

WR Tim Patrick, Broncos ($6,000 FD/$2,800 DK)

Patrick profiles as the lone low-priced option who could conceivably have a role in Monday night's matchup wtih Tennessee. Patrick, listed as a co-starter alongside Jeudy on the team's official depth chart, could run a full complement of routes if Sutton sits. Tennessee's defense was ranked 22nd in DVOA against outside receivers last year; even in the Titans' Week 6 16-0 win over Denver, Sutton caught four of eight targets for 76 yards. Patrick is another logical "run back" option alongside Henry and the Titans' offense.

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