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Fantasy Football Picks: 49ers vs. Titans DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the 49ers and the Titans with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Here we are. The final Thursday Night Football game of the season.* It should be a pretty compelling matchup, too, as both the San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans are fighting for a playoff spot in their own respective conference.

*It’s the last Thursday game currently on the schedule. With the way things are going, the NFL might invent new days, just so they can house televised football.

Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (SF vs TEN)


Captain’s Picks

Deebo Samuel ($17,400 CP) - Samuel has been one of the most interesting DFS assets in the second-half of the season. In fact, when I first saw his price tag on this slate, I almost considered him a fade. Since transitioning into his hybrid WR/RB role back in Week 10, Samuel’s only averaged 2.4 targets per game — a huge negative in a full-point PPR setting — and he’s primarily relied on touchdown success to reach value. That’s simply not a sustainable model. However, his skill-level and this matchup might be too tempting to ignore. The Titans D/ST ($3,600) has been hyper-generous to opposing wideouts throughout 2021, surrendering the most targets per game to the position (14.9), along with the second-most DKFP per contest. Also, Samuel isn’t the type of player that needs a lot of volume to flourish. Among the 86 wide receivers who have seen at least 50% of their team’s snaps, Samuel ranks first in yards per reception (17.8), second in yards per target (11.8) and second in DKFP per snap (0.41). He’s a certified weapon with the ball in his hands.

A.J. Brown ($13,200 CP) - Barring an unforeseen setback, Brown should make his return from a chest injury on Thursday, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. If that’s truly the case, I have no issue firing the former second-round pick up immediately. The reasoning here is pretty simple: This is a good matchup against the 49ers’ secondary and I trust Brown to complete this game far more than his teammate Julio Jones ($6,800). To wit, dating back to Week 11, San Francisco has conceded a whopping 8.9 yards per target to opposing wideouts — the second-highest mark in the NFL within that span. As for Brown, he’s seen at least nine targets is five of his most recent six starts. Obviously, if we hear about any sort of snap restriction as we get closer to kickoff, we’ll all have to reassess, yet I have high hopes for Brown on Thursday.

FLEX Plays

Jeff Wilson Jr. ($5,200) - While I’ll admit that the Titans’ run defense is daunting from a fantasy perspective, I’ll always be enticed by the type of volume we’ve seen from Wilson Jr. with Eli Mitchell (knee) sidelined. In last weekend’s victory over the Falcons, Wilson finished the game with 23 touches, 119 scrimmage yards and 22.9 DKFP. He also logged an eye-popping 87.7% snap share. I mean, it’s only one contest, but how often do you see a role like that priced down below $6K on a Showdown slate? Tennessee might be due for a little regression, as well. Though the unit has allowed the fewest DKFP per contest to opposing RBs, the Titans are relatively middle-of-the-pack in adjusted line yards per carry (4.05) and rush defense DVOA (17th).

49ers D/ST ($3,800) - These numbers obviously come with the caveat of A.J. Brown’s health, but across their past three games, the Titans are averaging just 15.3 points and 4.5 yards per play — both among the bottom 10 rates in the league over that span. It’s a three-week stretch that also’s seen Tennessee lead the AFC in giveaways per contest (2.7). The void of Derrick Henry (foot) looms large. Plus, even with Brown likely to return, the Titans will be without the entire left-side of their offensive line on Thursday, as both Rodger Saffold and Taylor Lewan have been ruled out. That could be problematic against a 49ers squad that ranks eighth in weighted defensive DVOA.


Ryan Tannehill ($10,000) - You wouldn’t think the two are related, but Tannehill hasn’t exceeded 20.0 DKFP in a start since Henry was lost to injury. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Within that same span, Tannehill has an aDOT of just 6.7 yards — the second-lowest among all QBs with at least 100 pass attempts. Also, despite four rushing touchdowns in those six starts, Tannehill’s producing a mere 0.41 DKFP per drop back, a lower output than Colt McCoy, Andy Dalton and Jared Goff. This is Dolphins Ryan Tannehill, not the man that Arthur Smith schemed into an efficiency monster. Without 40% of his offensive line in front of him, I’m having a difficult time believing Thursday is night the former first-round pick turns his season around.


The Titans are 2-0 ATS as home underdogs this season and they’re 5-2 ATS the past seven times they’ve been an underdog regardless of venue. Still, it’s hard to shake the recent versions we’ve seen of these teams. The 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall, while Tennessee’s looked generally unimpressive in losses to the Steelers, Patriots and Texans. I’ll side with the hot hand.

Final Score: San Francisco 27, Tennessee 20

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (SF vs TEN)

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