By Jeff Hicks, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
Yahoo's single-game offering has a roster construction of one "Superstar" that scores at a 1.5 multiplier, while the remaining four FLEX roster spots accumulate points at the normal rate. This is half-point PPR scoring and the "Superstar" salary does not change from the Utility. All scoring and rules can be found here.
It is vital to remember that single-game slates are not simply a “max salary, play as many big names as possible, and submit” format, especially in larger tournament fields. We need to identify players that can be pieces in their offense’s success, whether in the lead or trailing, as well as the players that could be focal points in a neutral game script. The ability to then take those players and identify which will succeed in the single-game format will put us in a better position to succeed as daily fantasy players.
Vegas Total and Spread
San Francisco is three-point road favorites with an Over/Under of 44.5 points. The 49ers have an implied team total of 23.75 points, while the Titans have an implied team total of 20.75 points.
Potential Game Flow Scenarios
So you thought you liked to establish it (the run, for those that don’t get the joke)? The Titans and 49ers have two of the lower pass rates below expectation, with the Titans passing more since Week 10 because Derrick Henry is not showing up to save the day. It has led to some awkward offense from Ryan Tannehill ($26) and Tennessee. It also does not help that A.J. Brown ($21) was on IR and Julio Jones ($15) is accumulating soft tissue injuries.
Any offense will suffer without its top three offensive players.
That said, Julio will somehow play Thursday and Brown is expected to play. Having both would do wonders for Tennessee because the San Francisco defense ($14) is worst against opposing quarterbacks and wideouts according to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). There is also no way of knowing their limitations until both are on the field.
The Titans have done okay without Henry in the backfield. D’Onta Foreman ($19) and Dontrell Hilliard ($15) have done well in tandem of late with each logging at least one 100-yard rushing game over the past month. That is not for nothing, with the previous running back to eclipse 50 yards before Week 12 being Henry Week 8. With the Titans' pass defense still pillow-soft, the duo will need to be fed often and successful for the Titans to win.
Is this the week Deebo Samuel ($34) is utilized as a wide receiver once again? It should be, with the Titans as the best-run defense according to aFPA. The Tennessee defense ($15) is more of a pass funnel than San Francisco, allowing 2.0 more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wideouts while allowing 5.1 fewer points to running backs.
That is bad news for Jeff Wilson Jr. ($18). In the endless cycle of productive 49ers running backs, Wilson once again has survived and showed Week 15 why head coach Kyle Shanahan utilizes him when healthy (and Elijah Mitchell is not active).
Putting the game in Jimmy Garoppolo’s ($28) hands is a double-edged sword. He has a 6:3 TD/INT ratio over his past four games including two games without a pick and flirted with 300 passing yards multiple times. The other edge? Two straight sub-200 passing yard games before his past four contests and a myriad of bad throws. Part of Jimmy G’s recent positive string of games is the health of George Kittle ($32) and Samuel, and the emergence of Brandon Aiyuk ($22) from his early season struggles.
Nothing makes playing fantasy fun like a concentrated offense.
Close, low-scoring game
Jeff Wilson Jr.
Close, high-scoring game
Jeff Wilson Jr.
Blowout for home team
Blowout for road team
Jeff Wilson Jr.
Cheap/Unique Stacking Option
Traditional stacks such as QB/WR1 or WR2, QB/TE, and RB/DEF are stacks seen used in winning lineups. The obvious choice is not always the winning choice. Below is a cheap stack with at least one unique quality that could break the slate.
Ryan Tannehill ($26) and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ($13)
This is a QB/WR3, so not your typical stack. NWI leads the Titans in air yards over their past three games after being a check-down option to start 2021. He is also staying on the field a lot with Brown and/or Jones missing (91% snaps played since Week 12). With Westbrook-Ikhine headed for three-wide sets, look for him to see more intermediate passes which are still beneficial with the 49ers good enough rushing the quarterback. Brown's activation will transfer some of NWI's rostership off him.
If you want to fade Tennessee's still-hobbled passing game, stack both Titans running backs instead.
Low-Salary Volatile Plays
Geoff Swaim ($10)
Injuries are to blame for Swaim being second on the Titans in red-zone targets but take what is given to you. Swaim has usurped Anthony Firkser as the top tight-end option in Tennessee.
Anthony Firkser ($10)
That ^^^ does not mean Firkser is not a dart throw. His 54 receiving yards the past two games are his most since Weeks 2-3.
Jauan Jennings ($10)
San Francisco’s WR3 has scored twice since Week 12, but both scores came when playing fewer than 44% of snaps. To his credit, he has topped 50% of snaps in two of his past three games and has 11 targets over his last two games.
Deebo Samuel ($34)
I like Samuel more as a wideout with only a few carries in this game. Since being utilized as a WR/RB hybrid five games ago, he has had 10 total touches twice and has buoyed his fantasy floor with rushing touchdowns. Transfer some of those carries to screens and Samuel could break the slate against the Titans secondary.
George Kittle ($32)
Kittle has caught 28 of 33 targets in the past three weeks. That is elite for any pass-catcher let alone a tight end.
D’Onta Foreman ($19)
Despite leaning on their running backs, the Titans are averaging the most plays per game since Week 11 despite playing nearly half of the game in a neutral game script. Foreman has 20-plus touches in two of his past three games (both 100-yard rushing performances) and is fulfilling the hype given to him from a few years back.
Brandon Aiyuk ($22)
Recency bias says play Aiyuk (1-36-0 in Week 15) and if Kyle Shanahan continues to split Samuel’s usage, give me Aiyuk screens. Aiyuk only trails Kittle on San Fran in expected touchdowns per game since Week 11.
Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.
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