The Broncos have been arguably the best defense in the league over the past two years. This matchup will be the toughest test for the Titans offense since Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. They’ve allowed the fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position and only two quarterbacks all year have topped 20 fantasy points agains them. Up next for them is Mariota, who is on a string of eight straight fantasy performances of at least 16 points. He’s been fantastic as of late, and will need to have a sharp game if the Titans are to win. If you’re in the playoffs, though, you might be better off avoiding using him. Mariota has a solid floor and a high weekly ceiling, but he’s much more likely to barely reach his floor in this brutal matchup.
While the Broncos developed a reputation of shutdown run defense last year, this year has been a complete 180. They’ve gotten gashed by good running backs all year and are much more vulnerable on the ground than through the air. I expect the Titans to try to control this game through the running game, paving the way for plenty of opportunities for Murray, who has been one of the top running backs in fantasy football this year. Look for Murray to have a big game against an overrated run defense, especially in PPR leagues due to his pass catching ability and the Broncos vulnerability to pass catching running back production.
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The Broncos play lights out pass defense, specifically against wide receivers. They give up the fewest fantasy points to that position, and have only allowed five receivers to reach double digits all year. Their defense against the tight end position is a different story, though. They’re middle of the pack against tight ends. While they’ve only given up three tight end touchdowns, plenty of tight ends have had solid, if not unspectacular, games against them. Walker should, and probably will, be the Titans most targeted option on Sunday and is in line to have the best fantasy performance out of all Titans pass catchers.
Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch
I’m not quite sure who will be behind center on Sunday. If Lynch plays, don’t even think about using him. He’s looked really bad in his limited playing time. Siemian would be an intriguing option if he’s fully healthy. He’s shown the ability to carve up bad pass defenses, and the Titans are exactly that. Even Matt Barkley threw all over the Titans defense. If Siemian is indeed fully recovered from his foot injury, then he would be a solid streaming option. I’d venture to say that Siemian could have a better game than Mariota, considering their respective matchups.
Booker has been incredibly ineffective since taking over as the starter for injured C.J. Anderson. While much of that is due to some poor run blocking by his offensive line, Booker hasn’t helped. He’s had decent games over the past three games, but hasn’t established any sort of high ceiling. Where his value could come in a rather tough matchup like this one is through the air. He’s a capable pass catcher, and the Titans have allowed at least three catches to a running back in every game since Week 6, with two of them scoring receiving touchdowns. Booker might not find much room on the ground, but he could save his day with receiving work.
Emmanuel Sanders/Demaryius Thomas
If Lynch plays, I would cautiously start Thomas and bench Sanders. If Siemian plays, I would confidently start both. Lynch seems to favor Thomas much more. Both could have a big day if a healthy Siemian is under pressure. The Titans are struggling to cover any wide receiver. They’ve given up double digit fantasy points to a receiver in every game this season except for one. Marquess Wilson and Deonte Thompson torched our cornerbacks in the game before the bye week. Sanders has shown to have a higher ceiling, but Thomas has given himself a high floor. Both will be great fantasy options if Siemian plays on Sunday.