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Titans vs. Packers Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Christian Watson, Ryan Tannehill, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard, Aaron Jones, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Derrick Henry - Fantasy Football Rankings NFL Injury News, DFS Picks

You would have thought by Week 11, we would have things figured out for fantasy. However, we’re still riding this rollercoaster that has Justin Fields as an elite QB option, Taylor Heinicke taking down the only undefeated team, and possibly the resurgence of both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

That’s right, we might finally have the old Aaron Rodgers back. I’m not talking about the frumpy old Rodgers sipping Iowaska. Although he’s still frumpy, I’m talking about the Rodgers who dishes out touchdowns like Oprah gives out cars.

The big question is will this new Packers team continue this trend against a very stout Titans team? This matchup has two very contrasting styles, so we need to dig deep if we want to figure this one out. As always, my name is Ellis Johnson, and this is your Thursday Night Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em article.

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Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers - 8:20 pm ET

Notable Injuries:

  • Jeffery Simmons (DT, TEN) - Ankle - Questionable
  • Romeo Doubs (WR, GBP) - Ankle - Out


Must-Starts for Fantasy Football Lineups

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Many people joke that as the weather gets colder, Henry begins to evolve into his final form. However, unlike Pokemon, there is some truth to this. Every winter, Henry’s production mirrors his running style. As the season goes on, he picks up steam and is increasingly more difficult to bring down.

This season, Henry is leading the league in rushing attempts and is second in both rushing TDs and rushing yards. He is the perfect mix of elite workload and upside potential. This week, he faces a Packers team that is allowing the sixth-most rushing yards per game with 140. Considering the Packers are allowing the second-fewest passing yards, it wouldn’t be surprising if he single-handedly reaches the 140 mark.

Christian Watson (WR, GB)

That’s right. After one functional game, we are welcoming Watson to the must-start section. Typically, I am not a fan of chasing fantasy points. However, I think last week was the real deal. Against a tough Cowboys defense, he managed 107 yards and three touchdowns.

This week, he gets to go against a Titans team that is allowing the second-most passing yards to opponents. More specifically, the Titans are allowing over a touchdown per game to the WR position and nearly 200 receiving yards. Although Allen Lazard is still around, I love the upside Watson brings. He is a low-end WR2 for me this week, with the upside of having another explosive outing.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

For anyone who has been holding onto Rodgers this season, it’s finally time to lock him in as a starter. If not this week, I recommend making a last-minute deal before the trade deadline, because there won’t be a better matchup.

Despite the Packers committing to the run more than ever before, I can’t imagine they’ll have a lot of success against this Titans team (which I will get into later). However, these Titans are bleeding yards through the passing game and allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Rodgers will be forced to pass in this game, and his touchdown efficiency makes him a mid-tier QB1 for this week.


Solid Starts for Fantasy Football Lineups

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

For anyone who has ever doubted Jones’ ability, I hope you’ve paid attention this season. Arguably the only consistent bright spot for this team all season has been Jones. I don’t care if you are an A.J. Dillon truther and thought he would take over the backfield this year (shoutout to my brother Rhys), there is no denying that Jones is an elite back in the league. How do the kids say it these days? Oh yeah, Aaron Jones is HIM.

So, why is he not a must-start? Well, he probably is in your lineups but I wanted to break down this matchup. The Titans are no joke against the run. Since Week 2, only the 49ers are allowing fewer points to opposing running backs. In fact, the team allowing the third-fewest fantasy points is a full point behind the Titans.

Want a stat that will blow your mind? From Week 2 on, the Titans have not allowed a rushing touchdown to the RB position. Wild. Pair this with the team allowing the second-fewest RB rushing yards per game over that span (51.4 yards) and it’s going to be tough for Jones to have a big day. However, despite being an RB2 in this one, I’m calling for Jones to break the Titans' streak and open the Pie Shop* this week. LFG (Let's Flippin' Go).

*Pie Shop: An Australian term (often used in Rugby League) to describe who will score a Try (or in this case touchdown) this week. (Season Calls: 5-5)

Allen Lazard (WR, GB)

Although Watson stole the show last week, Lazard had six or more targets in each of his previous six games. As Rodgers’ most reliable target on the offense, he will get the volume needed to have a very safe floor each week.

As I’ve previously discussed, I think Rodgers will have a field day on Thursday against this porous secondary. This means Lazard should also find production, making him a high-end WR3 option this week. In fact, I’ll double down on my Pie Shop* calls and say Lazard is also getting in the endzone in this one, book it!

*Pie Shop: An Australian term (often used in Rugby League) to describe who will score a Try (or in this case touchdown) this week. (Season Calls: 5-5)


Flex Considerations for Fantasy Football Lineups

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

I get it, you aren’t flexing a TE, but I also don’t think Tonyan has produced enough to be labeled a solid start. So in desperation for finding some flex-worthy option in this matchup, Tonyan makes the list.

Coming off a monster performance of one target, one reception, and eight yards against the Cowboys, I can’t believe I am saying this. However, this play has nothing to do with the 2020 11-touchdown scorer, and everything to do with Rodgers. I’ve discussed the Titans' secondary guarding the pass the same way pylons stop traffic, but they are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to the TE position. If you’re desperate (say you lost Dallas Goedert), Tonyan is lined up to sneak into the top 12 at the position this week.


Consider Sitting for Fantasy Football Lineups

A.J. Dillon (RB, GB)

It’s been a season to forget for Dillon truthers. From potentially taking over the backfield (to quote Rhys Johnson 2022) to having two more fantasy points than Kenyan Drake on the season, it's been a mess. After all offseason hearing how the team will operate almost exclusively through their dynamic RB duo, it’s been very one-sided. Jones has stolen the show despite Dillon being 22nd in rushing attempts in the league.

This leads me to the good news, Dillon has only had two games with fewer than 10 rushing attempts. Unfortunately, this hasn’t led to a touchdown since Week 1. Therefore, against this brick wall that is the Titans’ rushing defense, he doesn’t possess enough upside or a safe floor to be considered for lineups this week.

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

I’ve been avoiding talking about this Titans’ passing attack. Well, not actually, but it is not a great discussion. Thankfully, the return of Ryan Tannehill finally led to some consistency through the air last Sunday.

This week, Tannehill faces the exact opposite of his own team. The Packers are allowing the third-fewest passing yards per game and allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position. Based on the amount of success this team will have on the ground against the Packers, there won’t be a lot of reason for Tannehill to test this rock-solid secondary. I would avoid playing Tannehill this week and look toward options that have a higher upside such as Taylor Heinicke against the Texans or Daniel Jones against the Lions.

Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Treylon Burks (WR, TEN)

You could have seen this one coming… for a lot of the reasons listed above, you can’t trust this passing attack. Not only is the matchup difficult, but none of these options have cracked 300 yards on the season. I know some have dealt with injuries, but that’s brutal. If you for some reason are forced to play one, Woods is the top option who is on the field the most and runs the most routes. However, I don’t wish that play on any functional fantasy manager.

Honorable Mentions: Sammy Watkins (WR, GBP), Dontrell Hilliard (RB, TEN)


Ellis’ Picks

Packers -3.0 (3-7), Over 40.5 (3-7)

Career Thursday Night record: Spread (25-21), Over/Under (24-22)

And that is why gambling is bad, kids... is how I intend to tell the story about this season to my future grandchildren. My last three over-under picks have each been missed by a singular point. Ouch. This includes the Eagles drawing a penalty and randomly deciding to go for two against the Texans, and also three missed kick attempts in last week's game between the Falcons and Panthers.

We aren’t here to dwell on the past, though, we’re here to look toward the future. Whether that means you pick the opposite of what I select (which I wouldn’t blame you) or you trust the process, here we go. This game showcases two polar opposites. However, only one of these teams has both a talented run game and passing attack, and that is the Packers.

I don’t see the Titans having any success through the air in this game, leaving the defense to focus on Henry (easier said than done). On the other hand, I think the Packers have enough talent to find some success and diversify their attack. With that said, give me the home team favorited a field goal and the over.

Next week is American Thanksgiving! So we have a triple header to break down. I'll be here to bring you analysis on the Bills vs. Lions, Giants vs. Cowboys, and Patriots vs. Vikings, see you next week!

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