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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 3


I will ask the obvious question on the minds of many who watched Thursday Night Football last week: what is the deal with Cam Newton?

The Panthers signal-caller threw 51 times against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, yet only completed 25 of those attempts and failed to find the end zone. Perhaps his foot injury is bothering him more than we know. On the other hand, standout production came from the pass catchers on both sides of the ball. Carolina's D.J. Moore and Greg Olsen accounted for 15 receptions and 199 receiving yards, whereas Buccaneers slot weapon Chris Godwin hauled in eight receptions for 121 yards and a score.

This iteration of Thursday Night Football will feature the Tennessee Titans, coming off of a close loss at home, and the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars who will look to get their first win of the season. Is there any fantasy gold to be found in this game? Let's dive in to Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 3!

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Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Date and Start Time: September 19 at 8:00 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings in 2019:

Titans Jaguars
Passing Yards 27th 17th
Rushing Yards 11th 21st
Pass Defense 2nd 19th
Rush Defense 26th 17th

 

Solid Options and Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Jacksonville has been a middling run defense and shouldn't do much to stymie Henry, who has been living up to the bell cow expectations fantasy owners held before the start of the season. Volume alone makes him an excellent play this Thursday, as he has yet to receive fewer than 15 carries in a game this season.

Solid Option: Delanie Walker (TE, TEN)

The Mariota-Walker connection has been strong to open 2019 to the point where Walker currently leads the team in targets (12). Expect the Titans to target the middle of the field early and often given the strength of Jacksonville's secondary.

Solid Option: Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX)

Much like his counterpart on the other team, Fournette is all but assured to get plenty of carries as newly appointed starting quarterback Gardner Minshew attempts to get into a rhythm.

Sleeper: A.J. Brown (WR, TEN)

It may come as a surprise to know that Brown leads the Titans in receiving yards at this point in the season and has significantly eaten into fellow wideout Corey Davis's target share. If I'm betting on a Tennessee receiver to outperform expectations, I would put my money on Brown.

Sleeper: Dede Westbrook (WR, JAX)

Although Westbrook has been hot and cold as a fantasy asset, he runs over 80 percent of his routes from the slot for a quarterback who has given plenty of targets to pass-catchers in that area of the field.

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)

Jacksonville's defense rebounded from a horrible Week 1 showing against Patrick Mahomes by holding the prolific Deshaun Watson to under 160 passing yards the following week. Mariota is nowhere near the same level as either of those two and Tennessee will continue to be a run-focused team.

Dion Lewis (RB, TEN)

Snap counts, rush attempts, and receptions don't lie: Lewis is an afterthought in the Titans offense. With Henry even getting more looks in the passing game than him, Lewis has no standalone value.

Corey Davis / Adam Humphries (WRs, TEN)

While there is some turmoil brewing in the Jaguars secondary, Davis and Humphries will likely have a tough time matching up to the caliber of Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Humphries, in particular, has a cumulative total of three targets across two games, making it obvious that his chemistry with Marcus Mariota has not developed as many thought it would.

Gardner Minshew (QB, JAX)

Since Minshew was thrown to the wolves in Week 1 following an injury to Nick Foles, he has averaged a respectable 244 yards passing and scored at least one touchdown per game. That being said, fantasy owners will struggle to start him even in two quarterback leagues against the league's second-ranked defense against the pass.

D.J. Chark / Chris Conley (WRs, JAX)

The depth of Tennessee's secondary is one of its greatest assets. Having kept in check the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and T.Y. Hilton from a yardage perspective, it is hard to imagine Chark and Conley performing well in the X and Z receiver spots.

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