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TNF NFL DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings - Broncos vs Browns Showdown

Happy Thursday, RotoBallers! Week Seven is here! We have a bit of a tainted matchup tonight, as the Broncos head to Cleveland to take on the Browns, who will be without Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt. These absences have led bookmakers from making Cleveland a six-point favorite to just a two-point favorite as I'm writing this. The total has moved 3.5 points as well, going from 44.5 to just 41. Thanks to the advanced analytics of today, I'll do my best to provide you with as much in-depth analysis as possible regarding positional matchups and the like to help put some lunch money in your pocket. 

In this article I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Thursday Night Football slate on October 21st. These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @LucidMediaDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with me and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like. Let's make some coin this season gang, and let's get right to it!


DFS Captains/MVPs

Teddy Bridgewater ($16,500 DK, $14,500 FD)

With the injuries piling up on the Cleveland side, it would be pretty foolish to not consider Teddy as your captain/MVP tonight. Teddy isn't the type of guy who will light the world on fire, but has the upside to be a profitable option. In six games this season, he's tallied 1,514 passing yards, 10 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Despite having Jerry Jeudy on the IR, top wide receivers Cortland Sutton and Tim Patrick are viable offenses to move the ball down the field against the porous Cleveland secondary. The Broncos have a passing funnel here, as the Browns have a DVOA of 17.3% (20th) against the pass and a DVOA of -30.9% (3rd) against the run. I'll spread my captainship across different members of the Denver passing game, but it's likely that Bridgewater will be my highest owned captain/MVP. 

O'Dell Beckham Jr. ($10,200 DK, $10,000 FD)

On the other side of the ball, we have OBJ. It's really unfortunate that OBJ isn't the fantasy receiver he once was, but injuries have derailed his last few seasons, and quarterback play hasn't helped. After missing weeks one and two, Beckham has caught just 14 of 27 targets for 203 yards and hasn't found the end zone yet. I think he should see more targets tonight as Case Keenum will need to use him as a safety blanket without Chubb or Hunt in the backfield. He gets a solid matchup against Denver as well who has a 43.3% DVOA against 'WR1s' this season. If the Broncos are able to put up points early, there's no reason that OBJ isn't the best "run-back" option on the Cleveland side of the ball.

Other Captain/MVP Plays: Cortland Sutton, Broncos D/ST (GPP Only)


DFS Flex Plays

Case Keenum ($9,400 DK, $5,000 FD)

If I'm being quite honest, I forgot that Case Keenum was in the league. Whenever I hear his name I smile though, as it brings me back memories of the Eagles' 38-7 victory in the 2017 NFC Championship (sorry, Vikings fans). After that magical season in Minny, Keenum has been nothing but average, throwing 5,643 yards with 29 touchdowns to 20 interceptions since 2018. He is reunited with former QB coach Kevin Stefanski, though, and could invigorate some of that magic tonight. I don't expect much, but between the game script pointing to the Browns throwing the ball combined with the Broncos having a DVOA of 18% (21st) against the pass, he's a viable flex option considering there aren't many viable flex options on the board tonight. Oh, and there is a revenge narrative here as well, as Case Keenum quarterbacked the Broncos in 2018.

Tim Patrick ($7,600 DK, $11,000 FD)

A fantasy surprise this season, Tim Patrick has taken a nice step forward, catching 25 of 34 targets for 344 yards and three touchdowns this season. With Jeudy on the IR and Noah Fant in a tough matchup, I think both Patrick and Sutton are excellent options for both captain/MVP and flex. Cleveland has a DVOA of 15.1% (20th) against 'WR2s', and I think both Denver wide receivers are primed to have a good night. 

Other Flex Plays: Melvin Gordon, Donovan Peoples-Jones


DFS Value Plays

D'Ernest Johnson ($4,600 DK, $10,000 FD)

It's expected that Johnson will be pretty chalky tonight, considering he'll likely be given the lead rushing role for Cleveland. He's only rushed the ball three times this season for 11 yards. He's also caught one pass on one target for seven yards. There's a lot of unknown about Johnson. While he's not Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt, Browns folks are bullish on Johnson being able to run behind Cleveland's offensive line that is 7th in the league in power run blocking and lead the league in 2nd level blocking and open field yards. This is sure to regress with Johnson, but creates optimism that he'll hit value in this one.

Broncos D/ST ($3,400 DK)

This is a play just based on the game total for this one and of course the fact that Cleveland is missing four of their top five offensive playmakers. While Denver's defense hasn't been great, coming into this one with a 6.8% DVOA (24th), they've been able to get to the quarterback. With a 6.7% adjusted sack rate, expect them to put pressure on Case Keenum and force a few turnovers while keeping the Cleveland offense at bay. 

Other Value Plays: Rashard Higgins, Austin Hooper


Overall Slate Note

This slate is pretty gross if I'm being honest. I myself will definitely be going lighter than typical showdown/single-game slates and mixing up ownership across all of the guys in my player pool. I normally wouldn't recommend putting both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams in the same lineup, but I will use that building strategy as a hedge in the event that Denver goes up early and doesn't look back. I'll mostly be on Denver's passing game though and minimizing my Cleveland ownership to 2-3 Browns in my lineups, depending on site. Let's hope this game is better than I expect it to be.

Have a good Thursday everyone, see you soon!

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