We are starting to learn a lot more as NFL DFS Week 2 continues. We are learning more about which offensive systems are working, which ones aren’t and which teams were are looking to exploit based on their match-ups. If you’re paying attention, you can take what you’ve seen over the first two weeks and really start to formulate your DFS strategy for the rest of the season. It’s nice to have a DFS lineup optimizer like the one here at Fantasy Alarm or even a DFS compare tool, but if you are truly paying attention and applying everything you learned about all 32 NFL teams during the preseason, you won’t even need them. You should be able to build your winning DFS lineups by hand.
Take tonight’s first Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans. Even before reading the player breakdowns below, you should already have an idea as to how this game is going to go. The Bills may be without Brian Daboll, but you know that offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has maintained most, if not all, of the elements of the offensive scheme that turned this team into perennial contenders. The same goes for the Titans. It’s much more than just give Derrick Henry the ball and you need to use that knowledge to exploit the match-ups for tonight.
Now before we begin, please take a moment to understand what exactly you are getting yourself into by playing single-game Showdown Slates. We love to have some skin in the game, for sure, but these slates are, for all intents and purposes, a lottery ticket. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but, more often than not, you need to hit on that random dart-throw that differentiates your lineup from that of the herd in order to claim the top prize. As a result, we encourage you to play responsibly and not over-invest. Stick to the GPP contests (single-entry preferred), don’t blow your whole bankroll, and understand that, unless you are a max-entry player, you should prioritize having fun.
OK. Lecture over. Let’s get to tonight’s action.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
Spread: Bills -10
Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the high-60s w/ winds blowing W at 10mph
- Dontrelle Hilliard, RB – hamstring (out)
- Kyle Philips, WR – shoulder (questionable)
- Kristian Fulton, CB – hamstring (out)
- Gabriel Davis, WR – ankle (questionable)
- Ed Oliver, DT – ankle (out)
- Tim Settle, DT – calf (doubtful)
- Dane Jackson, CB – knee (questionable)
2022 DVOA Defensive Rankings
- vs Pass: 6th
- vs Run: 26th
- vs Pass: 2nd
- vs Run: 2nd
**Please note that players not listed below are not necessarily a complete fade and any player listed can certainly be used as the MVP/Captain. These are merely suggestions for players to use when setting Showdown lineups.
Josh Allen, QB BUF – Sometimes you just have to ride the chalk. Allen is the center of the Bills universe right now with a thunderbolt for an arm and the ability to carry this entire offense on his shoulders, if necessary. Allen has the weaponry to succeed and his ability to extend plays with his legs and take off running on his own make him a major part of any winning DFS lineup. He’ll throw for a couple of touchdowns in this one and don’t be surprised if he runs one in himself as well.
Stefon Diggs, WR BUF – Dorsey is taking a page out of what Kevin O’Connell did with Cooper Kupp last season and he’s lining him up all over the field. The Titans corners may not have given up a ton of receiving yards to the Giants last week, but they also didn’t do a very good job of containing them either. The Titans will look to try and get Roger McCreary opposite Diggs as much as possible, but with Kristian Fulton out, expect Diggs to move around and try to exploit that hole in the secondary.
Derrick Henry, RB TEN – The Bills gave up just 52 yards on the ground to the Rams in Week 1 and they’re looking to maintain that level of run-stopping tenacity this week. The only problem is that they’re facing Henry who is nearly impossible to contain. The Giants limited him to 82 yards on 21 carries and both he and the team know they need a stronger output than that this week. With the Bills missing Ed Oliver from the middle of the defensive line they’re going to have to figure something out in a hurry because King Henry is going to plow through the line with ease if they don’t.
Devin Singletary, RB BUF – The Titans did not do a good job of containing Saquon Barkley during their Week 1 match-up and while Singletary certainly isn’t at Barkley’s level, the Bills do a very good job of opening running lanes for him. The rotation of backs can limit the fantasy upside for Singletary but we did see a few flashes last week pf what can happen when they do commit to handing him the ball. If the Bills ground game can gain even half of the 238 rushing yards the Titans gave up in Week 1, Singletary, who could even find his way into the end zone tonight, should earn some nice value.
Ryan Tannehill, QB TEN – The Bills pass defense did a real nice job against the Rams in Week 1 and, as a result, many could be overlooking Tannehill in this game. The Bills did their best to take away most of the aerial weapons except for Cooper Kupp but they need to game plan differently for Tannehill who spreads the ball out a lot more. Tannehill doesn’t have the luxury of one elite receiver, but now with added time to work with his receiving weapons, he should be able to build on the 266 yards and two touchdowns he threw for against New York. The run will set up the pass, so if the Bills commit to taking away Derrick Henry, Tannehill could have a few surprises for them.
Gabriel Davis, WR BUF – He’s questionable with an ankle injury suffered at practice late in the week, so if you’re looking at Davis for your lineups, monitor him in warm-ups. Late-week injuries are never good, but he was able to put in a limited practice session on Saturday. The questionable tag usually scares off the DFS masses, so if he is playing, he’s probably a decent contrarian move as he and Allen have an outstanding on-field rapport.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR BUF – He’s the sleeper darling for all DFS players and while he didn’t see a ton of targets in Week 1, he did find his way into the end zone. Should Davis be out, McKenzie is expected to see the bigger increase in snaps and should be pretty chalky. We already know he can be successful lining up on the outside and in the slot, so his versatility may be on early display in this one. Also keep in mind, he saw as many red-zone targets last week as Diggs, so you know Allen likes to dial him up in the end zone.
Buffalo Bills D/ST – What’s not to love about a defense that managed three interceptions in Week 1 and spent all of last season atop the leaderboard in turnovers? The Bills will do what they can to contain the Titans ground game and will start ball-hawking more once Tannehill starts to air it out a little more. They’re the No. 1defense in the fantasy realm for a reason, so if you need to save a little salary, this is a solid move.
Robert Woods, WR TEN – He is still working himself back after suffering a torn ACL last season, but would it be the weirdest thing in the world to see Woods ask for the ball a little more against the team with whom his career began? It’s not exactly a huge revenge-game narrative, specially after five years and a Super Bowl (sort of) with the Rams, but there is always a special feeling a player has about the team that drafted him and where it all began. Look for Tannehill to continue building their on-field relationship.
Treylon Burks, WR TEN – The rookie saw fie targets in Week 1 and is slowly working himself into a rhythm with his quarterback. Remember, he missed a lot of time during the offseason with a variety of injuries, but looked really strong in his debut last week. This is a relationship in progress, but Burks is an incredibly talented receiver who will continue to catch Tannehill’s eye.
Kyle Philips, WR TEN – He was a huge surprise for everyone in Week 1 as Tannehill struggled to find Woods as his potential No. 1 option on the field last week. Philips worked almost exclusively out of the slot last week and will likely see a ton of TAron Johnson in this one. It’s a fairly even match-up with a slight advantage ticking over to Philips, but keep an eye on him in pre-game warm-ups as he is listed as questionable with a shoulder issue. He managed back-to-back limited practices on Friday and Saturday, but may not be at 100-percent. Does that lower his ownership? Maybe a little.
Dawson Knox, TE BUF – There are some weeks where Josh Allen loves on Knox and feeds him a bunch of targets in the red zone and then there are games like last week that has you wondering if the Bills even use a tight end. Last week was one of those weeks, but one also has to wonder if he stayed tethered to the line more because they were facing the likes of Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner and A’Shawn Robinson. The Titans don’t have the same pass-rush, so look for Knox to run a few more routes this week and be bigger target, especially if Davis is out.
Jamison Crowder, WR BUF – He was sharing snaps in the slot with McKenzie last week and while he saw one more target, it was McKenzie who got the looks inside the red zone. Crowder becomes a little bit more valuable if Davis is out as everyone will flock to using McKenzie and Knox, so consider him a dart-throw if Davis plays and a solid contrarian move if Davis is out.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, WR TEN – There is nothing particularly flashy or exciting about NWI, but if you’re looking to get a little weird with your lineup and Philips is out, he is likely to be low-owned. He is one of those guys Tannehill likes to use to help move the chains and chuck the occasional hero-ball to when the offense is in a groove. Tough match-ups against the Bills corners, but if Tannehill is spreading the ball around, he’ll find a way to exploit some one-on-one coverage.
Geoff Swaim, TE TEN – The Titans used him slightly more than Austin Hooper last week and he also saw more targets. Not by a lot, but he also played more snaps and ran more routes. He’s probably more of a dart-throw like his cohort, but if you’re picking between the two, Swaim is likely to see more work near the goal-line.
Zack Moss, RB BUF – The Bills are rotating in their backs and Moss was getting some snaps inside the red zone last week that has you wondering if the Bills are possibly going back to him being their green zone/goal-line back again. If you’re throwing darts, it’s either him or James Cook out of the backfield, but the lean for us is Moss.
Austin Hooper, TE TEN – He can be a big, wide-bodied target inside the red zone and he also has the versatility to run that seam route downfield. Unfortunately, the Titans really like Swaim, so it limits Hooper to a lot more blocking work given his size. But if they get him in mismatched coverage downfield, he could surprise everyone with a big play or two.
Be sure to check out the other Week 2 Monday Night Football Showdown Write-Up for the Vikings/Eagles game.