NFL Week 9 kicks off tonight with the Tennessee Titans vs Pittsburgh Steelers matchup on Thursday Night Football. Let's break down some NFL Underdog Fantasy picks for this Titans vs Steelers TNF game. Our top NFL picks today feature Titans RB Derrick Henry and Steelers LB Cole Holcomb. Enjoy these NFL Underdog top plays and Thursday Night Football picks as you watch tonight's game. As always, be sure to check out the latest NFL injury updates ahead of this TNF Titans vs Steelers showdown. If you're making more NFL picks tonight or making NFL DFS lineups, check out our NFL daily projections. Now, let's dive into the top NFL Week 9 picks on Underdog Fantasy for Thursday Night Football.
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NFL Underdog Fantasy Top Picks
Week 9 Thursday Night Football Titans vs Steelers
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans – HIGHER Than 70.5 Rushing Yards
The Tennessee Titans are starting Will Levis at quarterback again with Ryan Tannehill out. With the rookie Levis under center, we should see plenty of carries for Derrick Henry as the Titans offense rolls with a run-heavy offense. Last week with Tannehill out, Henry ran for 101 yards on 22 carries despite Levis throwing for four TDs. Henry now has at least 97 rushing yards in three of the last four games and is starting to get into the rhythm of being a weekly force.
This Thursday night matchup is a great situation for Henry to have a big game. The short week likely leads to heavy volume in the run game with Levis possibly not being as prepared. Either way, the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled against opposing rushers this season. The Steelers are allowing 137.1 rushing yards per game, sixth-most in the NFL. The run defense also just took a hit with safety Minkah Fitzpatrick injuring his hamstring last week. Fitzpatrick is out tonight and it’s a big loss as he was Pittsburgh’s leading tackler.
Henry has 80+ rushing yards in four of seven games this season. The Titans’ workhorse back had 80+ yards in 12 of 16 games last year and 6-for-8 in 2021. When he gets the carries, which he should tonight, Henry will get his yards. Meanwhile, the Steelers have allowed four of seven lead running backs to go over this 72.5 rushing yards line – Christian McCaffrey (152), Dameon Pierce (81), Jerome Ford (106), and Travis Etienne (79). Two of those unders, though, saw both the Rams and Ravens have two or more RBs split carries and combine for 125+ yards. Tayjae Spears doesn’t cut into Henry’s workload enough to worry about that.
Cole Holcomb, Pittsburgh Steelers – HIGHER Than 8.0 Tackles + Assists
As explained above, the Tennesee Titans likely go with a run-first offense tonight with rookie QB Will Levis starting in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. There should be plenty of tackles up for grabs for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and especially for Cole Holcomb. With Minkah Fitzpatrick out with a hamstring injury, Holcomb’s importance to the Steelers’ defense gets elevated even more now. The linebacker is second on the team in total tackles this season with 53, one behind Fitzpatrick. He’s a natural candidate to have more tackle opportunities tonight with his teammate sidelined.
Last week after Fitzpatrick left early, Holcomb had a season-high 11 total tackles. He had 8, 9, and 7 total tackles over the previous three games – hovering right around this posted line. The linebacker averaged 9.8 tackles per game last season for Washington and 8.8 the year before. Holcomb is used to leading his team in tackles and will have to take on that role now with Fitzpatrick out.
Against the Titans this year, opposing top linebacker tacklers are averaging 8.8 total tackles per game. It makes sense with the offense handing it off to Derrick Henry plenty. In Tennessee’s seven games, nine opposing LBs have totaled at least eight tackles and three others had seven tackles. Bank on Holcomb continuing this trend as he likely leads the Steelers in tackles tonight.
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