FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 16 Thursday Night (49ers at Titans)
The San Francisco 49ers have won five of six to jump back into the playoff picture in the NFC while the Tennessee Titans are still in control in the AFC South despite losing three of their past four. These two teams will tangle Thursday night in Nashville.
On NFL odds, the Niners are 3.5-point road favorites over the Titans in a game with a 44.0-point total. That makes the implied score 23.75-20.25 in favor of San Fran.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.
With a 44.0-point total and two of the most run-heavy teams in the league facing off, we don't have many high-upside players at our disposal. Our projections have no one forecasted for more than 16.5 FanDuel points, and we have just three players projected for more than 13.0.
The quarterbacks lead the charge, with Jimmy Garoppolo ($14,000 on FanDuel) and Ryan Tannehill ($15,000) pegged for 16.5 and 16.2 FanDuel points, respectively. You can make a case for either passer. Both defenses have been forgiving through the air. Tennessee gives up the 8th-most FanDuel points per game to signal-callers (19.1) while San Fran permits the 12th-most (18.6).
Jimmy G has definitely been in better form between the two. He's posted at least 17 FanDuel points in two of his last three games while Tannehill has scored 17-plus points once in his last six games. But these offenses want to run the ball, with each ranking in the bottom four in pass rate, so the ceiling is lacking for both quarterbacks. Tannehill should get a boost from the expected return of A.J. Brown ($12,000), but he is going to be without linemen Taylor Lewan and Roger Saffold.
Deebo Samuel ($14,500) should see plenty of MVP love, and he may wind up being the most popular MVP pick. With Elijah Mitchell sitting out once more, Samuel should maintain his dual-position role. Without Mitchell the last two games, Samuel has amassed 14 carries, 66 yards, and two rushing scores in addition to six targets, five grabs, and 82 yards as a receiver. Samuel's yardage totals are underwhelming, but he's been leaned on as a runner in the red zone and has capitalized, racking up a rushing tuddie in five consecutive outings.
I'll likely be light on Samuel at MVP, but our algorithm projects him for 15.9 FanDuel points -- tops among non-quarterbacks.
It's rare for a tight end to be viable at MVP, but George Kittle ($13,000) absolutely is. The dude has been on a tear, scoring 12.3, 27.6, and 35.1 FanDuel points over his last three games. In that span, he's accumulated 33 total targets -- good for a whopping 33% target share and 41% air yards share. He's benefitting from Samuel being used more in the backfield sans Mitchell and is the clear apple of Jimmy G's eye. We project Kittle for 13.0 FanDuel points.
For Tennessee, aside from Tannehill, Brown is the only other guy worth a look at MVP. While Brown hasn't played since Week 11 and there's certainly risk in putting him at MVP, he'll likely be contrarian as a multiplier and is capable of hitting for a big play. Our model has Brown recording 12.7 FanDuel points.
Wilson -- who we project for 11.3 FanDuel points -- is serving as the lead back in Mitchell's stead. In a tight game against the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago, Wilson played just 59% of the snaps and racked up 13 touches. His role improved dramatically in a positive game script versus the Atlanta Falcons a week ago as he finished with 23 touches on an 88% snap rate. If you think the Niners win comfortably, Wilson is an excellent option and could even be a viable MVP in that game script. If you expect San Francisco to lose, or for it to be a tight affair throughout, Wilson is a lot less appealing.
Aiyuk's early-season stay in the doghouse is a thing of the past as he's logged a snap rate of at least 88% in eight straight games. The targets aren't always there in a run-heavy San Francisco attack, but his 20% target share and 21% air yards share over the past two games (with Samuel playing more running back) is second on the team. He had 10 targets in the aforementioned Cincinnati game but just two in the easy win over Atlanta, so he's basically the opposite of Wilson in terms of what kind of game script suits him. At a projection of 9.1 FanDuel points, Aiyuk is the top play among those salaried at $10,000 or below, according to our numbers.
The Titans' backfield is a mess from a fantasy perspective as all of Dontrell Hilliard ($9,500), D'Onta Foreman ($11,500) and Jeremy McNichols ($8,000) have played between 29% and 39% of the snaps the last two games. It makes them pretty unappealing individually. Foreman is the leader on the ground, notching 22 carries a week ago, but McNichols and Hilliard do more in the passing game. Our model has Foreman projected for 8.5 points, Hilliard at 6.8 and McNichols going for 4.5.
Tennessee's passing game didn't offer much when Brown was out, and their secondary options are even less enticing now that AJB is back. We have both Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ($7,500) and Julio Jones ($10,000) projected for fewer than 5.0 FanDuel points. Jones profiles as one of the worst point-per-dollar options on the slate at his gaudy salary.
As I mention in a lot of these, kickers are better suited for low-scoring clashes, per Brandon Gdula's single-game study. This one fits the bill as it holds a meager 44.0-point total. Robbie Gould ($9,000) and Randy Bullock ($8,500) are in play, and at projections of 8.5 and 7.7 FanDuel points, respectively, they rate out as the best point-per-dollar choices among players salaried under $11,000, according to our projections.