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Titans vs. Rams Sunday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Free No House Advantage picks and props for Rams vs. 49ers Week 10 Monday Night Football using expert projections & rankings.

Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 9 Sunday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 9 Titans vs. Rams Sunday Night Football matchup.

Week 9 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The 6-2 Titans head west this Sunday night to take on the 7-1 Rams, who have a ton to play for this week, with a chance to take over the top seed in the NFC with a win and losses by the Cardinals and Packers (who both happen to be starting backup quarterbacks this weekend). Tennessee is reeling from the loss of Derrick Henry, the heart and soul of their offense, and far and away the best running back in fantasy football this season. Henry had accounted for an average of 49% of the Titans’ opportunity, by far the highest rate in the NFL, leaving a massive gap for the Tennessee offense to fill in arguably the toughest game of their young season. In response, the Titans signed veteran back Adrian Peterson, who could step right into a massive workload, despite being signed to the active roster less than 72 hours before kickoff, though he’ll likely share work with fourth-year running back Jeremy McNichols, though he’s never seen more than 12 opportunities in a game in his entire career. Between the uncertainty in the Titans’ backfield and the myriad weapons in the Los Angeles offense, there are a ton of players worth rostering in this fascinating showdown slate.

Fade Cooper Kupp at Your Own Risk

Cooper Kupp has taken his game to the next-level with Matthew Stafford under-center, ranking first in the NFL in targets, seventh in air yards, and best in the NFL in receiving yards and total touchdowns. He’s averaging 0.85 fantasy points per route run, second-best among all players, despite running the 15th-most routes in the league. Kupp’s nine targets last weekend was the lowest number of targets he’s seen all season. The Titans have cleaned up their act defensively over the last few weeks, and now rank second in PFF’s team defensive grade, but that improvement hasn’t stopped Kupp from having the highest probability of being the optimal captain play on DraftKings and optimal MVP on FanDuel. With a double-digit target floor and a 30-point ceiling every time he takes the field, Kupp is nearly impossible to fade outright. In tournaments, where he’ll be quite popular, it may make sense to strategically leave him off of a roster, but for the most part, I’m placing Kupp in my lineup, then differentiating in other ways.

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Be Over the Field on the game’s Big-Three Wide Receivers

Besides the aforementioned Cooper Kupp, the Awesemo top showdown plays tool is identifying two other wideouts with significant chances of being the top overall scorer in this presumably high-scoring affair. The Titans’ A.J. Brown is a no-brainer option on this slate, having seen nine or more targets in three straight games. He’s turned that increased opportunity into massive production during that span, averaging 8.3 catches for 93 yards. Though he’ll likely see plenty of Jalen Ramsey, that doesn’t preclude Brown from seeing his now-typical nine-plus targets. Without Derrick Henry in the mix, expect Tennessee to design plenty of looks to get Brown open in space. That helps explain Brown’s 11.4% optimal Captain probability on DraftKings, second-highest among all player, which ranks just-ahead of Rams’ wide receiver Robert Woods. Compared to his teammate Kupp, Robert Woods’ season has been fairly ho-hum, as his 24.4% targets per route-run rate ranks outside the top-30 wide receivers, but he’s seen 15 looks over his last two games, and scored via the air and the ground, making him the only other player with a double-digit probability of being the optimal DraftKings captain. At a nearly 30% savings in salary, Woods makes for an appealing play on his own, and as leverage off of Kupp, though it’s always possible both Woods and Kupp succeed together. It’s nearly a coinflip’s chance that one of these three receivers end up being the optimal Captain. On FanDuel, Brown and Woods rank below some quarterbacks and running backs in top MVP probability, but they still rank a respectable fourth and sixth on that platform. If fading this trio outright, Van Jefferson looks like a solid contrarian receiver play, as well.

Matthew Stafford A Strong But Overly Popular Play

One could argue that Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford is the safest play on the slate. Leading arguably the league’s most potent offense, Stafford ranks second in the NFL in adjusted yards per attempt, and due to that incredibly efficient play, the Rams rank best in the NFL in points scored per play. Stafford has been great in nearly every situation, ranking second in completion percentage while pressured, and sixth in the NFL in completion percentage on passes of more than twenty yards downfield. Flanked by an elite cadre of skill-position players and his offensive guru coach Sean McVay in his ear, Stafford is playing the best football of his career. In that regard, Stafford is a quality play week-in and week-out, especially when the Titans’ defense gives up more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing offenses than the league-average team. But Stafford’s spiking popularity, and his $12,800 salary on DraftKings make him only a so-so play this Sunday. Stafford has a 9.4% chance of being the optimal Captain, fourth-highest of any player, but his leverage score is negative, indicating his chances of being the optimal play are less than his expected ownership. Far from unplayable, however, those who roster Stafford will simply need to avoid the chalk with their other available roster spots.

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Darrell Henderson in Cash, Adrian Peterson in Tournaments

If only it were that simple. Of course, Henderson, who is a near-lock for seeing the most overall touches in this contest, and is a starting running back on a large home-favorite, is a solid process-play before considering Henderson’s excellent 2021 season thus far. Henderson has seen 16 or more opportunities in every game this season, and 18 or more in all but two contests. Henderson is seventh in the NFL in slot snaps and routes run, fourth in route participation rate, and ninth in the league in total red zone touches. Henderson’s being utilized in high-quality ways on the league’s highest quality offense, making him a strong play, especially on FanDuel’s half-PPR format. But his leverage score is negative on both sites, meaning he’s a risky play in tournaments due to his expected popularity. Despite this being his first action this season, the Titans should immediately ride new running back Adrian Peterson, giving him a large majority of the backfield touches, which could make Peterson a viable option right off the bat. On FanDuel, Peterson’s $8,500 salary makes him a so-so play, but at just $3,000 on DraftKings, Peterson has the highest leverage score of any player on the slate, indicating he’s an ideal tournament play on Draftkings, and can even be slotted-into the Captain spot in large-field play.


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Julio Jones’ Projection Is Not Promising

Since being traded to the Titans this off-season, Jones has failed to make his typical on-field impact with any consistency, and has been hampered by soft-tissue injuries for much of the past two seasons. Jones hasn’t run more than 19 total routes in a game since Week 2 of this season, and has seen four targets or less in two of his last three contests. With just one game of 60 yards receiving or more on his resume this season, and looking at his projection for this week, Jones makes for a high-risk high-salary on DraftKings, which is typically not the type of player to be over the field on. Though he does have a 100-yard game in his range of outcomes, the other Titans’ auxiliary weapons, especially those with reduced salaries, look a bit more appealing on paper. Instead, fantasy gamers could look to Marcus Johnson, who saw five targets a week ago, and has a salary of just $800. Even Chester Rogers has a higher leverage score than Jones for this Sunday’s game.

The Bottom Line

While anything’s possible on a one game slate, it’s incredibly hard to imagine a version of this game where neither team’s offense shows up at all. With the Titans topping their implied total in every game for one this season, and the Rams arguably the top offense in the NFL, we should expect plenty of passing and points in this matchup. With the Rams also playing at one of the fastest paces in the NFL according to our advanced stats tool, Los Angeles likely forces the typically slow-paced Titans into a significantly faster pace of play, which should mean more opportunities for fantasy scoring for the Titans as well. It could also mean the Tennessee offense, sans-Henry, could fall flat on it’s face as it searches for an offensive identity for the second half of the NFL season.

Week 8 Sunday Night Football Prediction: Rams: 34, Titans 24


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Take a look at our starting line-ups, inactives and depth charts. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS picks for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. We also have FanDuel Single-Game slate tools and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections. View our DraftKings NFL ownership rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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