Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season wraps up with Monday Night Football as the Tennessee Titans play host to the Buffalo Bills. Here is my fantasy football preview to the game, offering up my starts and sits and DFS plays for Monday night action.
QB Josh Allen — The NFL leader in QB red zone rushes (13) and fantasy’s overall QB4 should score touchdowns aplenty this evening. Titans’ starting perimeter CB Kristian Fulton is out (hamstring) which leaves 2021 first-round draft pick Caleb Farley to pick up the slack. Farley started the season rehabbing a back injury before suffering a multi-week shoulder injury. The young CB also started the week off with a DNP due to illness. As a raw talent, Farley’s as good as it gets but he’s extremely raw having played just 32 defensive snaps this year. Allen is an elite QB1.
WR Stefon Diggs — The Titans are allowing the most .5PPR PPG to opposing WRs with a whopping 40 allowed per game—2 points more than any other NFL team. Their 41.2% NEFF pass defense rating ranks 21st. Diggs is an elite WR1.
WR Cole Beasley — Week 6 is Cole Beasley Week. He’s a locked-in WR2:
We can be more empirical than that. BUF schemes Beasley TGTs vs. zone coverage (PFF). TGTs vs man: 56(2019), 35(2020), 5(2021). TGTs vs zone: 39(2019), 62(2020), 25(2021). TEN is running Zone cov. around 60% of the time. Guess who else skews towards zone: PIT & WAS…
— Nic Bodiford (@Ginger__Nic) October 15, 2021
(Man vs. Zone coverage data via PFF.com.)
WR Emmanuel Sanders — No. 1 on the team in snaps, No. 2 in air yards share (30.4%), and his 16.5 average intended air yards (TAY) mark ranks 3rd in the NFL overall. Against Tennessee, Sanders is also a safe WR2.
WR Gabe Davis — Davis is a DFS-only option, given the matchup.
TE Dawson Knox — Per PFF.com, Knox is No. 9 in the NFL in TE routes run, T-13th in targets, 12th in receptions, 6th in yards, and 1st in TE TDs scored. He’s a high-end TE1.
RBs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary — Moss continues to separate from Singletary in both the snaps and touches department. Like their pass defense, the Titans’ run defense NEFF rating of 43.5% is also 21st in the NFL. Moss has a good shot at posting 80+ yards and a touchdown this week. He’s a high-end RB3. Singletary is a borderline RB3/4.
QB Ryan Tannehill — Tannehill is a volatile QB2 this week. On the one hand, Buffalo is likely to run up the score on Tennessee which should lead to a hefty pass attempt total for the Titans’ signal caller. On the other hand, Buffalo has allowed just 64 points to be scored on them this year, 12 points fewer than any other team. Their 30 passes defended, 9 interceptions, and 59 QB pressures are all top-3 marks and their 69.1% NEFF pass defense rating is No. 1 in the league.
WRs A.J. Brown and Julio Jones — Both WRs (hamstring) were full practice participants this week but AJB was added to the injury report on Sunday with an illness. He’s now questionable to play tonight. Non-COVID-19 illnesses rarely keep players out though so Brown needs to be kept in redraft lineups as a high-end WR2. Perhaps the biggest hindrance to Brown is his nebulous snap count situation:
A.J. Brown just said he won’t play a full allotment of snaps until Week 10
In 2020 he averaged 81% of snaps
Before the Week 3 injury, he averaged 83%
I’m not entirely certain what to make of this other than they’ll continue to manage his workloads https://t.co/SOZyqGtxYN
— Edwin Porras, DPT (@FBInjuryDoc) October 15, 2021
Regardless, the return of Julio comes at a great time as Buffalo won’t be able to direct the majority of their attention towards Brown. Julio, as all players do when returning from a hamstring injury, has a wide range of potential outcomes as flare-ups aren’t uncommon. However, we can take solace in the fact that Julio was a full participant in all three Week 6 practices. Julio is a mid-tier WR2.
WR Chester Rogers — We’re unlikely to hear from Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Josh Reynolds, and Marcus Johnson this week. All three play direct backup roles and really only saw significant time due to the AJB/Julio hamstring strains. Rogers, the team’s primary slot receiver should see a regular complement of snaps but Buffalo’s slot coverage has been tight this year. Rogers is not a redraft candidate this week.
TE Anthony Firkser — Firkser cedes snaps to both MyCole Pruitt and Geoff Swaim but is technically the No. 1 pass catching TE on the roster. Buffalo’s tight end defense has largely been commensurate with the talent to the tight ends; the good ones stay relevant, the mediocre ones don’t. Firkser is much more so the latter than the former. He’s a middling TE2 this week.
RB Derrick Henry — Buffalo’s NEFF run defense rating of 68.4% is No. 2 in the NFL as are their 11.5 .5PPR PPG allowed. Still, Henry’s 156 Faustian 2021 touches lead the position by a margin of 47. Even in a tough matchup, Henry remains the overall RB1 in our ranks.
RBs Jeremy McNichols and Darrynton Evans — Evans still hasn’t been added to the active roster despite being designated to return from IR. The team has until the 27th to do so. If you have a bench spot to spare, go ahead and add him. It’s possible Tennessee immediately gives him the No. 2 RB job back. That said, McNichols continues to be an extremely efficient receiver out of the backfield with 9.4 yards per reception on the year. He’s not a good redraft start this week but McNichols deserves some contrarian DFS consideration as a possible outlet-pass option vs. the Bills vaunted pass rush.