Last updated: October 8th at 2:55pm ET
Team Totals: Broncos 20.5, Titans 18
Derrick Henry looks to extend his consecutive games streak of 100-plus total yards and/or a touchdown to 11 when the Titans visit Denver, which has coughed up an unimposing 125/560/5 (4.48 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs and had all five of its 2019 games decided by nine points or fewer, suggesting the Titans should experience neutral script that allows them to keep riding Henry. An increasingly high-floor play, Henry’s Weeks 1-5 touch counts were 20 > 17 > 18 > 28 > 20 compared to Dion Lewis’ 6 > 4 > 4 > 8 > 4, reconfirming there is no committee here. Even without a substantive passing-game role, Henry has earned every-week RB1/2 treatment. … The Broncos’ D/ST is a better Week 6 play than Marcus Mariota, who unsurprisingly crashed back to Earth for last week’s QB27 outcome after his three-touchdown tease against the Falcons. Mariota has absorbed at least four sacks in 4-of-5 starts, while Vic Fangio’s Broncos have yet to surrender a single top-12 fantasy quarterback week, keeping Aaron Rodgers (QB25), Derek Carr (QB21), Mitchell Trubisky (QB31), Gardner Minshew (QB14), and Philip Rivers (QB28) in check.
Mariota’s Weeks 1-5 target distribution: Delanie Walker 25; Corey Davis 22; Adam Humphries 21; A.J. Brown 19; Lewis 15; Henry and Tajae Sharpe 8; Jonnu Smith 7. … Walker has run just 31 combined pass routes on snap rates of 31% and 44% in the last two weeks, all but disappearing from the passing game with blocker Smith taking over as the Titans’ primary tight end. Smith isn’t a fantasy option, but he did lead Tennessee in Week 5 receiving, gaining all 57 of his yards on a single screen pass. Despite Walker’s team target lead, the Titans’ tight end rotation is a situation to avoid. … Davis has cleared 50 yards just once in his last ten games. … Humphries is scoreless with one game above 30 yards. … With Broncos top CB Chris Harris likelier to chase more-established Davis assuming he shadows anyone at all, I like Brown as the favorite to lead Tennessee in Week 6 receiving. Brown played a season-high 65% of last week’s snaps and looks to be approaching a full-time role. Brown still has yet to exceed five targets in a game.
Even after Joe Flacco’s season-best Week 4 game, the Broncos grabbed their first 2019 victory on the back of Phillip Lindsay’s 147 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches with Royce Freeman’s 15 touches changing the pace against the Chargers. Even as Lindsay ran much hotter, Freeman out-snapped him (53% to 47%) again, reinforcing OC Rich Scangarello’s two-man RBBC commitment. The good news is Scangarello has also been committed to the run game in general enough for Lindsay to clear 15 touches in 4-of-5 games, while Tennessee’s run defense is less than a shutdown force, permitting 91/414/2 (4.55 YPC) rushing and the NFL’s seventh-most catches (32) to enemy backs. In another game Denver should win, Lindsay is an RB2 play with RB1 upside versus the Titans. Freeman has 15-plus touches in three of the last four weeks and is a viable if unexciting flex. … Flacco resumed game-managerial duties with just 20 pass attempts against the Bolts and should stay in that vicinity against a stout Titans pass defense. DC Dean Pees’ unit has allowed the NFL’s ninth-fewest yards per pass attempt (6.9) and fifth-fewest points per game (15.5) while limiting enemy quarterbacks to low-ceiling fantasy finishes of QB16 (Matt Ryan), QB12 (Jacoby Brissett), QB18 (Gardner Minshew), QB24 (Baker Mayfield), and QB13 (Josh Allen).
Flacco’s target distribution: Courtland Sutton 38; Emmanuel Sanders 35; Lindsay 23; Freeman 21; Noah Fant 16; DaeSean Hamilton 15; Jeff Heuerman 10. … Cementing himself as Denver’s No. 1 wideout, Sutton commanded Casey Hayward’s Week 5 shadow yet still emerged with a team-best 4/92/1 receiving line fueled by Sutton’s 70-yard catch-and-run score in the first quarter. With 87-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 4-of-5 games and a team-high 370 Air Yards, Sutton has earned matchup-agnostic WR2 treatment. … It’s fair to wonder if Sanders is starting to lose steam at age 32 coming off a torn Achilles’; he entered Week 5 battling a quad injury, played a season-low 63% of Denver’s offensive snaps, and finished with ten yards or fewer for the second time in three games. Sanders’ recent ups and downs push him onto the WR3/flex fringe with Sutton surging ahead in the Broncos’ low-volume passing attack. … Fant fell Week 5 victim to Flacco’s season low in attempts with just one target but also ran a season-low 19 pass routes and has yet to exceed five targets in a game this year. He’s a low-floor TE2.
Score Prediction: Broncos 24, Titans 17