Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Two of the top ten teams in situation-neutral rush rate.
- Indianapolis ranks 31st in situation-neutral pace of play, while Tennesee ranks 22nd.
- The Titans rank 18th in opponent plays per game at 63.3. The Colts rank eighth at 60.6. These two teams combined for only 129 offensive plays run from scrimmage in their last meeting in Week 3. That’s almost ten plays below the league average this season.
How tennessee Will Try To Win ::
The Titans continue to place games on the back (and quads) of running back Derrick Henry. They combine a moderate-to-slow pace of play (22nd in the NFL) with extreme situation-neutral rush rates (48%, fifth highest in the league). The expected offensive snaps run from scrimmage from this team varies wildly depending on how their defense performs, with five games of 68 plays or fewer, a game of 88 plays, and a game of 100 (!!!) plays (against the Jets, which was a loss – lolz). There’s nothing from a macro perspective that I can say in this space that we don’t already know of this Titans team.
From what we have seen of the Titans this season, Henry’s workload is most influenced by the game script instead of matchup, health of the offensive line, or health of other offensive personnel. Why is that important? Well, we can expect a robust workload for King Henry in all but highly negative game scripts. Henry’s snap rates are typically a tick above “lead back 1A” levels and a tick below bellcow levels, but we know when Henry is on the field, there is a good chance he is getting the football one way or the other. Expect Jeremy McNichols to work as the primary change of pace and obvious passing situation back, with Darrynton Evans now healthy and on hand to handle emergency situations. The matchup on the ground is far from ideal against the number one rushing defense (by DVOA), yielding a below-average 4.24 net-adjusted line yards metric. The Titans are expecting all-world tackle Taylor Lewan back from a concussion this week, boosting the expected run-blocking effectiveness of the Tennessee offensive line.
The pass-catcher snap rates have been all over the place since Week 4 when the team started dealing with significant injuries. Last week, all of Julio Jones, Josh Reynolds, Marcus Johnson, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine played 44% of the offensive snaps, with AJ Brown checking in at 62%. Furthermore, Brown has played a high of 79% of the offensive snaps over the previous three games. Anthony Firkser returned to the lineup in Week 4 and has seen at most 50% of the offensive snaps in any game since then, yielding the majority of the work to blocking tight end Geoff Swaim and typical backup MyCole Pruitt. Bringing us full circle, remember that the Titans have shown a deep propensity to ride Derrick Henry for as long as they feasibly can, making all pass-catchers ceiling-only plays due to the unknowns concerning their individual snap rates.
How indianapolis Will Try To Win ::
The Colts should have a similar plan of attack here but are less likely to enjoy the same level of success on the ground when compared to the Titans. Somewhat quietly, this Titans defense has surrendered fewer fantasy points per game to opposing backfields than the Buccaneers (20.6 per game) but has allowed 273.6 passing yards per game, which ranks 24th in the league. Frank Reich has long been hailed as one of the sharper offensive minds in the game, fully capable and willing to adjust his game plan leading up to and during the game. That said, I have felt like something has been missing in that regard when watching this team play this season, as the clearest plan of attack has not lined up with how the Colts have looked to approach games very often this year. This introduces additional variance into Colts games since we can’t accurately project offensive game plans, meaning all players on the Colts should be treated more as wide range of outcome plays every week.
Running back Jonathan Taylor has seen between 16 and 23 running back opportunities in either extremely positive (three times) or highly competitive, back-and-forth (once) games over the previous four weeks. It was only the last matchup with the Titans where he fell below his standard range of opportunities of 16-24, giving us a good idea of what kind of workload to expect in most game scenarios. This also means his ceiling is highly reliant on multiple trips to the end zone, which theoretically could occur here but would require a neutral-to-positive game script to land in his favor. Behind Taylor, Marlon Mack has fallen almost entirely out of favor (it is likely the Colts were showcasing a possible trade pawn during his stretch of increased usage), leaving change of pace and obvious passing work to Nyheim Hines. That role has translated to a high of nine running back opportunities over the previous four weeks, but he would indeed see an increased workload should the Colts fall behind early here. The matchup on the ground yields an average 4.375 net-adjusted line yards metric as this Colts offensive line has underperformed in most run-blocking metrics to start the year.
Primarily through injury, Michael Pittman has emerged as the leader of this Colts pass-catching corps, with TY Hilton appearing in only one game so far and Parris Campbell on the IR. Pittman and Zach Pascal are the only pass-catchers to enjoy near every-down usage, but quarterback Carson Wentz has not attempted more than 38 passes on the season, typically landing in the 31-35 pass attempt range (a high of only 35 pass attempts over the previous four weeks). This has left Pittman with a high of only eight targets over that time, Pascal with a high of six targets over that time, Mo Allie-Cox with a high of six targets over that time, Jack Doyle with exactly one target in each of the last four games, Nyheim Hines with a high of three targets over that time, and Jonathan Taylor with a high of four targets over that time. You get the point. This is not a high-volume pass offense. So, while the Titans can be beaten through the air, the likeliest scenario leaves Carson Wentz in the 31-35 pass attempts range to be split amongst the aforementioned pass-catchers (throw in TY Hilton, Ashton Dulin, Mike Strachan, or whatever other wide receiver carries the WR3 designation as well).
Likeliest Game Flow ::
We’re likeliest to see a good old-fashioned divisional slugfest here, with each team likeliest to start with a ground-heavy approach. The pure matchups would tilt the Titans to the air and the Colts to the ground, but we can be fairly certain that Tennessee will continue riding King Henry for as long as the game remains competitive in either direction. Thusly, the opportunity for Tennessee pass-catchers to become true difference-makers on this slate revolves almost entirely around the low probability chance that the Colts jump out to, and maintain deep into the game, a substantial lead. When we then consider the high likelihood of less than league average offensive pays run from scrimmage here, it doesn’t leave a lot of meat on the bones for secondary and ancillary options from either team.
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- 2021 TEN totals: 51 // 63 // 41 // 51 // 56 // 65 // 30
- 2021 IND totals: 44 // 51 // 41 // 44 // 56 // 34 // 48
- The 25-16 IND win over TEN in W3 was TEN’s only game below 50 before they shut down KC’s offense last week (3 pts allowed)
- AJ Brown & Julio Jones both left the game early vs IND due to injury, but both fully returned vs KC in W7
- TEN led by just one point entering the fourth quarter of that matchup
- 2020 scores: IND W (34-17) // TEN W (45-26)
- Since TEN’s 13 pt clunker vs ARI in W1, TEN has scored 33 // 25 // 24 // 30 // 34 // 27 offensive points
- SEA, LAR, & BAL all scored 27+ pts vs IND
- Pass yds vs IND: 254 // 278 // 197 // 199 // 442 // 243 // 181
- Tannehill has passed for 300 yds in just 4 of his 24 starts since 2020
- Tannehill went for 197:3:2 & 56 rush yds vs IND in W3
- Tanny threw for just 147 & 221 yds in this matchup last year, as Darius Leonard being out opened the door for big Henry games (just 27 & 22 pass att for Tanny)
- Before facing Mills & Jimmy G the last two weeks, IND was allowing the most fantasy pts per pass att, per TJ Hernandez
- Tannehill’s 23.5 DK pts vs IND are his most this season
- Tannehill had six games above that in 2020, including four 30 pt scores
- Since 2020, the game scores of his 9 games of 20+ DK pts read: 46-25, 42-36, 35-41, 42-16, 41-38, 33-30, 30-24, 25-16, 27-3
- Tgs when both Brown & Julio played full: Brown (8, 9, 9, 9) // Julio (6, 8, 5, 4)
- Brown since returning: 3:38 // 7:91 // 8:133:1
- IND has allowed 11 WR TDs in seven games
- IND has allowed the 6th highest success rate and 7th highest yds/att to WRs
- Top WR vs IND by week: Lockett (4:100:2) // Kupp (9:163:2) // Westbrook (4:53:1) // Parker (4:77:1) // Hollywood (9:125:2) // Cooks (9:89) // Deebo (7:100:1)
- Brown went 1:21 & 4:98:1 vs IND in 2020, but also dropped a sure 70-yd TD
- IND allowed the 15th most WR DK pts in 2020
- IND is allowing the 9th most WR DK pts in 2021
- Henry’s touches in 2021: 21 // 41 // 31 // 35 // 29 // 23 // 31
- Henry’s rush yds: 58 // 182 // 113 // 157 // 130 // 143 // 86
- Henry had 3+ rec in each of first three weeks, but in the last four has totaled just 6 rec for 49 yds
- RB rush yds with 10+ rush att vs IND: Carson (91) // Hendy (53:1), Michel (46) // Henry (113) // Ingram (73) // Mitchell (107:1)
- Henry vs IND with Tanny: 26:149:1 // 19:103 // 27:178:3 // 28:113
- Henry has scored 26+ DK pts in 11/22 of his games with Tannehill as a Favorite: 32.5 // 27.6 // 26.9 // 42.1 // 30 // 43.4 // 39.2 // 28.2 // 39 // 28.7 // 34
- He has also scored under 10 DK pts in 5 of the other 11 games
- Tannehill in those five games: 193:3 // 279:2, rush TD // 239:4 // 158:2 // 389:3
- The only game of those five in which Tanny didn’t score 3 TDs included a TEN pick-6
- At least one TEN player scored 20+ DK pts in 14/16 games in 2020
- At least one TEN player has scored 20+ DK pts in 6/7 games in 2021: Henry (x5), Brown (x1)
- Wentz has 2 pass TDs in four straight, but just one game over 228 yds (402 vs BAL)
- 2021 QBs vs TEN: Kyler (289:4:1) // Russ (343:2) // Wentz (194:0) // Wilson (297:2:1) // Lawrence (273:1:1) // Allen (353:3:1) // KC (288:0:1)
- TEN jumped from 27th to 18th in def pass DVOA after the KC game last week
- Wentz wasn’t expected to play vs TEN in W3 due to injury, and it was his only game this year without a rush att
- Only ATL allowed more WR DK pts than TEN in 2020
- TEN has allowed the most WR DK pts in 2021
- Seven WRs vs TEN in 2021 have scored 20+ DK pts: Hopkins (26.3), Kirk (24) // Lockett (34.8), Swain (21) // Davis (24.1) // Diggs (23.9), Beasley (21.8)
- Pittman’s two games without Campbell & Hilton: 8:123 (12tg) // 4:105:1 (4tg)
- Pittman & Pascal have a wide lead in IND WR targets with 50 & 35
- Hilton led IND in receiving in his only game (4:80), catching a 52 yd deep ball
- TEN has allowed the 10th highest rate of explosive passes to WRs
- RB total yds vs TEN: Edmonds (106), Conner (53) // Carson (31) // Taylor (72), Hines (79) // Carter (34), Coleman (31) // Robinson (147) // Singletary (43), Moss (39) // Williams (50)
- Taylor’s rush att: 17 // 15 // 10 // 16 // 15 // 14 // 18
- Taylor’s season-low 10 rush att came vs TEN
- Hines has been used more than Taylor in both games they’ve played together vs TEN: (12:70:1, 5:45:1) vs (7:12, 2:25) // (6:25:1, 5:54) vs (10:64, 1:8)
- Hines led Taylor in targets 16 to 9 through three games
- Taylor has led Hines in targets 12 to 8 in the four games since
- Taylor has topped 50 total yds in every game, and 100+ total yds in five games
- Taylor has scored 6 TDs in the last four games
- Taylor as a Home Favorite (yds:TD): 110:1 // 62:1 // 115 // 114 // 95:1 // 254:2 // 158:2
- Taylor as a Home Dog (yds:TD): 34:1 // 116 // 53
- IND is currently a 1.5 pt home dog