“Thursday Night Football” is back to kick off another must-win fantasy football week. Week 16 brings in an exciting game between the 49ers (8-6) and the Titans (9-5) in Nashville (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). As always, you want to make the right decision at the start, sit down to decide – especially in the second round of the fantasy football knockouts – by deploying players who can help you. get a nice lead over the weekend or avoid players who are sure to go bust during the crucial time.
The 49ers’ attack is rolling with everyone healthy, save for rookie re-run Elijah Mitchell (knee). The running game worked either with Deebo Samuel passing from the wide receiver or Jeff Wilson Jr handling most executions. A tight finish George Kittle and Samuel dominated, and Brandon Aiyuk was more visible playing in both legs.
The Titans’ best fantasy property of the year returns to D’Onta Foreman, their top all-around replacement for Derrick Henry (leg). Their passing game will likely begin with limping wide receiver Julio Jones, who suffered hamstring pain again in Week 15 against the Steelers. The AJ Brown (chest) wide receiver is easy to activate, leaving Ryan Tannehill always in a pinch.
Here’s a full breakdown of TNF’s ’em sitting’ start, including a few DFS lineup suggestions for FanDuel and DraftKings:
49ers: Who will start or sit in fantasy football on Thursday night
Start: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo hasn’t put out huge numbers exactly over the past three weeks, but he still finished as marginal QB1 in 12-team tournaments. Overall, with a slow start, he’s the QB18 of the season. But he can go live here because Titans tend to slow down and struggle on the backend when they don’t get QBs. San Francisco provided solid pass protection and Jimmy G got the ball out quickly for his playmates.
Sitting: RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
Wilson received a great deal on their lone, healthy, early downhill comeback, but had to get to the Falcons game last week to put it into actual production with 21 carry, 110 yards and TD. However, the Titans allow the least amount of imaginary points to run backwards. Jonathan Taylor and James Robinson had their biggest games against them, and that was in the first half of the season. The 49ers are likely to just pivot away from forcing Wilson between tackles and rely on Samuel and the game going on.
Start: WR Deebo Samuel
Yes, please. Deebo entered the second-best match for the fantasy football wide receiver after ripping off Vikings and Falcons in similar spots. On Tyshun! On Raequan! He’s a triple threat as a fantasy player, we deserve to know all three of his names.
Start: WR Brandon Aiyuk
Since Week 11, Aiyuk has been working on his production. He played mostly well but struggled against the Jaguars and Falcons, because he didn’t need much in those games. He’ll get prime targets here to exploit a group of defenders who can’t cover for him
Start: TE George Kittle
The Titans are one of the biggest headaches against tight finishes led by Kevin Byard and others, but we don’t care about that. Kittle isn’t a typical tight ending – he’s more of a straight-up monster. Kittle will also have fun playing in the city where he made his home, Nashville.
Start: 49ers D/ST
Nick Bosa and the boys should have fun. The 49ers have some defender concerns and secondary injuries, but they should play enough on the road compared to Ryan Tannehill.
Start: K Robbie Gould
Gould goes with Christmas presents like frankincense and myrrh, whatever the less valuable ones are.
Titans: Who will start or sit in fantasy football on Thursday night
Sitting: QB Ryan Tannehill
Tannnehill is the QB14 of the season, but he has only had one QB1 shot in the past six games. His production was at his best as a good throw reduced the power of running Derrick Henry, but Henry was injured along with Julio Jones (hamstring) and AJ Brown (chest). Tannehill now relies on defenders and an extensive organizing committee, so his best source of TDs are his own feet. The 49ers have been very dedicated to the fantasy QB in the first seven games, but they’ve been much tougher since Week 9. You can’t trust Tannehill too much into the lineup.
Start: RB D’Onta Foreman | Sitting: RB Dontrell Hilliard
Foreman has had a gentle takeover in their backyard. After two powerful RB2 shots in a row, he exploded like a mass-corrected RB1 against the Steelers defence. He will often be fed back with building momentum, and by default he is their best offensive weapon. The 49ers are the average group in terms of scoring fantasy when running backwards. Hilliard did not receive enough communications to be considered.
Start: (if he plays): WR AJ Brown
There is some optimism Brown’s return from a chest injury will come at a time when Jones (hamstring) will be out of action. If this is a Saturday or Sunday game, he has a much better chance. Unfortunately, the window may be too short. But if the Titans feel good enough about Brown’s practice to play him, so should you. The 49ers cornerbacks have a lot of problems and only allow one game of monsters for the Falcons’ Russell Gage.
Sitting: WR Julio Jones
He is hurt and broken. Not much yield when healthy this season. His persistent hamstring has left him out of the squad, so you can’t even guarantee a full action game. So, no.
Sitting: WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
NWI sounds like an airport code or a bad NWA cover band. In theory, Westbrook-Ikhine seemed like a good play when there wasn’t much else at the wide receiver, but he took his chance and didn’t do much. Tannehill is also likely to settle the ball around a ton in the absence of Jones and without Brown.
Sitting: TE Geoff Swaim
Swaim, MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser have the same fantasy football involvement as Comet, Cupid and Vixen involve Rudolph. Heck, we’ll have a backup Kyle Rudolph for these guys.
Sitting: Titans D / ST
Forget the Titans against the hot 49ers, and don’t chase their performance against the Steelers.
Start: K Randy Bullock
No, his name is not British slang. No, his game is not worth starting here.
49ers vs. Titans: One-game FanDuel
- MVP (1.5X): WR Deebo Samuel $14,500
- AnyFLEX: QB Jimmy Garoppolo $14,000
- AnyFLEX: TE George Kittle $13,000
- AnyFLEX: RB D’Onta Freeman $11,500
- AnyFLEX: RB Kyle Juszczyk $6,000
The 49ers’ passing offense minus Aiyuk has great appeal here, and we also have Foreman there to represent the Titans. In the end “Juice” was all we could afford. Jimmy G should clear things up more with the available running game.
49ers vs. Titans: DraftKings Showdown lineup
- Captain (1.5X): RB D’Onta Foreman $11,400
- FLEX: WR Deebo Samuel $11,600
- FLEX: TE George Kittle $11,200
- FLEX: QB Jimmy Garoppolo $10,400
- FLEX: RB Dontrell Hilliard $2,800
- FLEX: RB Kyle Juszczyk $1,800
Look familiar? This is the same philosophy from the FD lineup except for the expansion for Hilliard in the Titans’ backyard. Kittle has a tough match, but he’s hard to get out because of the big match potential.