Fantasy Football Start/Sit for Titans vs Packers: Calls on Aaron Rodgers, Christian Watson, More
Pictured: Aaron Rodgers. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Week 11 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off with a Thursday Night Football showdown between the Titans and Packers at Lambeau Field.
The Titans are over-performing expectations at 6-3 and sit comfortably atop the AFC South. Their offense has been fueled primarily by running back Derrick Henry, who has accrued the second-most rushing yards through 10 weeks, trailing only Saquon Barkley. Their defense also ranks No. 1 in rush DVOA, per Football Outsiders.
The Packers (4-6) have been underperforming expectations and are in second place in the NFC North, multiple games behind the Vikings. Green Bay is coming off an impressive overtime win over the Cowboys, but has struggled on both sides of the ball. The Packers rank 30th in rush DVOA, have scored the eighth-fewest points per game and are tied with the Rams for the fifth-most giveaways (15). Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has yet to find his stride without star wideout Davante Adams and is the QB24 in fantasy points per game.
Some lineup decisions, like starting Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard and Henry are easy. Below are some fringe players at each position who you may be on the fence about starting in the Titans vs. Packers Thursday Night Football game.
Titans Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
QB Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill dressed for the first time in three weeks and led the Titans to a 17-10 victory in what was a very tough matchup on paper against the Broncos. He completed 19-of-36 attempts for 255 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions and was a welcome change from rookie Malik Willis.
Tannehill was the QB9 and will finish as a top-12 QB for the third time in seven starts. The two prior to last week came against the Giants and Raiders — two bottom-10 pass defenses, according to pass DVOA.
Verdict: Sit in one-quarterback/non-superflex leagues. I am not expecting the same level of production this week in Green Bay, whose defense ranks eighth-highest in pass DVOA and has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Tannehill is an acceptable start in two-quarterback/superflex formats as a mid-tier QB2 with four teams on bye.
WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Westbrook-Ikhine is coming off of the best game of his career. He caught 5-of-8 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns and finished as the WR5 in half-PPR scoring. Treylon Burks caught 3-of-6 for 24 yards and Robert Woods caught 2-of-7 for 10 yards.
Prior to last week, Westbrook-Ikhine logged zero catches in three consecutive games.
Verdict: Sit. I expect the Titans' offense to function better with Tannehill back in the saddle. I also expect the Titans to lean extremely heavily on the run in this game, opposite the Packers' bottom-of-the-barrel rush defense.
This could very easily be a "flash in the pan"-type situation given Westbrook-Ikhine's lack of previous success and the matchup — the Packers have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
Packers Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
QB Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is coming off of his best game of the season in what was a brutal matchup on paper. He completed 14-of-20 attempts for 224 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions against Dallas and finished as QB10 for the week. The Cowboys have the No. 2-ranked defense and the No. 4-ranked pass defense, according to DVOA.
However, in the week prior against the Lions, Rodgers struggled and tossed three interceptions (he threw just four all of last year). He is the QB24 on a per-game basis and hasn't been start-worthy in one-quarterback leagues through 10 weeks.
Verdict: Start as a low-end QB1. I have cautious optimism Rodgers could be on a bit of an upswing, especially if this relationship with rookie Christian Watson continues to flourish. This is a good matchup against the Titans, whose defense has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points this year. The unit has been carved up by Daniel Jones, Josh Allen, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz and Patrick Mahomes.
WR Christian Watson
Watson reeled in all three of Rodgers' touchdowns in Week 10 and appears to be developing quite the rapport with his quarterback. The rookie caught 4-of-8 targets for a whopping 107 yards and a trio of touchdowns, finishing as WR2 in half-PPR scoring. Allen Lazard was held to three catches for 45 yards in the contest.
Watson had been unremarkable up until this point. In Weeks 1 through 9, he tallied just 86 receiving yards and missed two games dealing with concussions. I am wary of "chasing touchdowns," but he could be emerging as the team's clear WR2 behind Lazard. I expect Watson to see an uptick in targets for the rest of the season with fellow rookie Romeo Doubs on Injured Reserve.
Verdict: Start as a WR3/flex. Watson has boom-or-bust potential, though I like his chances to boom this week against the Titans, whose defense has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. He could end up being everything we hoped Doubs would be during the preseason.
RB A.J. Dillon
Entering the year, hopes were high for Dillon, who finished as the RB20 in half-PPR in 2021. I thought he would see a healthy share of targets with Adams off to Las Vegas.
That has not been the case, however, and Dillon has been largely disappointing. He logged another underwhelming game in Week 10 against the Cowboys. He rushed 13 times for 65 yards and finished as the RB32 in half-PPR scoring. Meanwhile, Aaron Jones recorded 24 rushes for 138 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the RB2 for the week.
Verdict: Sit. Dillon is a low-upside option in a brutal matchup this week. He has not broken double-digit fantasy points or finished inside the top 24 since Week 1 in Minnesota. Dillon is the RB40 through 10 weeks and is the clear No. 2 to Jones. He could definitely struggle against Tennessee's No. 1-ranked run defense, according to rush DVOA. The Titans are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year and have already shut down the Buffalo, Indianapolis, Washington, Kansas City and Denver backfields.