Here we go with the Single Game NFL DFS slate for Thursday Night Football of Week 2. Tonight’s matchup is between the Bengals and Browns with Cleveland listed as a six-point home favorite with an over/under of just 43.
We’ll highlight the top picks and best bargains to assemble a cash-inducing lineup. On top of that, the “additional notes” section will feature several tournament selections while adding context to the rest of this slate.
We will be producing these articles for Thursday and Monday primetime matchups every week, so be sure to bookmark the Rotoworld Daily page for those occasions - not to mention all the other fantastic daily fantasy content.
Joe Mixon - RB - Cincinnati (DK: $8,600 FD: $13,000)
Mixon went for 69 yards on 19 carries against the Chargers last week. He only caught one of two targets (2 yards) while failing to reach the end-zone. The fantasy community could be lower on him after that pedestrian 2020 debut, but I believe he’s a safe choice on tonight’s single-game slate. That holds true on both FanDuel and DraftKings for FLEX, CPT, or MVP usage … Mixon was incredible against the Browns last season, ripping off lines of 23-146-1 (8 point loss) and 26-162-2 (10 point win). As you can see, the Bengals established him as much as possible despite the game script in those two outings. I believe we could see something similar tonight. Cleveland allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs last season, and Mixon was a big part of that. He’s substantially cheaper than both quarterbacks on this slate, and I believe the Cincinnati RB should be a big part of your lineup building process.
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Baker Mayfield - QB - Cleveland (DK: $10,200 FD: $15,000)
To be more specific, I like Mayfield more on FanDuel than DraftKings. The salary cap is tighter on DraftKings, as you have to pay 1.5x the salary for a captain. You don’t need to worry about that in the MVP spot for FanDuel ... Despite all of his shortcomings, Mayfield has the highest projection of this slate. The Bengals allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season, and Baker could legitimately take advantage. He also has some rushing potential of 25-30 yards and the outside chance for a score in that department. I’ll be looking towards Mayfield as an MVP candidate over on FanDuel, as he’s more of a FLEX filler (not willing to pay 1.5x salary for CPT) on DraftKings.
Kareem Hunt - RB - Cleveland (DK: $7,400 FD: $9,500)
Hunt is more of a “bargain” over on FanDuel, where his $9,500 price tag is significantly less than the other RBs of this slate: Mixon at $13,000 & Chubb at $13,500. Hunt had three more carries and five more targets than Nick Chubb last week, but some of that can be chalked up to a negative game script against the Ravens. While things should tilt more in Chubb’s favor tonight, we can’t ignore Hunt’s growing role for the Browns. On top of seeing more targets out of the backfield, Hunt was used around the goal-line as well in Week 1. We’ll need to see if that trend continues, but I’m looking towards Kareem > Chubb for a much cheaper salary on FD.
Harrison Bryant - TE - Cleveland (DK: $200 FD: $5,000)
The Browns have placed TE David Njoku on injured reserve. While Austin Hooper will keep his role as TE1 for Cleveland, Harrison Bryant should see the field more. Keep in mind that Njoku went for 3-50-1 in that role before leaving the game last Sunday. Taken from the Rotoworld player blurbs: Kevin Stefanski's Browns ran the second-highest rate of 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) in Week 1, leaving amply opportunity for Bryant to step in for Njoku as a deep league stash for the next three games … Bryant is only $200 on DraftKings (that is not a typo), so he’s a FLEX filler who could help you stack the rest of your lineup.
Joe Burrow (QB - CIN) is difficult to trust for his marked-up salary. I’m really thinking the Bengals will lean heavily on Mixon and the running game, which could leave the rookie QB with a vanilla fantasy line in this low over/under … AJ Green (WR - CIN) is viable through all formats on both sites. He’s a borderline Captain when drafting multiple lineups on DraftKings. Green hauled in five-of-nine targets for 51 yards in a tough matchup against the Chargers last week. Remember, he had a touchdown called back as well, which would’ve changed how most people view him heading into Thursday Night Football. He should have a much easier matchup this time around, so Green is the best way to get exposure to this Cincinnati passing attack.
Tyler Boyd (WR - CIN) and John Ross (WR - CIN) aren’t the most exciting fantasy plays, but they are tournament diversifiers on both DFS sites. They both held a high snap rate last week, and Thursday’s date with the Browns should be easier. Boyd is a leverage play over Green, and Ross is nothing more than a tournament gamble who you hope can utilize his speed to rip a big play or two.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR - CLE) has been maddening for fantasy backers, but he needs to be on your radar tonight. The Bengals allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers last season, and Pro Football Focus has their secondary ranked below average in 2020. On top of that, Jarvis Landry (WR - CLE) will be playing through a hip injury, which could funnel more looks towards OBJ … KhaDarel Hodge (WR - CLE) is a speculative cheap play on DraftKings who would benefit if Landry is limited or on a snap count. Keep him in mind for tournaments.
Gio Bernard (RB - CIN) will handle the receiving work and third-down situations for Cincinnati’s backfield. If the Bengals fall behind in the second-half, Bernard should see more snaps, targets, and overall fantasy production. Correlating him with Nick Chubb on the other side makes sense while building a “game flow stack” that assumes Cleveland will win by a touchdown or two.
This is a low over/under that could be a grind-it-out game. That places Cody Parkey (K- CLE) and Randy Bullock (K - CIN) in fantasy consideration, although their upside is limited in tournaments. Parkey is the better choice of this pair, as the Browns have a higher team total. I wouldn’t mind leaning on him as a value filler to round out my lineup.