The Bengals-Titans showdown that kicks things off on Saturday is one of the most interesting of the second round of the playoffs, at least from a DFS perspective. Cincinnati seemingly has no shortage of high-ceiling stars, while Tennessee’s offense could go back to being a one-man show with the expected return of rushing champ Derrick Henry. Of course, experienced daily fantasy players know you need to take some chances to win big, so our FanDuel single-game lineup features a few high-priced stars and a couple sleepers no one is talking about.
Here are the key scoring settings for FanDuel single-game contests: The point total for the “MVP” is multiplied by 1.5, but he doesn’t cost any additional money like the “Captain” in DraftKings Showdown contests. FanDuel’s default scoring is half-point PPR and four-point passing TDs, and there are no bonuses for 100/300-yard games like on DraftKings.
MORE FD SINGLE GAME: How to win a FanDuel single-game contest
FanDuel Single-Game DFS Picks: Bengals vs. Titans
$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team.
MVP: (1.5x points): RB Derrick Henry, Titans ($16,000)
If Henry is playing — even after an extended absence because of a foot injury — he can have a monster game. Obviously, there’s risk here, as he could see fewer carries than normal or, even worse, aggravate the injury early on, but we’ll take our chances. The nice thing about picking Henry is the Titans usually stick with the run even if they fall behind early, so Henry should get at least 15 carries as long as he’s healthy. Even in a mediocre matchup like this, that’s enough for him to do damage.
FLEX: QB Joe Burrow, Bengals ($16,500)
Burrow is playing at an extremely high level right now, and despite his offensive line’s inability to protect him — something that could be a real issue in this game — he should still put up numbers against Tennessee’s 25th-ranked pass defense. Burrow is also an effective scrambler, something he hasn’t showcased much at all this year, but with Tennessee’s strong pass rush likely to flush him out of the pocket at least a few times, we’re hoping for some points on the ground, too. Put it all together, and Burrow’s worth his high price.
FLEX: WR Tee Higgins, Bengals ($11,000)
Given Tennessee’s struggles against WRs this year, we had to take one of Cincinnati’s pass-catchers to stack with Burrow. Because we’re using Henry, we couldn’t afford Ja’Marr Chase, so Higgins is the obvious pivot. Coming off his worst game of the season (one catch, 10 yards), we’re hoping other DFS players are fading the dangerous wideout, who is just as capable of a monster game as Chase. Higgins’ game log from Weeks 12-16 prove that, as he went over 113 yards four times and scored four total TDs in that span.
FLEX: K Evan McPherson, Bengals ($9,500)
Even though we have Burrow and Higgins, we think Tennessee’s defense can hold up better than expected in this game. That opens the door for McPherson to get several scoring chances. He’s averaged over three FG attempts in his past five games, including four in last week’s playoff win. McPherson was also nine-for-11 on kicks from 50-plus yards this year, so distance is not an issue.
FLEX: TE Geoff Swaim, Titans, ($7,000)
Cincinnati has struggled against TEs all season, so we wanted one of Anthony Firkser or Swaim in this lineup. We opted for Swaim, who isn’t necessarily the top passing option but is ultimately on the field more by a wide margin (71 percent of snaps in Week 18 compared to 34 percent for Firkser). This is a TD-or-bust play, but when you pay up for Henry and Burrow, you have to sacrifice somewhere.