We’re often surprised by the product an unappealing Thursday Night Football matchup ultimately delivers. Cross your fingers that the Week 7 opener is one of those instances. Not only are both the Broncos and Browns dealing with some key injuries, but the forecast is also calling for damp, blustery conditions. Teddy Bridgewater is expected to play in spite of nursing a foot injury. However, Cleveland will be without Baker Mayfield, who will be sidelined with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Time will tell how much time Baker will miss, but Case Keenum will step in for as long as he’s needed — and step into the role as the MVP for FanDuel single-game DFS lineup.
Here are the important settings to know 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: Broncos vs. Browns
$60,000 budget, need at least one player from each team
MVP (1.5x points): QB Case Keenum, Browns ($5,000)
The thing we like the most about Keenum is he should be able to hit the ground running thanks to his experience in head coach Kevin Stefanski’s offensive scheme. The Browns will be down a number of key skill players, but there is still enough talent at Keenum’s disposal for him to put up nice numbers. Even though the Browns run more than they pass, we think Keenum can deliver as the MVP in this spot.
MORE TNF: DK Showdown lineup | Start ’em, sit ’em (link coming soon)
FLEX: WR Courtland Sutton, Broncos ($12,500)
Sutton isn’t in an ideal spot thanks to Bridgewater’s foot injury, but who is in an ideal spot for this one? Sutton has surpassed 20 FanDuel points on two occasions and missed a third by 0.6 points. This might not be a scenario in which we’re likely to see Sutton’s ceiling, but it doesn’t require a vivid imagination to envision Sutton leading all players in targets on Thursday. As long as he’s in store for the volume, we’ll roll the dice on his production.
FLEX: RB D’Ernest Johnson, Browns ($10,000)
Johnson is next in line to handle rushing duties in the wake of Nick Chubb’s and Kareem Hunt’s calf injuries. In his one 2020 game with an expanded workload, Johnson rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries. Rookie Demetric Felton will likely work into the passing game, but with the amount the Browns run the football, Johnson should have an opportunity to stretch his legs and get into a rhythm on the ground.
FLEX: TE Noah Fant, Broncos ($9,500)
Fant continues to be a key piece of the offense. His targets (42) and receptions (30) rank second on the team, and he’s seen double-digit looks twice. We’d love to see his 9.1-yards/catch average increase, but he’s scored in three separate games. On any given day, Fant is a candidate to see high volume and serve as a priority in the red zone.
FLEX: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns ($8,500)
In addition to the absences of their top two running backs, the Browns could ultimately sit — or at least limit — Odell Beckham Jr., who’s dealing with a Grade 3 shoulder sprain. Jarvis Landry (knee) could be activated and back on the field Thursday night, but we’re calling on Peoples-Jones for his big-play ability, particularly in FanDuel’s half-point PPR scoring format. Peoples-Jones has just 15 targets on the season, but he’s caught 13 for an average of 17.5 yards. The vast majority of those targets (11) arrived over the past two weeks, and he could be in store for an uptick in volume given the state of the Browns’ offense.