Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Broncos vs Browns

Max Staley
Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns.
Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns. / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

Once a preseason juggernaut, the Cleveland Browns are now one of the most banged up teams in football. Case Keenum will be starting in place of Baker Mayfield, and he'll be playing behind a patch-work offensive line and without both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Even Odell Beckham Jr. is in danger of missing this one.

Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks

Still, Cleveland is listed as a 1-point favorite over the Denver Broncos ahead of this Thursday Night Football clash, per FanDuel Sportsbook. If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 7 game.

D'Ernest Johnson Fantasy

Start D'Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: D'Ernest Johnson is a powerful between-the-tackles runner, so he'll be in line to take over the Nick Chubb role, as Cleveland's RB1 is out with a calf injury. The Browns were already one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league while Mayfield was healthy, so expect Cleveland to lean on the run game rather than Keenum tonight. This Broncos defense hasn't lived up to expectations, as a bottom-10 unit in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA and below-average in rush-defense DVOA. Johnson should have a nice mix of volume and efficiency tonight.

Tim Patrick Fantasy

Start Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos: Tim Patrick has been a rock-solid fantasy contributor this season, putting up at least 12.5 PPR points in five of his six games. He looked poised to take a hit, as Jerry Jeudy was set to return to the lineup, but Jeudy wasn't able suit up tonight. Patrick should be his usual, solid self against a defense giving up above-average fantasy production to opposing WRs.

Case Keenum Fantasy

Sit Case Keenum, QB, Cleveland Browns: With six teams (and four top-10 fantasy QBs) on bye this week, fantasy managers might be looking to Case Keenum as a fill-in option. They'd be better off looking elsewhere. Keenum is unlikely to find much success behind a banged-up offensive line, especially without key playmakers in Hunt, Chubb and (likely) Odell Beckham Jr. To make matters worse, Denver has held opposing QBs to bottom-three fantasy production this season.

Melvin Gordon Fantasy

Sit Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos: Both Broncos' running backs look like players to avoid tonight. The Browns have been stout against the run, sporting the league's third-best rush defense by DVOA while surrendering the second-fewest PPR points to opposing backs. Considering both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams are stuck in a timeshare, neither will see enough volume to make up for the likely dip in efficiency.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.