The Tennessee Titans are in desperate need of a win after dropping three straight games following a 3-1 start to the year. In the eyes of fantasy football players, the hope is that running back Dion Lewis can help fuel that turnaround. The Titans had their bye last week after a trip to London resulted in a 20-19 loss on a missed 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Next up for the team is a primetime matchup on Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys on the road. Lewis is coming off his best game of the season, though, as he totaled 91 rushing yards and six receptions for 64 receiving yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7. If the 28-year-old is able to remain involved as a high-volume pass-catcher, he’ll have plenty of fantasy appeal, but there’s obvious risk involved.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the Week 9 situation for Lewis and break down the fantasy start-sit debate for the Titans back.
Should You Start or Sit Dion Lewis?
This week features the most teams on bye (six) to this point in the season, so the start-sit debate is somewhat tougher. There are going to be quite a few holes in fantasy lineups which need to be filled, so players like Lewis who carry upside but also have risk will come into play.
One positive for Lewis is that he’s consistently out-snapped backfield mate Derrick Henry in each game since Week 4, including 45-24 last game, per Football Outsiders. It’s apparent the coaching staff prefers Lewis on the field at this point, which should bode well for his touches and opportunity to provide a reasonably high floor and solid ceiling for fantasy owners.
While the matchup with the Cowboys isn’t ideal, it could certainly be worse. Dallas has allowed just 506 rushing yards on 146 carries (3.5 yards per carry) with three touchdowns. On the bright side, they’ve also given up 46 receptions for 344 yards and one score to opposing running backs. With Lewis’ upside as a pass-catcher and the Cowboys’ ability to give up catches and yards through the air to backs, it puts him in play as a viable option.
Lewis has the second most targets (33) and receptions (29) on the Titans roster this season. If you’re in a point-per-reception league and are dealing with the bye-week blues, I’m fine using him in 12-team leagues or larger. I’d also use him in non-PPR leagues with 14 teams or more.