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Winners Club: Picks, Props for Broncos-Browns and Fantasy Football Lineup Help

Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and Baker Mayfield are all out. So, who do our analysts like to score a touchdown Thursday Night?

(This the "Winners Club" Sports Illustrated's Fantasy and Betting newsletter, which you can get delivered to your inbox every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Click here to subscribe.)

Good morning! We’re at that perfect juncture in October when NBA, NHL, college football and MLB Playoffs all overlap. Ample games are on the docket tonight, so get your screens ready, lineups set and place those bets.

Broncos vs. Browns Betting Preview

Thursday Night Football brings a battle between two 3-3 AFC teams. Injuries on both offenses are the main focus for bettors and fantasy managers with stakes in Cleveland or Denver. SI Betting analysts Jen Piacenti and Frankie Taddeo make the case for their best bets and preview the game.

TNF Touchdown Props: The Broncos and Browns both limp into this prime time battle hampered by injuries. Cleveland is down its top two running backs and quarterback Baker Mayfield, while Denver’s signal caller, Teddy Bridgewater, is questionable. So who’s going to score in this game? Piacenti has the answers.

CLE-DEN Player Props and Trends: SI Sportsbook has the Broncos as a 2.5-point underdog on the road against the Browns, but how has Denver fared against the spread this season? Taddeo answers that and more in his betting breakdown and has three player props for you to follow.


Essential Reading

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: This is a brutal bye week for fantasy stars—the Chargers, Cowboys, Bills and Vikings are all idle. Thankfully, Michael Fabiano has advice on who to plug in and who to keep on the bench during this bleak week.

College Football Picks: Richard Johnson’s composite model hit on Appalachian State against Coastal Carolina Wednesday—the Mountaineers were 5.5-point underdogs at home and won straight up. See what other teams the model likes this weekend and place your bets accordingly.

NFL Week 7 Stat Projections: It must be a day ending in Y, because Derrick Henry is in line for another huge week in Shawn Childs’ latest player projections. Tennessee’s titan hasn’t let us down yet. See how the rest of Childs’ rankings stack up ahead of Thursday night.

NLCS Game 5: The Braves can advance to the World Series with a road win tonight, but the Dodgers are still favored at home. Matt Ehalt broke down the series before it began, and his primer has the analysis you need to know for what could be the final game.

NFL Line Movement: Frankie Taddeo follows the money each week ahead of the weekend’s games. A few road underdogs have shifted to favorites—see which teams bettors are in on and why.

SI Recommends

Latest NBA Spreads: Milwaukee is a road favorite in Miami and Atlanta is giving points to visiting Dallas. Place your bets on SI Sportsbook ahead of a stacked slate of games on Thursday.

si sportsbook

Subscriber Questions

Remember to send in your fantasy lineup questions to, tweet at me @Kkylewood and follow @SI_Fantasy on Twitter to be notified when our analysts do Q&As and live shows to help with those difficult roster decisions.

Question from Dave: Joe Mixon or Demetric Felton at flex?

Answer: Cleveland running back Demetric Felton was one of the top waiver pickups this week with injuries to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt keeping them out of Thursday night’s game. Felton is in line to split work with D’Ernest Johnson for the run-heavy Browns, and he is the superior receiving threat of the two. That being said, Joe Mixon needs to be in your lineup. Baltimore is a favorable matchup and he’s coming off his best rushing outing since the season opener. Don’t overthink this.

Play of the Day and What I’m Watching

The Browns-Broncos game is a fantasy wasteland. Cleveland’s top running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are out and Denver’s backs are up against a fearsome run defense. Still, there’s a cheap DFS contributor who can anchor your squads this week. His name is Courtland Sutton.

The Broncos’ top pass catcher has seen double-digit targets each of the last two weeks and accumulated over 200 yards in that stretch. He caught a touchdown in both games. The Browns’ secondary has allowed huge games against receivers this season—Mike Williams went for 185 yards through the air and Tyreek Hill nearly topped 200. It’s important to note that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is questionable, and if he can’t go that hurts Sutton’s ceiling. Backup Drew Lock started against Baltimore two weeks ago, and Sutton was still the team’s leading receiver against a much better pass defense. Get Sutton in your lineups.


Fandom aside, the rematch between the Suns and Lakers after Phoenix toppled L.A. in the first round of the playoffs intrigues me. Los Angeles remodeled after its early playoff exit while the Suns largely ran it back with the same team that came two games short of winning the Finals. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers get their shot at revenge against Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Suns Friday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The college football schedule is devoid of top-25 matchups this week, but I’m still drawn to an SEC showdown between LSU and No. 12 Ole Miss. The Tigers are fresh off a wacky week in which they beat then-No. 20 Florida as two-touchdown underdogs and announced an agreement to part ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of the season just hours later. The Rebels quite literally escaped Knoxville, Tennessee, last week after a win over the Volunteers brought debris from the crowd raining down on Lane Kiffin and Co. I’ll be tuning in to LSU at Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on CBS.

That's all for today, folks. I'll talk to you again Sunday morning.