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Tennessee Titans – 2019 A Look Inside

Contributions from Joshua Hudson, Chris Molina, Chris Tyler, & Joe Zollo
There’s a level of waiting involved with the Titans 2019 Draft class. First round pick Jeffery Simmons suffered a torn ACL last season and isn’t likely to be ready for action until October or November. But when healthy, Simmons has the makings of a top Defensive Tackle in the league. Second round pick A.J. Brown is my favorite receiver in this draft class, I just wish he landed on a different team. The Titans offense is run, run, third down pass to Corey Davis. It’s vanilla. And not the good kind that’s a shake with whipped cream and a cherry on top. That said, maybe a new QB comes into the fold in 2020 and makes Brown the superstar he was destined to be. Or not, because HC Mike Vrabel is vanilla. And not the good kind that’s a shake… oh, you get it. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I remember being a huge fan of Marcus Mariota coming out of college. I also remember the cycle of offensive coordinators that have moved in and out of the Titans locker room over Mariota’s career. Maybe that has something to do with how ineffective Mariota has been over his career. Or maybe I’m a horrible judge of quarterback play. Who knows which is right. That said, this offense will go where Derrick Henry takes them. If Titans fans were a guy, Henry would be the girl who’s been stringing him on for years, giving him just enough to make him think something will happen, but then nothing ever does. The ultimate tease. And yet, everyone thinks this is the year. Are those wedding bells in the background? For every fantasy owner’s sake, I sure as hell hope so. Corey Davis is another mega-talented player buried by the blandness of the offense. The only thing to love with Davis is that he gobbles up more than 25% of the team’s targets. It’s FLEX-worthy production, but hardly a consistent option. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I don’t know how many people spend their time thinking about who has potential fantasy upside on the Tennessee Titans. They were the twenty-seventh ranked scoring offense in 2018, thirty-first in pass attempts, and twenty-fifth in total yards per game. The reason they weren’t closer to last in every category? Something clicked with Derick Henry and the running game in the second half of the season, and they took off. However, this isn’t about the Tennessee Titans and their trust fall. It’s about their potential upside. There is one forgotten man on this offense that is the perfect candidate for the job, and that is Delanie Walker. Delanie Walker is currently going at the end of the twelfth round, as TE13, in Sleeper mock drafts. He broke his ankle last year in week one, so it goes without saying that he missed the rest of the year. That’s why he’s the forgotten man on this offense. Take advantage of this. The three years prior (2015-2017), Delanie Walker had over 100 targets, averaged 78 receptions, 898 yards, and five touchdowns. That was good for the TE3, TE4, and TE5 during those three years, and he was TE9 in Week one of 2018. The ADP of TE5 this year is going at the top of the sixth round. That means selecting Walker can potentially add seven rounds of value to your team by stealing a perennial top five TE at the end of the twelfth round. Don’t hear what I’m not saying, here. I am not saying Delanie Walker will be top five TE in 2019. I am not even saying Walker will for sure be fantasy relevant after thet broken ankle he suffered last season. Remember, this is a fantasy upside article. What I am saying is if you punt the position, there is top five upside to be had at the end of the twelfth round. And his name is Delanie Walker. – Chris Molina
I was so hopeful for Corey Davis heading into 2018 (as was Josh), but he could not have disappointed any more than he did. 65 receptions for 891 yards and four touchdowns does not seem like the worst stat line in the world until you see who it is. Davis was a Top Five pick who was expected to produce immediately. He showed flashes in year one, then could not produce at all in year two. A lot of this stems from Marcus Mariota and a poor coaching staff, but Davis should still be eclipsing 1,000 yards with ease. He had just two games over 100 yards and only four games over 60 yards. Davis is a number one receiver who should consistently find targets and receptions with his 6’3″ frame and his blazing fast straight line speed. Currently, Davis’ ADP is WR35, slotting him in as a WR4. I would say this is a fair spot for him due to the major upside he has if the offense ever decides to throw the football. A WR4 on most teams is the first guy off the bench if there is a bad match-up or injury and, for me at least, I don’t want Davis being that guy. There are guys around his ADP like Sterling Shepard and Dante Pettis who I would much rather have as my WR4 due to the targets Shepard will receive and Pettis’ better QB situation. At the end of the day, Davis will be drafted too high in some leagues. Just don’t be the guy who falls for the trap of an unbelievable talent in a sub-par offense. – Joe Zollo
215 attempts. 1,059 yards. 12 touchdowns. 4.9 yards per carry. 4.21 yards after first contact per carry. 30 runs of more than 10 yards. Second in the league with 905 yards gained after First contact. Tied for the league lead with 45 forced missed tackles on rushes. A fine season for a running back, it was. But are you ready to trust Derrick Henry after his “breakout” 2018? The small sample numbers say yes, yes you should. Over the final four weeks of last season, the Titans went 3-1 and ran Henry 87 times for 585 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry, 5.74 yards after first contact per carry (499 yards), and forced 24 missed tackles on rushes. And all of three targets for three receptions. It’s safe to say that Henry won’t be a top five fantasy running back in PPR leagues as he’d need to top 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns to approach it. But his rushing? Oh, his rushing ability makes him a desirable RB2 when rounds three and four come a callin’. In games the Titans ran Henry more than 15 times, they were 5-1. The idea of trusting Henry lies in that stat. If Mike Vrabel wants to get the Titans back to the playoffs, leaning on Henry and the running game (and playing good defense) is the way to get them there. To me, he’s no better than an RB2, which is fine because that’s where he’s currently being drafted (RB15 in Sleeper mock drafts). His lack of pass-catching prowess (all Dion Lewis, all the time) leaves much to be desired for Henry. It may not always be pretty with his lack of consistency considering his first three years in the league and the fact that the Titans’ new offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, has never called plays before, let alone been an OC before. How will he call games? Will he instantly react to game flow or be stubborn and bludgeon defenses with Henry if the Titans are losing by 28? There are a lot of unknowns, but just know that by season’s end, you’re getting a top 20 RB, which is what Henry costs on Draft Day. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I believe Marcus Mariota has finally received a WR2 in A.J. Brown. In college, Brown gained immortality as Ole Miss’s leading receiver with 2,984 yards and that is including his shared time with stud wideout D.K. Metcalf. Brown has good size at 6’0’’ 226 pounds and some of the best hands in this class. Over the past few seasons, Mariota has had some lackluster WR2s: Cam Batson, Tajae Sharpe, Darius Jennings, and Taywan Taylor. Unlike them, Brown is a difference maker across all aspects of the field. Brown will beat you when playing man coverage, and when he finds the pocket in zone coverage, he’ll find six. Lastly, he’s paired with Corey Davis, who had  almost 900 yards receiving last year and teams will have to cover both talents. I had A.J. Brown as my number three receiver for a reason. If the Titans ever learn to throw the ball consistently, Brown will make the Titans’ front office feel dumb for wasting all that money on Adam Humphries. – Chris Tyler
The only reason Adam Humphries falls to a sleeper is his current ADP of WR71. Humphries signed with arguably one of the worst passing offenses in the league and a team that sends wide receivers to fantasy hell. We all know Humphries is a killer in the slot with good route running skills and solid hands making him a viable option in PPR leagues. With his current stock of being drafted as a WR8, Humphries is going in the later rounds of drafts, if not undrafted. As much as I hate his situation, there are definitely worse options out there. They did not bring this guy in just to be a decoy or “eye candy,” as one might call it. He will be there to take some of the pressure off Corey Davis and the running game as a whole. Tennessee did not have a consistent threat in the short field or across the middle in 2018, and Humphries can be that guy for them. Humphries has the ability to be a WR3 in fantasy football, which is why I have him as my sleeper, but please be aware that this Titans offense is legitimate garbage with a defensive minded head coach who loves to run the football. You have been warned. – Joe Zollo
I would bet a lot of money that not many people know who Jurrell Casey is. If you aren’t a Titans fan or a die hard NFL fan (like myself), this name probably means nothing to you, but he is consistently one of the best defensive tackles in the game. At 6’1 and 305 pounds, Casey is somewhat undersized but can produce like a Pro Bowler. Casey finished DL13 last season with 121 points, and the best thing about this guy is you can count on him to always be on the field. In his nine seasons with the Titans, he has only missed three games. As good as it is to have someone who can produce at a high level, it is also crucial they stay on the field and you can always count on Casey to be producing at a high level while never being worried of having to start your backup. Note: Kevin Byard should not be targeted due to his big play ability. It sounds backwards, but he had roughly the same amount of tackles with more sacks in 2018 than he did in 2017, yet he scored more in 2017 than he did in 2018 due to his turnovers. He had 10 turnovers in 2017 compared to just four in 2018. This caused his total points scored to be 18 points higher in 2017 than in 2018. It may not seem like a big difference, but he finished DB5 in 2017 compared to DB17 in 2018. He can be a viable backup but just know many of his points come from turnovers. – Joe Zollo