Fantasy Football 2013: Fantasy 32; Tennessee Titans
We wrap up the AFC South in this Fantasy 32 series with the Tennessee Titans. It’s pretty obvious who the most relevant fantasy player is on this unit is, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see some under the radar guys step up and make a name for themselves in fantasy land. Well, let’s not waste any time. Here is the fantasy good and bad of the Titans.
25-year old Jake Locker has all the upside in the world. He’s big (6’3″, 234 lbs), fast (4.59 speed) and has one of the stronger young arms out there. From a fantasy perspective, we are enticed by the more mobile quarterbacks and that’s exactly what Locker is. Of course, with that mobility, comes injury risk. Locker has dealt with shoulder issues which has kept him off the field for some time. Also, he is incredibly inaccurate. His career completion percentage is currently at 55.5% and was never a very accurate passer in college. Until he works on those issues, he’ll never take that next step as a professional quarterback, but believe me, there is upside here. He does have solid weapons (if they can stay healthy), but I’m not convinced that he will limit his interceptions. In 11 starts last season, Locker threw 11 interceptions and had four multi-interception contests. Like I said, he is still young and has plenty of room to grow, but I’m not convinced it will be this year, making him mainly a bye week filler for fantasy owners. Dynasty, however, perhaps he lands on my radar.
Say what you want about Chris Johnson, but in my eyes, he is still a top-15 fantasy rusher. Look, I can certainly understand why owners have had it with the 27-year old talent. Three weeks into the 2012 season, Johnson had a whopping 108 yards from scrimmage. Yikes! Still, he came on a little bit and ended up with the 12th-most fantasy points among running backs. Sure, that’s fine and all, but when you consider this guy rushed for 2,006 yards back in 2009 and was a top-three fantasy runner, you’d expect more out of him. However, I’m not throwing in the towel on Johnson’s tremendous upside. First, the Titans have upgraded the offensive line position, signing Andy Levitre and drafting Chance Wormack. Levitre has played in 64 of 64 games in his career and Wormack is a huge body to create running holes for Johnson. Evan Silva from RotoWorld ranked this offensive line the tenth best in football, so Johnson can’t really blame his protection anymore. There is no question that Johnson is one of the fastest backs in the league, but too often he chooses to bounce it outside, rather than rushing straight up the gut. Sure, his speed allows him to hit that home run, as he rushed for gains of 80, 83 and 94 last year. Considering the Titans added Shonn Greene, Johnson may have to hit the home run in order to score touchdowns. He only scored six times last season, but three of them came from 80 yards or more. Greene, as bad as he is, is a good short yardage back and I’d expect him to vulture some touchdowns from Johnson. Despite being so “bad” lately, he has still yet to go a season without rushing for at least 1,000 yards and four touchdowns. Don’t suddenly forget about this guy come draft day.
I truly believe Kenny Britt would be a top-fifteen talent at the wide receiver position if he can stay on the field. That has been the biggest concern for the still only 24-year old. Just four years into his career, Britt has dealt with serious knee injuries, tearing his ACL and MCL, as well as his meniscus. I am praying that this guy can stay on the field because he has the combination of size and speed to create headaches for opposing corners. Remember, back in 2011 this guy started off the season as one of the best fantasy wideouts, posting 270 yards and three touchdowns over his first two games, only to go down with that ACL injury. There is a lot of upside here. If the Titans don’t pound the rock in the red zone, expect Britt to get the look as the big target. Also, this is a contract year for Britt, and considering his injury woes, the Titans certainly won’t hesitate to let him walk if he doesn’t produce this year. Perhaps some added incentive? Also, many people are high on second year wideout Kendall Wright this year. He has some terrific athleticism and was targeted a healthy 104 times last season. The concern is that even the games where he caught double digit balls, he never eclipsed 80 yards receiving in a game last season. Consider him a sleeper, but only if Locker can hit him frequently.
Insert Delanie Walker. The Titans let Jared Cook go via free agency and brought in the former 49er Walker. He is a tremendous blocker (which will also help CJ2K) and improved in the receiving aspect towards the end of last season. With only 21 catches, Walker managed to find the end zone three times, but dropped seven passes. I think he will continue to adjust to more of an every down tight end with Tennessee and will be an important piece to the puzzle. I have him ranked 22nd among tight ends and consider him a backup for now.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.