While Dexter McCluster is technically listed as a WR on the Tennessee Titans, the common belief is that he will also be utilized often as a RB as he has been in the past. His flexible position designation makes him an interesting player for fantasy purposes. While McCluster has had a fairly pedestrian career and has yet to reliably contribute from a fantasy football standpoint, he may be worth a late-round flier in 2014.
McCluster has played in the NFL for four years now and has steadily increased both his total receptions and receiving yards with each passing season. While he has a smaller frame at 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, McCluster has found success as a RB when given the opportunity. When Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in 2011, McCluster rushed for 516 yards that season while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Now in Tennessee, he may have the biggest opportunity yet of his career. While Bishop Sankey or Shonn Greene figures to be the primary RB for the Titans, new head coach Ken Whisenhunt is no stranger to utilizing multiple backs. While Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 2013, Ryan Mathews rushed for 1,200 yards and six TDs.
However, he also used Danny Woodhead in tandem with Mathews. Woodhead finished the year with 400 rushing yards and two rushing TDs, as well as 600 receiving yards and six TD receptions. McCluster has the potential to serve in the same role as Whisenhunt’s new pass-catching RB in Tennessee and produce similar stats in 2014.
While he has opportunity, McCluster has never seen more than 160 offensive touches in a single season. He is still unproven, and there is some risk there. First, there are no assurances that his production will double just because his touches may. Second, while McCluster has managed to stay relatively healthy thus far in his career, his durability in the face of more touches per game is uncertain due to his smaller build.
Moreover, McCluster is currently listed on Yahoo as a RB and ESPN as a WR. His value is much higher when he is listed as both a RB and a WR, as drafting him would allow more flexibility as a bye-week fill-in in both roster spots. Keep an eye on how McCluster is listed on your league site’s fantasy platform as draft time approaches.
McCluster has the potential to reach 1,000 combined yards for the first time in his career in 2014. If Whisenhunt does use him effectively as he did Woodhead, and McCluster can adjust to his larger role in the offense, he could even end the year with close to double-digit TDs and is worth drafting in the late rounds.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 15
Auction Value: $0