Tennessee Titans 2013 Team Preview
July 22, 2013 | Chet
Welcome to our 2013 Tennessee Titans Team Preview. To get a better understanding of what each NFL team might be up to this season we are asking local team insiders to answer a few questions for us. We talked to Zach Law, the official interviewer to the fantasy football pundits. You can check him out all over the webs, but Zach On Sports is his home base. And be sure to follow him on the Twitter hereish @Zach_Law
1. Kenny Britt appears to be healthy, out of trouble and he is in a contract year. For a talent like his it seems he should be ready to roll, but will he Plaxico Burress himself this season?
Kenny Britt is a tempting fantasy option. Four years into his career, he’s just turning 25 in the first month of the season. Before last year’s post-ACL effort, he averaged 17.5 yards a catch. Because of nagging injuries and the inability to avoid the fuzz when he’s in New Jersey, he’s never “put it all together”. Now that he’s in a contract year, it could happen. 60/1000/10 is possible, but so is 42/600/5 in 12 games due to a hamstring injury. FFC has him as the WR37, and I might take him as a WR4. Britt’s ADP is down from last year, so you are getting the injury and Tennessee Titan discount. This does not apply at the movies.
2. Jake Locker has plenty of ability, both with his arm and legs, but can’t seem to put the ball where it should be. Do you feel he will turn things around this year?
He’s the key to the whole enterprise. I’m a little unnerved by the reports on him this offseason, that focus on how everyone in the building thinks he’s great and that he’s stepping up as a leader, but his play on the field is getting less commentary. He wears the same number as Vince Young but has all of the intangibles that Young lacked, like never throwing his shoulder pads into the stands. Where we’re not sure yet is in tangible land, like consistently throwing the ball into receivers’ hands and not empty spots on the turf. It’s his first complete offseason as the unquestioned starter, and he played last season with a shoulder separation. In fantasy terms, he’s not even listed by FFC, which means you can get him as a QB3 and if you draft that sort of thing, he does have that upside with the running ability. As a football writer, I’m required to put “zone read” in here somewhere.
3. Chris Johnson put up #2 fantasy running back numbers last season overall, but was terribly inconsistent. Do you believe the upgraded line helps him find his consistency again?
Consistency, thy name is not CJFUk. Let me know if you can use that nickname in your family publication. There’s a lot of talk about Shonn Greene “stealing” touchdowns from Chris Johnson. There haven’t been that many TDs to steal, and CJ only had one touchdown from within ten yards last year. Unlike last year, his value is on par with his potential this season. He hasn’t missed a game in his career and has 1000 rushing yards in five straight seasons. He’ll probably get more involved in the passing game, seeing as Shonn Greene has a Michael Turner-esque receiving vibe. Talking OL, Chris Johnson averaged 4.5 yards a carry last year and the other so-called RBs on the team averaged 2.2 yards a carry.
4. The Titans have some young talent at the wide receiver position. Do you see any one player stepping up enough to be fantasy relevant?
There seems to be an either-or mentality in fantasy football with teammates. While Kenny Britt’s ADP has been going up, Kendall Wright’s is going in the other direction. Wright led the team with 64 catches last year. The team tried to force-feed him the ball with a lot of screens and slants. Wright only started five games last year, so he should easily top his 2012 numbers and show more downfield ability. You can get a 70-catch guy as a late WR5. I think of Justin Hunter as Britt’s eventual replacement, and probably will have a decent week or two in which desperate fantasy owners will pick him up off waivers, only to see him get the goose egg the following week. Hunter’s career parallels Britt’s in a way. Both guys tore their ACL in the third game of the 2011 season and have yet to show that they have recovered.
5. Do you have any dark horse fantasy candidates that could step up this season with a little luck or injury or both?
I’m intrigued by tight end Taylor Thompson. He was a high school TE, but when he went to SMU they pulled the TE rug out from under him and he moved to defensive end. Unlike Jared Cook, you don’t automatically yell “pass!” when he’s on the field. Delanie Walker is a lot better as a football player than a fantasy commodity, and unless a 40-catch season excites you, stay away. The Titans have so much talent at WR that there might not be a true fantasy stud on the roster. Yep, the Titans are probably going to be relatively boring on the field and as a fantasy unit.