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Tennessee Titans: 2014 Fantasy Football Analysis & Team Outlook


 

Tennessee Titans Offseason Changes

Offseason Acquisitions – RB Dexter McCluster

No Longer on the Roster – RB Chris Johnson, WR Kenny Britt

Coaching Changes – New Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt, New Offensive Coordinator Jason Michael

Sankey, Sankey, Sankey. That’s all everyone seems to be talking about whenever the Tennessee Titans are mentioned during a fantasy football discussion. Yes, newly drafted Bishop Sankey is this year’s exciting young running back who everyone will be clamoring to draft thanks to his clear opportunity at being the number one guy for the Titans. While Sankey isn’t the only player worth mentioning on the Titans, he is certainly the most exciting and intriguing for fantasy purposes so let’s get through those other chaps fairly quickly shall we?

Check out all of our 2014 fantasy football team outlooks here

 

Tennessee Titans Quarterbacks

By Johnathon Shell (crash8130) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIt seems as if Jake Locker has been on the border of being an NFL starter for quite some time now, yet here we sit in 2014 where he is seemingly the only true option the Titans have. Locker isn’t all that bad he’s just nowhere close to being a fantasy starter and his track record with health doesn’t help either. New Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt has had success with quarterbacks and number one wide receivers in the past so that should boost Locker up a bit but nothing that would make substantial fantasy noise.

His real value seems to be attached to a wide receiver we’ll get to in a bit so unless you’re in a two-quarterback league and need to roster someone for a bye, Locker can be completely ignored. It was a little surprising to see the Titans draft quarterback Zach Mettenberger out of LSU and not try their luck with someone earlier in the draft but it appears they still believe in Locker. Again, Locker isn’t terrible he’s just not worth a look in fantasy.

 

Tennessee Titans Wide Receivers

Rotoballer-Fantasy-Football-Advice-Analysis-Kendall-WrightWe have finally reached the end of the irrational Kenny Britt hype that once plagued the Titans receiving corps. In it’s place we have a much more tempered and fitting expectation for one Kendall Wright. During his second year with the Titans in 2013, Wright showed promise as a young receiver, finishing the season with 1,079 yards on 140 targets. Those numbers put Wright in the top 20 in both categories, which many would find surprising. Wright is still improving as a pass catcher so it’s not crazy to expect both of those numbers to increase despite the instability at quarterback.

Nate Washingon, whom we’ve seen all there is to see of, won't be competition for Kendall Wright who should be viewed as a low-end WR/2 or high-end WR3, and his ranking demonstrates that. Second year receiver Justin Hunter is, however, a big talent (he's 6'4") who will threaten some of Wright's redzone upside.  Wright is undersized at 5'10", so Hunter, who could take a big step forward this year, is a very nice wide receiver sleeper, especially for his TD upside considering he's the only oversized target on the Titans.

The Wisenhunt factor should benefit Wright and Hunter more than it does Locker given the discrepancies in talent. Wisenhunt is a great offensive mind who knows when and where to utilize the weapons available to him so Wright and Hunter should be the primary benefactors. Wright will be an every week WR in PPR leagues, and Hunter is a great bye-week fill in, and both have higher ceilings than most realize.

 

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Tennessee Titans Running Backs

Bishop SankeyIf you’re reading a Tennessee Titans team preview, chances are this is the section you’re REALLY interested in. Yes, Bishop Sankey was the first running back taken in the 2014 NFL draft, which usually means something. Yes, we are coming off a historic year where four rookie running backs became fantasy stars in Eddie Lacy, Le’Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard, and Zac Stacy. Yes, former starter Chris Johnson is now a New York Jet so the opportunity is impossible to ignore. Yes, Shonn Greene is still on the team and is indeed still Shonn Green.

All of these things are 100% true but let’s not get carried away here. Bishop Sankey is still a rookie and should be treated as such. We have absolutely no idea how good Sankey is going to be in the NFL and anyone telling you otherwise is fooling you. No one really knows which rookies will be good and which will fall flat on their face. The big thing for Sankey is that aforementioned opportunity attached to the team that drafted him except it’s actually kind of inaccurate.

When Ken Wisenhunt was the offensive coordinator for San Diego, he utilized more than one running back effectively as evident by the success of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead. Reports out of camp indicate that despite Sankey being given the most opportunity when it comes to carries, the Titans will still implore a running back by committee approach. I know what you’re thinking “but it’s Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster…” and you’d be correct. That’s exactly who we’re talking about but it kind of doesn’t matter. Unless Sankey completely blows everybody away in the first quarter of the season, a coach’s game plan to utilize a committee approach is just that, the game plan. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about the talent of the players included in said committee once it’s already been implemented.

The scary part about this is that it means Shonn Greene might actually be useful as a goal line back in 2014. That’s a terrifying thought but it means Greene sorta-kinda has to be owned in most leagues. Again, we don’t know how good Sankey will be so if he struggles we’re looking at a Greene/McCluster timeshare here. In a league where so many running backs fail, become injured, or are flat out useless, any perceived starter is worth being on a roster.

Personally, I’m likely not to own Bishop Sankey on any of my fantasy teams this year all due to his hype. He’s the only rookie running back with true pre-season hype, which will result in having to take him way earlier than necessary in order to secure him. By the time real drafts start rolling around, Sankey’s value will have likely gone up to about the fifth round.  No thanks; I’ll stick to what I know.  I would much rather miss on a guy’s rookie season because I took someone safe than risk get burned purely due to upside.

 

Tennessee Titans Rookies & Tight Ends

delanie-walker-waiver-wire-tight-endsDelanie Walker continues to be a borderline fantasy sleeper with a ranking in the early teens, but is undersized for a tight end. Tight end is the flakiest position in all of fantasy so it wouldn’t really surprise anyone if Walker ended up in the top 10 by the end of the season, jumping the likes of Charles Clay and Martellus Bennett. Walker is an interesting name to keep an eye on as the season progresses and is certainly worth stashing as you prepare for your starting tight end’s bye week. As for rookies, have we talked about Sankey yet?

So basically the moral of the story in Tennessee is to chill out with the Bishop Sankey Brigade. It’s always exciting when a rookie is perceived to have such clear opportunity to succeed except it’s slightly misguided in this particular case. Could Sankey end up as a useful back on his own one day? Sure he can. But until that day comes there’s no use in over drafting the guy.  Grab him in a keeper or dynasty league and hope for the best but beyond that let someone else take the gamble in a standard league.