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Fantasy Football Dynasty Price Check - Tyjae Spears

Tyjae Spears - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Tennessee Titans sophomore-to-be running back Tyjae Spears spent his rookie campaign as a part-time player behind Derrick Henry. However, he was impressive in a handful of key metrics, and the RB1 role could be his in 2024. These things make him an intriguing player in dynasty fantasy football leagues ahead of the 2024 campaign.

The Tulane alum has a new coaching staff and was a third-round pick, so he has a wide range of outcomes moving forward. In this article, we'll analyze his college profile, rookie performance, and dynasty value.

Should you be buying, selling, or holding Spears this offseason? Let's dive in.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Tyjae Spears Prospect Profile

Spears played in just eight games between his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulane, as his second year was cut short due to a season-ending meniscus injury. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry on 37 attempts before the misfortune.

As a redshirt sophomore the following season, Spears racked up 863 rushing yards, nine touchdowns on 129 carries (6.7 YPC), and 145 receiving yards on 19 receptions. He hadn't blossomed into a stud NFL prospect yet, but that 2021 campaign put him on the map.

In 2022, the do-it-all offensive weapons rushed 229 times for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 256 yards and two more scores. His 6.9 yards per carry scored in the 91st percentile among all running back prospects in the PlayerProfiler.com database.

He was named the 2022 AAC Offensive Player of the Year and cemented himself as a fringe day-two draft prospect.

 

Tyjae Spears Rookie Season Review

There were likely teams that crossed Spears off their draft boards after reports that he doesn't have an ACL in one of his knees. Nonetheless, the Tennessee Titans selected him with the No. 81 overall pick of the third round. With Derrick Henry on the roster, it was somewhat of a surprising pick, but he has a much different skill set than the former 2,000-yard rusher.

In his debut season, Spears carried 100 times for 453 yards and two touchdowns and caught 52 of his 70 targets for 385 yards and one touchdown. Although he touched the ball 156 fewer times than Henry, he registered a 52.9% snap share, which ranked 29th among running backs. He was trusted to be on the field in obvious passing situations as a receiver and pass blocker. In PPR leagues, that's a valuable role regardless of overall workload.

It's tough to analyze Spears based on his raw stats, but his advanced metrics can offer some insight. Among PlayerProfiler-qualified RBs, the 22-year-old ranked No. 5 in yards created per touch (4.58), No. 5 in breakaway run rate (7.0%), No. 4 in juke rate (26.3%), No. 11 in yards per route run (1.52), and No. 13 in fantasy points per opportunity (0.90).

Despite being Henry's understudy, he posted five weeks of at least RB2 production in PPR leagues, and he flashed his upside that has fantasy gamers excited for his potential expanded role.

 

What is Tyjae Spears Worth In Dynasty Leagues?

According to KeepTradeCut.com's crowdsourced rankings, Spears is being valued as the dynasty RB14. He's placed just behind Rachaad White and Isiah Pacheco, and just ahead of Javonte Williams and Josh Jacobs. This is a fair valuation based on his young age and potential to lead the Tennessee backfield in 2024.

Derrick Henry is expected to play elsewhere in 2024, but Spears must survive the 2024 NFL Draft without a running back of huge consequence being added to the position room. New Titans head coach Brian Callahan utilized Joe Mixon as a workhorse back during his time as the Bengals' offensive coordinator, but Mixon is roughly three inches taller and 20 pounds bigger than Spears. In other words, Spears doesn't have the workhorse profile like Mixon.

Since Callahan hasn't had full control of an offense and personnel groupings until now, Spears' value could skyrocket or plummet based on the NFL Draft and his early-season usage.

 

Tyjae Spears 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Tennessee will surely add depth to the running back room after Henry's likely departure. However, if Spears' competition is a dirt-cheap free agent or day-three rookie in the draft, it shouldn't be a significant negative for his outlook. If the Titans add a big-name player like Saquon Barkley or Josh Jacobs in free agency or draft a top running back prospect such as Jonathon Brooks, Blake Corum, or Audric Estime, Spears is in trouble.

The way the league is trending, it would be surprising if general manager Ran Carthon targets a key running back after taking one in the third round of last year's draft, especially given the team's weaknesses at wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback. For these reasons, the fantasy football community feels a sense of safety in acquiring Spears at his current cost.

Dynasty managers in immediate contention for a championship should feel comfortable sending offers for Spears. At the very least, he should occupy the pass-catching role in Will Levis' offense in 2024. His going price before free agency and the draft is likely a late 2024 or 2025 first-round pick.

Dynasty managers that are rebuilding or are somewhere in between should be more careful, as he's not guaranteed a significant workload into the 2025 season, and his history of knee issues could catch up with him sooner rather than later. He should be viewed as purely a win-now piece, which can be considered the case with most running backs in today's NFL.

If Tennessee's offense can take even a small leap, the Louisiana native has low-end RB1 upside in PPR formats thanks to his pass-catching chops and elusiveness.



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