The Titans will look to build on their strong postseason performance. I take a look at who will be fantasy relevant on this offense as I break down their roster position by position in my 2020 Fantasy Football Tennessee Titans Preview.
Tennessee started off 2-4 last year before having QB Ryan Tannehill step in and save the season. They finished 9-7, securing a wild card spot where they surprised a lot of people, making it to the AFC conference title game. Their season would be ended there by the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Note: I do not factor Week 17 in last year’s final position ranking since most fantasy leagues are completed by then and some players tend to sit out skewing the numbers.
2020 Fantasy Football Tennessee Titans Preview
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- Ryan Tannehill
- Logan Woodside
- Cole McDonald
Ryan Tannehill is another AFC South quarterback who began last season as the backup and ended it as the starter. He relieved Marcus Mariota of his duties in Week 6 against the Denver Broncos. In his 10 games as a starter, the Titans went 7-3. He was rewarded with a four-year extension worth $118 million, with $91 million guaranteed ($62M guaranteed at signing).
In just 11 games, Tannehill went 201-286 for 2,742 pass yards with 22:6 TD-INT ratio and tacked on 43-185-4 on the ground. He finished the season as QB21, but he was QB3 (23.01 FPPG) from Weeks 7-16 when he took over as the starter. In that stretch, he finished QB13 or worse only twice and turned in five top 6 performances.
Tannehill led the league in passer rating (117.5), yards gained per pass attempt (9.6), and adjusted net yards per pass attempt (8.52). He was also the highest-graded QB in the red zone last season according to Pro Football Focus.
While this is nice to see, the Titans are still are a run-first team so I am not expecting to see Tannehill be an every-week starter unless you are in a 2 QB league. At his current QB18 ADP, he makes for a solid QB2 option and is someone that you will be able to plug and play in beatable matchups.
We all know what the Titans want to do. Run the ball with Derrick Henry. In 2019, he led the NFL in rush attempts (303), rushing yards (1,540) and rushing TDs (16 tied with Aaron Jones) while averaging 5.08 YPC. He finished the season as RB7 in PPR formats.
The Titans rode their workhorse back all the way to the AFC title game. Including the postseason, Henry accumulated 386 carries and he has the 3rd most carries in the NFL over the past three seasons.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Titans plan on giving him such a big workload again in 2020. OC Arthur Smith said, "We'll see how the season evolves for him and see what happens with the other running back spot," Smith said in a conference call with reporters, via the Titans website. "But Derrick has done a great job the last couple of years, especially down the stretch. We'll have to see how it evolves during the season."
Some of this may be true, some of it may just be coach speak so take it with a grain of salt. Henry may not break the 300 carry mark again this year, but I expect the Titans to lean heavily on him again.
He was only targeted 25 times last season, catching 18 of them. His lack of production in the passing game could limit his PPR value. I am expecting some regression from Henry this year so his current ADP (RB6) is a little too steep for me. He's still an RB1 and is someone I like at the end of the 1st Round. But, I prefer some of the other guys over Henry in the middle of Round 1.
Tennessee spent a third-round pick on rookie RB, Darrynton Evans, out of Appalachian State University. Evans, the likely backup to Henry, is a smaller back (5'10", 203lb) that could provide a nice change of pace alongside Henry. Evans very well could have fantasy value at some point this season. He is worth a late-round flier, and if nothing else, is a must-have handcuff to Henry.
Neither Dawkins nor Perry currently carry any fantasy value unless an injury occurs.
A.J. Brown will look to build on his phenomenal rookie season where he posted 52-1,051-8 on 84 targets. He also added on 60 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD finishing the season as WR23 in PPR formats (WR12 Wks 7-16).
There were 79 WRs that saw 50 targets or more last season. Among those, Brown was 1st in yards per target (12.5), yards after the catch per reception (8.88), and yards after contact per reception (5.02). He also finished 2nd in passer rating when targeted (127.6), 2nd in missed tackles forced per reception (0.31) and 3rd in yards per route run (2.67),
The 2.67 yards per route run was also the 2nd most posted by a rookie WR from 2010-2019, only behind Odell Beckham Jr!
It quickly became pretty clear that Brown was Ryan Tannehill's go-to guy as he received 61 of his 84 targets in games that Tannehill started. That was good for a 22.6% target share. The Titans are a run-first offense, but I am still projecting Tannehill to attempt around 500 passes. There's no reason to believe Brown's target share won't be at least the same with Tannehill under center (22.6%). I would not be surprised if it even increased a bit.
Over the past month, Brown's ADP has dropped from WR14 to WR17, typically coming off the board in mid-late 3rd round. I'm not quite sure the reasoning other than Fantasy owner's personal preference of WRs in that tier. Brown is a high end WR2 with WR1 upside due to his big-play ability. He is also someone I would be heavily targeting in dynasty leagues as he is only 23 years old.
Corey Davis is entering his 4th season in the NFL and has had a somewhat disappointing start to his career. There were high expectations for the former first-rounder (selected fifth overall in 2017). Unfortunately, he never lived up to the hype. While it's still possible for Davis to break out in his 4th season, he is nothing more than a WR5 at this point and is not someone I plan on targeting in my drafts.
Unless you are in a very deep league, Adam Humphries currently carries little to no fantasy value.
- Jonnu Smith
- Anthony Firkser
- Mycole Pruitt
Last season, Jonnu Smith set career highs in targets (44), receptions (35), and receiving yards (439). He also tied his career-high in receiving TDs (3). He finished the season as TE19 in PPR formats (TE13 Wks 7-16).
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the 4th year TE and for good reason. For one, Delanie Walker is no longer on the roster, freeing up more targets. Also, the Titans have a fairly weak group of receivers. No one other than A.J. Brown received 20%+ of the targets last year. We could see Smith become the #2 receiving option behind Brown. He was 2nd on the Titans in red zone targets (7) and they lost the two receivers behind him who combined for 10 red zone targets (Sharpe & Walker).
He was given limited opportunities in 2019 but made the most of them. Among TEs with 25+ targets, Smith ranked 3rd in missed tackles forced (14). He also ranked 8th in yards after catch (277), and 8th in yards per route run (2.14).
Smith has virtually no competition at the position. The Titans lined up in two or more TE sets the 4th most of anyone in the NFL last season (437). This essentially guarantees Smith should be on the field for almost every offensive snap in 2020.
At his current TE17 ADP, he provides us with great value at that point in the draft. I like the idea of waiting on a tight end. Pair up Smith with another young TE that has upside.
Barring an injury, neither Firsker nor Pruitt currently have any fantasy value and should be left off your draft board.
The Titans should be competitive in every game this season. They should be fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the year. In Fantasy terms, this is another team that is pretty cut and dry when it comes to where the output is going to come from. Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown should be the main Fantasy Football producers on this offense. Ryan Tannehill and Jonnu Smith provide us with some nice late-round values. Best of luck and happy drafting!
Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.
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