For those of you making last-minute adjustments to your fantasy football lineups, we have a fantasy outlook piece on the Tennessee Titans for you this “Gameday” morning. The Tennessee Titans will face off against the rising San Diego Chargers this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET, and we’ll quickly run through facts, stats, and other notes regarding the Titans skill position players, kicker, and defense.
QB Jake Locker- He’s not even on the fantasy radar at this point, and it’s scary to think that he’s still only completing 56% of his passes despite only throwing the ball under ten yards per reception. Add that all together, and Locker is averaging 5.5 yards per attempt. On the bright side, he hasn’t looked like a liability out there either since he has yet to have turned the ball over.
The San Diego Chargers are allowing 4.7 yards per carry on the season, which is 26th in the league, but that stat comes with an important clarification. Both of the running backs the Chargers faced are elite players in Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy, and they pretty much smothered Foster in Week 1 (57 yards, 18 carries). McCoy, who dominated the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins in Weeks 3 and 1 respectively, only had 53 rushing yards. He was given the ball only 11 times so that’s still a really good average (the Eagles were forced to get into a shootout with Philip Rivers, who absolutely killed it), but you can see that the Chargers defense never got embarrassed by top backs. Ben Tate had 55 yards on just nine carries in Week 1, but the Chargers 4.7 YPC allowed doesn’t tell the whole story.
So what does that mean for Chris Johnson? He has been getting a lot of carries this season (50) but has only turned them into 166 yards for an average of 3.3 yards per carry. Even though the Chargers run defense isn’t bad, it’s still worse than the run defenses of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans, so he’s still a top 15 fantasy back. The Titans have 68 runs with running backs compared to just 50 passes, so Chris Johnson is going to get a lot of opportunities. I’d start him over DeMarco Murray, Stevan Ridley, and Trent Richardson, but I wouldn’t start him over Frank Gore.
I would buy into whichever receiver isn’t facing Derek Cox today, and Kendall Wright is the only Titans receiver I would even think of playing as a flex in a 14-team league. He is the only receiver on the team with at least 15 targets (he has exactly 15), but the big issue is that he only averages 7.2 yards per catch since he’s the chain mover. Nate Washington has the most yards on the team and thus has the most fantasy upside, but I still don’t feel comfortable with playing him; I worry that the Titans won’t consistently target him. I might actually play him over Wright this week, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting him in the starting lineup.
I picked up Kenny Britt before the season, but I dropped him after Week 1 for Michael Floyd. Britt is the receiver I’ve always tried to buy into, because I keep getting sucked in by his talent and upside. But talent and upside don’t mean anything if you get into off-field trouble, don’t run routes, and get in the coach’s doghouse by not blocking and by sending ill-advised tweets. I would stay the heck away from Kenny Britt in standard leagues.
TE Delanie Walker- A blocking tight end, Delanie Walker isn’t on the fantasy radar either and has just six targets this year.
He’s a really good kicker, but I’m not sure if he’s worth starting this week. The Titans offense isn’t good, but the Chargers defense isn’t a shut down D either. I think he’s in for about an average day, but I’m willing to bet that there is a better kicker in free agency (like Nick Novak or Caleb Sturgis) to start this week.
Tennessee Titans Defense
The Titans pass defense has been good this year, and I’ve always been a fan of their cornerbacks. I mean, who doesn’t like Jason McCourty? But Philip Rivers is on a tear, and the Titans defense hasn’t exactly been reliable against the run this season. I wouldn’t completely stray from starting the Titans defense, but they are in an even lower tier than Bironas. If you are even considering the Titans defense, then that means you are a K/DEF spot-starter like me. Go for a better defense in free agency like the New York Jets or something. Heck, even the Buffalo Bills are a better matchup, since they are facing the Jets O.