Titans Fantasy News
Monday, July 28, 2014, 11:56am
The Titans are going to throw downfield more, and they will be counting on Justin Hunter to make a big contribution as they expand in that department. That, in turn, will help create opportunities underneath.
This article is mainly about the variety of options QB Jake Locker has this season. Even rookie Bishop Sankey is reliable out of the backfield catching the ball, assuming he takes over as the starter. Kendall Wright is our highest ranked Titan receiver at 28th, though. So while there may be options, from a fantasy perspective a lot of the Titans players will at least only start out as depth on your roster.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:02pm
Consistency will be key for Titans WR Justin Hunter this season. "He's a young guy and it's a hard adjustment for a guy to come in here from a collegiate level to an NFL level," Nate Washington said. "You're playing against 29- and 30-year old men. That's something he has to understand, something he's better understood in this offseason." The 30-year-old Washington, entering his 10th season in the league, looks for Hunter to be more comfortable as a second-year pro. "His confidence is going to grow," Washington said. "Confidence is everything in this league. Once the confidence grows, the plays will start coming. I think he's been making a good transition here in this offseason of understanding what's expected of him. Now he understands what he's capable of – 'Where do I stand with the guys that have already been here?' So that's good for him."
We have Hunter just 67th on our list but he has an ADP of the 14th round, so fantasy players seem to at least be interested in his potential - enough to make him a late round pick.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 10:07am
Steelers O-line coach Mik Munchak, who compiled a 22-26 record as head coach of the Titans, is highly regarded as an offensive line coach. He very well could have been the Steelers’ best offseason transaction. The Steelers ranked 27th in the NFL in rushing offense last season. Their 1,383 yards were the fewest for the team since 1966. But the offensive line did allow quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to play every offensive snap for the first time since 2008 and surrendered just seven sacks in the final five games after allowing 36 in the first 11.
The Steelers hope an improved line under Munchak will allow them to get RBs LeVeon Bell and LeGarrette Blount going this season and improve on last year's rushing totals. Bell is turning into an attractive, second-round fantasy option in drafts and is ranked 12th among our backs.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:17pm
With Bishop Sankey still learning the system and Shonn Greene working his way back from knee surgery, Dexter McCluster will get plenty of reps at running back. He looked impressive at Titans camp on Saturday, breaking a couple of nice runs up the middle and then cutting to open space on the right sideline.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 3:18pm
Titans RB Shonn Greene (knee) has been cleared for camp.
At least for Day 1, RB Chris Johnson showed encouraging signs for the Jets’ offense, particularly in the varied ways they can use him. Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg motioned Johnson from the backfield and split him out wide – just as Johnson did with the Titans, his only previous employer. Johnson, whom the Jets signed this offseason, is a receiving threat, with 272 catches for 2,003 yards during his six-year career. “He looks great,” Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters. “You see that speed that he has. If he lost a step, I don’t know, you guys tell me.” “I was looking forward to seeing exactly where he was at,” RB coach Anthony Lynn said. “I think he’s right on track in his recovery. I thought he had a hell of a practice. I’m sure he could’ve done those (cuts) today, but I didn’t want to see that today.”
Chris Ivory missed practice with a hamstring injury. Johnson figures to see the lion's share of the carries and could post RB2-type numbers with a healthy workload. He's not going to get the carries he saw in Tennessee, but he could still be a productive fantasy back in the Jets "ground and pound" offense. He has finished in the top 16 in each of his six seasons in the NFL.
Rob Gronkowski practiced for about an hour and 15 minutes before watching the remainder of the workout, which spanned almost two and a half hours. Gronkowski was limited during his drills, mostly watching the walkthrough portion before jogging and stretching with the team and then participating during positional drills, which included ball control and agility work, blocking and route running. He wore a sleeve around his right knee and the bulky brace on his left arm. Gronkowski did not take part in any of the team’s 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills, so all of his reps were against air. He lined up when the offense went through running formations and caught a handful of passes from Tom Brady in simple route-running drills. He did take part in one basic ball control drill midway through the practice when a defensive player would try to strip the ball, but Jamie Collins took it easy on Gronkowski as they jogged sideline to sideline. On two occasions when the Pats practiced kickoffs, Brady, Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Kenbrell Thompkins worked on an adjacent field. They ran through a variety of routes, including fade patterns, screen passes and crossing routes. Gronkowski actually came down flat-footed after one leaping catch, which looked awkward from this vantage point, but he jogged back to the line without pause. After practice, Brady and Gronkowski worked together going through the route tree as they traversed the field. Again, it looked like some quality conditioning work.
Gronkwatch 2014 is underway. The team is expected to ease him in as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. At this point, he is in the seventh month of his recovery and is aiming for a Week 1 return. Owners who draft Gronk in the early rounds should expect a setback or two. Delanie Walker is an ideal backup with his low cost (13th round ADP) and Week 9 bye.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 6:58pm
Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger got sucker-punched at a bar, according to the owner of the Nashville night spot. Steve Ford, the owner of Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill, told the Tennessean that Mettenberger was minding his own business when he got punched in the face. Mettenberger was unhurt. "Here's the truth: The guy said something about 'Roll Tide!' to Zach, and Zach turned around and said 'Good luck with that,' " Ford said. "And the guy's buddy then sucker-punched Zach. I promise you that Mettenberger did not throw a punch. He didn't do anything. The guy sucker-punched him in the eye, that's the bottom line, and the guy that punched him started running out the door. My door guys had to chase him down."
Titans TE Delanie Walker hauled in 60 catches for 583 yards and team-high six touchdowns – all career marks -- in his first season in Tennessee. Walker has publicly stated his desire to catch 80 passes in 2014 and is confident that a healthy Jake Locker can make that happen. He may well be on his way to the desired milestone after becoming the team’s first tight end to grab 60 passes in a season since Frank Wycheck in 2001. Walker is excited to work with Whisenhunt, a former NFL tight end who understands how to get the most out of the position. In 2013, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates posted his best receiving numbers in four years (77 catches for 872 yards) with Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator. The combination of Whisenhunt’s tight end-friendly system and having Locker at 100 percent makes adding another 20 catches a feasible goal.
He was targeted much more heavily in games where Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center (6.8 vs. 4.2 T/G), but Jake Locker did throw three TDs to Walker while he was still the starter. From Week 10 to Week 15, Walker had the 6th-highest PPG (8.7), so he’s capable of playing at a TE1 level. Moreover, new HC Ken Whisenhunt had this to say about Walker: "Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there's a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.” This bodes well for Walker’s usage in Whisenhunt’s offense.
Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich... I’m picking Brian Hoyer to win job, even though 11-of-16 quarterbacks taken in the first round since 2008 have started right away. How long he’d keep it would depend on wins and losses, but I don’t think the leash would be long. For example, if the Browns start the season 0-3 after visiting the Steelers and hosting the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens, it would be convenient for Mike Pettine to promote Johnny Manziel during the Week 4 bye and have him ready to face the Tennessee Titans on the road Oct. 5. But even if Hoyer becomes the starter and wins like he did last season, it wouldn’t necessarily preclude Manziel from playing as a rookie. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of OC Kyle Shanahan featuring Manziel in certain packages. And remember, the backup always seems to find himself in the lineup in Cleveland. No Browns quarterback has started all 16 regular-season games since Tim Couch in 2001.
If Manziel wins the starting job this summer, he'll be an intriguing QB2 who should be available in the 10th-12th rounds given all the depth at quarterback. His rushing yards will drive his fantasy value, especially since the team is likely to be without Josh Gordon for most (if not all) of the season.
Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:42pm
There were all kinds of questions about Titans QB Jake Locker's future following another significant injury. Many questions linger. He looked rusty as he limped through workouts in May, but in June he looked significantly better, moving and throwing well. The Titans hope he picks up in July where he left off in June.
Locker has averaged 15.1 FP in 16 career starts. That extrapolates to 241 points over a 16-game season, or about what Ryan Tannehill scored as the #16 QB in 2013. Health has been his biggest problem, but if he can stay upright, he could grow in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:45pm
The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt on Titans RB Bishop Sankey: "Don't expect (Chris Johnson) in his heyday. Sankey will be the team's most productive running back, but others will cut into his stats. Dexter McCluster will get playing time, carries and catches. Shonn Greene should get a bunch of goal-line attempts unless he flames out in training camp; then Sankey's stock could really rise."
We’re projecting Sankey to be the clear RB1 in Tennessee after the Titans took him as the first back in the draft. He’s a versatile back who doesn’t have much competition for touches. The last 13 rookies who were the top drafted RB in their class and joined a backfield with a lackluster incumbent averaged 18.2 touches for 83.1 yards and 0.55 TD, or 11.6 fantasy points per game. That’s about what Ryan Mathews averaged as the #12 RB in 2013.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:11pm
Tennessee's players and coaches are won over, with receivers aide Shawn Jefferson talking up Justin Hunter as the one who could carry the Titans into the playoffs, while fellow wideout Michael Preston turned heads this offseason by calling Hunter a young Randy Moss -- a claim he didn't back away from Monday. "I know how great a player Randy Moss was, and in my mind, there's no reason Justin can't be the next greatest player," Preston told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "... I just want to be there to support him. I know he's going to grow, make a great leap this year, and impress the city and fans with his talent." With Kenny Britt out of the way, Hunter owns a legitimate chance to make an impact come September. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell called him "the most intriguing" and "physically talented" wideout in last year's draft -- and his game tape is speckled with flashes of brilliance -- but comparisons to a rock-solid future Hall of Famer are wildly premature.
As a rookie, Hunter checked in with the #18 FP/T (1.41), which is encouraging, especially if he’s able to beat out Nate Washington and get on the field as more than a just a passing-down specialist. He only played 36% of the team’s snaps, while Washington played 82%. The good news is that under then-OC Ken Whisenhunt, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal all played at least 67% of the Chargers’ snaps. So with Whiz calling the plays in Tennessee, there may be room for both Washington and Hunter in the lineup.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 9:17am
He's been called a journeyman and a survivor. Both fit veteran wide receiver Derek Hagan, who's just glad he got a call from the Titans last month. Now it's safe to call him something else — a contender. Hagan didn't play in 2013 after the Buccaneers released him following training camp. He continued to train, but wondered whether he'd get another shot. Then the Titans, who saw a couple of their undrafted wideouts go down with injuries, asked him to town for a workout. They signed him to a one-year deal. Is it realistic to think Hagan could make the roster? Anyone who watched the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder participate in minicamp last month saw that he definitely looked the part. "You can just tell he knows what he is doing," cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson said. "He knows how to get open and things like that. He really impressed me right off the bat."
According to the story, one thing working in Hagan's favor is there are no locks to make the Titans roster after Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Michael Preston and Marc Mariani are considered next in line, while another journeyman, Brian Robiskie, also is trying to continue his career. Hagan is a ways away from being fantasy relevant, however.
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 3:32pm
Everybody knows one of the keys to being a good running back is vision. The Titans Antonio Andrews can relate. He’s coming into the NFL with eyes wide open. “When you don’t get drafted, people don’t expect you to make it in the NFL,” he said. “I understand that. But I feel like I’m going to make it. I really do.” In less than three weeks, Andrews will enter the Titans’ training camp as an endangered species — an undrafted rookie free agent. The odds are stacked against him. And he knows it. Andrews raised a few eyebrows during mini-camp sessions. Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt has made it clear he likes players with versatility. Andrews fits the mold. He did a little bit of everything at Western Kentucky — and he did everything well.
Even if Andrews makes the team, he'll have some hurdles to clear before being fantasy relevant. Of course there is rookie Bishop Sankey who looks to be the starter and vet Shonn Greene could be the backup, although the story said he's not guaranteed a roster spot. Jackie Battle has been working as a fullback which should help his chances of staying on the roster and Dexter McCluster will see time all over the field.
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