Tennessee Titans 2013-14 Fantasy Football Recap
The Tennessee Titans carried a lot of hope into the 2013 NFL and Fantasy Football seasons, but ultimately disappointed fans and fantasy owners, alike. The worst part wasn’t even that the Titans were terrible. It’s that they weren’t.
In fact, the Titans were littered with quality talent that just needed to either take the next step or get back to solid production. Running back Chris Johnson had been trying to prove his 2,000+ yard rushing season years ago wasn’t a fluke, but yet again in 2013 he struggled to do so. A sweet 60+ yard touchdown in preseason play got fantasy owners excited about him once again, but shaky offensive line play, instability at quarterback and Johnson’s own inconsistency derailed a temporarily promising 2013 fantasy season.
It was even worse for young quarterback Jake Locker, who entered 2013 as a fantasy sleeper due to a rocket arm and elite running ability. For a little while he met the hype, starting the season with six touchdowns to no interceptions, while the Titans were actually fairly competitive. Unfortunately, he endured two bad injuries, as well as his usual bouts with inaccuracy and inconsistency, and fantasy owners were forced to kick him to the waiver wire.
That was about the sum of the parts, as the Titans were mostly competitive but overall just too underwhelming. To get a better idea of how Tennessee fared in the fantasy realm and what we can expect going forward, let’s break down the key points from their 2013 fantasy season:
Chris Johnson Was Meh
Johnson has retained his elite speed throughout his career, and until 2013 his main excuse for subpar production in fantasy football had been a shaky offensive line. It also hasn’t helped that Johnson hasn’t had any real consistency or production from the quarterback position. But while his o-line and passing game haven’t done him any favors, Johnson has simply lacked drive and focus in the past few seasons. He offered up his usual handful of gems in 2013, but overall was very disappointing. He still appears to have the speed and talent, though, as he put up 1,300+ total yards for the sixth straight season. The Titans released him and will move on to a combination of Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster in 2014.
McCluster is tentatively expected to take on a Danny Woodhead-type role, which should mean somewhere around 100 rushing attempts and 50-70 receptions. His versatility makes him a legit Flex option heading into the 2014 fantasy season. Greene will handle the early down work, and while he lacks top level speed or explosiveness, his role and solid goal-line ability should make him a low-end RB2 to start the year.
Jake Locker Still Has Upside
Locker remains a decent fantasy sleeper yet again 2014, despite the fact that he will try to return from a foot injury and will also be operating in a new offensive system with a new coaching staff. Locker showed promise in 2013, though, as he began the 2013 season with six touchdowns to no interceptions and appeared to have improved dramatically in the pocket, while also making better decisions on the fly. Locker still has huge issues with accuracy and injuries, though, so there is plenty of reason to doubt him. With that said, he’ll have a coaching staff that better suits him in 2014 and his elite arm and ability to take off with his legs makes him a versatile threat. While he may not ever be a legit NFL starting quarterback, there’s still a chance to could approach QB1 status in fantasy football. The guy just needs to stay healthy.
Justin Hunter Could Be Special
Hunter wasn’t overly consistent as a rookie, but it’s extremely difficult to really grade his first season based off of shaky quarterback play and a limited role. There’s no guarantee he’ll suddenly see a major increase in targets and production in 2014, but Hunter has the size and ball skills to turn into a very solid receiver in his second year, especially since he showed excellent red-zone skills in 2013. He should start the 2014 season as Tennessee’s number three option and should be targeted inside the 20. For now, he’s only a WR4 with high WR3 upside.
Kenny Britt Won’t Be Missed
The former number one wide receiver flashed amazing potential for several seasons in Tennessee, but injuries and off field distractions finally took their roll and led to Britt’s release this offseason. Britt latched on with the St. Louis Rams and might have a shot at solid WR3 value if he can stay healthy, but he surely won’t be missed in Tennessee. Justin Hunter should be poised to take over Britt’s role near the red-zone, while the Titans already had a hole year last season to see what it was like to run the offense with little help from Britt. As a matter of fact, Britt played in just 12 games last year and caught just 11 receptions. Tennessee won’t miss Britt in 2014.
Delanie Walker Was a Solid Get
While vastly under-sized for the tight end position, Walker ended up being a very solid signing for the Titans off the open market last year, as he was one of the more reliable receiving weapons with 60 receptions for 571 yards and six touchdowns. Considering it was his first season with the Titans and his first season as a full-time starter, his solid numbers across the board are fairly encouraging. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s comparison of Walker to Antonio Gates is a bit of a reach (and then some), but Walker is athletic and can make plays on the ball. As long as the quarterback play is more consistent in 2014, Walker should threaten for low-end TE1 production in fantasy leagues.
Kendall Wright is Legit
While Justin Hunter offers upside and Delanie Walker was solid last year, Kendall Wright remains the Titans’ top weapon in the passing game. Despite excellent long speed and explosiveness, Wright has thus far been utilized mostly as a possession receiver, slightly curbing his overall fantasy value. But despite that and shaky quarterback play, Wright still posted an insane 94 receptions for over 1,000 receiving yards. Wright isn’t likely to turn into a touchdown machine anytime soon (just six touchdowns through his first two seasons), but at the very worst he should carry monster PPR value as Tennessee’s number one receiver. He also has the potential to be more explosive, which could make for much more yardage and more touchdowns, but the good news is his floor is fairly high given his talent and role. Wright should be a solid WR2 in 2014, while potentially being a WR1 in PPR leagues.