2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: Can Titans take the next step?

The Titans attempted the second fewest passes in the league in 2018 as their quarterback dealt with a lingering arm injury. Offseason investments in free agent Adam Humphries and second-round pick A.J. Brown bolster the WR group, but questions remain about whether Mike Vrabel and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith will open up the pass game.  

2018 Review

Record: 9 - 7 (13th in NFL)
PPG: 19.4 (27)
YPG: 312.6 (25)
Pass YPG: 185.9 (29)
Rush YPG: 126.7 (6)
PAPG: 27.3 (31)
RAPG: 28.5 (9)

2018 Fantasy finishes

QB: Marcus Mariota - QB28; Blaine Gabbert* - QB43
RB: Derrick Henry - RB16; Dion Lewis - RB28
WR: Corey Davis - WR26; Taywan Taylor - WR82; Tajae Sharpe - WR92
TE: Jonnu Smith - TE34; Anthony Firkser - TE42
*No longer with team

Number to know: 21.75

Henry averaged 21.75 rush attempts over his last four games. If he averaged that many over 16 weeks he'd finish with 348 carries, which would be the most for a running back since DeMarco Murray's 392 carries in 2014. Over the course of the year, Henry averaged 13.4 carries and 14.4 touches per game. 

2019 Offseason

"Derrick is going to be a big part of our offense. Derrick has a rare skill set -- he's a home-run hitter. And we're taking another step hopefully with him. What he did the last five weeks will open up a lot of things." - Arthur Smith, on Derrick Henry

Head Coach: Mike Vrabel (2nd year)
Offensive Coordinator: Arthur Smith (1st year - previously TE Coach, TEN)  

Draft Picks 

1. (19) Jeffery Simmons, DT
2. (51) A.J. Brown, WR
3. (82) Nate Davis, G
4. (116) Amani Hooker, S
4. (121) Trevon Wesco, TE
5. (168) D'Andre Walker, LB
6. (188) David Long Jr., LB

Additions

QB Ryan Tannehill, WR Adam Humphries, OL Rodger Saffold, DL Cameron Wake, DL Brent Urban

Key Departures

QB Blaine Gabbert, QB Austin Davis, TE Luke Stocker, OL Quinton Spain, OL Josh Kline, LB Brian Orakpo, LB Derrick Morgan, DB Johnathan Cyprien

Rankings and Projections

Player
Marcus MariotaQB28QB30QB25
Derrick HenryRB23RB15RB22
Dion LewisRB48RB50RB33
Corey DavisWR37WR43WR41
Delanie WalkerTE15TE20TE14
Jonnu SmithN/AN/ATE32
Ryan SuccopK22K18K22
Titans DSTDST22DST21DST19
 
Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats
QBMarcus Mariota3,291 YD, 20 TD, 10 INT; 389 Rush YD, 4 TD
RBDerrick Henry254 ATT, 1,141 YD, 11 TD; 13 REC, 125 YD, 0 TD
RBDion Lewis161 ATT, 644 YD, 3 TD; 46 REC, 319 YD, 2 TD
WRCorey Davis101 TAR, 61 REC, 817 YD, 6 TD
WRA.J. Brown88 TAR, 53 REC, 711 YD, 4 TD
WRAdam Humphries61 TAR, 43 REC, 456 YD, 1 TD
TEDelanie Walker70 TAR, 53 REC, 632 YD, 4 TD

Biggest Question

Is Corey Davis going to break out?  

Of the 112 targets Davis had last year, only 82 were catchable according to Sports Info Solutions. He did okay with those (891 yards) but had more drops (six) than touchdowns (four). This offseason the Titans added more reliable receivers to give Marcus Mariota options instead of forcing it to Davis. Tack on the Titans' run-first approach and expectations for Davis should remain tempered.  

One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust

Sleeper: Delanie Walker

When's the last time a tight end with four-straight 800-yard seasons went undrafted in Fantasy leagues? I don't know the answer, but I do know that letting Walker go undrafted in your leagues is a mistake. Tight ends with his track record should be in lineups, even if it's as an early-season stream-to-stud candidate. His first two matchups (at Cleveland, vs. Indy) aren't bad, and he's past his broken leg. Marcus Mariota is probably thrilled to have him back. 

Breakout: Derrick Henry

What are the prerequisites for a stud running back? Fifteen-plus touches per week with consistent carries at the goal line is a good start. Henry is being aimed for at least that role, if not something even more involved as the Titans try to build on his late-2018 success. Henry's missed one game in five years (three in the pros, two at Alabama) and has the Titans offense in the palm of his hand. He has top-12 upside.

Bust: Corey Davis

If the third year is going to be the charm for Corey Davis, he must reverse some ugly trends. His career catch rate is below 60 percent, he has four touchdowns in 27 games, and has just four performances with over 70 yards (two with over 100). The bigger issue has nothing to do with Davis -- Sports Info Solutions says 74 percent of his 112 targets were catchable. Not good for a receiver on a run-first team that happened to add a receiver in free agency and another in the draft. You almost want to wish for Davis to show up on another team. 

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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