32 Teams In 32 Days Tennessee Titans
32 Teams In 32 Days
Hello, fellow fantasy football degenerates. In my “32 In 32” series I will be going team by team breaking them down from every aspect you can think of. From their records, team statistics, Vegas lines, contract situations, individual statistics, fantasy numbers, draft picks and implications, free agency updates, and more. Everything to recap 2018 and preview 2019.
Part six of the #32TeamsIn32Days series is going to be about a team that was a huge disappointment in 2018. In more ways than one, the Tennessee Titans fell well short of expectations. Their quarterback is always injured and never seems to be able to find a rhythm with his pass catchers even when healthy. They have a running back that everyone wants so bad to just know, is he good or not, but the team refuses to give him a workload to warrant a clear judgment in the matter. Their star receiver rises and falls as their quarterback does and tight end, normally the only consistent piece they put out in years past for fantasy, was not that in 2018. Let us see if we can figure out what happened.
Tennessee Titans (9-7)
Coming off 2017, a season in which the Titans made the playoffs, their expectations were extremely high. Through the first month of the season, things looked to pick up right where they had left off. Winners of three of the first four had them feeling solid heading into Week 5. They would then lose three games in a row and head into the bye on a down note. Coming out of the bye though they rebounded and won the first two and six of eight overall. This streak had them tied with the Colts. The two teams squared off on the final Sunday of the regular season but Tennessee went into the game without their starting quarterback and the Colt’s quarterback showed why he should at least be in the MVP conversation. The Titans left with a lot of questions.
- Quarterback: Is Mariota going to be the quarterback of the future here and is is health a big enough concern to give up on the young QB?
- Running Back: Is Derrick Henry the running back we saw at the end of the season or was that the same player he has been for three seasons?
- Wide Receiver: Is Corey Davis good enough to challenge a defense? We know Davis can do things but does the rest of the group take enough attention away from Davis to allow him to produce at the WR1 level we all hoped for?
- Tight End: Is Delanie Walker’s run of consistency over and can Jonnu Smith slide into the role or is he just another piece lost in an inept passing game?
- Offensive Line: The O-line allowed the tenth most sacks during the 2018 season. Will the Titans do something to address this issue?
|vs.||Indianapolis Colts||10||6||0||0.625||3.4||Past Matchups|
|at||Indianapolis Colts||10||6||0||0.625||3.4||Past Matchups|
|vs.||Houston Texans||11||5||0||0.688||3.8||Past Matchups|
|at||Houston Texans||11||5||0||0.688||3.8||Past Matchups|
|vs.||Jacksonville Jaguars||5||11||0||0.313||-4.0||Past Matchups|
|at||Jacksonville Jaguars||5||11||0||0.313||-4.0||Past Matchups|
|Denver Broncos||6||10||0||0.375||-0.5||Past Matchups|
|vs.||Kansas City Chiefs||12||4||0||0.750||8.9||Past Matchups|
|at||Oakland Raiders||4||12||0||0.250||-9.3||Past Matchups|
|vs.||Los Angeles Chargers||12||4||0||0.750||6.0||Past Matchups|
|at||Atlanta Falcons||7||9||0||0.438||-0.1||Past Matchups|
|at||Carolina Panthers||7||9||0||0.438||0.9||Past Matchups|
|vs.||New Orleans Saints||13||3||0||0.813||10.1||Past Matchups|
|vs.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||11||0||0.313||-2.6||Past Matchups|
|Cleveland Browns||7||8||1||0.469||-0.3||Past Matchups|
|Buffalo Bills||6||10||0||0.375||-6.9||Past Matchups|
In 2018 the Titans were one of five teams in 2018 to score less than 20 points per game. They had the fourth fewest at 19.4 points per game (310 Total) in the league. Tennessee ran 938 total offensive plays which were tied for dead last with the Cincinnati Bengals and were tied for 26th with 5.3 yards per play and 27th in yards per game with 312.4. Their starting QB was banged up but played 14 games. He clearly regressed even when he was healthy enough to be on the field for 14 of 16 games but he did not get much help from a receiving corps that has one of the best college receivers we have seen in recent years.
At least outside of a couple of games, they were underwhelming. The run game, for the most part, was nonexistent until Week 14 but Tennessee had a chance in Week 17 to make the dance. The offense led by a backup QB was a complete letdown against the Colts and the Titans 2018 season was done. They finished ranked tied for third from last in offensive plays, only six teams averaged fewer than the 5.3 yards per play the Titans put up. The Titans 2018 offensive coordinator is now the Head Coach of the Packers in Matt Lafleur so it will be interesting to see how this offense is going to attack defenses in 2019.
- Points Per Game 2017-2018/ Differences (20.8-19.4/ -1.40)
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018/ Differences (314/312.4/ -1.6)
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018/ Differences (18.2-18.1/ -0.1)
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018/ Differences (35.1%-40.0%/+4.9%)
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018/ Differences (5.3-5.1/ -0.2)
- Turnover ratio 2017-2018/ Difference (-4/-1/+3)
2018 Vegas Lines
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 8-8-0
As Underdog vs. Line: 6-4-0
Favored vs. Line: 2-4-0
Over: 8 Under: 8 Push: 0
The Titans fourth-year QB had a pretty up and down season but after signing a deal that has him under contract until 2020, the Titans would seem to be stuck. Mariota does not exactly make elite QB money but I do not see them parting ways with him unless the injuries prevent from being on the field. Mariota always seems to suck you back in with his moments of promise but his moments of regression quickly follow. He finished either 20th or lower in attempts passing (331), red zone attempts (51), deep ball throws (31), touchdowns passing (11), air yards (1296), money throws (14), adjusted yards per attempt (6.4) and fan points per game (12.5).
Tennessee is probably going to have to see some dramatic steps forward next season or they could choose to move on from the young QB with one year left on his deal. As you can see below, the quarterback has been consistently inconsistent. He peaked in his second season but has been on a downward trend since that point. But, you still can see the potential at times with a decent amount of top-five finishes (17.86%). With 30+% of his games finished in the top-12, top-24, and top-36 you see the inconsistency.
Mariota’s injured elbow that limited the feeling in his arm is a big concern.
—> “Ethan Quote”
If you can not feel your arm, it will be hard to throw the ball of course. The former Oregon quarterback will not have to throw the ball long in 2019 as the team acquired some weapons that primarily specialize in shorter routes. Old reliable (Delanie Walker) should be back and if the team continues to run the ball as they did to end the season, Mariota will not have to throw it deep.
Mariota’s 2018 Season
- QB23, 175.0 Fan Points (14 Games)
- Completed 228/331 Attempts (68.9%)
- 2528 Yards (7.6 Y/A – 11.1 Y/C)
- 11 TDs (3.3% TD Rate) 8 INT (2.4% INT Rate)
- 64 RuAtt, 357 Yards, 2 TD
- Total QBR 53.1 (QB Rate 92.3)
All things considered, there is still hope for Mariota’s future. He does still have those moments where you can see what he could do in an optimal situation. Tennessee just added weapons to the roster and if the health can hold up and the team can rely on the running game as they say they will, Mariota might have a chance to improve his game without everyone attacking the moments of failure. One of the best college athletes to ever play the position, 2019 will be a year that the former Oregon quarterback has to show he is more than just that.
2019 QB Free Agency Update
Blaine Gabbert signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay. Tampa signed former Miami QB Ryan Tannehill to a one-year deal. This could be an under the radar signing if Mariota cannot figure things out.
What To Make Of The Running Backs
At the start of the season, so many were excited about Derrick Henry’s potential in this offense. Even with the signing of Dion Lewis to a deal through 2022. Henry had for the second year in a row put on a show at the end of the season. The “many” were soon disappointed as Lewis started out the season with what could be considered the lead role. He out-snapped and for the most part, outproduced Henry as well until that fateful Thursday night when he said “I’m going on another late-season run.”
For the third straight year, the big back is doing this. Not this great of production but this is, for the most part, a trend.
LATE SEASON SURGES
- Game # 1-11 (Didn’t play in the ninth game), Avg. 7.3 Opportunities/ 35.7 Yards/ 0.1 TDs
- Game # 12-16, Avg. 10.4 Opportunities/ 53.6 Yards/ 0.8 TDs
Difference (+3.1 Opportunities/ +17.9 Yards/ +0.7 TDs)
A pretty decent step up in production.
- Game # 1-11, Avg. 11.5 Opportunities/ 52.3 Yards/ 0.3 TDs
- Game # 12-16, Avg. 13.4 Opportunities/ 61 Yards/ 0.6 TDs
Difference (+1.9 Opportunities/ +7.6 Yards/ +0.3 TDs)
Not as much as 2016 but still an uptick in production.
- Game # 1-11, Avg. 11.9 Opportunities/ 46.1 Yards/ 0.4 TDs
- Game # 12-16, Avg. 21 Opportunities/ 151 Yards/ 2.3 TDs
Difference (+9.9 Opportunities/ +105 Yards/ 1.9 TDs)
A theory I Have…
Below is an excerpt from an article called “Five Things I Learned In 2018” in which one of the sections talks about Henry.
Henry is a BIG human being. 6’3″ and almost 250 pounds. He used that size and the decent speed he possesses to wreck the Alabama opponents during his college days. The thing about the NFL though is that everyone is big and fast. He is not head and shoulders above the competition like he used to be. I once saw Julius Peppers outrun Jerrick McKinnon if that tells you anything. At the time Peppers was in his 15th season and McKinnon was fresh off being labeled the athletic freak of the combine.
A player that big may take some time to get warmed up throughout the course of a game and facing an average of 7.4 defenders in the box (number one in the league) does not help. Henry also needs a head of steam to really get moving. Once he is, he is hard to stop though. When you are facing that many defenders on average, you are going to have to wear them down. This is also a season-long theory as when you get to the end of the season, teams are beat up, tired, and sometimes not highly motivated like they might be late in the fourth quarter in a game they are trailing. When your that big and fast, and you have somewhat fresh legs, you can really do some damage.
Henry 2018 Season
- RB13, 186.3 Fan Points
- 215 RuAtt (13.4 AttP/G), 1,059 Yards (66.2 YdP/G), 2 100 Yard Games
- Caught 15/18 Targets, 99 Yards (6.6 Y/R)
- 12 RuTD, 0 ReTD (12 Total)
- 230 Touches, 1,158 Yards (5.0 Y/T)
Lewis 2018 Season
- RB36, 101.7 Fan Points
- 155 RuAtt (9.7 AttP/G), 517 Yards (32.3 YdP/G), 0 100 Yard Games
- Caught 59/67 Targets, 400 Yards (6.8 Y/R)
- 1 RuTD, 1 ReTD (2 Total)
- 214 Touches, 917 Yards (4.3 Y/T)
Here are two links to my “Fantasy Trend Setter” article where I discussed this same thing post Week 15 of the 2018 season.
Henry has one more year left on his rookie deal so this will be a crucial season for him to show if he is worth the big payday or if he is just going to be a guy that can wear down late season defenses. Dion Lewis is still in the picture and is certainly still a better pass-catching option so to imagine Derrick Henry touching a 70+% snap share is just hard to picture as only one game all season did Henry see that number (Week 15-70%). Be careful letting the hype get you again.
Something Interesting To Take Note Of…
As you can see above, the offensive live did neither of these two any favors when they ran the ball. Both received well below average yards before contact but they were both made the best of it somewhat. Lewis had a right about league average yards after contact total and Henry was tops in the league. Both were among the smallest margin of difference between the two metrics. They actually did a lot with what they were given. An offensive line improvement in 2019 could take some of the load off the tandems shoulders.
Corey Davis, I Guess, And The Rest Of The Receivers
Corey Davis took some steps forward but his production was certainly capped due to suspect QB play for the majority of 2018. He was 19th in targets, had a 26.4% target share (eighth), and 13th in the league in both red zone target share (26.8%) and end zone target share (36%). Davis pretty much doubled his targets (2017-65/ 2018-112), receptions (’17-34/’18-65), and yards (’17-375/ ’18-891). His 4 TDs were also 4 more than last year. If Davis had consistent QB play this could have been (in 2018) and can be moving forward a much bigger season. He had four double-digit target games, four games with 6+ receptions, and 3 of his 4 TDs came in a four-game span (Week 10-13/ caught 4/6.3 targets, 73.3 yards, 0.8 TDs, and 18.31 yards per reception).
Davis 2018 Season
- WR27, 118.6 Fan Points
- Caught 65/112 Targets (58.0%) 4.1 P/G
- 891 Yards (13.7 Y/R, 7.9 Y/T)
- 4 TDs
Dion Lewis saw 11 more targets than any other WR and 20 more than the third most targeted WR (Taywan Taylor-56/ Tajae Sharpe-47). Davis is signed through 2022, Taylor through 2021, and Sharpe through 2020. We will see how the depth chart shakes out but the opportunity should improve next season if Henry can make teams focus more on stopping the run and Mariota can recover fully from injury. The moves that the Titans made in the draft and free agency will only help bolster a wide receiver group starving for consistency as you will see below but determining who lands where in the pecking order will be a process..
2019 WR Free Agency Update
Tennessee has signed former Tampa Bay WR Adam Humpries after a pretty solid breakout campaign. Humphries had a stretch during the middle of the season in which he was a consistent PPR WR2. In fact, from Week 8 through the end of the season (Below) he was the WR17 overall in fantasy (Standard). Much of this did come after the Buccaneers lost stud TE OJ Howard who occupied a similar part of the field but this was still a very solid effort from Humphries. In fact, over the course of the season, he had a career-high in targets (105), receptions (76), yards (816), TDs (5), receptions per game (4.8), yards per game (51.0), and his second highest yard per reception (10.7) and catch rate (72.4%).
What to make of his new landing spot though is tough. This is not a high powered passing attack like he is coming from in Tampa Bay. Tampa Averaged 320.3 passing yards per game and Tennessee just 185.9 per game. A huge difference. Also, Tampa Bay averaged 39.1 attempts passing per game in 2018. In contrast, the Titans averaged just 27.3 per game. The opportunity will be limited especially with the talk that they will finally focus the offense around Derrick Henry. The opportunity might get better in quality though if Henry and the run game can draw in the focus of the defense.
Michael Campanaro has yet to sign with a team.
- A.J. Brown WR, MISS
Height: 6-0, Weight: 226
Here are my thoughts on A.J. Brown as a player. Above is a link to a great breakdown of the player I think is the best WR coming out in 2019 but just ended up in a less than optimal situation. If anyone from the class can make it work, I feel like Brown could be the one. His abilities stretch much farther than a slot receiver as I go over below in the tweet. Click here for all the great profiles from the FFStatistics dynasty team.
//Ole Miss wr thread//
AJ Brown- much more than a slot receiver…
During the 5 game sample from 2018 where DK Metcalf was hurt, Ole Miss didn't change their style of offensive attack. In the first game of the 5 game stretch, Braylon Sanders took the DK role (left side)…
— David Willsey FF_TYM (@willson8tor) April 25, 2019
The tight end position took several hits this year. Delanie Walker went down in Week 1 with an ankle injury and was placed on IR on September 10th. Jonnu Smith looked to have his opportunity to take the lead and he did for a large part of the season. He took a little time to get rolling but in a tight end light world, his 2.8 Receptions on 3.5 Targets for 37.5 Yards and half a TD per Game from Week 7-13. In Week 14, Smith was also hit with a season-ending injury (MCL) and placed on IR on Dec 11th.
Rookie Anthony Firksir had a solid stretch in the middle of the season from Week 11-14 where he caught all 14 of his targets for 176 yards and even scored a TD. This was on the field a lot of the time with Smith as well so if one player could get a large enough role like Walker has had, this could be a very useful situation. The problem is that Walker and Smith are signed through 2021 and Firksir through 2020. Firksir was on the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs prior to landing with the Titans so it’s not like they have a big commitment to him. He is a cheap piece they could look to hold onto if they were to part ways with Walker due to age and injury. This coming season will definitely be an important season to see what they truly have.
2019 TE Free Agency Update
Luke Stocker has signed a one-year deal with Atlanta.
2019 O-Line Free Agency/ Draft Update
Tennessee has signed former Los Angeles Rams to a four-year deal to help bolster the offensive line. Also, G Kevin Pamphile resigned on a one-year deal. G Josh Kline signed with the Minnesota Vikings and G Quinton Spain has signed with the Buffalo Bills.
- Nate Davis OL, CHARLO
Height: 6-3, Weight: 316
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
199th Overall, QB Luke Falk
- Didn’t Play, (Released by the Titans on Sep 1st, Signed by Miami Sep 2nd, Placed on IR Oct 6th)
With The 19th Pick In The 2019 NFL Draft, The Tennessee Titans select… (Prediction originally made 1/20/2019)
The Titans will more than likely look to defense with their first pick. A WR wouldn’t hurt. They could also use some O-Line help as they allowed the 10th most Sacks per Game.
- Jeffery Simmons DL, MISSST
Height: 6-4, Weight: 301
- A.J. Brown WR, MISS
Height: 6-0, Weight: 226
- Nate Davis OL, CHARLO
Height: 6-3, Weight: 316
- Amani Hooker S, IOWA
Height: 5-11, Weight: 210
- D’Andre Walker EDGE, UGA
Height: 6-2, Weight: 251
- David Long Jr. LB, WVU
Height: 5-11, Weight: 227
Click here for a link to the Titans injuries.
Moving Into 2019
Cap Space – $27,678,986
A new OC in town could flip things upside down but the biggest question is of course quarterback. Can Marcus Mariota stay healthy and if he is healthy, is he even the answer? Mariota has been good at times and very bad at times but rarely consistent either way. There is always that flash of what they drafted him to be but soon followed but regression or injury. Blaine Gabbert was obviously not the answer and they drafted Falk out of Washington State but he was not a fit for them as they waived the young QB on September 1st.
The loss of Delanie Walker in Week 1 was big time as he had been the most consistent weapon for a few years. Jonnu Smith, the Titans second-year TE had some flashes in ’18 but it was not until Week 7 and Smith was lost to injury late in the season Walker could again be the primary guy but Smith did take a step forward. Corey Davis will try to put together a third-year WR breakout season after pretty much doubling his rookie production and the additions of A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries will help to add some reliable weapons but again, QB is the question.
Derrick Henry seemingly has the lead in the backfield but this was the third straight season he had gone on a run to end the year. The Titans should look to focus on this going forward as this run was far greater than the previous two seasons. It was largely built on one week with 4 TDs against the downtrodden team in Jacksonville. Does 2019 start the same way or is the coach speak real?