The Titans are a very popular pick to breakout in 2016. With Marcus Mariota returning from injury and the additions of Corey Davis and Eric Decker, can the Titans offense win them the AFC South?
RBs with most touches per game (2016)
Le'Veon Bell: 28.0
Ezekiel Elliott: 23.6
David Johnson: 23.3
Melvin Gordon: 22.7
DeMarco Murray: 21.6
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) July 28, 2017
DeMarco Murray was acquired for a swap of fourth round picks from the Philadelphia Eagles. Safe to say the Titans won that trade. After a down year and the drafting of Heisman award winner Derrick Henry, Murray wasn’t expected to do much.
Murray had a spectacular season, carrying the ball nearly 300 times for 1,287 yards and 12 total touchdowns. Being drafted in mid round two, Murray is a solid pick. He should see few carries as he gets closer to age 30 but will return strong value.
Derrick Henry managed 490 yards rushing on just over 100 carries. He will become an RB1 when Murray is no longer a Titan, but until then he is only a handcuff with FLEX upside depending on matchup. With Murray’s injury history, Henry should be a priority draft pick for Murray owners and team owners that like to root for their friend’s stars to get hurt.
Based on beat writer tweets, #Titans likely 3-WR set:
X Corey Davis
Z Rishard Matthews
SL Eric Decker
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) July 29, 2017
BUST: Eric Decker
With injuries forcing him to miss games in each of the last three seasons, Eric Decker isn’t reliable. Entering his age 30 season, coming off hip and shoulder injuries, Decker isn’t the same player he was in 2015. He can still be a reliable NFL receiver but his teammate Corey Davis and Cameron Meredith are being drafted after him and provide higher upside.
Speaking of Corey Davis, the Titans rookie receiver is coming off an amazing season at Western Michigan. After 1,500 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns, the Titans selected Davis with the fifth pick in the 2017 draft. With a now loaded receiving core, Davis should be the best option this season. His current ADP is early round 10, providing a solid return. With Davis as one of your bench receivers, you can wait until his role on the Titans is clear to put him in your lineup.
Marcus Mariota is one of the NFL’s brightest young stars. With a talented offense around him, Mariota could take the next step forward this season. While Mariota is not in the elite crop of quarterbacks, he has the potential to do so. He’s being drafted at the end of round nine, allowing you to draft a full lineup before selecting him. If you are an owner who waits to draft a quarterback, Mariota is a great option, just don’t wait too long.
Delanie Walker's production has exploded since coming to Tennessee pic.twitter.com/Ril2NNzcaG
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 29, 2017
Delanie Walker will be 33 when this season begins. With a drop in targets, catches and yards in 2o16, Walker is due to fall off further in 2017. With Decker and Davis in Tennessee, Walker won’t see the 100+ targets he has the last three seasons. Walker will be a low-end TE1 due to his touchdown potential, but you’re better off waiting a few rounds and drafting Jack Doyle.
Rishard Matthews career progression has been impressive pic.twitter.com/q1AjwNQMTk
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 20, 2017
SLEEPER: Rishard Matthews
In Rishard Matthews‘ first year with the Titans he fell just short of 1,000 yards and caught nine touchdowns. With the additions of Decker and Davis, Matthews is now an afterthought to owners. The decision to label Matthews as a sleeper is based on the potential for Decker to get injured. He’s worth a late round pick as a stash on your bench if one of the Titans receivers get hurt.