The Titans are a team full of questions when it comes to fantasy football for me. Is Chris Johnson who we saw last year, or the year before? Who’s going to play QB? Is Kenny Britt an option? Are they serious playoff contenders or did they just take advantage of what many saw as an “open” division once Peyton was out of place?
As we continue our virtual tour around the NFL before training camp even breaks, today we’ll visit with Justin from TitanSized.com on the FanSided network to get the answers to these burning Titans questions.
Zach Thompson, FantasyCPR: Hey Justin, thanks for joining us at FantasyCPR. It’s great to have you with us. I’m especially glad to have you here since last season the Titans were one of the most mystifying teams in the league to me. Whenever I thought I knew who they were or what they were going to do, they’d do the exact opposite. So hopefully you can help us all out to get an insider’s view on this team.
Let’s start at the most important position on the field. Are you really going to roll with Matt Hasselbeck again or will Jake Locker get a shot? I really liked what I saw from Locker from fantasy QB potential. What do you think his upside is this year?
Justin, TitanSized.com: As disappointing as it may be to everyone, fans especially, I believe the Titans will start out with Hasselbeck, who should be a valuable fantasy player due to the weapons at his disposal. As for Locker, I’ve got a feeling he might be starting halfway through the season, whether it be because of injury or the Titans just deciding he’s ready. Last year he excelled when he got his chances out there, nearly beating the Saints. Once he does get to start defenses will struggle to control a guy with so much heart that has a great arm and can scramble as well. Locker should be a valuable hand-cuff or 3rd string QB, should you be able to afford that many.
Z: The biggest play-maker on the Titan offense is supposed to be Chris Johnson. Last year he was a huge disappointment as a first-round pick to most fantasy owners. What went wrong? Was the missed camp time the big factor?
Justin, TitanSized.com: There were plenty of things that went wrong. Some said he didn’t report in shape after the holdout, some said he didn’t have the same speed, and some said he didn’t make decisions quick enough. I personally laid a lot of blame on the line. Almost 90% of the time he was getting hit behind the line. That makes it a little difficult to make any forward progress.
Z: What’s your gut feeling on CJ’s output? Do you see any other RB contributing?
Justin, TitanSized.com: There should be a lot of pressure taken off his shoulders this year with how stacked the passing offense is. This should be a bounce back year. I think a good guess would be somewhere around 1,500 yards.
Z: Kenny Britt has been a straight-money receiver every year until he goes down with a serious injury. Do you think this year is the year he finally stays healthy? If so, what’s his ceiling?
Justin, TitanSized.com: I sure hope he can stay healthy. The guy is an absolute beast. I don’t think anyone can truly say whether he’ll stay healthy with any certainty but there will be a lot of people rooting for him. Should he stay healthy, he’s still gonna see his passes being spread around to all the other weapons on offense, but there’s no denying how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands and how big of a redzone target he is. If he stays healthy, I think he gets at least 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Z: Kendall Wright is an intriguing pick to me. He’ll definitely contribute on special teams right away. Does he have upside as a receiver in year one?
Justin, TitanSized.com: He’s a day one starter. Considering the Titans are going to be careful with Kenny Britt this year, at least to start off the season, he should see considerable action right off the bat. He’s a late-third to late-fourth round pick in my opinion.
Z: Jared Cook showed flashes as an athletic, pass-catching TE. Do you think he’s going to be a factor this season?
Justin, TitanSized.com: The Titans sure hope so. They’ve been waiting for him to emerge for some time and this last season it looked like he was finally starting to come out. The Titans are moving to a pass first offense, so I do think Cookie will be a factor. How much? That’s debatable, but he certainly has upside.
Z: Is there any other player on the Titans offense you see having a breakout year?
Justin, TitanSized.com: On offense? Not so much. That pretty much covers it. As for defense, Alterraun Verner is sneaking into Cortland Finnegan’s Nickel spot and I think he’s really going to thrive there. Verner has great instincts and should come up with a lot more take aways this season. If you’ve got a league where you pick defensive players, Verner would be a solid choice.
Z: The Titans used their second round pick on Zach Brown a speedy linebacker out of UNC. Is he expected to start this season and if so will he make an impact?
Justin, TitanSized.com: It’s really hard to say. Some people (Mike Mayock) have been really hard on him, but he sounds like he’s a pretty good cover guy with blazing speed. I’m waiting for camp to start up to hear how he does there, but he’s certainly in line to start. I’m not so sure he’ll start game one, but he could be out there halfway through the season. The Titans drafted him with the hopes of bringing in a linebacker who’ll take away the ball in coverage. That’s what I’m hoping for.
Z: Last one, give me your realistic expectation for the Titans this season, and then your perfect scenario. Can they realistically make the playoffs?
Justin, TitanSized.com: My sober-faced, non-dreaming, realistic expectation for the Titans this season would be them finishing 9-7. The perfect scenario would be them starting of the season with a strong victory against the New England Patriots and foll0wing that with a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. It’ll be an uphill battle all year but I think once they make it past the first quarter of the season, if they’ve got a decent record, they’ve got a pretty good shot at making the playoffs.
If you enjoyed this interview here’s the links to our previous fantasy previews: Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, and Green Bay Packers. Come back tomorrow as we preview the Oakland Raiders.