Titans Fantasy Football Team Outlook: Taking the Next Step

by Kevin McHugh ·

The Tennessee Titans toiled in obscurity for almost a decade and a half, but after adding some key pieces over the past few seasons, they were finally able to insert themselves into the playoff conversation in 2016. Then the 2017 NFL Draft happened, and the Titans absolutely slayed, improving their offense, defense, and even their special teams. Here is a look at the Titans’ fantasy relevant players, including how the draft affected their value for the 2017 season and beyond.

Marcus Mariota: Quarterback

It is arguable as to whose fantasy stock increased the most as a result of the draft; Jameis Winston’s or Marcus Mariota’s. If you’re looking to compile huge passing numbers, Winston is your guy, but for straight efficiency, you can’t do much better than Mariota. Mariota took a big step in his 2nd NFL season, posting a +25.9 (No. 1) Production Premium and ranking in the Top-10 amongst quarterbacks in yards per attempt, Air Yards Per Attempt, and Fantasy Points Per Dropback.

Marcus Mariota-Quarterback-Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Working with an offensive line that ranked 7th in the league in pass-blocking efficiency, Marcus Mariota posted a 42-percent (No. 8) Deep Ball Completion Percentage, and even ran for 365 yards, 4th amongst quarterbacks.  With the addition of Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor, Mariota should be even more dangerous in 2017. Mariota has almost too many weapons at his disposal, and should be viewed as a Top-5 quarterback in both dynasty and redraft.


DeMarco Murray & Derrick Henry: Running Back

While not much has changed with the Titans’ offensive line or backfield, additional weapons in the passing game could provide more scoring opportunities for their running backs. DeMarco Murray, at age 29, probably has one or two productive seasons left in him, as he is a perfect fit for what the Titans do on offense. Murray’s 73.9-percent Opportunity Share ranked 6th amongst running backs in 2016, and Mike Mularkey has stated multiple times that Murray is their feature back.

Derrick Henry - Running Back- Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry Advanced Metrics Profile

If anything happens to DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry would immediately have Top-5 fantasy running back upside. Henry was effective in a limited role behind Murray in 2016, posting a +3.8 (No. 30) Production Premium while averaging a solid 3.1 (No. 16) Yards Per Carry vs. Stacked Fronts. With Marcus Mariota’s mobility and an offensive line that ranked 8th in run blocking efficiency last season, the ground game should be effective no matter who is carrying the ball.


Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis & Taywan Taylor: Wide Receiver

The Titans drafted Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he will make Tennessee’s offense better in every conceivable way. While Davis’ metrics profile is limited because he didn’t participate in most of the agility drills, his Breakout Age (18.7), yards per reception (16.8) and College Dominator Rating (51.6-percent) rank amongst the elite when it comes to current NFL wide receivers. Most comparable to Jordan Matthews, Davis provides the Titans with an outside threat, and will allow Tennessee to spread defenses out even further.


The only concern regarding Corey Davis is his shallow advanced metrics profile, but as a fantastic route-runner in a prolific offense, we believe he is worth the risk.

See where Davis, Matthews, and Taylor rank on the Updated PlayerProfiler Dynasty Rankings:

Taywan Taylor should be considered as more of a dynasty asset, but still has a chance to contribute in his rookie season. Taylor is more of a slot receiver than Tajae Sharpe, and he shouldn’t have any trouble beating out Harry Douglas.


With a 38.6-percent (76th-percentile) College Dominator Rating, 17.7 (85th-percentile) yards per reception, and a 10.78 (92nd-percentile) Agility Score, Taylor’s most comparable player is Doug Baldwin, and if he is able to click with Marcus Mariota early, he will be worth keeping an eye on in redraft formats.

Rishard Matthews - Wide Receiver - Tennessee Titans

Rishard Matthews Advanced Metrics Profile

Unfortunately, the presence of Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor won’t help Rishard Matthews’ fantasy value. Matthews was one of the most efficient receivers in football last season with a +22.2 (No. 10) Production Premium and a +15.1-percent (No. 14) Target Premium, and while Davis’ presence should allow Matthews to be even more efficient, it is unlikely he will see 108 targets again. Matthews should continue to be usable in weekly matchups and bye weeks, but we wouldn’t expect 9 touchdowns again, either.

Delanie Walker, Tight End

The Titans use Delanie Walker in a variety of ways, but in an offense that is all of sudden loaded with playmakers, it may be difficult for him to contribute on a weekly basis. While Walker is a classic case of a tight end who didn’t break out until later in his career, he will begin the 2017 season at 33 years of age, and the Titans selected his heir apparent, Jonnu Smith, in the 3rd round.

Jonnu Smith Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

While we don’t expect Jonnu Smith to immediately threaten Delanie Walker’s playing time, the fact remains that Walker’s targets dropped from 133 in 2015 to 102 in 2016, and that was only due to the addition of Rishard Matthews. Walker can still be a productive tight end, but will be drafted higher than he should in redraft formats.