The Titans feel like a team on the verge of a rebuild, but they're not going down that route yet. They're still going to ride a 29-year-old Derrick Henry for at least one more year, and the . If things go sideways again, at least they have a young QB in Will Levis they could turn to to see if he can be the long-term answer.
Record: 7 - 10 (20)
PPG: 17.5 (28)
YPG: 296.8 (30)
Pass YPG: 171.4 (30)
Rush YPG: 125.4 (13)
PAPG: 26.8 (30)
RAPG: 28.6 (11)
2022 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 926
That's how many receiving yards the incumbent wide receivers on the Titans roster had last season, combined. Hopkins had 717 in nine games a year ago, so yeah, there's little question he's going to be the No. 1 WR here. That probably won't lead to the same kinds of numbers we've seen in the past from Hopkins, but it should keep him in the WR2 discussion -- on the low end for me, but I think you could make a case for him being inside of the top 20, at least. The bigger question is whether there is still room for first-rounder Treylon Burks entering his second season to break out. I think so, but obviously this makes the path a bit narrower, especially because Burks is almost entirely unproven -- he had three games with more than 60 receiving yards as a rookie. However, I'll just note that you only have to go as far back as 2020 to see A.J. Brown finished as WR7 in points per game, while Corey Davis was WR31.
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22 RB carries, 26 RB targets, 103 WR targets, 76 TE targets
Rankings and projections
Chris Towers' projections
|Ryan Tannehill||PA: 493, YD: 3695, TD: 25, INT: 10; RUSH -- ATT: 47, YD: 190, TD: 2|
|Derrick Henry||CAR: 309, YD: 1265, TD: 12; TAR: 44, REC: 35, YD: 293, TD: 1|
|Tyjae Spears||CAR: 119, YD: 475, TD: 3; TAR: 20, REC: 15, YD: 118, TD: 1|
|DeAndre Hopkins||TAR: 123, REC: 81, YD: 976, TD: 7|
|Treylon Burks||TAR: 103, REC: 64 YD: 834, TD: 5|
|Kyle Philips||TAR: 59, REC: 36, YD: 356, TD: 2|
|Chigoziem Okonkwo||TAR: 69, REC: 47, YD: 584, TD: 3|
How does DeAndre Hopkins change this offense?
There's a lot of talk about target competition in Fantasy Football analysis these days, and for good reason. It's important to take a player's teammates into account, and when it comes to a team like the 49ers, it's legitimately hard to see how four potentially elite Fantasy skill players are going to make an impact on a low-volume pass offense. There's a math problem there that is hard to figure out.
That's not really the case here. Yes, the Titans figure to be one of the lowest pass volume teams in the NFL, which makes it tough to project too much of a ceiling for any pass catcher. But they also figure to be a highly-concentrated passing attack; they had three WR or more on the field on just 33.3% of their pass snaps last season, which means there are going to be plenty of times when Hopkins and Burks are the only wideouts on the field. We know Hopkins is one of the best target-earners in the NFL, even in his 30s, and it's pretty easy to project him for a 25% target share here as a floor.
But there's still plenty of room for Burks to get to 100 targets, here, even with the addition of Hopkins, because the rest of the offense is still pretty uninspiring. It is not a sure thing at all, of course, but more because Burks is pretty unproven rather than because of the addition of Hopkins. But if he's as good as we hope he can be, Burks still has plenty of potential even after the signing of Hopkins. In Dynasty leagues, I actually think he's quite a good trade target right now.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
The addition of Hopkins does potentially harm Okonkwo, pushing him from likely second in the hierarchy in a low-volume pass offense to third, but a lot of what I said about Burks also applies here -- if Okonkwo is as good as we hope he is, there's still room for him to get to, say, a 15-17% target share in a concentrated offense. Okonkow showed some upside as a playmaker as a rookie, averaging 14.1 yards per catch, including 7.9 after the catch. There probably isn't, say, 1,000-yard upside here, but there could be 800 yards and eight touchdowns if this offense hits its ceiling and Okonkwo is as good as we think he can be.
Burks showed some flashes as a rookie, and his combination of size and speed makes him a high-upside option. His chances of breaking out are slightly lower with the Hopkins added, but it's more about Burks living up to his potential. If he can, Hopkins' presence might actually help slightly because there will be less defensive attention on him. Maybe the super high-end outcome is less likely now, but I wasn't projecting Burks for a 25% target share anyways. But a 22-23% share could get Burks to 1,000-plus yards with his big-play potential.
I have Henry ranked a bit ahead of the consensus, coming off a season where he was the No. 4 RB in points per game, his fourth in a row with 19-plus PPR points per game. If Henry stays healthy, he's going to continue to get a ton of work, and the improved offense around him should once again make him a strong bet for double-digit touchdowns -- and if the growth in his passing game usage from the past two seasons sticks, he's a legitimate contender for the No. 1 RB spot. But there's no denying he's one of the riskiest early-round bets you can make. He's a 29-year-old, 250-pound running back with 1,466 touches over the past four seasons, including the postseason. He also missed half the 2021 season with a foot injury. There are injury and performance related red flags all over the place, and if he struggles, it shouldn't shock anyone. I still like him as a second-round pick especially, but it could go sideways very easily.