Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown
Marcus Mariota: 277.8 total, 17.4 ppg (320/500 passing, 3900 yards, 22 TD, 12 INT; 458 yards rushing, 3 TD, 3 fumbles lost)
I think it’s safe to say the “exotic smashmouth” offense was not as effective as hoped. New OC Matt LaFleur is untested, but brings with him the Sean McVay scheme that instantly turned the Rams around. The Titans defense is underrated and the 1-2 punch of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis at running back is one of the better pairs in the league so Mariota should not have to carry this offense. It follows that he should not see high volume as a passer, but if he bounces back to 2016 form his numbers should be adequate. Bolstered by his abilities as a runner, Mariota should be in the mix as a low-end QB1.
Derrick Henry: 240.1 total, 15.0 ppg (275 carries, 1265 yards, 11 TD, 1 fumble lost; 20 Rec, 236 yards, 1 TD)
Dion Lewis: 187.0 total, 11.7 ppg (125 carries, 600 yards, 4 TD, 0 fumbles lost; 50 Rec, 410 yards, 2 TD)
After thunder and thunder underwhelmed last year, new OC LaFleur will stick to a more traditional thunder and lightning duo. The monstrous Henry should carry the lead back role and dominate early down work while Lewis mixes in as the change of pace back and passing game specialist. With a quietly stout defense, Tennessee figures to run the ball plenty to support both backs in fantasy. Henry should be a high-end RB2 while Lewis figures to be a RB2/3. Both have the ability to shoulder additional touches as 3-down backs, so if either goes down to injury or general ineffectiveness the other should immediately be considered a low-end RB1.
Corey Davis: 204.5 total, 12.8 ppg (70 Rec, 945 yards, 7 TD, 1 fumble lost)
Rishard Matthews: 137.0 total, 8.6 ppg (45 Rec, 680 yards, 4 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Taywan Taylor: 98.1 total, 6.1 ppg (35 Rec, 511 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Finally healthy after injuries derailed his rookie year, Davis appears set to take over lead receiver duties from Matthews. Route timing has been an issue between Davis and Mariota thus far, but that’s fixable with more reps. The bigger issue is the lack of volume in this offense. Delanie Walker will command a fair number of targets at tight end and both running backs are perfectly capable receivers themselves. Davis may eat up most of the receiver targets, but there just aren’t that many targets left. Unless Mariota makes a significant leap in year 4, Davis will most likely be stuck as a low-end WR2 while Matthews should be a fantasy bench-warmer as a WR5. Taylor was slated to be the starting slot receiver, but Tajae Sharpe has been mixing in during the preseason. Taylor didn’t hold much fantasy value when he was the presumptive starter, so now that the position is up in the air neither Taylor nor Sharpe is worth drafting.
Delanie Walker: 168.3 total, 10.5 ppg (65 Rec, 813 yards, 4 TD, 1 fumble lost)
There’s really not much to report here. By all accounts Walker remains the lead tight end and will operate as Mariota’s security blanket, a role he’s filled exceedingly well for several years now. He should continue to chug along as a reliable back-end TE1.