I do not expect a successful season from the 2023 Tennessee Titans. However, that does not mean there aren’t some fantasy football nuggets to uncover with this team. For years, the offense has run through Derrick Henry. As he approaches 30 years old with less tread left on his tires, it will be interesting to see the play calling and production out of the Titans.
Tennessee Titans Fantasy Football Preview
Key Subtractions and Additions
Subtractions: Taylor Lewan (OT), Ben Jones (C), Nate Davis (OG), Robert Woods (WR), David Long (LB)
Additions: Andre Dillard (OT), Arden Key (LB), Peter Skoronski (Rookie OG), Will Levis (Rookie QB), Tajae Spears (Rookie RB)
After drafting Will Levis in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, this will likely be Ryan Tannehill’s last season in Tennessee. During his time with the Titans, he’s averaged over 20.0 fantasy points per game just once in four seasons. In the last two specifically, Tannehill hasn’t averaged over 15.9 points in either.
I don’t expect 2023 to be any better for Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans’ passing game. The team neglected to add any notable pass catchers to an already weak group. That indicates to me the Titans will remain one of the run-heaviest teams in the NFL. For that reason, Tannehill is barely a streamer in 1QB fantasy leagues and a weak second starter in 2QB or Superflex formats.
Will Levis could step in this season for the Titans if they start to go downhill fast. He wouldn’t be expected to turn the season around, but rather see how he looks in legitimate pro-level action. Malik Willis, Tennessee’s third-round selection from last year, is probably going to get cut or traded. I’m holding him, if possible, in deeper dynasty formats just in case he ends up somewhere with the potential to start in the next season or two.
Since 2019, the Tennessee Titans have an average of 28.1 or more rush attempts per game. They’ve ranked in the top-12, as high as first in 2021, in rush attempts per season across the league. Derrick Henry is a big reason why. As a result, he’s finished as RB7, RB4, RB1 (eight games), and RB4 on a points-per-game basis since 2019. He also had back-to-back rushing titles in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Henry enters the 2023 season with 2,046 career touches at 29 years old. He is also set to be a free agent next off-season. Even more significant, the Titans’ offensive line is doing a major overhaul. Three of their 2022 Week 1 starters are no longer with the team. Additionally, Dennis Daly, who filled in for Taylor Lewan after a season-ending injury, is also gone. They plan to fill their spots with rookie Peter Skoronski and former first round pick, Andre Dillard, who couldn’t hold a starting job with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 2023 Tennessee Titans offensive line is extremely unproven and arguably the worst Henry will run behind in his career. Given that it’s a contract year for Henry, the Titans are either going to feed him an average of 20 carries per game or trade him before the NFL’s deadline. Even though there are concerns about his knee, Tajae Spears would be the running back I’m most interested in behind Henry if he were unavailable to the Titans in 2023. His 2022 season at Tulane University of 229 carries for 1,581 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns stands out as a player who can handle a workhorse role on a run-heavy team.
Losing Robert Woods in free agency is a significant loss to the Tennessee Titans wide receiver group and he didn’t even have a good 2022 season. Woods leaves behind second-year player Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Kyle Philips as the starting receivers in three-receiver sets. Everyone behind them on the depth chart, you probably have not heard of.
I think by now you can tell I won’t be targeting any Titans receiver in fantasy drafts. Ironically, I don’t know if Ryan Tannehill will be targeting them either in Tennessee’s offense. Until defenses stack the box against Derrick Henry, the Titans should force-feed him the ball for most of their games.
Treylon Burks could be a second-year breakout based on volume. As of now, I consider him a flex option. He still has a ways to go before he lives up to replacing A.J. Brown, if he ever does. Burks is the only Titans wide receiver that should be drafted this season. He’s worth taking with late-round draft capital in redraft leagues and stashing until we see consistent production. I just think others are going to draft him higher than I’m comfortable with.
The Titans’ tight end room belongs to Chigoziem Okonkwo. After a slow start last year, Okonkwo averaged 9.5 fantasy points from Weeks 12 through 18. During the span, he averaged 4.5 targets per game with three games over 10.5 fantasy points.
Given the state of the wide receiver group in Tennessee, I expect Okonkwo to be the second-leading pass catcher drawing nearly double his 46 targets from last season. At worst, he is a strong streamer, but should settle in as a low-end TE1 given the state of the position.
I’m likely fading the Tennessee Titans’ defense in fantasy football this season. Their 2022 unit tied for the sixth-lowest points per game average (6.1) last season. Now, the AFC South consists of an ascending Jacksonville Jaguars offense, incoming rookie dual-threat quarterback, Anthony Richardson, and rookie precision passer, C.J. Stroud.
The Titans lost David Long to the Miami Dolphins in free agency. He was second in interceptions, combination tackles, tackle assists, and third in solo tackles last season for the Titans after playing just 12 games. Their 2023 defense seems to lack an identity with no clear leader on that side of the ball.
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