Titans' fantasy questions for the offseason

William Del Pilar
Titans' fantasy questions for the offseason

31st in a series.

The Titans continue their growth at the quarterback position and hope for RB Chris Johnson to improve from a subpar season. If they can get WR Kenny Britt back, combined with TE Jared Cook, there is fantasy value on this roster.

Who will be the quarterback for the Titans?

Matt Hasselbeck is the veteran who the team knows can direct the offense after performing above expectations in 2011. He slowed down in the second half but the team relied more on CJ2K's legs in the second half. Hasselbeck threw for 3,571 yards, 18 TD passes with 14 interceptions and chipped in 20-52-0 rushing. His average of 223.2 passing yards and 1.13 TDs with 0.88 interceptions in 16 games shows him to be a fantasy backup at best, assuming he regains the starting job. The team announced it will be an open battle, thus further devaluing him entering the offseason.   

Jake Locker saw playing time in 2011 and enough to convince the team he can compete for the starting job in '12. In Week 14, he threw for 282 yards and one TD and showed great athletic ability and poise with leadership in rallying the team against New Orleans. If Hasselbeck wins the job, he'll be looking over his shoulder as Locker is the future and he's the past, making Locker a keeper in dynasty formats but a late-round pick at best in other formats.

Can RB Chris Johnson bounce back?

CJ2K's down season was partially his doing by coming into camp out of shape after a holdout and the lockout. The team will have to make sure it upgrades the interior of the O-line, but CJ2K did not have solid numbers on the surface. He totaled 262-1,047-4 rushing and 57-418-0 receiving on 79 targets — an average of 21.3 utilizations for 91.56 yards from scrimmage and 0.25 TDs in 16 games. He had four games with more than 100 yards and totaled 23-190-0 rushing against the Buccaneers. However, all four of his 100-yard games came against losing teams with poor run defenses, which is why questions remain. Keep him in all formats and watch what the team does to upgrade the line. His overall value will be dictated by that, but he probably will be taken around the third round in most 12-team leagues.

The team will keep the backfield depth of Javon Ringer (59-185-1 rushing and 28-187-0 receiving on 36 targets) and Jamie Harper (17-44-1 rushing and 4-32-0 on six targets) but neither has fantasy value heading into the offseason. Ringer is the primary handcuff to CJ2K on draft day.

Will WR Kenny Britt be effective?

Britt's 2011 season ended with ACL and MCL tears in his knee in Week Three. However, he is jogging and on schedule to be ready by training camp. Britt's talent showed through immediately with the first two weeks of the season when he totaled 14-271-3 receiving. If he stays out of trouble this offseason (a recurring problem for him, especially during the lockout), he should have value as a No. 2 fantasy receiver because you have to take his injury into account. Coming off ACL injuries, running backs generally take two years before production returns but wide receivers could be playing well after one season depending on how quickly he heals.

Nate Washington will return as the No. 2 wideout and across from Britt he's a viable fantasy receiver. He totaled 74-1,023-7 on 121 targets last season, which easily led the team and exceeded fantasy expectations. However, his numbers will drop with the return of Britt and the likely expansion of TE Jared Cook's role. Look for Washington as an early late-round target as quality fantasy depth for your roster.

Lavelle Hawkins (47-470-1 on 77 targets) and Damian Williams (45-592-5 on 94 targets) are complementary players. They only have value if the starters suffer injury.

Can TE Jared Cook finally get to the next level?

Cook ended the season strong by totaling 21-335-1 on 26 targets in the final three games. He ended with 49-759-3 receiving on 81 targets and is someone to target as your No. 2 tight end with upside. He's a keeper in dynasty formats and if the hype doesn't begin on his potential during the offseason, he's a potentially undervalued pick.

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