How will the Tennessee Titans’ WR depth chart pan out and targets be distributed? They made the splash of the off-season, trading for Julio Jones.
The Tennessee Titans decided to let TE Jonnu Smith and WR Corey Davis walk in free agency, leaving big holes in their receiving corps. The Titans drafted WR Dez Fitzpatrick in the fourth round, but they were not satisfied. In a big splash move, they traded for WR Julio Jones, making one of arguably the best WR duos in the NFL. On a run-heavy team, is there enough to go around? Let’s take a look at what I project to happen in 2021 before training camp.
The Titans replaced Offensive Coordinator Arthur Smith internally with TE coach Todd Downing. So the offense should remain close to the same as before. In my projections, I do have a slight uptick in passing percentage from 48% to 49.5%. Which would put pass attempts per game at 31.5, three higher than in 2020. Even though the Titans were 30th in pass attempts per game, they ranked seventh in yards per pass attempt. The offense was efficient and made good use of its opportunities. With a hall of fame improvement at wide receiver, the offensive efficiency should continue.
WR Depth Chart
192 targets are missing from the Titans offense in 2020, so there are plenty of opportunities. I think the depth chart will have a 1A and 1B with Brown and Jones. But how will the rest pan out?
Option 1A will be A.J. Brown because of his familiarity already with Ryan Tannehill and the Titans’ offense. On two bad knees, Brown finished 2020 as WR 11, with over 1,000 yards and 11 TDs. A return to health, and having an elite receiver on the other side of the offense, will only increase his opportunities. Jones does limit his ceiling, but I still have Brown as a WR 1 who will see more targets and production than 2020.
Julio Jones July 2021 IDP GUYS DYNASTY ADP – WR 25 OVR 68.5
Julio is option 1B, but that does not mean he will lack in production. He missed his most games since 2013 last year. Is he declining, or does he still have elite years left? In seven of the eight games that Julio played 50% or more of the snaps, he finished with over 15 fantasy points per game. When healthy, he was still the same Julio. Then with Jonnu leaving Tennesee, there are now plenty of red zone opportunities for Jones.
Josh Reynolds (Not in top 200 OFF ADP)
When Reynolds signed this off-season, it looked as though he could be in for a sizeable workload as the WR2. But with Julio Jones on board, Reynolds will be the third WR option. Targets may be hard to come by with two other receivers projected for over 100 targets each. Reynolds put up low numbers as the number three receiver with the Rams, and now he will be behind two elite receivers. He could be rostered in best ball, but for dynasty, I would go after a player with higher upside and potential. Reynolds is better for the Titans in a football sense than for fantasy.
Dez Fitzpatrick was a hot name in rookie drafts, thought to have the potential for a good role landing with the Titans. But with the Julio signing, he will be at least fourth on the depth chart. Reports out of minicamp are that he looks good, but there is a question about the size of this year’s role. The draft pick of Fitzpatrick seemed a little bit of a reach by the Titans. He never exceeded 45 receptions in a season at Louisville. It will be tough for him to see much of the field in 2021, barring injuries. Nonetheless, Fitzpatrick is an intriguing stash option in dynasty formats due to the uncertainty of Julio Jones’ time with the Titans.
Titans’ WR Conclusion
The Tennessee Titans are poised to take the AFC South crown. They have improved their already high-scoring offense with the addition of Jones, and maintain a balanced run/pass attack. As far as the Titans’ WR options, the top choices for fantasy in 2021 are obviously AJ Brown and Julio Jones. Jones is a steal according to ADP, but he may only have a couple of elite years left. My projection for Brown is under his WR4 ADP, but I think he will be a top ten receiver for years to come. In dynasty, I am fine with reaching for him to lock up the #1 receiver for many years to come.