Once again, we continue to look at the top dynasty players from whatever teams we can pull from. This time, we’re taking a look at the reigning AFC South champion Tennessee Titans, who are looking to defend their crown and perhaps go further. To do so, they’ll need to prove they can survive without the likes of wide receiver Corey Davis, tight end Jonnu Smith, and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
There’s some good top-end talent on this team, but where can we pull from? Let’s find out for ourselves, as we look at five of the best dynasty players on the Titans roster.
Ryan Tannehill, QB (32)
In his time with the Titans, Tannehill has become an underrated star quarterback in dynasty. With a new team, he’s thrived, taking Tennessee to consecutive postseason trips and earning them their first AFC South title since 2008.
In 2020, Tannehill continued his dynasty success, throwing for 3,819 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while rushing for 266 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. This was good enough to rank seventh on Fantasy Data’s metrics, as he put up 343.36 fantasy points on the year.
There is a bit of concern on my end on how Tannehill can sustain his fantasy success with the departures of Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, and Arthur Smith, though at least Derrick Henry and AJ Brown still remain with the team. But Tannehill turns 33 in July, so he should have several more good years in dynasty play.
Derrick Henry, RB (27)
I don’t think this needs to be said. Becoming the league’s first 2,000-yard rusher since Adrian Peterson in 2012, Henry also became the second player in Titans history (after Chris Johnson) to hit the mark.
The number one non-QB in dynasty, Henry amassed 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns during a First-Team All-Pro campaign. These numbers were most for all running backs and 11th for all players on Fantasy Data’s metrics, as he put up 314.1 fantasy points on the year.
If there’s an issue with going forward with Henry as your team’s dynasty back, it’s that backs on second contracts tend to have this curse where they get worn out and aren’t nearly the same player as they were on their rookie deals. We’ll see if the run-heavy attack of Tennessee comes to claim another back, but there doesn’t seem to be any signs of stoppage on his part.
I wouldn’t expect Henry to hit 2,000 yards again, but with a receiving corps that doesn’t look as solid as 2020’s unit, the Titans will probably try their best to anyway. That’s all the better for Henry owners.
AJ Brown, WR (23)
Henry isn’t the only star power in Nashville. Coming off his first Pro Bowl season, Brown has become one of the flashiest receivers in the league, putting up 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. Incredibly, he was also able to hit this mark in 2020 despite injuring both of his knees (which required surgery in the off-season).
In total, Brown’s 2020 campaign saw him put up 70 receptions for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns. These numbers gave him 171.5 fantasy points, making him the WR10 on Fantasy Data’s metrics.
What’s incredible about Brown is that even with weakened knees he was still able to rack up high amounts of broken tackles; According to Pro Football Reference, Brown broke 13 tackles in 2020, only trailing Alvin Kamara (16) and DeAndre Hopkins (15) as receivers. Thanks to his speed and frame he’s able to shed off tackles and crank up serious yardage after the catch, making him one of the league’s premiere chunk play receivers.
Brown should remain a solid dynasty addition even without Davis and Smith by his side. He and fellow Ole Miss teammate DK Metcalf are the kind of physical talents you don’t see often in the NFL, and when you do they tend to fizzle out. With solid route running and dangerous after the catch playmaking, it goes without saying that Brown is an easy yes in dynasty.
Monty Rice, LB (22)
A linebacker at Georgia, Rice produced 219 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles, and five pass disruptions during his time in the SEC. The Titans scooped him up in the third round of the 2021 draft, and he’s projected to be the replacement for Rashaan Evans in Tennessee’s scheme.
Rice in college was shown to be a hard tackler and has shown to have enough of a consistent tackle production that he should be valuable early on in his career with the Titans. Of course, tackles don’t automatically make a good player, but this is dynasty, where players are evaluated differently than they would be on film. In this instance, Rice would be a safe pick for an IDP team.
Harold Landry, EDGE (24)
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, since we have yet to see the Landry breakout season I desired. That at least comes from the dynasty department. In 2020, Landry put up 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 16 quarterback hits, underwhelming numbers for an edge rusher, especially one as physically gifted as this one.
However, with a near non-existent supporting cast on the defensive line, Landry did manage to have 34 separate quarterback pressures according to Pro Football Reference, good enough to be 13th-most among all defenders in 2020. It’s a shame that hasn’t translated to sacks and QB hits, as Landry’s bend is sensational and reminds me of prime Von Miller.
The Titans addressed the defensive line in the off-season by signing Bud Dupree from the Steelers and Denico Autry from the Colts. Together, along with interior lineman Jeffery Simmons, this should be a much more formidable defensive line than what was trotted out in 2020.
In this case, I have some hope that this takes some attention away from Landry and allows him to have a breakout season at last. He’s a talented edge rusher, so I’d proceed with caution if you participate in an IDP league.
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