The Titans haven’t always been a star power offense, but they also have a player or two that stands out. Can the older players like Derrick Henry and the newly signed DeAndre Hopkins stand out? Can some young players like Treylon Burks or Chigoziem Okonkwo step up to star level? I break down the 2023 value for the Titans and how that could also affect their dynasty value.
Quarterback – Ryan Tannehill
The Titans are at a crossroads at their quarterback position. Ryan Tannehill is the starter for the 2023 season. For Tannehill, he had a nice resurgence for this dynasty career once coming over to the Titans. Tannehill is going into a contract year with the best team he has had over these four years in Tennessee. Before 2022, Tannehill was a QB1 in fantasy football in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The loss of AJ Brown and poor offensive offense line forced Tannehill into struggling. Tannehill has sleeper potential to reach QB2 in fantasy football again. The arrival of Hopkins and the progression of Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo could bring Tannehill back.
A contending team should buy low on Tannehill as a potential QB2/QB3 for the coming season. Hopkins should be able to help Tannehill improve a tremendous red zone completion %. He has two excellent receivers that can get things back on track. Again, this is a rush-first team, but this team needs to find its magic from a few years ago. Tannehill was so good because he saw seven rushing TDs in back-to-back seasons before 2022. If he can find a way to get back to that, he could be a steal for a contending team looking for a spark.
Does Youth Take Over
If Tannehill goes down, I expect the Titans to go out there with their rookie pick in Will Levis over Malik Willis. Willis had opportunities as a rookie but wasn’t ready for the spotlight. In dynasty, he is hanging on by a thread and likely only on dynasty rosters because someone spent decent capital on him. He didn’t throw a passing TD, held under 100 yards in three starts, and had under a 61% completion rate. He would likely need to stand out in camp for a chance, but I haven’t heard any good news about him lately, which is terrible. Willis is a nonfactor and should be cut off by dynasty rosters soon.
Levis likely shouldn’t start unless Tannehill gets hurt. The Titans are the proud team that will attempt to win no matter what, and Tannehill gives them that chance. If Levis has to start, he’ll have a decent core around him to compete. He likely won’t have any magic to be fantasy relevant in 2023. Right now, Levis is a hold in dynasty teams, and to have hope that he can start in 2024. He has some tools to be a good fantasy quarterback, but it won’t be in 2023.
Running Back – Derrick Henry
Henry is 29, so he needs to be on a contending dynasty team. If you are holding him and not a contender, WAIT until the first few weeks of the season because the likelihood you can get a first-round pick will be up. Henry remains an RB1 for 2023 due to his carry share and touchdown upside. Henry feeds on a run-first team that will continue to give him another 300-carry season. He also has double-digit touchdowns in five straight seasons. He recently saw an increase in his receiving ability, with 41 targets in 2022. If Henry can get up to 55 range plus his rushing, that could be a top 5 fantasy running back. For Contending teams, you want to have in on this for 2023.
Of course, the long-term value isn’t there since his contract will be up and 30 years old for the 2024 season. He likely won’t take low money to play, as we recently seem he is not thrilled with running backs not getting paid. Henry is not like most running backs, so I’d be interested to see his future as a 30-year-old. Henry could see a few more seasons of solid running back production. The dip for his value is a cheap bargain due to his age, so buy now for 2023.
The Back Ups
If something happens to Henry again because he is age, the following players are Tyjae Spears, Hassan Haskins, and Julius Chestnut. Spears will likely see some standalone value in his game due to his ability in the passing game. Spears caught 22 receptions for 256 yards last season. The Titans don’t have that element in their game. He should be the next man up and a good rebuilding piece for a rebuilding team. If you are the Henry owner, you should get him as a handcuff because his value is currently cheaper. His dynasty value is cloudy because he doesn’t have an ACL. The one to three-year window for Spears could be very interesting on a team.
Haskins was arrested back in June but is still with the team. I wouldn’t rely on him in 2023, and likely, Id cut him from dynasty rosters right now. He barely saw an opportunity last year to make us feel comfortable holding on to him. Chestnut could see work if an injury occurs, but he likely isn’t a player worth holding on to in fantasy.
Wide Receiver – Treylon Burks
The doubts are sinking in on Burks with the signing of Hopkins. Without a doubt, Burks was supposed to be the leading target receiver before the signing as he looks to rebound in 2023. There is a stat out there that Burks is doomed to fail because if rookies don’t score at least 80 fantasy points, they don’t pan out. It’s an interesting video to watch. Shout out to Tim Martins, another writer for Dynasty Nerds. The logic makes sense that Burks is doomed to fail. Of course, many have spent first-round rookie capital to get him.
I think for everything Burks went through as a rookie, he can still provide solid fantasy numbers. It will depend on whether Hopkins will get fed the ball or not. Burks could still reach 90-plus targets, which don’t scream WR2 numbers. Burks could surprise in 2023 based on being the number two option in an offense that will throw enough to get to that 90-target range. Burks’s 17-game pace last season wasn’t all that bad. If you remove the four games, he had only three targets or less; The numbers show he can produce when he sees an opportunity. In seven games, he saw five-plus targets; Burks’s 17-game pace was 70 receptions and 900 yards. Of course, he didn’t score in those games but say four, and that could get you to WR2 numbers.
Burks is the younger and faster receiver than AJ Brown coming out of the draft. Realistically, he will still be able to produce for us in fantasy football as more of a WR3. His dynasty value has changed for me. I’d still be looking to buy low for a rebuilding team with some aging vets that a contender may want.
Hopkins lands in Tennessee, but the Titans have become the graveyard for former elite receivers. Hopkins is a tough player to evaluate for 2023 and the rest of his dynasty career. For one, he is a sell high after landing with a team finally. He follows a similar path to a former Titans, Julio Jones. A 30-year-old receiver has dealt with knee sprains and hamstring injuries the last few seasons but is moving to a team that doesn’t throw the ball. The Titans’ top target leader over the previous three seasons had a team-high just 106 targets. Hopkins reaching the 140 mark and gaining those receptions seem less likely. It’s strange because when Hopkins was on the field, he had double-digit targets in seven of nine games played. No Titans players had double digits once all season last year.
Hopkins returning to WR15 or better seems far from happening unless he can secure a high touchdown upside. Tannehill was top 15 in red zone completions in 2022. He could still bring us low WR2 numbers, but I’m selling off in dynasty before we see any decline in play. Even long-term Hopkins will likely play with Will Levis the following season, so the upside doesn’t seem there anymore. Plus, not many of the elite receivers have produced into their 30s very well. 31 seems to be the age where the cliff drops off many of them. I’m not thrilled about Hopkins’s short-term or long-term for any dynasty team.
The Mixed Bunch
If something happens to the primary two receivers, it’s not a great depth chart. Nick Wesbrooke-Ikhine will likely return to the starting lineup if injuries occur. He isn’t someone that should be on dynasty rosters. In two seasons where he saw starting playing time, he had just three games over ten fantasy points. He is a deep threat that isn’t being used in the offense. I don’t see much opportunity to produce in 2023, and he is likely a waiver guy in all your dynasty leagues; you should leave there.
Kyle Philips is an interesting player that should be rostered. In week one of 2022, Philips has six receptions for 66 yards. Tannehill has always been a quarterback who has favored a slot guy and helped us give that player great fantasy success. He is, at best, the third player in targets, so I don’t expect a WR3 season from him. Philips is a good stash to hold on to, so we must see if he can progress as a player for our dynasty roster. He should be on all dynasty rosters and could be a buy-low for a rebuilding team. No one else stands out, maybe Chris Moore, but he reminds me of a Westbrook-Ikhine player that flashes slightly but never will be consistent for a dynasty.
Tight End – Chigoziem Okonkwo
Okonkwo is an exciting young tight end for the dynasty. Once the Hopkins signings happened, folks were down on his dynasty value. It would be best if you took advantage of it now. The upside in targets he was supposed to get in 2023 seems to fade now because he is, at best third in target for the offense. In the last nine weeks of 2022, Okonkwo had four games with five-plus targets but managed to be TE10 with those limited targets. So I wouldn’t completely fade Okonkwo in the offense because he could still produce low-end TE1 numbers. Tannehill has thrown 13 touchdowns to tight end the last two seasons. Okonkwo should be the main weapon in the red zone.
If there is a breakout season in his career, it may not come in 2023, so buying the dip on him is crucial. Long-term, Okonkwo is a tight end you want to own based on his size and the 4.52 speed he offers for the position.
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