The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Eric Decker. The former Jet gives QB Marcus Mariota a talented, steady veteran presence. Decker shouldn't keep Corey Davis from reaching the top of the WR depth chart if the rookie proves ready to do so, but he'll cut into the available targets and certainly make it tough for Rishard Matthews to deliver another fantasy-starter line. Decker could also block 3rd-round WR Taywan Taylor from turning into a fantasy surprise this season. We'll see this summer just how healthy Decker is coming off groin and shoulder surgeries at the end of last year. But he reportedly looked good in Jets OTAs before his release. Another receiving weapon makes Mariota even more attractive around the fringe of QB1 territory in fantasy football drafts.
The Jets have released WR Eric Decker, saving $7.25 million against the 2017 salary cap. They tried to find a trade partner but found no takers with the other 31 teams knowing that Decker would be released. It shouldn't take him long to find a new job on the open market. Decker has reportedly been medically cleared from last year's shoulder and hip surgeries and has remained productive. He posted an 80-1,027-12 line back in 2015 and hit pay dirt in 2 of 3 games last year. Only 5 players have scored more receiving TDs than Decker since 2011.
Titans WR Tajae Sharpe injured his foot last week and had surgery, HC Mike Mularkey announced Thursday. Sharpe is expected to be ready for training camp. Still, the missed time doesn't help a guy trying to hold off talented rookie Taywan Taylor for the #3 WR job. Neither Taylor nor Sharpe is on the redraft radar right now.
Titans HC Mike Mularkey revealed on Thursday that RB DeMarco Murray recently had surgery on his hand. Mularkey said it addressed a "minor, nagging injury" and that Murray will be out of his cast by Monday. He's expected to be fine for the start of training camp and is even pushing to practice next week. This doesn't sound like anything to worry about, but we'll keep an eye on Murray.
The Jets have informed WR Eric Decker that he'll be traded or released this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move will save the rebuilding Jets a little over $7 million this season. It'll also see them lose their only proven pass-catcher. New York's WR depth chart now reads: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Charone Peake. That group will try to catch passes from some combination of Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. God speed, Jets fans. Decker, meanwhile, should find a new job relatively quickly. And it figures to be in a spot much more conducive to fantasy production.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota responded well to his first appearance in OTAs. “It felt great,” said Mariota, who’s coming off a fractured fibula on December 24. “Four months ago I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to participate in OTAs, and being able to do some of the drills... I was very happy and very grateful. It was fun to be out there with the guys, and I enjoyed it.” HC Mike Mularkey confirmed that the Titans will take it slow with their franchise passer. “We’ll take it day by day with Marcus,” Mularkey said. “He’d like to do more. He looks like he can do more, but it’s May, so we have time.” A notoriously hard worker, Mariota is on track to be 100% well ahead of Week 1.
Jets WR Eric Decker was on the field for the start of this week's OTAs. He was sporting a red no-contact jersey, and it's unclear how much he'll actually do. But the fact that he's out there at all is good news after he underwent shoulder and hip surgeries last year. Barring setbacks, Decker should be ready for training camp and a full-go by the time Week 1 rolls around. A healthy Decker could dominate targets for the Brandon Marshall-less Jets.
Jets WR Eric Decker, recovering from shoulder and hip surgeries, expects to be ready for the start of training camp. “My health is good. I’m back and I’m doing everything right now,” he said. “There are no [structural] issues. I’m just getting my strength back. But as far as everything else, I’m a full go." Decker has been bandied about as a cut candidate for the rebuilding Jets, who drafted a pair of WRs last weekend. If he sticks around, though, Decker figures to dominate targets on a team that will often find itself playing catchup. He's a nice value in MFL10s at his current 8th-round ADP.
The Titans selected TE Jonnu Smith in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Florida International product broke out for a 61-710-8 line as a true sophomore in 2014. He failed to reach those heights over the past 2 years, missing time with a sprained knee in 2015 and then when his girlfriend tossed a pot of boiling water at him this past year. (Seriously.) Smith tested well at the Combine, running a 4.62-second 40 with a 38-inch vertical and strong times in the agility drills at 6’3 and 248 pounds. He finished with an 87th percentile SPARQ score. Smith won’t be a 2017 fantasy factor but has a shot to eventually replace the 32-year-old Delanie Walker.
The Titans selected WR Taywan Taylor in the 3rd round. Taylor stayed 4 years at Western Kentucky, posting massive numbers over his last two (184-3197-34). A slippery pass catcher, the 22-year-old impressed at the Scouting Combine by running the 3-cone drill in 6.57 seconds and posting a 132" broad jump. In Tennessee, Taylor projects as the #3 WR for 2017 behind Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews. But the 5'11, 203-pounder carries long-term #2 upside in a passing game led by emerging star Marcus Mariota.
The Titans spent their 2nd pick of Round 1 Thursday night on USC CB Adoree Jackson. This is the kind of rookie CB you want to take a shot on late in your IDP draft. Jackson defensed 28 passes over 3 years and delivered 8 TDs as a kick and punt returner. ESPN's Jon Gruden also touts his willingness to "throw his body around" as a tackler. CB is a low-value position at draft time, but don't be surprised if Jackson claims a starting role for Tennessee at some point this year and offers some fantasy scoring.
The Titans used the #5 overall pick on WR Corey Davis. He was a stat-compiling machine at Western Michigan, leaving as the NCAA’s record holder for career receiving yards (5,278). After posting a 67-941-6 line as a true freshman, he topped 1,400 yards and 12 TDs in each of his final 3 seasons. He certainly squared off against some weaker competition in the MAC but also averaged 5.8 catches, 77.9 yards and .6 TDs in 9 games against “Power 5” conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12). An ankle injury prevented Davis from working out in the pre-draft process, but he looks plenty athletic on film. He’s also 1 of the most advanced route runners in the class. Davis has a shot to quickly become Tennessee’s #1 WR, bumping Rishard Matthews to the #2 spot. QB Marcus Mariota’s stock is on the rise.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that former Jaguars S Jonathan Cyprien has reached a deal with the Titans. Cyprien heads to a defense that supplied little fantasy football production from safeties in recent seasons. DC Dick LeBeau's system also didn't tend to produce big tackle numbers from the safeties. That category has driven Cyprien's IDP value to date, so it's tough to like his outlook. Unless his ADP falls, we'd bet on Cyprien being overrated in 2017 drafts.
We passed along earlier this week HC Mike Mularkey's hint that Titans RB DeMarco Murray might draw even more pass targets in 2017. Well, Mularkey has also answered the question of whether Murray will remain the workhorse he was in 2016. “Derrick [Henry] is an important part of our offense,’’ Mularkey said, via the team’s website. “Obviously DeMarco Murray is the guy. He has shown he is the guy and he will continue to be that guy. But I will say this: Each week we put a different game plan together. We spend a lot of hours preparing to play the opponent. And Derrick, and as you saw, some games he was more involved than others. And a lot is based on how we are going to attack the opponent." We'd bet on Henry being at least a bit more involved on offense on a regular basis this season. But don't draft him like he's ready to take Murray's job -- or even half of it -- especially in early drafting. It might take a Murray injury or big drop-off in performance come summer to give Henry such an opportunity. Of course, another season as 2nd fiddle could make Henry a solid "buy" candidate in dynasty formats.
Titans HC Mike Mularkey wants his RBs to focus a bit less on pass protection and a bit more on getting out into their routes. (You don't hear that too often!). “I’d say we’ve got to get our backs out quicker,” Mularkey said. "... We may have over-emphasized it too much that the backs are waiting for something to happen and trying to get an extra chip. But we’ve got to get them out quicker." DeMarco Murray caught 53 balls on 67 targets last year -- both top-8 marks among RBs. It sounds like there's a chance he sees even more action in the passing game in 2017. The big question for the 29-year-old Murray is whether he can hold off Derrick Henry.
Titans HC Mike Mularkey said Wednesday that the team will be "very cautious" with QB Marcus Mariota, and that the plan is to hold him out until training camp. "He's right on schedule," Mularkey added. Mariota will spend the majority of the offseason rehabbing that broken fibula, which obviously isn't ideal for a 3rd-year QB. He'll at least be returning to the same offense, though, so there's no learning curve there. Mariota will certainly be worth targeting in 2017 fantasy drafts if the price is right. He was sitting 8th among QBs in fantasy points through 16 weeks this past year.
Titans RB DeMarco Murray told reporters after Sunday's season finale that he's been playing through a torn plantar plate in his foot. That injury presumably happened in the Week 8 game against the Jaguars, when he suffered a foot injury. Murray averaged 4.55 yards per carry in the 7 games leading up to that one vs. 3.99 over his final 8. The injury shouldn't impact his 2017 offseason, but Murray will come with plenty of risk in 2017 fantasy drafts. He'll be a 29-year-old with over 1,400 career carries and a talented youngster behind him in Derrick Henry.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota is expected to be sidelined 4-5 months after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair his fractured fibula. “From what I am told, he shouldn’t (lose any mobility) if the surgery goes well," HC Mike Mularkey said. Mariota might miss some or all of OTAs and minicamps, but he should be ready to go for training camp. He turned in a strong 2nd season, tossing 26 TDs vs. just 9 INTs. Mariota is sitting 8th among QBs in fantasy points through 16 weeks. QB Matt Cassel will start Sunday's finale vs. the Texans.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota fractured his fibula in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars. He's done for the season -- even if Tennessee makes it to the playoffs. They'll need the Texans to lose to the Bengals tonight to have a shot at the postseason. QB Matt Cassel will step in as the Titans' starter the rest of the way. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 124 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in mop-up duty vs. the Jags.
Titans DE Jurrell Casey (foot) is active and returning to action today against the Chiefs. He missed last week after getting hurt before the Week 13 bye. Casey put in limited practices all week, though, and should be playable as a lower-level fantasy D-lineman.
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