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Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

After a week of internal discussion, the Titans have decided to fire HC Mike Munchak and the rest of the coaching staff, including OC Dowell Loggains.  Munchak spent 31 years with the organization -- 12 as a player, 19 on the coaching staff -- and finishes his 3-year run as HC with a 22-26 record.  Tennessee didn't finish any of those seasons in the top half of the league in offense. The Titans' new HC will have big decisions to make at QB and RB.  Jake Locker has struggled with consistency and durability, while Chris Johnson is due $8 million after averaging 3.9 yards per carry this past season.

Titans insider Jim Wyatt writes that, "maybe it’s time to give [RB Chris] Johnson more short-yardage tries."  RB Jackie Battle was stuffed on 3 separate occasions when he needed just 1 yard against the Chiefs on Sunday.  Johnson picked up 2 yards on a 2nd-and-1 carry in the 2nd quarter.  “Of course I feel like I should be out there, but (OC Dowell Loggains) makes the calls so there’s nothing I can do about it," Johnson said.  Johnson doesn't have a rushing TD yet this year and has consistently lost goal-line work to Battle and Shonn Greene.  With Greene expected back from his knee surgery this coming week, we're not expecting Johnson to start seeing the TD chances.

Titans RB Chris Johnson has gotten comfortable with the idea of sharing the backfield with RB Shonn Greene this year.  “I’m OK with it,” Johnson said. “I never really get any short-yardage plays, so it doesn’t really matter."  True.  Johnson's fantasy value has never been built on short-yardage TDs.  He's a big-play guy.  And he still figures to make plenty of big plays in 2013.  Johnson will remain the focal point of Tennessee's offense and should finish right around 300 total touches.  That gives him top-10 fantasy upside.

Titans RB Chris Johnson set new career lows with just 36 catches and 49 targets in 2012.  The Tennessean reports that the team wants to remedy that by getting its top RB noticeably back into the receiving mix.  Johnson hauled in at least 43 balls every year prior to 2012, including 57 catches in 2011.  #2 RB Shonn Greene could siphon off enough short-yardage touches to give Johnson the ability to bounce back as a factor in the passing game.  Any improvements from Johnson in that area would be a welcome bonus to fantasy owners who are snatching him up in the 2nd round of most drafts.

Titans RB Chris Johnson is eager to get to work behind his team's new-and-improved OL. Offseason additions of Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack provide him with a pair of proven road-graders. “I was like ‘Thank God’,” Johnson said on Jim Rome's radio show. “[It showed] they’re trying to put somebody in front of me and open some more holes for me.” The 27-year-old expressed his desire for another 2,000 yard season, but also admitted that he's intent on just getting to the playoffs. Pro Football Focus graded the Titans OL at 16th in run blocking last year. CJ2K isn't a 2,000-yard guy anymore, but should be able to improve on his 2012 line of 276-1,243-6.

Titans RB Chris Johnson has noticed a change in offensive philosophy this offseason.  "Last year ... we basically were trying to turn into like a passing team," CJ said. "Coming in this year [we know] it’s going to be a run-first offense.”  Tennessee finished just 26th in rush attempts last season (vs. 19th in passes).  They tied for 8th with a 4.5 yards-per-carry average, though.  Their offseason moves have made it clear that they want to pound the rock more in 2013.  They added RB Shonn Greene and G Andy Levitre in free agency, and then grabbed 1st-round G Chance Warmack and 4th-round C Brian Schwenke in the draft.  It's gone from a subpar O-line to one with the potential to be dominant.  Throw in a shaky QB in Jake Locker, and it's clear the Titans want to feature the ground game this year.  Johnson is a good bet to top the 17.3 carries per game he saw in 2012.

If you can believe it, Titans RB Chris Johnson is disgruntled.  This time, the object of his ire is the team's signing of free-agent RB Shonn Greene.  “I have never been a big fan of the two-back system, so I don’t know how we plan on using him,” Johnson told The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. “I’m not afraid of competition, but I was thinking we’d maybe get a draft pick for the other back. And you don’t give a guy that kind of money to be just a goal-line guy and in tough-yardage situations.”  Ideally, the perceived slight will motivate CJOK to get dominant again and keep Greene on the sideline.  The worst case, obviously, would have a distracted Johnson underperform again.  We'll go the optimistic route for fantasy football draft purposes for now.

The Titans have signed OG Andy Levitre to a 5-year, $39 million contract. It’s rich for an interior lineman, but Levitre was widely considered the best one on the open market. He graded out as the league’s 9th-best OG last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Levitre is better in the pass game than as a run-blocker, but the addition is still good news for RB Chris Johnson.

Titans HC Mike Munchak confirmed that the team is looking to add a bigger back this offseason to complement Chris Johnson.  Munchak believes Johnson was at his best when LenDale White was around to soften defenses.  "We have to use him a little better," Munchak said of CJ.  "Maybe catching some more balls out of the backfield.  Maybe more screens.  He'll get as many touches, but maybe do it different ways."  Johnson is at his best out in space, so more work in the passing game would figure to boost his production.  The only concern here is that he loses goal line work.  Johnson has seen about 56% of the Titans' red zone rushes over the past 2 seasons but has scored just 10 times.

The Titans are looking to add a change-of-pace back this offseason to pair with Chris Johnson.  They're not expected to retain free agent Javon Ringer.  Johnson has dominated the Titans' backfield over the past 4 seasons, seeing 83% of the RB carries.  That includes a career-high 87% last year.  Tennessee would be wise to bring in a complementary back to handle 6-10 touches per game.  Johnson still figures to be the focal point of the offense though.  He's a good bet to finish 2013 among the top 10 RBs in total touches

Titans RB Chris Johnson injured his ankle late in the 1st quarter of Sunday's game against the Packers.  Johnson didn't re-enter on Tennessee's next possession, although insider Jim Wyatt notes that he "looks ok walking around on the sidelines."  CJ is officially questionable to return.  RB Jamie Harper is playing in his place.

Update: Johnson re-entered midway through the 2nd quarter.

The Titans have fired OC Chris Palmer.  They currently rank 24th in total offense, 20th in passing, and 19th in rushing.  We've heard scouts opine that Palmer's scheme wasn't a good fit for QB Jake Locker or RB Chris Johnson.  We wouldn't expect a significant change of philosophy the rest of this season though.  QB coach Dowell Loggains will serve as Tennessee's OC for the final 5 games.

According to ESPN's KC Joyner, the Titans graded out with good run-blocking on only 2 of RB Chris Johnson's 11  Week 1 carries.  When Johnson did have room to run, he looked indecisive.  But the biggest reason for his 4-yard rushing output was poor offensive line play.  It can't get any worse going forward.  We're not ready to throw in the towel on Johnson just yet.

Titans RB Chris Johnson admits that he was out of shape for most of last season after an extended holdout.  “Last year, I can say throughout the whole season, after two or three plays I needed to come out and take a break or whatever," he said. "I can’t really say for sure when I got into tip-top shape, but it was toward the end of the year. I’d say around the Tampa Bay game.”  Johnson went for a season-high 190 yards against the Bucs.  After participating in the team's offseason program this year, Johnson says he's ready to rock.  “Things are going to be better this year," he said.  "I came in in better shape, and I feel like being here really helped me a lot. I am not coming in trying to get on the same page as my offensive line, like last season. I am more comfortable. I’ll be all right, I know that.”  RBs coach Jim Skipper notices a difference too.  “Looking at him with the naked eye, it’s night and day compared to last year," Skipper said. "Cuts, conditioning, his confidence — it’s all there."  Of course, the results weren't there this preseason, with Johnson managing just 2.9 yards per carry.  Then again, he averaged only 3.1 yards in the 2009 preseason.  He'd go on to rush for 2,006 yards.  We still like Johnson's odds of bouncing back into the top-5 this year.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport came away from Titans camp believing that RB Chris Johnson is set to bounce back after his disappointing 2011 campaign.  “He looks like the Chris Johnson of old," Rapoport said. "He’s fast, he’s in shape. Looks like he’s primed for a big year.”  The reports on Johnson have been glowing all offseason.  He packed on some muscle and spent the spring working out with his teammates.  We think the 26-year-old Johnson still has a couple more big seasons left in his legs.  Don't be afraid to pull the trigger on him at his current 1.08 ADP.  Few RBs have more upside than the artist formerly known as CJ2K.

Titans RB Chris Johnson understands that his receiving numbers are likely to drop in 2012.  CJ hauled in a career-high 57 balls last season.  But Tennessee is expected to deploy a more-vertical passing attack this year.  Plus, they added another weapon in rookie WR Kendall Wright.  "I feel like it’s a different situation, if there’s a lot of us contributing, a lot of us making plays, I feel like it’s not a bad thing that I probably don’t get as many catches as I usually do," Johnson said.  We currently have him projected to catch 48 balls this season.  He averaged 46 over his first 3 pro campaigns.

With the addition of 1st-round rookie WR Kendall Wright -- plus the expected return of WR Kenny Britt -- Titans RB Chris Johnson expects to find more room to run in 2012.  "Having all the extra additions, I feel good that everybody is not going to be able to key on me," CJ said.  "I feel like a lot of teams won’t be able to focus on me like they have in years past.”  The Titans will trot out one of the most explosive groups of skill-position players in the league.  That can only help Johnson's scoring potential.  Beyond that, the run-blocking should be better this year with the addition of OG Steve Hutchinson.  We continue to believe Johnson is in store for a big-time bounce back campaign.

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart's lack of playing time over the past few seasons has been one of the more frustrating storylines in fantasy football.  Talented teammate DeAngelo Williams has plenty to do with that.  But Stewart's struggles in pass protection are another issue that's held him back.  Pro Football Focus gave Stewart the worst pass-blocking grade among all RBs with at least 100 chances over the past 3 seasons.  J-Stew has received a negative rating all 3 years, including a career-worst mark this past season.  Now, Stewart did rack up 47 catches in 2012, so Carolina is clearly willing to get him on the field on passing downs.  Still, Stewart will need to improve his pass protection if he wants to become a true 3-down back at some point.  Other big-name backs that finished among the bottom-10 of PFF's rankings include Reggie Bush, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall, and Beanie Wells.

The Titans won't overwork RB Chris Johnson this season.  “To say you’re going to get a guy 25 touches a game is pushing it,” OC Chris Palmer said. “That’s 400 touches over the course of a season."  Johnson finished with 408 total touches in his historic 2009 season.  But he also finished 5th among RBs in fantasy points with just 360 touches the following year.  An explosive but undersized RB, Johnson should theoretically be more effective with a slimmer workload.  We actually like this news for his 2012 fantasy outlook.

Titans RB Chris Johnson is currently tipping the scales at 199 pounds after packing on 8-10 pounds of muscle this offseason.  He's been a regular at the Titans' facility.  "He has been five days a week, not three, not four,” HC Mike Munchak said. “He is here lifting with the program and he looks good. He is running good and moving well, and looking quick.”  The extra muscle should help Johnson's between-the-tackles effectiveness and improve his durability.  He continues to look like a prime bounce-back candidate in 2012.

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