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Tennessee Titans Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2021

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The Titans claimed K Sam Ficken off waivers. He was dumped by the Jets on Friday but will now compete with K Tucker McCann for the starting job in Tennessee. Avoid the situation in fantasy drafts until a winner emerges.

If you're still worrying about Titans WR A.J. Brown's offseason knee surgeries, you can stop now. From The Tennessean's Ben Arthur: "Any concerns about Brown being limited to start training camp because of the knee surgeries were quickly put to rest. He practiced without any bands or braces on his knees and looked dominant throughout practice." Brown is coming off a top 7 finish in fantasy points per game last season and projects as a mid-range WR1 again in 2021.

The Titans have placed rookie CB Caleb Farley on the non-football injury list and OLB Bud Dupree on the PUP list to begin training camp. Dupree is still working back from the early December right ACL tear that ended his 2020 season. Farley has had 2 back surgeries since his last action at Virginia Tech in 2019. Both players figure to be important pieces for a Tennessee defense that needs to improve on last year's performance. We'll see how they progress through the summer.

Titans WR A.J. Brown (knees) will be a "full go" for the start of training camp, according to insider Paul Kuharsky. Brown underwent surgery on both knees early this offseason and was sidelined for spring workouts. But it looks like he'll be at 100% for the start of the 2021 campaign. Brown's ADP is sitting in the early 3rd round of recent FFPC drafts.

Titans rookie CB Caleb Farley is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to Jim Wyatt of the team website. The 1st-round pick says he's "dying" to get back on the field, but it's reportedly "unclear" when his back will be ready for action following March surgery. Injury concerns likely helped push Farley down to Tennessee's pick at 22. A Titans defense that allowed the league's 4th-most passing yards and 2nd-most passing TDs last year could use him as soon as possible.

Titans WR A.J. Brown missed spring workouts and is still rehabbing after undergoing offseason surgery to both knees. "I am not getting impatient, but excited," Brown said. "I am excited to get back on the field, and get back out there with my teammates, just to be out there again. I have been rehabbing, and I have been taking it slow. And I'll be back out there soon." Details on Brown's injuries and rehab have been scarce. We'll see if he's ready for the start of camp next month or is forced to open on the PUP list.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Falcons are trading WR Julio Jones to the Titans for "at least a 2nd-round pick." We'll see about the final details, but the move obviously means big impact for a pair of offenses. Acquiring a top-shelf WR talent could indicate a desire to lean a little more toward the pass in Tennessee. Jones' arrival certainly hurts the target ceiling for A.J. Brown and leaves fewer looks for other Titans. His departure from Atlanta makes Calvin Ridley the #1 wideout and elevates the rest of a shaky depth chart. Tajae Sharpe and Olamide Zaccheaus could be battling for the #2 outside WR spot in 3-wide sets. Rookie TE Kyle Pitts finds a higher target ceiling as well. We'll continue evaluating this developing situation for both offenses.

Update: Rapoport hears that the Falcons are receiving a 2022 2nd-round pick and a 2023 4th for Jones and a 2023 6th-rounder.

The Athletic's Jeff Schultz reports that the Falcons "would like to trade" WR Julio Jones. We heard from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport in April that teams had been calling Atlanta to inquire about the availability of Jones. But this is the 1st report saying the team is actually looking to move him. The Falcons are in a rough spot vs. the salary cap and would save $15.3 million against it by trading Jones after June 1. Schultz lists the Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Colts and Chargers as teams who might be interested. Stay tuned.

The Titans signed former Falcons RB Brian Hill to a 1-year deal. Hill, a 2017 5th-round pick, averaged 4.7 YPC last year on a career-high 100 attempts. He’ll battle Darrynton Evans and Jeremy McNichols for the #2 spot behind Derrick Henry. A Henry injury would almost certainly result in a timeshare, though.

The Titans are declining the 5th-year option on the rookie contract of former 1st-round LB Rashaan Evans. That makes 2021 the final campaign on his deal. Assuming Evans doesn't explode and earn a new contract, his expected departure could benefit Jayon Brown and/or David Long.

The Titans have taken WR Dez Fitzpatrick in Round 4 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick turned in an impressive 2017 redshirt freshman season, leading the Cardinals with 9 receiving scores and ranking 2nd with 45 catches and 699 yards. He never really progressed from there, although it’s worth noting that his 833 yards last year were a career high and beat Tutu Atwell's total by more than 200. Fitzpatrick also checks the size and athleticism boxes at 6’2, 208 pounds with 4.49 speed and a 35-inch vertical. He lands in a spot with opportunity. Tennessee let Corey Davis walk in free agency, dumped WR Adam Humphries and added only WR Josh Reynolds on a 1-year contract.

The Titans selected CB Caleb Farley with the 22nd pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Farley might have slipped because of a pair of back surgeries. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said before the draft that he “would have expected” a healthy Farley to be the 1st CB chosen. Farley also missed 2017 (his true freshman season) with an ACL tear and opted out of 2020. In between, though, he defensed 25 passes and snagged 6 INTs over 24 games with the Hokies. That’s particularly impressive because Farley arrived as a QB planning to move to WR. There’s likely still plenty of room to grow here.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that teams have been calling the Falcons to inquire about the availability of WR Julio Jones. Talks like this happen all the time, so this certainly doesn't mean Jones is on his way out. But it's worth noting that Atlanta is up against the salary cap and would save about $15 million by dealing Jones after June 1. "A trade could not happen for cap reasons before June 1, but teams know Atlanta’s brutal cap situation and are calling," Rapoport said. "A deal won’t happen now, but later? Maybe." We'll continue to keep an eye on this. A Jones trade would be a blow to QB Matt Ryan's fantasy stock but leave a ton of targets available for Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst and potentially rookie Kyle Pitts.

Titans HC Mike Vrabel thinks WR Josh Reynolds is capable of playing both "inside and outside." Reynolds played 74% of his snaps on the outside in each of the past 2 seasons with the Rams, but positional versatility can only help his cause in Tennessee. The Titans lost a whopping 192 targets from last year with the departures of Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith, so there's plenty of opportunity for Reynolds to carve out a big role in 2021.

The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Josh Reynolds, according to Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. The 26-year-old wideout posted career highs in targets (81), receptions (52) and receiving yards (618) with last year's Rams. His 11.9 yards per catch dipped vs. the previous 2 seasons, however. In Tennessee, Reynolds has a shot to replace Corey Davis opposite A.J. Brown, in a pass-catching corps that also shed Adam Humphries and TE Jonnu Smith this offseason. It's a nice landing spot for opportunity. We'll see what else the Titans add this spring.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that LB Jayon Brown is re-signing with the Titans on a 1-year, $5.25 million deal. Those terms scream "prove it" contract, with Brown coming off a dislocated and fractured elbow that ended his 2020 season prematurely. We're a little surprised the productive young LB couldn't get more in this market, but perhaps teams want to see him start a full 16 games before committing beyond that level. Brown lost 8 games to injuries over the past 2 years (6 of those in 2020) after taking over a starting spot about midway through 2018. He has rated among the top LBs in coverage since then and delivered starter-level fantasy production. Barring a setback with his elbow this offseason, expect to find Brown back among the top 24 LBs in our 2021 IDP rankings.

The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Anthony Firkser, Paul Kuharsky reports. It was an expected move and keeps the 26-year-old atop the current depth chart in a Titans offense that just let TE Jonnu Smith walk. We'll see what else Tennessee adds at the position. Firkser is OK at the TE3 level in current best-ball drafting -- with upside into TE2 range if he emerges as the starter.

The Titans are stealing a versatile D-lineman from a division rival. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Denico Autry will be heading to Tennessee on a 3-year, $21.5 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. Autry posted 7.5 sacks last season -- 2 years after notching a career-high 9 -- and tallied 10+ QB hits each of the past 3 seasons. He's capable of playing inside or on the edge but figures to not get outside the OT so much in Tennessee's scheme. Autry was a useful IDP option in Indy but will have less talent around him with the Titans. We'll see about his production -- in his age-31 season -- in the new place. We likely won't be chasing him on fantasy-draft day, though.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Titans and OLB Bud Dupree have agreed to a multi-year deal that will average $16.5 million per season. It's a bold move for a Tennessee defense in desperate need of pass-rush help. The Titans ranked last in the league in sack rate last season and 2nd-worst in pressure rate. After a slow start to his career, Dupree picked up his sack production over the past 2 seasons. He tallied 11.5 in a breakout 2019 campaign and then had 8 through 11 games before tearing his right ACL on Dec. 2 against Baltimore. That injury makes this contract particularly bold. We'll keep track of Dupree's progress this offseason. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, appears ready to let 2020 rookie Alex Highsmith try to take over Dupree's starting gig -- which Highsmith did for last year's final 5 games.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Titans LB Jayon Brown got full, "unrestricted" medical clearance Friday to return from the elbow injury that ended his 2020 season. Brown fractured and dislocated his left elbow in November, but he should be fully ready for the coming season. The timing looks especially positive for Brown, as he's set to hit unrestricted free agency later this month. We'll see if the 26-year-old stays in Tennessee. Brown has spent the past 2 years as a strong IDP contributor.

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