Shark Bites

The Titans announced Tuesday that QB Ryan Tannehill will start Sunday's game against the Chargers. The move doesn't come as a surprise after Marcus Mariota was benched in the Week 6 loss at Denver. But it's a significant shift away from the "franchise" QB. Mariota's in the final year (the option year) of his rookie contract and seems almost certainly done with Tennessee after this season. Tannehill is on just a 1-year deal and already 31. If the Titans can get competent QB play, they have enough pass-catching talent to deliver at least usable fantasy value around the offense -- including under center. We wouldn't consider Tannehill outside of DFS and 2-QB leagues in his first start.

Titans ILB Jayon Brown left Sunday's loss to the Broncos in the 1st quarter with a groin injury. Brown left the field under his own power and was initially deemed questionable to return, but he missed the rest of the game. Wesley Woodyard stepped in to tally 6 tackles and a sack. He would start in Brown's place and likely see full playing time if Brown misses further action.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota was benched in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game in Denver after tossing his 2nd INT of the afternoon. He completed just 7 of 18 passes for 63 scoreless yards. QB Ryan Tannehill has replaced Mariota.

After sitting out on Wednesday, Titans TE Delanie Walker (knee) put in a full practice Thursday. That's an upgrade from last week, when Walker only practiced on Friday. He played a season-low 31% of the snaps and caught just 1 ball last week -- and we're inclined to believe that knee was a factor. It looks like Walker is healthier heading into Week 5.

Titans TE Delanie Walker missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, listed on the injury report with a knee issue. But the veteran put in a full workout Friday and didn't appear on the final injury report with game statuses. We'll watch for any reports on his health through the weekend, but this looks like a maintenance thing for the 35-year-old. Walker faces a nice fantasy matchup at Atlanta.

Titans RB Derrick Henry practiced on Monday for the 1st time since suffering a calf injury on the 1st day of training camp back in late July. He ended up missing about 3 weeks of work but still has almost 3 weeks to get ready for the season opener. Barring a setback, the calf shouldn't be an issue. Henry's ADP is sitting in the mid-4th round of 12-team PPR drafts.

Titans TE Jonnu Smith (knee) has been activated from the PUP list. He'd been sidelined since tearing an MCL back in December. Smith has flashed at times through 2 NFL seasons but figures to need another Delanie Walker injury to have a shot at 2019 fantasy value.

Titans RB Derrick Henry is expected to be sidelined "about 2 weeks" with a strained calf, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "The injury is not considered serious and the team is being cautious," Schefter adds. So Henry isn't in any danger of missing the start of the season, barring a setback. We're not adjusting Henry's projections right now but will continue to monitor his status.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Titans RB Derrick Henry's lower-leg injury is "not a big deal." We don't have any more details on the ailment at this point, and HC Mike Vrabel declined to give a timetable for Henry's return on Sunday. But Rapoport adds that "the team is not worried about it." We'll see when Henry is able to get back on the field, but we're not moving him in the RB rankings right now.

Titans RB Derrick Henry was seen with his left foot in a walking boot after getting injured in Friday’s practice. That news comes from team insider Terry McCormick. No word on the exact injury Henry suffered, but it doesn’t appear serious as HC Mike Vrabel called the 25-year-old “day to day.” We’ll see when Henry returns to practice.

Titans TE Delanie Walker practiced without limitations from the start of training camp this week, according to The Tennessean. “I feel great,” Walker told the team website. “The type of injury I had, I still have to be smart. But I feel great. I am out there running, and I did the conditioning test – no problems there. I feel good." We'll keep an eye out for setbacks as Walker returns from last year's ankle injury, but he's a decent shot to take with an ADP in the middle of TE2 territory in fantasy football drafts.

Titans TE Jonnu Smith has been placed on the PUP list to open training camp. He's still recovering from a torn MCL suffered last December. It's unclear if he's in danger of missing the start of the 2019 campaign. Smith has a shot at fantasy relevance this season if soon-to-be 35-year-old Delanie Walker struggles returning from his broken ankle, but he's not worth spending a pick on in fantasy drafts.

Titans OC Arthur Smith plans to "ride" RB Derrick Henry this season, Jim Wyatt of the team's official website writes. That's what we're expecting. We currently project Henry for 263 carries -- 4th most among all RBs. The question is whether his role in the passing game will expand. Henry totaled just 18 catches and 15 targets last year. And even during that huge 4-game stretch to close last season, he saw just 3 targets. It'll be tough for Henry to break into RB1 territory without more receiving production. The good news is that his ADP is still sitting in RB2 territory in the 4th round.

Titans TE Delanie Walker participated in 7-on-7 drills this week, according to ESPN's Turron Davenport. That doesn't necessarily mean Walker's repaired ankle will be ready for full participation at the start of training camp, but it sure seems like a big step in that direction. Walker deemed himself 85% healthy earlier in May. As just the 17th TE off the board in PlayDraft ADP right now, Walker looks like a solid-to-strong best-ball value.

Titans TE Delanie Walker says he's at "85%" as he rehabs last September's fractured and dislocated right ankle. "Today I felt fast getting out of my breaks, and I was catching the ball well," he added after Tuesday's OTA. Walker was a full-go in individual drills but did very little in team work, according to the Nashville Tennessean. Prior to last year, Walker had finished as a top-11 TE in 5 straight seasons. He's capable of returning to that level of production if healthy. But the ankle is a real concern for the soon-to-be 35-year-old. We'll keep a close eye on him this summer.

The Titans added Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown with the 51st pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown consistently out-produced D.K. Metcalf throughout their time in Oxford, finishing with more catches and yards per game both in 2018 and for their careers. Brown broke out with a 75-1,252-11 line as a true sophomore in 2017. He set new personal bests with 85 grabs and 1,320 yards this past season. Brown brings positional versatility, spending most of his college career in the slot before successfully moving to the outside for the 2nd half of 2018. And while he's not quite as big and athletic as Metcalf, Brown checked into the Combine at 6’1, 226 pounds and registered a 76th percentile SPARQ score. He joins a Titans WR corps alongside Corey Davis and Adam Humphries. This pick doesn’t bode well for Taywan Taylor’s future in Tennessee.

Check out A.J. Brown's scouting report.

The Titans spent the 20th pick of the NFL Draft on DT Jeffery Simmons. The Mississippi State product racked up 30 tackles for loss and 7 sacks over the past 2 years. He's recovering from an ACL tear that figures to slow the start of his rookie year, but there's significant long-term upside. A healthier Simmons was a top-10 prospect on some boards.

The Dolphins have traded QB Ryan Tannehill and a 2019 6th-round pick to the Titans for 2020 4th-rounder and a 2019 7th-rounder. Tennessee also agreed to a new 1-year, $7 million deal with Tannehill that can climb to $12 million with incentives. Tannehill never ascended beyond mediocrity in Miami and figures to open as Marcus Mariota's backup in Tennessee. But Mariota's leash is tightening after a stagnant and injury-filled 4 seasons so far. The Fins, meanwhile, are left with Jake Rudock and Luke Falk at QB. We'll see what they add to the position over the next couple of months.

The Titans have agreed to a 3-year, $23 million deal with Cameron Wake, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The deal includes $10 million guaranteed and positions Wake at OLB in a Tennessee defense that needs a pass-rushing upgrade. Wake remains a threat off the edge at age 37 but posted a career-low 5.5 sacks last year and has seen his fantasy scoring averages dip for 3 straight years. He's not much of an IDP factor anymore but has a shot to help the Titans' D overall.

Titans WR Adam Humphries has inked a 4-year, $36 million deal with the Titans. The former undrafted free agent boosted his catch and yardage totals in each of his 4 seasons in Tampa Bay, topping out with a 76-816-5 line this past year. A pure slot receiver, Humphries is averaging just 10.6 yards per catch for his career but sports a nice 70.4% catch rate. He has a shot to finish 2nd on the 2019 Titans in targets, with nothing proven at WR behind Corey Davis and 34-year-old TE Delanie Walker returning from a fractured ankle. The Bucs, meanwhile, have now lost Humphries and DeSean Jackson today. That leaves Chris Godwin as the clear #2 and 2018 5th-rounder Justin Watson as an intriguing sleeper -- barring a major addition at the position. TE O.J. Howard should also see a rise in targets.

 
 
 

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