Chris Johnson was easily the best running back in football last season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the next edition of the series, we head back to the AFC South and check out the third-place Tennessee Titans. The Titans were 8-8 last year, with an offense that scored 22.1 ppg (16th among 32 teams) and a defense that yielded 25.1 ppg (28th).
Vince Young - Young "owns" the Tennessee starting job not based on production, but on the team's limited options. His 1,879 yards passing and 10 touchdown passes versus seven interceptions, won't get him much fantasy "love" and with the best running back in the league in his backfield, doesn't figure to start throwing the ball all over the field in 2010 either. He's the No.17 quarterback off the board (ADP 121), meaning fantasy owners think he's a spot starter, at best.
Chris Johnson - Johnson was easily the best running back in football last season (2,006 yards rushing, 503 yards receiving, 16 TDs) and should at least be first or second again this year, assuming his contract squabble doesn't get in the way. Unfortunately, it's looking like it might, as the five-year contract he signed when he was a rookie doesn't even remotely reward his current production level. Beware if this problem goes into summer camp and the preseason. One only has to look back to the Larry Johnson contract problems in 2007 to see how it can effect a player's value. For those who don't remember, Johnson held out, signed a contract in late August and wasn't ready to play on Opening Day. He had barely gotten his game into gear when he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 8 and all those owners who had drafted him in the first round were devastated.
Javon Ringer - With LenDale White gone, Ringer is the No.1 backup in Tennessee and should get plenty of "reps" with the first team if Johnson's contract problems continue. If you draft Johnson, Ringer is a "must handcuff," particularly since it will only cost you a 19th or 20th-round selection (ADP 229). Of the three remaining backs on the Titans' roster, LaGarrette Blount might have the best opportunity to get onto the field, in a short-yardage role. But neither Blount, nor Alvin Pearman or Stafon Johnson should have any fantasy value in 2010.
Kenny Britt - When your team only throws the ball 44% of the time as the Titans did in 2009, it doesn't help any of your receivers become stars. None of the Tennessee receivers were stars last year, nor will they be in 2010. However, Britt is the most talented wideout on the team and his 16.7 ypc average does show he is a nice deep threat. He would cost you an eighth round selection (ADP 95) and their are probably better choices at that time. I'd rather have Dez Bryant or Steve Breaston both of whom are being selected in the same round.
Nate Washington - Washington (ADP 183) led the Titans in touchdown receptions last season with six and targets with 95. However, only two of the touchdowns came in the last half of the year as the Tennessee offense became totally "Johnson-centric" down the stretch. As with Britt, unless the team throws the ball more, it's hard to justify drafting him as anything but depth on your roster.
Justin Gage - Gage was targeted 67 times last season and caught just 28 balls for 383 yards and three scores. Even if he had better hands, he still isn't seeing the ball enough to become "fantasy-worthy." He should be ignored on Draft Day.
Damian Williams - Williams is a talented rookie out of USC, but likely won't get on the field enough to warrant fantasy attention in 2010. Down the road, however, he could be the No.2 guy across from Britt and thus is seeing some attention in keeper leagues (ADP 250).
Bo Scaife - Scaife is a decent receiving tight end, but in a year where the position is well-stocked, probably won't garner much attention. He totaled 45 receptions for 440 yards and one touchdown in 2009. That and a larger role for second-year tight end Jared Cook will leave him with little fantasy value.
Rob Bironas - Bironas played through an ankle injury for part of 2009 yet still finished eighth in fantasy scoring among kickers. He was an impressive 5-for-6 from 50 yards-or-more. Bironas is currently the sixth kicker off the board with an ADP of 203.
The Titans defense finished in a tie for 12th (along with San Diego and the New York Jets) in fantasy scoring with 112 points. They gave up plenty of yards (28th best at 365.6 ypg), but did sack the quarterback 32 times, cause 28 turnovers (eight fumbles, 20 interceptions) and returned four of them for scores. The team obviously recognized their weakness on defense and spent four of their top five draft choices on that side of the ball. They currently have an ADP of 226.
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