2013 Team Outlook: Tennessee Titans
WR Justin Hunter, TEN - Dynasty Only
UPDATE (10/22): The rookie has yet to catch more than one pass in a game and is not a fantasy option barring injury to Kendall Wright or Nate Washington. He has just three catches for 58 yards through seven games -- but made his limited targets count scoring two touchdowns. Hunter is merely a dynasty league option for now.
UPDATE (8/13): Hunter is struggling with drops in training camp and the Titan coaching staff have been questioning his mental make up, which could bury the rookie on the depth chart. He should be off the fantasy radar unless you are in a dynasty league.
The Titans traded up to select Tennessee WR Justin Hunter with the No. 34 overall pick, sending the No. 40 and 216 overall picks to the 49ers, in addition to a 2014 third-rounder. Hunter regained his explosiveness following a 2011 knee injury. In 2012, he totaled 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. A full year removed from ACL surgery, Hunter posted impressive results at the combine (4.44 forty, 39.5-inch vertical and 11-foot-4 broad jump -- longest of any WR). He's battled a hamstring injury in camp and is positioned in a crowded Titan WR corps with Jake Locker under center ; the 6-foot-4, 202-pound wide out is nothing more than a deep round flier. He has been compared to AJ Green, but dropped a disturbing 12% of his targets in his final collegiate season. This will need to be cleaned up before the Vol alum makes an impact at the NFL level.
WR Nate Washington, HOU - Bye Week Fill-in
UPDATE (10/22): Washington's fantasy relevance has been heavily dependent on the occasional big play. With Locker under center, Washington topped 100 yards receiving in weeks three and four. He had just four catches for 45 yards with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center so his fantasy prospects are looking much better now that Locker has returned to the lineup. On the season, Washington is averaging 63 yards per game and has scored two touchdowns. His PPR value is very limited as he has just 26 catches on the season but his ability to hit the big play should Washington a solid lower end WR3 / bye week filler in standard leagues.
PROFILE: Washington followed up his career year in 2011 (74 catches for 1,023 yards - only 1000 yard season of his career) by regressing back to his mediocre self as he finished last season with 46 catches for 746 yards and 4 TDs. The soon to be 30 year old WR has two years and $9 million remaining on his contract, which has led some to suspect that a potential release or trade is possible. Washington is too far down the depth chart to be fantasy relevant, especially on a Titan offense that is expected to focus more on the run game after the investments to the offensive line.
WR Damian Williams, STL - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
The 25 year old from USC (77th overall pick in the 2010 draft) enters the final year of his rookie contract with a lot to prove. Hamstring issues limited Williams to just 30 catches for 324 yards in 2012. He showed flashes during his 2nd season in the NFL (2011), hauling in 45 balls for 592 yards and five touchdowns, but he's another Titan WR that will need a few injuries to have a chance at getting onto the fantasy radar (especially following the selection of Justin Hunter in the recent draft).
WR Kevin Walter, --- - Deep-league Only
UPDATE (8/13): Walter is likely to miss all of training camp following July back surgery to repair a disc. His inability to play in preseason games will limit his chances of making the final roster in a crowded Titan WR corps.
After spending seven underwhelming seasons in Houston, the 32 year old possession WR signed a 1-year contract with the Titans. The Eastern Michigan alum had 41 catches for 518 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Over the last six seasons, he's averaged 654 yards (42 YPG), while totaling 24 touchdowns (career high 8 TDs in 2008). Barring injuries, Walter is likely to see limited playing time, making him best left on waiver wires except in the deepest of leagues.
TE Delanie Walker, TEN - Bust (overvalued)
UPDATE (10/22): He's already topped his career high with three touchdowns through the first seven games but is averaging just 34 yards per game on 23 catches. You are better offer looking elsewhere for a bye week filler as Walker is utilized more for his blocking.
UPDATE (8/13): Walker had a knee scope that is expected to keep him out for the the first two preseason games.
PROFILE: Jared Cook signed a free agent contract with the Rams, so the Titans decided to fill some of the void by inking former 49er Delanie Walker to a four-year, $17.5 million deal. The soon to be 29 year old figures to be the Titans' every-down TE, but is known more for his blocking abilities (should be a boost to CJ2K's fantasy value). Walker has struggled with drops during his career and never topped 30 catches during his seven seasons in San Francisco. With the addition of rookie Justin Hunter to the WR corps, Walker will be hard pressed to produce anything more than low end TE2 numbers in his first season with the Titans. Keep an eye on 2nd year player Taylor Thompson as he might be the best receiving option among the Titan TEs, but playing time will likely be an issue.
TE Taylor Thompson, --- - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
The converted defensive end from SMU struggled during his rookie season, but the exodus of Jared Cook (now in St Louis) could open the door for Thompson to surprise in 2013. The growing pains will likely continue, but some experts believe the former 5th round pick has a size/skill set similar to Pats TE Rob Gronkowski. Thompson had just six receptions for just 46 yards and no scores in 2012, but depending on how he progresses in training camp, deep leaguers and those in dynasty formats should consider him for a late round flier.