Tennessee Titans: 2014 Outlook
 
 
 
 
Football > Teams > AFC South > Titans > Outlook

Tennessee Titans

By Jeb Gorham, Friday, September 12, 2014

Ken Whisenhunt wanted Whitehurst over Ryan Fitzpatrick, so he got his way. That's all Whitehurst has at this point. If Locker misses any time this season, the veteran Whitehurst will play. Now 31 years old, if he were any good, we would have probably noticed by now. He is not draft worthy.

DYNASTY STUD: We here at FFToolbox have Sankey ranked as the 25th-best running back; considering his situation, that may not be high enough. This ranking would make him a borderline RB2 pick. Some experts have him listed as a potential bust given his poor game tape showings, but he is going to produce at a high level. Shonn Greene is aging quickly and his knee injuries of years past are still bugging him. Sankey was the first running back taken in the draft and with his comparisons to Tiki Barber, he will be a guy to watch. The job in Tennessee is all his and Sankey has an excellent offensive line that will help guide a run-heavy attack. Sankey is a Top 3 or 4 pick in dynasty rookie drafts with serious short- and long-term upside.

Could Shonn Greene be over the hill at 28? He very well could be. Greene's knee injuries have hampered his offseason progress and he has had two surgeries in nine months on the same knee. With the RB1 role locked up by rookie RB Bishop Sankey, Greene will take a permanent back seat. The former Iowa runner will be a bust, as much of his career would havve indicated. Though it's not all doom and gloom, since this season could provide some limited opportunities (such as short-yardage carries). Greene's low ceiling and disappointing athleticism make him a bust candidate.

Update 8/15/14 - Greene just had his knee scoped again and this does not bode well for his durability this season. It looks like Bishop Sankey will be getting the rock this season and Greene will fade out of the picture quickly. Greene should be back on the field soon, but I doubt he will be a force in the offense.

Kendall Wright is a solid WR2 and a better WR3 pick. His 158 grabs over his first two seasons look good on paper, but (as a slot receiver) might not be what you are looking for. His low yards per reception and low TD totals make him a slightly less coveted fantasy play. Ken Whisenhunt likes Wright and will work to get him involved, so the former Baylor Bears WR might be worth a better look this season. The big downside is Wright may only produce starter-quality stats in PPR leagues and will be reliant upon an injury-prone QB and an undependable offense.

Editor's note: Wright's high-volume reception total will be difficult to replicate, especially if he cannot form the same type of chemistry with Locker. He is the safest fantasy WR on the team though.

Nate Washington is now 30 years of age and has slid down the depth chart to WR3 behind Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. This is not the only reason Washington can be considered over the hill. The other reason is the shift in offense toward Whisenhunt's run-first schemes. Washington will see some action, but with Wright mainly in the slot and Hunter still working to improve his game and consistency on the outside. All observations and guesses point to a season of decreased production for Washington as the Titans' younger options emerge.

Whisenhunt has compared Walker to Antonio Gates. Fantasy owners drool at these types of comparisons. Ranked by FFToolbox as 15th-best TE, he will be a safe draft pick for the position; in all actuality, he may prove much more useful on your fantasy roster. If all goes as planned (and Whisenhunt can get Walker involved in the passing game and working with Jake Locker), we might see a better line than last season -- produced 60 catches, nearly 600 yards and six TDs. Walker's physical play is appealing and if given more opportunities, he could jump up the TE radar as a low-end starter.

Editor's note: A more efficient running game could open up the middle for Walker. He will likely never be a top-flight fantasy player; however, there is still room for growth and statistical improvement to carry him into the TE1 conversation.

The Tennessee defense has no real place to go but up. The big change this season will be Ken Whisenhunt's move from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme. The 3-4 places greater responsibility on the nose tackle and outside linebacker positions. If Sammie Lee Hill, Al Woods, Akeem Ayers, Derrick Morgan and Shaun Phillips can boost their roles, the 3-4 might help with the team's defensive woes. While in this transitional stage, the Titans could struggle. They have almost no fantasy appeal right now as most teams need a year or two to gel into a new scheme.