The Tennessee Titans finished 9-7 in the 2017 regular season and advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. They managed this despite a below-average scoring offense and a below-average scoring defense. Head coach Mike Mularkey was fired after the playoff loss to the Patriots and the team brought in Mike Vrabel from division rival Houston to replace him.
Marcus Mariota failed to advance his game and arguably backslid. He never found chemistry with early first-round draft pick Corey Davis and veteran free agent Eric Decker was not the difference-maker the team envisioned. DeMarco Murray battled injuries throughout the year and was significantly less effective than he was in 2016. The only fantasy weapon who truly answered the call was the ever-dependable Delanie Walker (PPR TE4).
The likely departures from this group are Decker, who is a free agent, and Murray, who the team is expected to cut. The Titans are among the top-10 franchises in available cap space but also have some younger players who could emerge to earn larger roles.
Three additions we want to see for fantasy
Derrick Henry to get his chance: Fantasy owners have been waiting for two seasons to find out what the 2016 second-round draft pick could do with a workhorse role. Henry flashed big-play ability in 2017, especially at the end of games after he had worn down opposing defenses. Mularkey was extremely loyal to Murray and didn’t seem willing to pass the torch despite Henry clearly being more effective in 2017. Considering Mularkey’s exit, maybe 2018 is the year Henry finally sees a feature-back workload.
Dion Lewis, RB: Even if Henry gets his chance to lead the backfield, the team will need a new complementary change-of-pace back if they cut Murray. Lewis would provide a dynamic safety valve option in the passing game, giving Mariota some easy high percentage throws with potential for yards after the catch. Lewis was a PFF signature stat all-star in 2017 as he had the highest elusive rating in the league and tied for first in pass-blocking efficiency.
Jordan Matthews, WR: Matthews enjoyed his most productive seasons manning the slot for the Eagles. He was forced to play out of position in Buffalo, only registering 17 slot receptions, after averaging 67 slot receptions over the previous two seasons in Philadelphia. Wide receiver slot production was lacking for the Titans in 2017, as Decker managed only 27 receptions and single touchdown from the alignment.