The Tennessee Titans‘ fantasy preview tries to evaluate DeAndre Hopkins in this Will Levis-led offense, while the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ fantasy football outlook focuses on their underwhelming passing game.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Spread: Jaguars -6.5
- Total: 39.5
- Titans implied points: 16.5
- Jaguars implied points: 23
Will Levis: The Jaguars were lit up by Brock Purdy last week, and with that fresh in our mind, I understand the temptation to roll the dice on a talented rookie facing them. I’ll pass.
After throwing four touchdowns in his NFL debut, Levis hasn’t found the end zone on 78 pass attempts and looks how you’d expect a rookie to look: sporadic and inconsistent. On the plus side, 39 pass attempts are enough volume to hold meaningful upside.
This looks like a Derrick Henry spot, and with that, Levis’ floor is too scary to flirt with given his wide range of outcomes on a per-pass basis.
Trevor Lawrence: This is a great matchup. The Jaguars’ WR room might finally be healthy, and Travis Etienne Jr. is running hard and demanding attention.
If you had given me that profile back in August, I’d tell you that I’d have Lawrence as a top-five QB with ease. Heck, if August Kyle was feeling spicy, he may have even told you that Lawrence would lead the position in scoring in that spot.
Life comes at you fast, though. Lawrence has thrown multiple TD passes against one opponent this season (Colts) and has thrown for 300 yards just once. He’s struggling in every respect this season and hasn’t been getting any help from his friends (5.3% drop rate, per the Week 11 Cheat Sheet).
Like Pollard, I think it’s very possible that Lawrence peaks during the fantasy playoffs — Buccaneers and Panthers in Weeks 16-17 — and rewards those with an absurd level of loyalty. That fading hope is why I’m still rostering Lawrence, but as my QB14 in Week 11, I’m not starting him until he gives me a reason to.
Derrick Henry: The King is coming off of a 20-yard, 12-touch lineup-killing performance in Tampa Bay. This was right after he worked his way back into our good graces with three straight games north of 100 scrimmage yards.
I’m not expecting one bad game to turn into a slump. He’s racked up at least 109 rushing yards and a touchdown in four straight against the Jags. That stretch includes a pair of games with multiple rushing touchdowns. You can count on Henry in all formats.
No. I don’t care that Jacksonville kept Christian McCaffrey out of the end zone. Henry is my RB6 this week and is a true threat to top the position in fantasy points this week.
Tyjae Spears: If Henry’s snap-to-carry count weren’t historically high, Spears’ athleticism and snap share would have had him on Flex radars a month ago.
In Week 10, he handled a direct snap for Tennessee’s first rush attempt of the game, and yet, it was another game with no more than 11 touches, just like every other week this season.
Spears is exactly the type of RB struggling dynasty managers should be trading for this time of year. His impact this season will be minimal at best, but it’s equally as clear that he is poised for big things sooner than later.
Go ahead and offer an older back with a stable role this season to the highly competitive team that is stashing Spears. They improve their win expectancy in 2023, and you breathe life into your forward-looking squad.
Travis Etienne Jr.: Feel free to write off his 44-yard performance in a 31-point loss to the 49ers last week. Etienne averaged 22.3 touches per game before Week 10 and scored seven times in his previous four games.
Jacksonville’s passing game is broken right now, which puts Etienne in a great spot when it comes to safe volume. Should the passing game correct itself, his tough count may decline, but the scoring equity and quality of carries would increase by more than enough to offset any concerns.
Etienne is easily an RB1 the rest of the way and could prove to be a league-winner with Jacksonville fighting for the division.
DeAndre Hopkins: The future Hall of Famer scored 32.8 fantasy points on six targets from Will Levis back in Week 8, but in the two games since, his 19 targets have resulted in just 12.2 points.
The usage remains strong. That’s here to stay, given the lack of other options in this offense. An aggressive Jaguars defense could eliminate the big play from Hopkins, but it could just as easily result in a high catch count.
There is a wide range of outcomes for Nuk this week, given that the game script could go in any direction. If Henry is rolling, this could be one of those 25 pass-attempt games, which means Hopkins would have a tough time returning a profit on my strong WR2 ranking of him.
On the flip side, if Lawrence finally heats up and the Titans are playing catch up, this could be Hopkins’ most involved game of the season. I’m embracing his variance in DFS, where I expect Henry to garner much of the Titans-related ownership, and starting him in season-long spots where, ideally, I have “safe” options around him.
Christian Kirk: Even with Lawrence playing a few notches below expectation, Kirk continues to get it done. Last week against the Niners, he totaled 104 yards and earned 35.5% of the targets. He is the clear-cut WR1 in this offense, and while that will be impacted to a degree whenever Zay Jones returns, we have to assume that he’s “the guy” until proven otherwise.
Kirk’s role in the slot has him flirting with a 70% catch rate, which he’s done while maintaining his per-catch upside (29+ yard catches in six straight games). If you wanted to label Kirk as a fantasy WR1 this week, I wouldn’t blame you. At the very worst, he’s a strong WR2 who deserves to be locked into all starting lineups.
Calvin Ridley: Those preseason highlight videos feel like decades ago. Week 10 was the third time in four games in which Ridley failed to clear 30 receiving yards, and by earning just three targets, there was no upside in the role he played against San Francisco.
When the coaching staff was asked about getting their presumed WR1 more looks, the response focused on the penalties he has drawn and the value that hidden notes like that provide.
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That, in theory, makes sense, but if penalties suggest that the defense is having a hard time guarding him, why not keep pressing that button?
Maybe this is a get-right spot in a plus matchup, but I’ve typed that before. At least three other times.
Ridley has fallen outside of my top 30 this week. Yes, I’m treating him like a little child. I’m sending him to his room to let him think about what he has done. When I go up to check on him in a week, there are only two potential outcomes:
- He felt remorse, cleaned his room, and was allowed back into my lineups.
- He snuck out late at night, went to a concert, and forced me to put adoption on the table.
Can you tell I’m not a parent in real life? I care about my fantasy teams like I would a family, and Pop Sop runs a tight ship. Shape up or ship out Mr. Ridley!
Zay Jones: This season from Jones is exactly why leagues need to have an IR slot, if not multiple. He caught five balls on seven targets in an encouraging season opener, but this knee injury has limited him to three grabs on 11 targets ever since.
I maintain that he is a roster-worthy player when active and may be a risk/reward Flex play if this team can start moving in the right direction.
That said, given the extended absence this injury has caused, there’s a 0% chance I’m playing Jones in any capacity when he finally returns to the field.
Evan Engram: Last week against San Fran was just the second time this season that Engram finished outside the top 14 tight ends, a level of stability that has him heading my third tier at the position with LaPorta.
Engram lit up the Titans for 11 catches, 162 yards, and two touchdowns in Week 14 last season. While that sort of outburst isn’t likely this time around, I’m very comfortable with his floor and think he has a real shot at his best finish of the season this week.
Should You Start Sam Howell or Trevor Lawrence?
In August, I would have told you that this wasn’t close.
In November, I’m telling you it’s not close — but with a completely different answer.
Howell’s volume supports both a floor and ceiling that Lawrence simply hasn’t flashed in 2023. The matchup with the Titans is great for Lawrence, but it’s not as if Howell is facing the ‘85 Bears, and given his stability through 10 weeks, he has my trust in this spot.
Should You Start Jahan Dotson or DeAndre Hopkins?
Dotson is certainly trending in the right direction and Hopkins’ value has taken a hit lately as Will Levis comes back to earth (0 TD passes on 78 attempts) after his impressive debut.
That said, I still think Hopkins’ volume is more stable than that of Dotson and I like his per-target upside. The future Hall of Famer is a strong WR2 for me against the Jaguars while Dotson is a Flex option with a wide range of outcomes.
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