2012 Team Outlook: Tennessee
WR Nate Washington, TEN - Bust (overvalued)
The former Pittsburgh Steeler signed a 6-year $27 million contract back in 2009 and his 2011 production more than justified the pay day. The 28 year old WR set career highs in catches (74), yards (1,023), and TD (7) as he became the default No. 1 receiver role after Kenny Britt's torn ACL in week 3. With the draft selection of Kendall Wright and expected return of Britt, Washington is a candidate to be overvalued this season as he's likely to see a major decrease in production with less targets in 2012.
WR Damian Williams, TEN - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
The 2nd year WR from USC (3rd round pick in 2010) saw an increase in playing time after Kenny Britt's season ended in week 3. His production was inconsistent at best as Williams finished the 2011 season with 45 catches for 582 yards (40 YPG) and five TDs. Following the selection of Kendall Wright, the Titans' passing offense is getting crowded. Williams, Washington, and Lavelle Hawkins will likely be fighting for targets, limiting the upside of all three WRs. The Titans figure to remain a run focused offense, making their 3rd WR worth nothing more than a flier in deeper leagues.
WR Kenny Britt, TEN - Gamble (high risk)
The 23 year old WR from Rutgers was showing signs of a true breakout year in 2011 (3rd NFL season) after totaling 271 yards and 3 TDs in his first two games, but a torn ACL in week 3 knocked him out for the remainder of the season. In 2010 (12 games), he averaged 65 YPG with nine touchdowns. Britt is a world class talent as well as a world class idiot (numerous arrests for drag racing, marijuana etc.). Provided he can avoid a jail cell and the recovery goes as planned, Britt could be a borderline WR1 /solid WR2 on draft day.
UPDATE: Britt underwent a minor knee surgery in June to remove a clicking in his knee. He will be eased back into action and the Titans' hope is to have him on the field for one of the final preseason games. Britt has reported confidence that he'll be ready for week 1, but that remains to be seen.
WR Lavelle Hawkins, SD - Deep-league Only
Hawkins received a new three-year deal worth $7.2 million this offseason. With the selection of Kendall Wright, Hawkins won't be anything more than the Titans' #4 WR and is not a fantasy option (barring injuries). The Cal alum made just 19 catches in three seasons coming into 2011. Last season (with Kenny Britt sidelined) he posted career bests, but still finished with 47 catches for 470 yards and one touchdown.
TE Jared Cook, STL - Sleeper (undervalued)
The 6-5, 250 pounder has the athleticism to create matchup mismatches and began to show his potential in the final month of the season when he topped 100 yards in 2 of the final 3 games. The South Carolina alum finished his 3rd NFL season with 49 catches for 759 yards and three touchdowns. Cook has above average ability after the catch and his 4th year could be a true breakout season if the final month of the 2011 season is any indication. Consider Cook a lower end TE1 in 12 team leagues, with the potential to emerge as an every week starter.
UPDATE: Cook is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Titans have yet to approach him about an extension. He should be ultra motivated entering 2012.
TE Craig Stevens, TEN - Not Draft Worthy
The Titans re-signed TE Craig Stevens to a four-year, $15 million contract this offseason (which could signal the end of Daniel Graham's tenure with the Titans). Stevens is simply a blocking option and not on the fantasy radar as he has just 20 catches for 288 yards over the past two seasons. The Titans also selected SMU TE Taylor Thompson with the No. 145 overall pick in the 2012 draft, but he is considered to be more of a receiving option.