The Tennessee Titans have their toughest matchup to date on Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers and their vaunted defense rumble into Nashville. A dynamic Titans offense, ranked second in scoring with a 32.8 points per game average, is set to square off against the new look Steel Curtain, which is allowing just 18.8 points per game – good for third in the NFL.
Steelers defense through Wk 7:
🔸 82.3 RunD Grade (1st)
🔸 81.9 Pass-Rush (1st) pic.twitter.com/MOdihsJNRu
— PFF (@PFF) October 23, 2020
Something has got to give on Sunday.
The Titans currently employ some of the best kept secrets in fantasy football. However, after having such bold performances in each of their first five games of the season, these hidden gems have turned into fantasy gold.
The Titans quarterback has positioned himself alongside Russell Wilson in the early MVP discussions. Tannehill has thrown for 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions through five games this season. Tannehill is also throwing the ball with unfathomable accuracy, completing 69.9 percent of his passes this season (6th in NFL).
The Steelers secondary will challenge Tannehill on Sunday. After acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick at the trade deadline last season, Pittsburgh has one of the top safety tandems in the league. Fitzpatrick plays next to Terrell Edmunds, who, like Kenny Vaccaro, puts extra emphasis on punishing tackles.
The Steelers are lining up three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden on the outside, making things difficult for the Titans to continue their success through the air. One element that could bode well for Tannehill owners is that there is a strong possibility the Titans will have both Corey Davis and A.J. Brown available for a game for the first time since Week 1.
With the season that Tannehill has put together thus far, fantasy owners are left with a difficult choice in Week Seven. But, considering Sunday presents a uniquely difficult challenge, the best move might be to sit Tannehill in favor of a quarterback with a more advantageous matchup.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 22, 2020
Since returning in Week Five after battling a bone bruise on his knee, wide receiver A.J. Brown has given the Titans offense an extra boost. In his two games since returning, Brown has 12 catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns.
aj brown really did that pic.twitter.com/mENYMUUlhQ
— justin michael jerome (@JstnMchl) October 18, 2020
Brown’s battle with Haden on the outside will be an interesting duel that will have an impact on fantasy matchups, but also could determine the winner of the ball game. With Brown’s big-play potential to go along with a steady volume of targets, he remains a must start in all fantasy formats so long as his health continues to hold up.
Then it comes to the matter of King Henry. CBS Sports reports that Derrick Henry’s average draft position (ADP) for the 2020 fantasy football season was 6.88. It would be a waste of breath to have to tell anybody to start Henry. Any sound-minded human being is already doing that. But it is Henry’s matchup against this stout Steelers run defense that is troublesome on paper. Pittsburgh is allowing just 66 yards per game on the ground and have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. This is a Steelers defense that held Saquon Barkley to an astounding six yards on 15 totes.
However, Henry is the best running back the Steelers have faced up to this point in the season. Coming off of a dominant 212-yard performance against the Houston Texans last week, Henry has established himself to be the best running back in football. If there is any player in the NFL who has the ability to completely wreck and ruin a strong defense’s averages, it is No. 22.
— That Blitz Guy (@ThatBlitzGuy) October 23, 2020
Derrick Henry could be playing with some extra motivation this week after ESPN analyst and former Steelers defensive back, Ryan Clark questioned the NFL’s leading rusher.
Jonnu Smith left the Texans game on Sunday with a sprained ankle, causing concern for many fantasy players as Smith’s early season success has labeled him as a must-start tight end. While Smith sat on the sidelines nursing his ankle, backup tight end Anthony Firkser came on in relief to reel in a team-high eight receptions totaling 113 yards and one touchdown. Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith loves creatively involving the tight ends early and often. Smith leads all Titans pass catchers with five receiving touchdowns on the year. Smith was listed as a full participant on the team’s Friday injury report, so it appears as if he is in line to be a full go on Sunday afternoon.
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) October 23, 2020
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Titans/Donald Page