Despite its undefeated start this season, the Tennessee Titans were recently in the doghouse with fantasy owners across the nation. After an unexpected bye week in Week 4 due to COVID-19 outbreak among players and staff, fantasy football players were in between a rock and a hard place when assembling their lineups two weeks ago.
This Sunday, the Titans are squaring off against a divisional foe in the Houston Texans. After firing general manager and head coach Bill O’Brien, the Texans won their first game of the 2020 season last week by downing the shoddy Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 30-14. It was the Texans’ first complete performance of the season.
Prior to the win against the Jags, the Texans’ defense was allowing a whopping 34 points per game. Whether last week’s performance was a statement game in the team’s first contest since O’Brien’s departure, or simply the result of playing a hapless Jaguars offense, remains to be seen.
What is clear is that the Titans’ offense is nothing to scoff at. Averaging 30.5 points per game, the Ryan Tannehill-led offense has been in such a rhythm that a global pandemic couldn’t even slow them down.
The Titans’ offense has been able to produce at such a high level without running back Derrick Henry really exploding up to this point. That has the potential to change this weekend. Houston enters Sunday’s matchup with the 31st ranked rushing defense, allowing an average of 160.4 rush yards per game thus far. After a ho-hum 57-yard, two touchdown performance on Tuesday against the Bills, King Henry is poised for a breakout game.
However, the Texans boast the league’s 8th ranked pass defense, giving up just 227 yards through the air so far this season. In the two times these teams faced off in 2019, Ryan Tannehill averaged 238.5 passing yards while dropping in four touchdowns with one interception. In Week 6, Tannehill stands to be a fringe QB1, but a must-start in fantasy leagues with two quarterbacks.
Ryan Tannehill is so damn underrated in fantasy football.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 14, 2020
A.J. Brown might have one of the best matchups amongst all wide receivers in fantasy football this weekend. The Texans are a team that Brown dominated in both matchups last season. Then a rookie, Brown broke out with a 114-yard, one touchdown performance in his first meeting with Houston, followed by a 124-yard outing scoring another touchdown in the Week 17 matchup. The Texans did not have an answer for Brown last year, and with Corey Davis missing Sunday’s contest due to COVID-19, Brown is in position for another monster performance.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 15, 2019
Tight end Jonnu Smith’s production has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners that do not follow the Titans closely. Smith remains a mid-tier starting tight end in all fantasy formats. Smith averages 6.8 targets per game, good for seventh best among all tight ends. With Davis absent from the lineup, Smith’s fantasy ceiling is the moon.
Some totally random Jonnu Smith data that I just happened to run into, totally randomly, definitely without looking for it:
– No. 1 TE in fantasy pts/gm
– No. 1-ranked TE by PFF
– No. 1 TE in passer rating on balls throw to him
– No. 2 TE in YAC
— Paul Charchian (@PaulCharchian) October 14, 2020
Featured image courtesy of Tim Warner/Getty Images