After concluding a three-game homestand with a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans are packing their bags for a mini voyage up to Cincinnati with the hopes of getting back on track against a 1-6 Bengals team that appears to be unraveling at the seams.

While the Steelers managed to win the time of possession battle in lopsided fashion, the Titans offense still managed to yield productive fantasy outputs from most of their key players.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill has had a marvelous season up to this point and has even performed well enough to put his name at the forefront of NFL MVP discussions. After throwing for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week, the Titans’ QB1 aims to put together another strong outing against a Bengals defense that is susceptible to big plays in the passing game.

The Bengals enter Week Eight’s matchup with the 25th ranked defense against the pass. Opponents are averaging 261 yards through the air so far this season, just 11 yards better than the Titans’ miserable defensive unit.

Tannehill doesn’t typically rack up 300-yard games simply due to the fact that the Titans prefer to run their offense through Derrick Henry who most people consider to be the best running back in the NFL. Even with Henry expected to do most of the damage, Tannehill will absolutely have opportunities to prove to fantasy owners that he is worthy of a week-in, week-out starting nod against a horrific Bengals defense that has performed dreadfully in red zone situations.

Tannehill has, without question, a top-10 matchup amongst starting quarterbacks this week in Cincinnati, going head-to-head with rookie sensation Joe Burrow.

Derrick Henry

On paper, Sunday appears to be the day where the King will feast. Last week, the Steelers’ defense clearly challenged Henry between the tackles. Pittsburgh threw out all of the stops at the NFL’s leading rusher by getting physical with Henry on the first level.

Although they could not stop him, they managed to do a fair job at bottling up some of his big runs. Henry carried the ball 20 times for a total of 75 yards and one touchdown in the loss, but might have come out of the game a bit more sore than in previous weeks.

As the King’s chariot makes a voyage to Cincinnati, Henry is poised for one of his breakout performances. The Bengals are giving up an average of 133 yards on the ground – 28th in the NFL. After trading defensive end Carlos Dunlap early in the week, Cincinnati’s defensive line looks even more vulnerable.

After the Titans were dominated in time of possession last week, offensive coordinator Arthur Smith might elect to adopt the run early and often this weekend. This goes without saying, but Derrick Henry is a must start this weekend as he is in position to have one of his biggest games this season.

A.J. Brown & Corey Davis

A.J. Brown once again showed why he is a rising star in the fantasy football world in last week’s loss by accumulating 153 yards on six catches highlighted by a 73-yard house call in the third quarter. Brown is as explosive of a receiver as there is right now and remains a high-end WR2 with breakout potential in a matchup against a struggling Bengals secondary.

Corey Davis is an interesting player this week. Davis reeled in six passes for 35 yards and a touchdown last week. A solid performance from a player that is really only a flex option, at best, in most leagues. Davis received a team-high 10 targets from Tannehill last week, but failed to break double digits in Non-PPR formats. Davis is a boom or bust play this week, and most weeks for that matter.

Jonnu Smith

Jonnu Smith has been awfully quiet in his last two games, totaling just 22 yards on two catches. Coming off of back-to-back fantasy duds, Smith will likely find his way to the bench in some leagues.

Do not let that be you.

The Bengals have plenty of defensive issues, but none are more glaring than their ability, or lack thereof, to cover opposing tight ends. Last week was National Tight Ends Day and the Cleveland Browns celebrated the holiday with Harrison Bryant and David Njoku combining for six receptions worth 76 yards and three touchdowns.

In Cincinnati’s last three contests, opposing tight ends have exploded for six touchdowns on an average of 74 yards per game. Not only is Jonnu Smith in an extremely favorable spot, but Anthony Firkser might warrant some streaming looks as well.

 

Featured image courtesy of Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


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