Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here.
The limitations of the Tennessee Titans’ ownership’s desire to spend money ended up on full display this offseason, as they traded star wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles to get Treylon Burks. That’s pretty much the entirety of their wide receiver depth chart except for a broken Robert Woods, too. Throw in that mess alongside the fact that Derrick Henry broke his foot last year and might not be able to go back to being Derrick Henry as we know him, and things are somewhat messy in Tennessee. Let’s take a look at their 2022 fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and bust!
Sleeper: Austin Hooper, Tight End (TE26, 217 OVR)
The Titans utilize the tight end at a league-average rate, throwing the ball to the position about 100 times last season, or a 21% rate. If you don’t think this can sustain a fantasy football tight end, might I offer you the knowledge that the 49ers threw the ball to tight ends 21% of the time, and the Cowboys 20.7% of the time? There are enough targets in the Titans’ offense for the tight end to sustain one guy. Why didn’t it bring fantasy success last year? Well, that’s because they chopped them up between Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser (39 targets each).
Given that Austin Hooper was a fantasy-relevant tight end the last time he saw sustained targets, I feel good about him breaking free of Cleveland and going back to his fantasy football-relevant Atlanta Falcons days. The last time we saw Hooper get a decent target load was back in 2019, when he averaged 7.5 targets per game, for 6 catches and 60 yards per game. He’s well outside the normal tight ends you think of in your draft, so he should be a great value for you even if you want to wait for him all the way to the end of your (deep, deep) drafts.
Breakout: Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver (WR46, 114 OVR)
The Titans traded A.J. Brown to take Treylon Burks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. And, with that pick, they basically traded A.J. Brown for a younger A.J. Brown. Burks reminded me a lot of Brown in the draft, with great hands, good YAC ability, and a limited route tree. The route tree didn’t particularly worry me because of how good Burks is with the football. He has the A.J. Brown quality of being able to overcome all of that to take any given football to the house, and because of that, I have Treylon Burks inside my top-20 wide receivers this season. Given that their other two pass catchers who will make a difference this year are injured (Robert Woods) and a tight end (Austin Hooper), I’m not entirely sure what we have to hang our hat on if we don’t want Treylon Burks at ADP.
Even if he isn’t A.J. Brown, what if he is 75% of A.J. Brown and one who can stay healthy? That’s a recipe for success, especially outside the top-100 picks.
Bust: Robert Woods, Wide Receiver (WR37, 88 OVR)
There are a few things working against Robert Woods this season. First, he is recovering from a December ACL tear. Second, he has to switch offenses while recovering from said tear, and third, the Titans won’t pass the ball nearly as much as the Rams passed it, as evidenced by the fact that the Titans threw the ball about 80 fewer times than the Rams last year, and 100 fewer times than the Rams in 2020. That leaves very little for him after Treylon Burks gets his as the team’s #1 wide receiver, and the Titans’ tight ends get their targets.
That just doesn’t leave a lot of upside for Woods, at least to me. He is a year older, coming off of an injury, is in a less potent offense, and is still going inside the top-100 picks. I am just not all that interested in taking Robert Woods with all those things going against him at his ADP.