2023 Week Six Absurdity Check: Adam Thielen, Tennessee Titans & Cleveland Browns

AFC Wild Card Game Derrick Henry Tennessee Titans Fantasy Football

(most of) Week Six is in the books! We had some crazy games yesterday, with the Eagles and 49ers removing themselves from the undefeated ranks against two backup quarterbacks. The league also had every good player get hurt, or so it seemed. But, some crazy stuff went down yesterday that we have to double-check and make sure if our feelings about them are real, or if they’re overreactions. With that in mind, let’s dive into the Week Six Absurdity Check.

Should the Titans Abandon the Passing Game?

The Tennessee Titans barely lost to the Baltimore Ravens, at least on paper. If you were a True Sicko and got up early to watch that game, you might have gone back to sleep after the Ravens went up 18-3 at halftime and had solid control of the game. They then turned the game over to Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears, who did the majority of the damage in the second half. Henry scored on a 15-yard touchdown run that had him look like vintage Derrick Henry, and he finished with over. Tyjae Spears had only one target, but, well:

Spears had an incredible weaving catch-and-run that gave him the most receiving yards on the Titans, and the third-most receiving yards in the game overall. To be honest with you, Derrick Henry & Tyjae Spears could have put the Titans in the victory column, but Malik Willis was sacked four times and completed four passes in injured Ryan Tannehill’s stead. They were the only good part of the Titans’ offense on Sunday, and it would behoove them to focus on Spears and Henry—who both played barely over 50% of snaps—rather than focus on getting touches and snaps to the likes of Kyle Philips and Chris Moore, who combined for 36 routes run, 6 targets, 2 catches, and 12 yards. The passing game is the clear weak point of the Tennessee Titans, and it’s high time that they just turn the entire offense over to Derrick Henry & Tyjae Spears, lest they lose all control of the season.

Is Adam Thielen a Must-Start Receiver?

Adam Thielen finished week six with eleven catches, 115 yards, and a touchdown, on 13 targets. He will, inevitably, finish the week inside the top ten at the position, considering that he scored quarterback numbers in a PPR league. This will mark the third time that he’s finished inside top ten in PPR this season and the fifth time that he’s finished inside the top twenty. Unfortunately, there are a lot of outside perceptions of Thielen that keep folks from believing. First, he had 2 catches for 12 yards in week one. Second, Bryce Young is not coming through as a stud quarterback, averaging under 200 passing yards per game while throwing six touchdowns and four interceptions in his five games so far. Despite that, Adam Thielen is getting elite numbers across the board. Thielen is currently WR6 and has been WR2 since week two. As of writing this, Thielen is top-ten in percent of team receiving yards (38%), and second in catch rate (minimum 30 targets). Thielen is fourth in touchdowns, and he’s ninth among wide receivers in targets inside the ten.

Adam Thielen, at least currently, is a must-start wide receiver. To put it gently… he’s the only pass-catching option on the Panthers who isn’t total butt, to be honest. Bryce Young wants to look to him as often as humanly possible, and that’s why he’s a must-start wide receiver until further notice.

Does Kareem Hunt Have Life?

A strange thing happened in the 49ers-Browns game Sunday, not just that the 49ers lost a regular season game for the first time in almost a year. Strangely enough… Kareem Hunt had a good game against them. He finished with 15 touches, which felt like a lot for Hunt, but it’s not, at least not in 2023. Hunt has three games played, and he has 15, 12, and now 15 touches in those three games. That would come out to 238 touches throughout a season, which would have ranked him just ahead of David Montgomery last season for 20th in the league. That’s a shocking statistic, especially since they had at least 15 touches just once after week four last season with the Browns.

That’s not what has me shocked, what has me shocked is that Hunt did decently well with those touches, turning in 71 yards and a touchdown, and 16.1 PPR points when all was said and done. That’s what we expect from an upper-echelon day from Kareem Hunt. It’s not just a great fantasy game, it’s an astounding fantasy game, considering the opponent. Only Kyren Williams has more than 11 PPR points against the 49ers this season, and last season only Josh Jacobs, Melvin Gordon, and Christian McCaffrey finished with more than 14 PPR points against the 49ers in 2022, and they almost immediately traded for CMC.

This is an encouraging game for Hunt, who seems to be rounding into shape as a decent secondary running back option for the Browns. Granted, I don’t feel good enough about it to rush out and start him anytime soon, but it does make me sit up and take notice.


(Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/RB_Derrick_Henry_Titans%2C_2016.jpg under CC SA 4.0)

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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