Kickoff: Sunday, November 19th, 2023, 1:00p PM EST
Location: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Betting Odds: No +5.5, 40.5 O/U total via oddshark.com
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@TheDunit13 on Twitter)
Will Levis (Start, QB2)
Will Levis came out and lit the fantasy work on fire with four touchdowns. In the two games since then he hasn’t thrown for a touchdown but does have two interceptions. He now gets to face a divisional opponent in the Jacksonville Jaguars who are giving up the 9th most points to quarterbacks. It’s a game where Levis can do well but needs to make smart decisions and not turn the ball over. Levis has some very skilled players to get the ball to and the run game can take some pressure off of him. Levis has had a ton of passing attempts in the last two games, throwing the ball 39 times in each game. With that volume and the matchup, Levis is a sneaky start as a QB2 this week.
Derrick Henry (Start, RB2), Tyjae Spears (Start, Flex)
Are we seeing the changing of the guard in the Tennesee Titans backfield? For the second straight week rookie Tyjae Spears out-snapped Derrick Henry. Let’s not be too quick to advocate the throne for King Henry just yet. Despite playing fewer snaps Henry saw 33 total opportunities compared to Spears’ 21. Henry is still the dominant rusher we are used to. He is averaging 4.22 yards per carry. The Jaguars are giving up the 10th fewest points to running backs so it’s a tough matchup. Henry should still be started as a solid RB2 this week. The Titans will be looking to control the game clock by running the ball. Spears is an interesting Flex play this week. He seems to be more involved in the passing game so if the Titans get behind Spears will see enough opportunities this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, Flex), Treylon Burks (Sit), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine(Sit) Kyle Phillips (Sit, Flex) Chig Okonkwo (Start, TE2)
The Titans passing offense starts with DeAndre Hopkins. The perennial pro bowler has suffered from inconsistent quarterback play this year but is still seeing a decent target volume. The Jaguars are giving up the 9th most points to wide receivers in total but Hopkins will have a tough matchup. He will probably be seeing a lot of Darius Williams who PFF.com has rated as the 4th best corner in coverage. What also hurts is the lack of a real threat elsewhere so the Jags can move safety Andre Cisco over to help. Cisco is rated as the 19th best cover safety. Given the tough coverage and inconsistent quarterback play, I’m putting Hopkins in the Flex range.
After Hopkins, it’s a mess. Treylon Burks has been a disappointment and missed last week with lingering concussion symptoms. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is splitting snaps with Chris Moore on the outside and Kyle Phillips in the slot. It’s hard to want to start any of them. Trey Herndon locks down the slot. The other outside corner is up in the air. Normal starter Tyson Campbell is banged up which could mean Gregory Junior gets more snaps. While that would be a great matchup the wide receivers aren’t great. There is some hope that Herndon move outside and Kyle Phillips will get more looks coming out of a slot with a better matchup. He could be a sneaky flex play but it’s a massive risk. If you start any of them you are hoping for a touchdown
Tight end Chig Okonkwo has an absolute smash matchup against the Jaguars who are giving up the 2nd most points to tight ends. The issue is that he hasn’t been overly involved or explosive when he has gotten the ball. This is the week we want to see him finally have a game like we have been expecting. I think he is a high-upside TE2 this week. It all comes down to how good Levis can be and if the offense designs plays to get Chig the ball.
Trevor Lawrence (Start, QB2)
There has been a ton of talk this week about Trevor Lawrence and his play and how not great it is. I’ve been saying this for years that he is overrated. He now has to face a defense that is sneakily good. The Tennessee Titans are only giving up the 12th fewest points to quarterbacks. The run game for the Jaguars has picked up as of late causing Lawrence to have fewer passing opportunities. he hasn’t thrown the ball more than 32 times since Week 5. An average day for a quarterback is 35 plus passing attempts. Lawrence has also had issues protecting the ball. He has 3 interceptions in the past two games and a fumble. He is what he is. And that is a QB2.
Travis Etienne (Start, RB1), Tank Bigsby (Sit)
Travis Etienne has been a fantasy steal this year. He has seven rushing touchdowns which is two more than his season total last year. Etienne has paid off for managers who drafted him after some of the big names. He has been one of the bright spots on the Jaguars offense. Week 10 was a down week but considering he was facing the San Fransisco 49ers that was expected. He should be able to get back on track this week against the Titans. The Titans are giving up the 14th fewest points to running backs so pretty middle of the road. Given the struggles in the passing game and that the Titans have struggled to score points with Levis under center the Jags should be able to have sustained drives with lots of work coming to Etienne. You can start him as a solid RB1. His work in the passing game has bumped him to that level every week.
Rookie Tank Bigsby is nothing more than a breather back right now. He has the size and can vulture red zone work but Etienne has been so good they aren’t likely to take him out. Sit Bigsby.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Calvin Ridley (Start, WR3), Christian Kirk (Start, WR2), Evan Engram (Sit, TE2)
The Jaguars passing game has started to become predictable and two-dimensional. It starts with Christian Kirk. He has established himself as the true one on the team. It’s a decent matchup for the six-year vet. He will probably be followed by corner Roger McCreary. Even when Kirk lines up on the slot McCreary should be on him. McCreary is rated as the 60th-best corner by PFF.com. The Jags might lien up less in three-wide sets after Zay Jones was recently arrested for domestic battery. He was dealing with a knee injury anyway so Zay Jones is best left on your bench. There is a chance the league or team could suspend him. Start Kirk as a solid WR2 this week.
On the opposite side of the field is this year’s candidate for fantasy bust Calvin Ridley. He has been so inconsistent that it’s been frustrating for fantasy players trying to start him. He gets a good matchup. The Titans are giving up the 7th most points to wide receivers and Ridley will probably see coverage from Kristian Fuller, who rates as the 80th best corner. If there is a week for Ridley to bounce back this would be it but I’m not trusting it. Lawrence has been sub-par and so has Ridley. The game script seems to lean run so that could limit the amount of targets to get divided up. I’m sitting Ridley even with the great matchup. He probably gets into the Flex range so you can start him if needed.
The person who has benefited the most from Zay Jones being out is tight end Evan Engram. He has seen seven or more targets in every game except Week 1. This week however is another story. The Titans are giving up the fewest points to the tight end position. It’s going to be hard to bench one of the most consistent tight ends this year but you might want to look for other options. If you have to start him he should sneak into TE2 range but his upside is capped.