Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th, 1:00 PM ET
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennesee
Betting Odds: Tenn +3, 45 total via PFF.com
Writer: Chuck Steele (@ChuckSteele on Twitter/X)
Ryan Tannehill (Sit, Low End QB2)
Last week Ryan Tannehill was a major disappointment in week one against the New Orleans Saints. After three Interceptions, zero touchdowns, and forcing just over 39% of the targets to new addition DeAndre Hopkins, can we see a bounce-back week from Tannehill after scoring just 2.42 fantasy points in week 1? Tannehill will need to keep pace this week against a Chargers offense that seems healthy and ready to score points this season. The Chargers got toasted last week by Tyreek Hill and company, having Tua and Hill being the top two scorers for position players in fantasy. Tannehill and Hopkins are no Tua and Hill, but should be able to find openings against the Chargers defense who gave up the most points, and passing yards in week one. Tannehill won’t win you your week and there are plenty of better options out there. I’d prefer to sit Tannehill until he and Hopkins develop better chemistry but comes into week two with QB2 upside.
Derrick Henry (Start, RB1), Tyjae Spears (Sit)
Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Derrick Henry? Yes, but we are not at the end just yet. Henry should be started weekly, being a punishing back to barrel through defenders and score on any given play. Last week we saw Henry take only 46% of offensive snaps last week as Tyjae Spears saw 54% of offensive snaps, however, Henry saw 15 rushing attempts compared to Tajae’s three. Last week the Chargers defense gave up only 70 rushing yards, but that was mainly due to the Dolphins doing the majority of their damage through the air. Last year against the Chargers, Henry had a big game that saw him as the RB3 on the week, going over 100 yards with a touch on the ground, and over 50 yards in receiving. This week we should have a similar production, start Derrick Henry in all formats as an RB1. Tyjae should be left on the bench but could see added work through the passing game for the Titans, and will be a valuable asset if Henry should go down due to injury.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, High End WR2, Low end WR1), Treylon Burks (Sit), Nick Westbrook-lkhine (Sit), Chigoziem Okonkwo (Sit )
DeAndre Hopkins came into Tennessee and regained an elite level target shares in the Titans passing game, having his new QB look his way often. With nearly 40% of the passes going his way, Hopkins’ final line of 7/65/0 on 13 targets was sort of a letdown from a wide receiver some took with high draft capital. However if Tannehill keeps looking Hopkins’ way as often as he did in week one, DeAndre will be a safe bet for weekly high-end WR2 with the upside of WR1 every week. Though Tannehill himself may struggle at times, Hopkins has a juicy matchup this week with a Los Angeles team that just got torched for 466 yards through the air. Treylon Burks has had flash talent since his rookie year and should take a step forward in his sophomore campaign, but until Tannehill starts spreading the ball out on a more even basis the rest of the Titans receivers and tight ends should remain on the bench.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert (Start, QB1)
Last year was a year of injuries to the Chargers offense, which was a part of the down year from Justin Herbert. Week one Herbert and his dangerous plethra of weapons came into this season healthy and Herbert delievered a solid performance week one dispite the loss to the Miami Dolphins. Even with a banged up Austin Ekeler, Herbert should continue to find success against the Titans who last year gave up the most passing yards per game last season. Herbert is poised for a bounce back season. Herbert is a must start QB1.
Austin Ekeler (Start, RB1, RB2), Joshua Kelley (Flex, Start RB2, RB1 upside if no Ekeler)
Last year’s fantasy RB1 came out and continued where he left off, turning in a big performance on the ground with a tune of 16/117/1 on the ground. However, Austin Ekeler injured his ankle in the second of the game last week and is now questionable for week 2. If Ekeler plays you are going to have him in your lineup, but depending on the extent of his ankle, Ekeler could see a scaled-back workload to help preserve him for the long season ahead. Even if so, Ekeler has the talent, and pass-catching upside to still finish as an RB2 or even an RB1. It makes it easier on the Chargers with this kind of decision of limitation with their star running back when they have one of the better backups in the NFL. Joshua Kelley was given extra playing time due to Ekeler’s injury, going for 91 yards on 16 carries, and finding the endzone once in last week’s contest. Kelley can be considered for a FLEX option this week if Ekeler is limited. If Ekeler sits this one out, fire up Joshua Kelley as an RB2 with RB1 upside.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Keenan Allan(Start, WR1, WR2), Mike Williams (Start, WR2, FLEX), Quentin Johnston (Sit), Gerald Everett (Start TE 2). Donald Parham Jr. (Sit)
After the Chargers added the talented Quentin Johnston in the draft to the big-play wideouts already in Los Angeles, many speculated if Keenan Allan would start to lose reps and targets and begin his decline in the fantasy lineups. After week one, there is no reason to believe that any longer as he leads the team across the board in targets, receptions, and yards. Allan should be considered a WR1 this week against one of the weaker secondaries in the league and still be the favorite target of Justin Herbert. Opposite of Allan is another wide-out who could also be started this week. Mike Williams has seen his share of boom or bust games, but should still capitalize on his opportunities in a favorable matchup. Quentin Johnston has the talent to succeed and produce as a WR3, and maybe one day this season provide flex value, but that week is not this week. Johnston should be sat until he shows more chemistry and consistency in the Chargers offense. Gerald Everett was a solid start last year, providing a good safety blanket for Herbert as the Chargers have dealt with injuries. Fantasy managers were let down last week as Everett only drew three targets, catching two 21 yards. Everett lost a red zone touchdown to fellow counterpart tight end Donald Parham Jr, who also had 3 targets in the game. Tight end is one of the weaker positions in fantasy football, but Everett could provide decent value any week as a red zone target for one of the quarterbacks with higher touchdown numbers in the league. Everett should score as a TE2 this week. You can keep Parham on the bench for now, though he is someone to monitor if Everett starts to decline.
-Chuck Steele (@ChuckSteele on Twitter/X)