What We Saw: Week 3

Mike Williams is finally the guy we all wanted him to be, and the rest of What We Saw in Week 3

Colts @ Titans

Final Score: Titans 25, Colts 16

Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)


An entertaining contest littered with mistakes, turnovers, and at times complete tomfoolery between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans in Nashville ended in a victory for the unconvincing Ryan Tannehill over the struggling Carson Wentz, who has now lost seven straight starts dating back to last season. The Titans never really looked like losing this one but the game remained closer than it should have been. The Titans offense turned over the ball three times in Colts territory throughout the game and doubts over Julio Jones‘ role remain as the veteran wideout was sparingly used throughout the game despite A.J. Brown exiting early with a hamstring injury.

And on the other side of the ball, Wentz is enduring a miserable start to his tenure with the Colts, completing just 19-of-37 attempts for just 197 yards and struggling to show chemistry with any of the receivers in Indianapolis. The Colts are now 0-3 and look completely devoid of leadership and confidence on the offensive side of the ball. Their defense was lights out in this one but it didn’t help one bit. That is a huge problem.

If fantasy managers were hoping that Tannehill fed all his prime targets with fantasy production, think again. Touchdowns were accredited to Jeremy McNichols, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Chester Rogers. Terrible! In faxt, all three are less than 1% rostered in Yahoo! leagues. So, yeah it was one of those days.



Indianapolis Colts




Carson Wentz: 19/37, 194 yards, 2 sacks


After missing nearly the entirety of practice this week due to two bad ankle injuries, Carson Wentz managed to get through this game but it was far from pretty. Clearly hampered when moving in the pocket, the former Eagles quarterback took 10 big QB hits and was sacked twice in a dreadful performance that looked like torture for any Colts fan out there. Harold Landry was a menace to Wentz all day, and the Colts signal-caller resorted to dumping the ball into nowhere whenever Landry broke the line of scrimmage, which was too often. Landry and rookie Olasunkanmi Adeniyiย both tee’d off on a bumbling Wentz on this sack.



Wentz’s biggest play of the day was thanks to running back Nyheim Hines, who took a check down 36-yards to set up a field goal late in the game.



Wentz was about 60-70% fit for this contest and it showed. And the lack of depth or confidence in this offense is even more worrying. It is a straight avoid in the near future across the board unless Wentz can miraculously return to health in the next few weeks. That looks unlikely at the minute.


Running Back


Jonathan Taylor: 10 carries, 64 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 18 yards

Nyheim Hines: 6 carries, 25 yards, TD | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 54 yards


The running backs were the lone bright spot for this offense as both second-year back Jonathan Taylor and veteran short-yardage specialist Nyheim Hinesย made use of limited touches. It is baffling why, with Wentz so lame, the Colts didn’t try to establish the run more with these two, who both looked sharp across the deck and through the air. Hines was the beneficiary of the red zone looks for the Colts in the second quarter. He made full use of the opportunity.



The veteran signed a new deal in the off-season and looks entrenched as a solid PRR and FLEX options week-in, week-out.

Taylor, however, is stuck as a middling RB2 with upside but that upside depends on this offense getting ahead and closing out victories. That looks a long way off at the minute. This tough 23-yard run early in the game set the tone for the Colts to ride the young back and help out their ailing quarterback. However, he received just nine more carries in the entire contest. Baffling.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Michael Pittman Jr.: 12 targets, 6 receptions, 68 yards | 1 carry, 5 yards

Zach Pascal: 7 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards

Mo Alie-Cox: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Jack Doyle: 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards

Parris Campbell: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Ashton Dulin: 1 carry, -7 yards


With Wentz in this state, this is a receiver room to avoid! What else can be said? Michael Pittman Jr. has exceptional talent and has shown his worth in the last few weeks. However, with the standard of quarterback play on offer today, there is little hope for him catapulting himself into WR1 contention. He is barely a WR2 option as it stands. Today was hugely disappointing after his promising 8-catch, 123-yard performance against a tough Rams secondary last week.

Waiver wire favorite Zach Pascal also posted a dud with only two grabs from seven targets. To be honest, I am inclined to give the entire group a pass this week on the back of Wentz’s performance, however, they are stuck with him and his health is a major issue for this team going forward.


Tennessee Titans




Ryan Tannehill: 18/27, 197 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, sack | 5 carries, 56 yards


It was a messy performance from Ryan Tannehill after the much-hyped quarterback led a remarkable comeback-win against the Seahawks last week. The Titans signal-caller failed to connect on a pass beyond 20 yards for the third game in a row, a worrying concern for both star receivers and his fantasy production. He saved his day with three short touchdown passes and a career-high 56 yards rushing on just five carries. He rubbed salt in the face of the Colts by connecting with their former receiver Chester Rogers on a crossing route for the first score of the day.



Tannehill had two costly turnovers, although one should have been caught and held onto by Rogers. The other was a straight reception to Darius Leonard, a dreadful throw into traffic.



The use of his legs to move the sticks was particularly encouraging to see, and this element in his game can determine his fantasy outlook.


Despite the up-and-down performance, Tannehill managed to battle through this haphazard showing to get his team the win. A nice read to running back Jeremy McNichols in the flat on another third-down in the fourth quarter put the contest beyond doubt. He remains a QB1 with high-end upside.



Running Back


Derrick Henry: 28 carries, 113 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 31 yards

Jeremy McNichols: 2 carries, 6 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards, TD

Mekhi Sargeant: 1 carry, 2 yards | 1 target


After a staggering 41 touches last week, Derrick Henry came back down to earth with a still-ridiculous 31-touch day for the Titans. All that was missing from another complete performance holding the rock was a touchdown. Still, he was still a dominant power with the ball in his hands running downhill.



Annoying from a fantasy perspective, Jeremy McNichols took only his third touch of the game in for the score in the fourth quarter. Maybe the fantasy gods were leveling the playing field after his miraculous 237-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 2. Henry remains one of the top three backs in the league, a true workhorse running back who will also see enough catches out of the backfield to determine fantasy matchups on his own.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 53 yards, TD, Fumble (Lost)

Julio Jones: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 47 yards

Geoff Swaim: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards

Cameron Batson: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards

MyCole Pruitt: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Chester Rogers: 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards, TD

Tommy Hudson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards

A.J. Brown: 2 targets | 1 carry, 3 yards

Racey McMath: 1 target


Who exactly is Nick Westbrook-Ikhine? The second-year undrafted free agent out of Indiana spent the majority of last year on the Titans practice squad but won a roster spot at the start of this season. He had just one catch coming into today’s game. Tannehill fired a bullet to him in space and the young man headed straight for the endzone for his first career score. A great moment.



A less great moment was when he let former first-round selection Rock Ya-Sin strip the ball from him as he was going down inside the Colts 10-yard line. It was a crucial time in the game. The Colts had pulled back to within one point just after the half and this could have swayed the momentum of the game.



Still, the youngster may get further time in this offense with A.J. Brown going down with a hamstring injury. The extent of how severe the problem might be is unknown but one to watch. He has been plagued by hamstring problems in the past and his relatively quiet start to the year is not ideal for the Titans’ main receiving threat.

The lack of involvement for former Falcons great Julio Jones is also disturbing. Even with Brown ruled out, Jones tallied a mere four targets and was seen on some drives with his helmet removed on the sideline from about the third quarter on. The Titans were coy about his injury status and in the post-game press conference, Head Coach Mike Vrabel quipped that he was “trying to manage where he’s at,” and vaguely mentioned blocking being the reason Jones wasn’t on the field near the end of the game. It is a fractious relationship that does not bode well for fantasy going forward.

From the whole heap of nobodies that tried to make up for the loss of Brown and the non-involvement of Jones, the receiving room in Tennessee is currently a complete mess.


Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

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