Outlook: The Titans have a new coach in Mike Vrabel and a new OC in Matt LaFleur (the architect of the Los Angeles Rams offense under Sean McVay) which brings new hope to Nashville. But it will be the Titans defense, led by newly signed CB Malcolm Butler that will decide how far this team goes in the playoffs.
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QB: The Titans will most likely go as far as Marcus Mariota will take them. Although he is not the most vocal of leaders, Mariota leads by example and has the respect of the entire offense. New OC Matt LaFleur had tremendous success in Los Angeles with Jared Goff, so the hope is that he can come into Nashville and find ways to improve Mariota’s overall game. Mariota is extremely mobile, but the team is worried that he will get injured if he leaves the pocket too often. Additionally, Mariota struggles to throw the deep ball, so LaFleur must figure out which are the best routes for the team to run to be successful. At this point, I would call Mariota a work in progress as a QB. There are signs that he is emerging, but he needs to find more consistency. I project him for about 3800 yards passing (with 300 yards rushing) and about 23 to 25 TDs, making him a solid QB2 in Fantasy circles.
Outlook: The Redskins knew they were going to lose Kirk Cousins, so they went and got Alex Smith to be their new signal caller. Smith is known for his “game manager” style of play, but that might work well within Jay Gruden’s system. Losing Derrius Guice for the season to an ACL injury is a brutal way to start the season, but the Skins are resilient and should put up a fight to get to .500 in the NFC East.
RB: Goodbye Derrius Guice, hello Adrian Peterson. The Redskins signed AP hoping to find their new early down RB. Last year’s draft pick Samaje Perine has been a bust, andRob Kelley is nothing more than a backup, so the Skins are hoping that AP has a little gas left in his tank. I am okay with taking AP as an RB4 in most leagues (especially standard). Game flow could hurt him (if the team falls way behind he won’t play as much), but there is an outside chance he could get 180-200 carries this season. I was doubtful that Chris Thompson could return from his leg injury to be effective, but Jay Gruden recently said that Thompson looks great and will be a big part of the team’s passing attack. If Thompson is healthy, he could be a PPR target monster and well worth taking in rounds 8-9 of most drafts.
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