2014 Outlook: Sankey is a great athlete. He runs fast, he's powerful and he was productive at the University of Washington. When the Titans selected him in the second round of this spring's draft, it immediately made him a threat to win the starting job, ahead of plodding Shonn Greene. But he's far from a polished product. His collegiate tape shows a propensity to search for big plays by running east-west instead of north-south. That won't fly with new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt. Sankey lands in a nice spot for immediate fantasy value, but he needs to clean up his game.
2014 Outlook: It seems as if Wright has carved out his niche as the Titans' go-to dink-and-dunk receiver. He was second leaguewide in short-pass receiving yards (718) and quietly amassed 94 receptions in his second season, seventh most in the NFL. Wright's problem is two-fold. First, he doesn't score enough touchdowns to be considered anything more than a WR3 in standard leagues. (Last season he became the only WR since 2005 to snag 90-plus receptions but score only 2 TDs.) And second, he doesn't have the best mojo with QB Jake Locker: Only 76 of Wright's 190 career fantasy points have come with Locker under center.
2014 Outlook: With Chris Johnson gone from Nashville, a whole lot of carries are available in the Titans' backfield. Greene's first season with the Titans was a bust, as he needed a knee scope after Week 1 and missed five games. (He also required another knee surgery this spring.) But even when healthy, Greene is simply a slap-in-the-face, straight-ahead mauler. He won't do much of anything on his own except get tackled. He relies on big holes to gain yardage and volume to wear you down. His competition will be second-round rookie Bishop Sankey, whose college profile indicates he's more likely to be a big-play fantasy asset.
2014 Outlook: Yes, we know Hunter had only 18 catches as a rookie, but we've put him in our top 50 for a reason. A 4.44 burner, Hunter showed off his big-play ability in Weeks 12 and 14, when he combined for 223 yards and 2 TDs. All told, he averaged an absurd 19.7 yards per catch and scored 4.64 fantasy points per game on vertical throws, 25th among wide receivers. All it'll take is 50 catches for Hunter to insert himself into the WR3 discussion.
2014 Outlook: Utility players like McCluster are often underused, but that won't be the case with Ken Whisenhunt. Last season Whiz found myriad ways to get Danny Woodhead the ball in San Diego, which led to Woodhead's No. 19 ranking in points among RBs (132). McCluster's receiving skills are equal to or better than Woodhead's, and as a rusher, McCluster is only two seasons removed from posting a 7.7 GBYPA (good-blocking yards per attempt). For some context, Woodhead posted a 5.7 GBYPA that season under Whisenhunt. There are worse lottery tickets to snag than McCluster.
2014 Outlook: Give Walker credit: In his first season as a full-fledged NFL starter, he posted career highs across the board and showed improved hands. In his final year with the 49ers, he had seven drops on 37 targets; last season he had only three drops on 85 targets. New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt spent 2013 in San Diego helping Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green combine for 94 grabs and 1,248 yards, and while that would be an ambitious projection for the smaller Walker, it's at least an indication that he won't waste away. A top-10 season isn't out of the question.
2014 Outlook: Locker racked up more fantasy points per game last season (13.14) than Carson Palmer (13.06), Joe Flacco (12.1) or Eli Manning (10.1). That may seem like a backhanded compliment, but remember: He battled knee, hip and foot injuries, the latter of which required offseason surgery. Locker's brittle nature -- he's played in only 18 games the past two seasons -- is one of many question marks, but his ability to perform decently under less-than-stellar circumstances gives him solid QB3 value. The Titans again chose to beef up their offensive line through the draft, and the acquisitions of RB/WR Dexter McCluster (via KC) and RB Bishop Sankey (in the second round) give Locker a couple of more toys to play with. It's a make-or-break year for the fourth-year starter.
2014 Outlook: Succop was cut by the Chiefs, but landed in Tennessee. He struggled a bit from distance last season (7-for-12 from 40-plus yards away), so he's best saved for the waiver wire when your kicker is on a bye.
2014 Outlook: New Titans DC Ray Horton has success everywhere he goes, but it might take a season before he can fully realize his 3-4 plans. The linebackers are probably good enough: We're fans of pass rushers Akeem Ayers and Shaun Phillips and ILB Wesley Woodyard. But emerging 4-3 star DT Jurrell Casey (10' sacks in 2013) doesn't seem to have a position on a 3-4 D-line, and the Titans will be placing a lot of weight on relatively untested D-linemen Ropati Pitoitua and Al Woods. Those are legit problems, especially after losing INT leader CB Alterraun Verner in free agency. This crew will have fantasy potential ' in 2015.