Jake Locker: Why the Titans Quarterback Is a Top Fantasy Football Sleeper

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Jake Locker: Why the Titans Quarterback Is a Top Fantasy Football Sleeper
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As Jim Wyatt  of The Tennessean reported earlier today, Jake Locker has officially been named the starting quarterback of the Tennessee Titans heading into the 2012 season.

After rarely seeing the field his rookie year and spending the majority of this training camp battling for the starting job with Matt Hasselbeck, most fantasy players will probably wait to take a flier on Locker either in the waiver wire or late in the draft, however his potential value makes him a player you don't want to miss out on.

Looking forward, Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer has stated throughout the off-season that he plans on installing Run'N'Shoot concepts into the current offensive scheme. Though not making the team a pure Run'N'Shoot offense, the Titans have ran a number of spread formations when Locker has been under center this preseason, allowing him to have a clear view of the field and look for multiple targets.

Since Mike Munchak took over as head coach, the Titans have shown a renewed dedication to the passing game that should only spell good things for Locker's production as a first-year quarterback.

In 2011, with a 36-year old Matt Hasselbeck under center, the Titans finished 8th in the NFL in passing attempts (584), a number that should only increase as the team looks to spread the football around to a number of targets while also looking to get Chris Johnson the ball in space consistently.

The Titans also boast one of the deepest wide receiving corps in the NFL with a pair of recent first-round picks in Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright. Add that to a 1,000 yard receiver from a year ago in Nate Washington and an athletic, pure receiving tight end in Jared Cook.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With Jake Locker's strong arm, a strong receiving group and an offensive line that has had consistent low sack totals the last few seasons, the Titans now have a passing attack with the ability to go across the middle and down the field, opening things up for a running game that should compliment the passing game.

Beyond purely the statistical aspect of the game, Locker also has the respect of the locker room that can be very hard to earn as a young quarterback.

As NFL.com reported, "A team source told Ian Rapoport on Monday that Locker is the Titans' hardest working player, someone the players look to. The move is expected to be popular in the locker room. The Titans' plan is to have Locker play roughly three quarters with the starters."

Having the full faith of the coaching staff and locker room, Locker will have the opportunity to play with a full playbook and the trust of his receivers, enabling him to control the huddle and open things up in the passing game as he gets more and more accustomed to the NFL game.

With all of these things working to his advantage, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Locker could approach 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns while also adding fantasy value with his legs.

When looking at a player that is currently the 30th quarterback off the board, that kind of potential is simply too much to pass up when you're looking to draft a backup quarterback with the ability to start and win you a fantasy game any given week.

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