With Kenny Britt tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 3 last year, the Titans needed Washington to step up, and he did. Washington finished the season with career and team highs across the board: 74 receptions, 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.
He started and ended the season strong but had a bit of a dry spell in the middle.
Washington had 10 games with 60-plus yards. Nine of those 10 games occurred in the first five games and last four games of the season. In other words, he had only one game with 60-plus yards from Weeks 7 to 13.
Overall, though, Washington was a consistent producer throughout the season. Only 16 other players (14 receivers and two tight ends) had 10 or more games with 60-plus receiving yards.
The Titans used their first-round draft pick on Baylor receiver Kendall Wright, who led the Bears in receiving in all four collegiate seasons. Wright should make an immediate impact.
Not only is Britt returning from a torn ACL and MCL, but he has had two subsequent knee surgeries (one on each knee) earlier this offseason. As importantly, Britt had his ninth run-in with the law and is likely to face league-imposed discipline.
So, in other words, the presence of two first-round receivers would normally limit Washington's ability to repeat his 1,000-yard season this year. With one likely to miss time and the other being a rookie, Washington has a legitimate chance to reach the 1,000-yard milestone again.
As I expect a bounce-back season from Chris Johnson, the Titans' ability to run the ball should help open up the passing game for the Titans and their second-year quarterback, Jake Locker.
Earlier during the preseason, Locker was named the team's starter. Locker has a strong arm, good athleticism and intangibles, but he needs to improve upon his accuracy.
Strength of Schedule
Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last year by all of the Titans' opponents this year, Washington and Titans' receivers have 13th-most favorable schedule from a fantasy perspective and 14th-most favorable in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14 to 16).
Based on his ADP info from ESPN.com leagues, Washington is the 40th receiver off the board, on average. Washington is a relatively under-the-radar value that many fantasy owners have overlooked. Not only did he finish with more than 1,000 yards last year, but he has a realistic shot of repeating the feat in 2012. Even if he doesn't, he'll come close. You can get him as a WR4 in most leagues.
Projection: (Receiving) 65 Receptions, 910 Yards, 5 TDs
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