Kenny Britt: Reunion with Matt Hasselbeck Will Make Titans WR No. 1 Fantasy Play
The talented yet enigmatic first-round pick out of Rutgers has had his share of off-field issues, but the latest trials and tribulations have been mostly due to injury. This string of unfortunate events began in 2011, with Britt getting off to a scorching start.
After two games of over 130 yards receiving in each contest and three total trips to pay dirt, Britt blew out his knee in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos. That effectively ended the season, but the massive inconvenience didn't stop there.
Not only did the Titans finish one game out of the playoffs without Britt, but his rehabilitation was riddled with rejections and setbacks.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean broke the most notable of these setbacks on Twitter back in May:
#Titans receiver Kenny Britt is undergoing arthroscopic surgery today to repair a minor issue with his right knee.— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) May 16, 2012
It was only arthroscopic surgery, but the fact that Britt was still having issues after initial surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL shows the trying time he had during rehab.
Will Kenny Britt be a No. 1 fantasy WR by the end of 2012?
That hot start Britt had last season was with Hasselbeck calling the shots, and he has recently retaken the saddle due to a separated shoulder by Jake Locker, who is the quarterback of the future.
According to a more recent report by Wyatt in USA TODAY, Damian Williams is at least one Titan receiver who's excited about the prospect of having Hasselbeck in the huddle:
There is a different tempo with Matt, but it is not to say Jake's been slow or whatever. Matt just has so much experience, he's played for so long...He's seen these defenses a million times.
The different tempo certainly seemed to help Chris Johnson get out of a second consecutive early-season funk in Week 4, when Hasselbeck relieved the ailing Locker. However, things will open up even more for the offense the sooner Britt can reenter the fold.
This week's opponent is the Minnesota Vikings, who play in one of the loudest home environments in the Metrodome and are one of the year's surprise teams. ESPN's NFL injury report has Britt listed as questionable for Sunday's game with an ankle issue.
Hasselbeck's presence could spark Britt's comeback to fantasy glory—if he's able to go.
An abysmal secondary in 2011 forced the Vikings to make an upgrade in the form of first-round pick Harrison Smith, who has filled in nicely at free safety. If Britt can return, the coverage is sure to shift his way automatically for his ball skills and physicality alone. Hasselbeck's veteran savvy will allow him to effectively look off the young Minnesota safety and open up big play opportunities for Britt.
The innate chemistry Hasselbeck and Britt flashed last season was special, and defenses now have to account for another first-round pick, rookie Kendall Wright.
Britt is also a total mismatch in the red zone, where the Titans should use him, if no place else.
According to teamrankings.com, the Titans rank 29th in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage with just a 37.5 percent clip. Absent a current, consistent option, Britt will get plenty of looks in the scoring area upon his return.
Considering Locker has injured his left shoulder before, the Titans will likely be cautious to rush him back in, especially if the season gets out of hand in the next two weeks.
Until then, Hasselbeck and Britt will have a shot at reuniting and recapturing the magic of just over a year ago and a chance to salvage the Titans' season.
Tennessee sits at 1-3 and the improved balance on offense could be achieved with better tempo along with the explosive QB-wide receiver combo.
If you're a fantasy owner, don't quit on Britt. He's about to be a big hit, and it could be as early as this weekend.
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