Tonight's Monday Night Football game has the Tennessee Titans squaring off against their division rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Both teams sport a 3-2 record and the winner will go into a three-way tie with the Colts and the Texans for first. As always, the Texans, Jags and Titans will have to work their butts off to compete with the Colts, but early injuries to key players have slowed down the Colts, who narrowly defeated the Redskins last night.
The Titans looked solid against the Cowboys last week, although Dallas barely qualifies as a difficult assignment this year.
Chris Johnson, overall, has looked good, but he has a lot to live up to based on his self-made prediction of 2,500 yards this season. Combined against Pittsburgh and Denver, Johnson was unable to top 100 yards and had no touchdowns. Combined in his other three games, however (OAK, NYG, DAL), Johnson racked up 398 rushing yards and six touchdowns. So, the biggest fantasy question of the night is which Chris Johnson do we get?
Maurice Jones-Drew is off to a decent start through five games, but only being able to punch it in once so far against Indy really isn't what owners were hoping for.
Last year, we saw the good and bad against Tennessee. In Week 4, Jones-Drew only ran the ball six times for 14 yards and a TD, but Jacksonville looked to the skies instead and demolished the Titans, 37-17. Four weeks later, Tennessee wasn't able to stop MJD, as he ran for 177 yards on only eight carries with two TD, but that was all the Jags could produce and the Titans easily beat them, 30-13.
Clearly Jones-Drew will have to fight for his carries tonight, and if his owners are lucky he will be able to break open a few big runs.
Both the Jaguars and Titans have held the running game in check relatively well thus far, allowing just a tad over 100 yards per game on average. The good news for fantasy owners is that neither team employs a running back by committee, so only Jones-Drew and Johnson can be counted on to see the bulk of their teams' carries.
As for the air game, there's a much wider gap. Not that the Titans allowing 242 YPG is anything special (ranked 26th) but the Jags are allowing 40 more yards and are all the way down at the bottom of the barrel.
Nate Washington and Kenny Britt both have three touchdowns thus far, but owners aren't getting much out of their 14 and 15 total catches, respectively. Justin Gage has been dismal so far and hasn't even hit the 10-catch mark yet.
Chances are good that Nate or Kenny will have a few catches and possibly a TD (if not both of them), but expectations may need to be tempered as a bit as Vince Young has yet to pass more than 200 yards in any of the first five games.
Mike Sims-Walker has been shut down completely, which probably comes to a huge surprise to those who drafted him. Mike Thomas, on the other hand, has emerged as the team's top wideout and is a great waiver wire pickup at only 23 percent owned. If Thomas comes away with a few touchdowns over the next couple of weeks, we will probably see his ownership level jump.
Overall, we have to believe the running game will dominate on both sides. When it's settled, one team will be at the top of the division and one team will fall into last place. In the brutally competitive AFC South, this may be a weekly occurrence.
Written by Evan Marx exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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