Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Derrick Henry, Tannehill Fantasy Outlook After Titans Trade

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 6, 2021

AP Photo/Danny Karnik

The entire Tennessee Titans offense should see a boost after acquiring star receiver Julio Jones in Sunday's trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The problem is it could also hurt some individual players from a fantasy perspective.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill should thrive in 2021 after the team added one of the best players in the NFL at his position. Jones has earned Pro Bowl selections seven times in 10 years in the league, topping 1,300 receiving yards in six straight years before last year's injury-shortened season.

Tannehill was QB7 among ESPN's scoring leaders, and he could be even better with another downfield threat.

On the other hand, A.J. Brown, Derrick Henry and Jones himself could take a step back based on expectations as they now have to share touches in the offense.

Jones has thrived in the past because he was the main focal point of the Falcons offense, which relied on the passing attack. He averaged 161.7 targets a year from 2013-19, leading to 103.8 catches per season.

It will be a different story in Tennessee going from a team that ranked fourth in the NFL in passing attempts in 2020 (628) to a team that ranked 30th (485). 

This is still a run-heavy offense that likely won't have to throw as much if it can lead late in games.

Jones remains an elite talent and should have big games, but he might not get enough looks to be a consistent WR1 like he has been in the past.

Brown could also drop from WR1 to WR2 status with the latest deal. The 23-year-old was expected to take a major leap in his third season thanks to the lack of options around him, potentially leading to a massive target share. That will no longer be the case as the Titans try to get Jones involved.

After leading the Titans with 106 targets in 2020, Brown might not see too many more next season. Suddenly, the touchdown-dependent wideout becomes more of a risk early in fantasy drafts.

Henry, meanwhile, could become more efficient in 2021 with defenses forced to respect the passing attack. Of course, he was already as good as they come with back-to-back rushing titles averaging 5.2 yards per carry the last two years. 

It would be difficult to expect much more out of the running back, but he could see a slight decrease in touches with another game-changing player on the offense.

Though all three skill players can still be top options in fantasy and should be great on the field, they all suddenly become bigger risks in the first few rounds of drafts.


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