Here's what we know and love about the Titans: They like to run the ball. And they do it well.
We were concerned last year how LenDale White and Chris Johnson would split carries and still be successful, but it worked out better than anyone could have imagined. As a rookie, Johnson was tremendous and finished as a No. 1 Fantasy option with 251 carries for 1,228 yards and nine touchdowns. He also added 43 catches for 260 yards and a receiving touchdown. White, the bruising back, didn't fade away and finished as a No. 2 Fantasy running back with 200 carries for 773 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Can they do it again? That's what Fantasy owners are counting on, since Johnson has emerged as a first-round pick and White is being drafted beginning in Round 3 as a No. 2 option. Tennessee plans on feeding them the ball, so don't shy away from this tandem. If the Titans want to make another Super Bowl run, then their ground game will have to lead the way.
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The passing game for the Titans is what the team is looking to improve. Nate Washington was brought in as a free agent, and they used two high draft picks on wide receiver Kenny Britt and tight end Jared Cook. Bo Scaife was given the franchise tag, and Justin Gage also returns as the top weapons for quarterback Kerry Collins. He is going to start again with a disgruntled Vince Young on the bench, and Collins could be the key for the Titans offense becoming more balanced. Collins, at 36, is more of a caretaker than gunslinger, so it will be hard to see the Titans turn into the Patriots, Saints or Cardinals. But the added weapons should help Collins improve enough to draw consideration as a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in deeper formats.
Sleeper ... Kenny Britt, WR
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We're calling Britt a sleeper but not for this season. This is for owners in keeper leagues and dynasty formats. The Titans are going to work in Britt, a rookie from Rutgers, as the No. 3 wide receiver this season behind Justin Gage and Nate Washington. Britt will likely share playing time with Lavelle Hawkins, Chris Davis and Paul Williams. But he does have potential down the road, and the coaching staff and quarterback Kerry Collins see his ability, which is why the Titans drafted him in the first round. He's a big target at 6-foot-3 and has good speed to run deep routes. While other owners will spend high draft picks on Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin in rookie drafts, let Britt fall to you a round later. In the next couple of years, especially when the Titans improve their passing attack with Vince Young or another quarterback taking over for Collins, is when Britt will come to life as a solid Fantasy option. Jared Cook is another sleeper in this category.
Breakout ... Nate Washington, WR
Washington has always flashed his potential as the No. 3 wide receiver in Pittsburgh the past three seasons. He averaged 35 catches for 568 yards and four touchdowns over that span as mostly a deep threat, and he has 14 catches in his career of 30 or more yards. Now, Washington will get the chance to play every down as a starter for the Titans, who hope he can stretch the field and open up the running game. Fantasy owners should look at Washington as a potential No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver. If Kerry Collins can get Washington the ball on a consistent basis, the talent is there. We know the Titans are a run-heavy team, but they are looking for more balance on offense by bringing in Washington and rookies Kenny Britt and Jared Cook. It all falls on Collins' right shoulder, but Washington and even Justin Gage are worth the risk with a late-round pick.
Bust ... Bo Scaife, TE
Scaife had a breakout year in 2008 with career highs in catches (58) and yards (561). He only had two touchdowns, but he was great in leagues where receptions count. Scaife got the franchise tag from the Titans this offseason, so he should be motivated to earn a new contract. But he also has to hold off a talented rookie in Jared Cook and some company in the passing game from free agent Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt along with Justin Gage. There's no way to count on Scaife for 50-plus catches again, and his touchdown total is brutal. Cook could even supplant him as the top receiving tight end, so consider Scaife nothing more than a No. 2 Fantasy option. He's not worth drafting this season.
Training camp topics
The Titans fell short in their Super Bowl run last year after coming into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They don't have much tweaking to do, although replacing standout defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (Washington) and keeping the defense intact is a big key. Don't expect much falloff on that side of the ball as Jeff Fisher and his staff should make adjustments. It's the offense that could improve for the Titans, which is what we'd like to see.
We know the Titans can run the ball with Chris Johnson and LenDale White. Those two are still the focal point and should remain outstanding Fantasy options. But the passing game could take a giant leap forward if Kerry Collins is given the chance to throw more. With the additions of Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook, the team has invested in some quality resources to try and become a more balanced attack. If it works, it could make for some intriguing Fantasy options.
Are you ready for the 2009 Fantasy season? If not, we're here for you. Send us an e-mail at DMFantasyFootball@cbs.com. We'll respond to as many as we can.