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Jonnu Smith the call in Week 9, but keep track of Delanie Walker’s status

The Titans might have themselves a solid second tight end. We break down the fantasy football waiver wire implications for considering Jonnu Smith regardless of Delanie Walker’s health in Week 9.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and tight end Jonnu Smith look on from the sidelines late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Nissan Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans return to practice on Wednesday for their first practice of Week 9. They travel to face the Carolina Panthers, and will be looking to see if tight end Delanie Walker is able to get back to practice. He was a DNP all three days last week and ruled out on the final injury report.

Jonnu Smith got the start in place of Walker, and had a big game, catching six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. The third year tight end is talented, but has struggled to break out behind Walker. It helped that he had a friendly matchup against an awful Buccaneers defense, who rank second for most fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but a strong day is a strong day.

Fantasy football analysis, Titans TE Jonnu Smith, Delanie Walker

The Bucs face a Panthers defense in Week 9 that has given up the tenth fewest points to the position. Ryan Tannehill has had two solid starts since replacing Marcus Mariota, and Smith appeared to be a favorite of his.

The tight end position is fairly brutal for depth in fantasy football. Whomever starts this game for Tennessee will be worth a start. If Walker is healthy, it’s tough to tell what kind of role Smith will have. He has been the clear No. 2 when Walker has played, but Walker has also struggled in recent weeks. If both are healthy, I don’t think you can risk starting Smith, but he’s worth grabbing on waivers ahead of then just to be safe. And then, if he supplants a healthy Walker on the depth chart, you’ve got him stashed.