Delanie Walker suffered an ankle injury in Week 6 and hasn’t played since. Jonnu Smith took over for Walker and played well but only had one strong fantasy game in the four games Walker missed.
Walker is listed as doubtful on the team’s final injury report, but head coach Mike Vrabel thinks he’s improved and has a chance to play on Sunday. Even if he does play, Walker’s numbers before being sidelined weren’t outstanding, but neither was Marcus Mariota. Ryan Tannehill is undoubtedly an upgrade on Mariota and a plus for either tight end this week.
Fantasy football analysis: Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith
If Walker suits up, he will be the starter. That doesn’t mean Smith wouldn’t have a role, as Walker is a walking injury, but if Walker’s playing, he’s starting. Given the doubtful tag, odds don’t seem good for him playing this weekend.
This week they take on the Jaguars in Tennessee. The Jaguars rank 15th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends and 19th in DVOA against the position. Middling, would be the word for their tight end defense.
Over the over the last three games, they’ve given up three touchdowns, two to Ryan Griffin and one to Darren Fells. Even Walker caught 7-of-9 targets for 64 yards in Week 3 against them. Those nine targets and seven receptions were both highs.
Walker: The trouble with Walker is that he has a new quarterback, who we can’t be sure will target him as much as Mariota did, and he’s coming off a long layoff. The upgrade at quarterback is a plus, and the matchup isn’t bad, so there is upside there but plenty of downside as well.
Smith: It’s been a less than stellar showing of late from Smith. He’s been fairly well-targeted, but the past two weeks with Ryan Tannehill in the saddle, Smith has struggled to get going. There’s upside there, but with fantasy football leagues in the playoff race, it’s hard to justify him.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit Smith and Walker.