Is Corey Davis’ fantasy value hurt by Adam Humphries and A.J. Brown?
Will Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis have his fantasy football value diminished because of the team’s new receivers?
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis took a step forward in his second season in the NFL and a pair of new faces shouldn’t overly concern fantasy football owners.
Those new faces are wideouts Adam Humphries and 2019 second-round pick A.J. Brown. With the addition of those two, the Titans’ receiving corps. is much deeper than a season ago.
That is certainly a conceivable threat to Davis’ numbers after he finished his sophomore campaign with 891 yards and four touchdowns, placing him as WR28 in PPR formats.
But it isn’t simply as cut and dry as that. After all, Davis has one thing over each of those players: familiarity with Titans quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
Corey Davis and Marcus Mariota
Mariota targeted Davis a team-high 112 times last season, a full 45 targets more than the next closest player, running back Dion Lewis. That’s a 25 percent target share in the passing game, a number normally reserved for the league’s elite receivers.
Much of that had to do with the absence of tight end Delanie Walker—the normally preferred target of Mariota—who was lost for the season during the Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins.
The other part of it is the fact that the Titans did not have much depth in their wideout group, as evidenced by the second-most targeted player being Lewis. Davis will have more competition for targets now that Humphries, Brown, and even Walker are in the mix.
Corey Davis’ competition
Humphries will command most of his targets over the middle of the field from the slot, which if anything will put him in competition with Walker more than Davis. No. 84 will still be the preferred option on the outside.
Brown, on the other hand, should be spending plenty of time on the outside, but he’ll certainly get his looks over the middle of the field. Still, Brown is a rookie wideout and it’s pretty typical for young players in his position to take time to grow. If Brown does cut into Davis’ fantasy production, it could take some time for that to happen, if it happens at all.
Room for improvement
Even if Davis sees a lower amount of targets and target share, there is still room for bigger numbers. The Titans’ former No. 5 overall pick only caught 65 of his 112 targets, so if he can reel in a higher percentage of his looks, Davis can still produce at a greater level than 2018.
Would I run scared from Davis in fantasy drafts this year? No; he is still the Titans’ No. 1 wideout who has shown flashes of big-play ability, and he and Mariota already have a relationship that neither Humphries or Brown share with the Titans signal-caller.
Adding to that, Mariota should be healthier than he was last season and Tennessee’s offensive line should be able give Mariota more time in the pocket with an improved group upfront.
Davis is a safe bet to break 1,000 yards this season and I wouldn’t have any issue with drafting him in the fifth or sixth round of fantasy drafts.