Titans D/ST will finish No. 1 overall
Despite some deficiencies last season, the Tennessee Titans D/ST finished as the No. 11 unit in fantasy. Even a small increase in points could shoot them into the top five, as there was just a 13-point difference between the Titans at No. 11 and the Baltimore Ravens at No. 5.
The biggest issue the Titans defense had was stopping the run. Tennessee ranked as the No. 18 run defense in terms of yards allowed per game. Another issue was the pass-rush and interception total, with the Titans finishing tied for 16th in sacks and 23rd in picks.
That didn’t stop the Titans from shutting teams down, though. Tennessee’s defense allowed the third-fewest points per game and were a reliable D/ST in keeping fantasy owners above the negative-point threshold in 2018.
The Titans sport one of the deepest secondaries in the NFL and need more interceptions out of this group. Led by the 2017 interception leader, safety Kevin Byard, the Titans have an elite slot corner in Logan Ryan, and fellow corner Adoree’ Jackson is entering his third season.
Malcolm Butler started to show signs of life in the second half, with two of his three picks coming in the last five games. Granted, not a huge amount of interceptions, but even a marked improvement will be a huge jolt to the Titans D/ST ranking this upcoming season.
The biggest area the Titans stand to improve is in the pass-rush. After seeing edge rushers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan total just two sacks combined, the Titans are replacing those retired players with veteran Cameron Wake and budding star Harold Landry.
Wake and Landry finished with a combined 10.5 sacks last season, and two of Landry’s 4.5 sacks came in the only three starts he got near the end of the season. With a full compliment of snaps this season, Landry has the potential to be a double-digit sack at least and looks like a defensive superstar in the making.
Add to that the fact that linebacker Rashaan Evans will be seeing a lot more of the field in his second season, and you have a scenario in which the Titans are adding two absolute stud pass-rushers to their full-time starting lineup. This unit will certainly outperform the 2018 version when it comes to getting to the quarterback.