After weeks of speculation about who the Tennessee Titans would pick as their starting QB, a decision has finally been made. Earlier today reports came out that Head Coach Mike Munchak picked Jake Locker to start the team’s September 9th opener against the New England Patriots. Locker was in a battle with veteran Matt Hasselbeck, since the beginning of Training Camp in a battle of young vs. old.
Heading into the Pre Season, Hasselbeck got the first crack at the job against the Seattle Seahawks in the Titans first pre season game. In that game, Hasselbeck completed 5 of 9 passes for 45 yards and 2 interceptions. Locker came into the game and was far more impressive, completing 7 of 13 passes for 80 yards, and no interceptions. Because of his performance Locker got the start in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Locker took a step back Saturday, only completing 4 of 11 passes for 21 yards while throwing 1 INT. Hasselbeck picked up his play, completing 4 of 5 passes for 29 yards. After the game many believed that Hasselbeck now had stepped back into the picture, and would start in the team’s 3rd pre season game. Mike Munchak said after the game ”I wouldn’t say he hurt his chances at all. It’s still us making a decision on them. Would you rather it have been a different outcome? Both quarterbacks—I wish they were different last night. Matt didn’t get much of a chance really. He had 15 snaps or something. Like I said, in both games, offensively we haven’t moved the ball the way I think we hoped we would.” Just days after Munchak’s quote, a decision was made, and Locker is now the Titans starting QB, signaling the future is now for the Tennessee. Locker isn’t ready to help the Titans contend in the AFC South in 2012, mostly because the Houston Texans are to far ahead of them at this time. However, I think this was the right decision for the Titans, as you now allow Locker to begin what will be a great NFL career.
“I wouldn’t say he hurt his chances at all,” Munchak said. “It’s still us making a decision on them. Would you rather it have been a different outcome? Both quarterbacks—I wish they were different last night. Matt (Hasselbeck) didn’t get much of a chance really. He had 15 snaps or something. Like I said, in both games, offensively we haven’t moved the ball the way I think we hoped we would.
-Titans HC Mike Munchak on Titans QB Battle
As for what this means for the fantasy values of Locker, WR’s Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright, that is where things get interesting. Locker is a dual threat QB, with the speed making him a higher upside QB in fantasy. While Locker has never started in the regular season, in the final 4 games of 2011, he threw for 530 yards, with 5 total TD’s (1 rushing). While Locker shouldn’t be relied upon as a starter in 10 or 12 team leagues, he is a great backup QB for Bye weeks, match up plays, and his value is even higher in dynasty or keeper leagues. The Titans WR’s true value is still undetermined, as we haven’t seen who Locker has the most chemistry with. Kenny Britt started off great in 2011 before tearing his ACL, and heads into 2012 with a looming suspension. There is no doubt he can take the top off the defense, and as long as he stays healthy, could be a reliable Flex start in 10 team leagues. Last year’s breakout WR Nate Washington, is now locked in as the team’s No.2 WR. While he is unlikely to reproduce his 2011 numbers (74 Receptions 1,023 yards 7 TD’s) he is still valuable in PPR leagues, and could finish around 800-900 yards this season. As for rookie WR Kendall Wright, he will start the season as the Titans No.2 until Britt comes back from his suspension. Once Britt comes back, he will slide down to the No.3 slot, where his fantasy value will remain as a bye week play, or a Flex guy in deeper leagues.
Filed under: AFC South