Being a rookie wide receiver in the NFL seems to be very tough. The amount of rookie wide receivers that really light up the league enough to be relevant in fantasy football seems to be few and far between. In 2016, Michael Thomas of the Saints had the best rookie year since Randy Moss in 1998. Thomas is a talent but having Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense was a recipe for instant success. Corey Davis was taken by the Titans with the 5th pick in the 2017 draft and although he flashed potential, he did exactly what we expect rookie wide receivers to do.
Davis was plagued by injuries his rookie year and never was able to get in the groove with Mariota until late in the year. So what can we expect from Davis in his second year? He is obviously learning a new offense but with one year under his belt, I expect a nice jump in production. It is enough to make him fantasy relevant this year, but don’t expect him to be a superstar just yet.
As we have discussed plenty of times, the fate of the Titans offense is in the hands of a very creative offensive coordinator in Matt LaFleur. Since he didn’t call the plays with the Rams last year, we are all trying to figure out what he is going to do with all these talented pieces to the puzzle. Davis is definitely going to be the focal point of the passing offense and if they can get him going on first down and in rhythm, he could have some big games. It appears that LaFleur likes to put people in motion and use the run-pass-option a decent amount and both of those concepts work to Davis’ strengths.
Davis has very good speed, excellent hands, and runs precise routes. Those attributes are what drew the Titans to him in the NFL draft and are what separated him from Mike Williams of Clemson (Chargers) and John Ross of the University of Washington (Bengals). If last year is any indication, the Titans definitely got the best receiver of the three.
Davis is typically going to see the opposing teams’ number one cornerback which is going to be a challenge. It is doubtful that he draws many double teams until he proves himself and he also fortunate that the Titans have many offensive weapons, all of which will help him produce. The Titans success as a team really depends on what Davis can do for the offense this year. I have seen many articles discussing the Titan’s “weak” wide receiver group and have even seen people calling for Dez Bryant to be brought in for a look. I feel this is a gross overreaction for what could be the Titans best overall wide receiver group since they came to Tennessee.
Davis is going to lead this team in targets, catches, yards, and touchdowns this year. If he can stay healthy and play all sixteen games, He will be a solid WR2 for your team and some weeks he will be your WR1. Davis is currently ranked as the #28 WR in the NFL and is being draft after Devin Funchess, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Michael Crabtree. He is currently projected in the sixth round of most drafts. This is one of those players that if you get at the right time, he could propel you to a fantasy championship. I would target Davis in the 5th round and if he is sitting there any time after that, pull the trigger.
PROJECTED STATS: 16 games, 80 catches, 1075 yards, and 7 TD’s