In a PPR league, you will win the league by picking the right running back that is going to not only rush for lots of yards and get in the end zone but for the one who catches lots of balls. That being said, the Titans have rarely been a factor in PPR running backs. This is all going to change this year with the addition of Dion Lewis.
Dion Lewis is a pass catching threat running back unlike we have ever seen since the Titans moved to Tennessee. Additionally, Matt LaFleur is going to bring a creative offense to the table with many different options for success. I am not saying we are going back to the Run and Shoot days of Jerry Glanville but this offense has the potential for something special. So the million dollar question is going to be, “Where do I draft Dion Lewis?”
I have seen Lewis ranked as high as the 18th best running back and as low as the 32nd best running back. The uncertainty around how the Titans are going to use Derrick Henry is allowing Lewis to fall in the rankings and be a potential fantasy steal. Henry is consistently ranked 5-7 spots ahead of Lewis and that is because of the potential that he has a LenDale White type of season where he gets lots of looks from the one yard line. In reality, with LaFleur calling the plays, we will see a lot more touchdowns scored outside the 15 yard line. This is where Lewis is going to shine.
When the Titans go with their red zone offense, Lewis is going to be the main option out of the backfield but he will also be the relief valve for Mariota when things break down. When Mariota fails to see separation in his primary targets, Lewis will be shadowed by a linebacker and there are not a lot of linebackers who can keep up with him. He is literally one broken tackle away from a touchdown every time he touches the ball from the 15 yard line and in.
With great regularity, Chris Thompson, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, Kenyon Drake, and Joe Mixon ranked ahead of Lewis. In reality, I would rank Lewis around 14 in the world of PPR Running Backs. When you look at the typical twelve team draft, the 14th ranked running back is going around the late 3rd round but Lewis is being drafted in the 6th round in most projected drafts.
Pull the trigger on Lewis in Round 4 or 5 as your RB2 or RB3.
Projected Stats: 16 games, 160 rushes, 825 yards, 64 catches, 545 yards, 9 TD’s (2 rush, 7 receiving)