Rishard Matthews joins Titans, has WR3 potential in fantasy
The Tennessee Titans and Rishard Matthews have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal, per ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky, essentially finalizing the Titans skill position makeover for the 2016 season.
The signing gives the Titans three legitimate wide receivers in Dorial Green-Beckham, Kendall Wright and Matthews. While not confirmed, common sense would tell us that Matthews will line up opposite of Green-Beckham with Wright in the slot. It looks like the Titans have supplied Marcus Mariota with a full arsenal of weapons for the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old wide receiver enjoyed a fairly productive 2015 season finishing with 59 targets, 43 receptions, 662 yards and four touchdowns over 11 games. He was productive on a per-snap basis, as his 2.08 yards per route run was tied with Martavis Bryant for 17th among wide receivers. He also ranked fifth-best with a passer rating of 125.1 when being targeted and saw his snaps more than double from 2014.
From a fantasy perspective, Matthews is moving from the 18th-best graded pass offense to the 27th-best graded pass offense. Not only that, but now he has to compete for targets with two other wide receivers and a tight end in what should be a run-first offense (the Titans also just traded for DeMarco Murray).
Tight end Delanie Walker won’t have to shoulder quite as much of the load in Tennessee, which is good from a real football perspective but not great in the fantasy world. There are a lot more mouths to feed than there were just three months ago. Walker will still be a TE1, but his value has taken a hit as a result of these recent signings.
Needless to say, Matthews could’ve landed in a more desirable location this offseason. If he’s able to emerge as a favorite of Mariota’s, Matthews could return WR3 value in PPR leagues this season. If he falls behind Green-Beckham and Wright, then Matthews has little fantasy value and becomes more of a benchwarmer with upside.
On Miami’s side, not much should change as their top three wide receivers are already set in stone with DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry.