Brian Callahan: Tennessee Titans New Head Coach: 3 Fantasy Impacts
By Nishant Nagalia
Mixed feelings in Tennessee when the Titans announced they hired Brian Callahan as their new head coach. A popular candidate throughout Head Coach “Free Agency”, Callahan is replacing Mike Vrabel, a head coach many feel shouldn’t have been replaced. Titans owner Amy Adams Park mentioned how “‘Brian has been part of a Super Bowl-winning team (Denver, 2015) and another team that advanced to the Super Bowl (Cincinnati, 2021).’” She also talked about how for the Bengals “he was trusted with a number of responsibilities: offensive design, quarterback development…” The Titans are coming off of a disappointing season, finishing 6-11 and missing the playoffs for the second straight year. They fire Mike Vrabel, a controversial and bold move, and bring in Brian Callahan.
Brian Callahan was a very important part of superstar quarterback Joe Burrow’s development. Callahan also worked with another quarterback and former NFL MVP, Peyton Manning, when he won the Super Bowl. Now what does this mean for Fantasy and Will Levis? The Tennessee Titans were the first team to interview Brian Callahan and are prepared to give him full reign of the offense and I believe Will Levis will benefit heavily from that. The Titans drafted Levis in the second round of the 2023 draft. After spending such high draft capital on Levis, it’s hard to believe they will move on from him so soon. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had two back-to-back 4,000-yard passing seasons in 2016 and 2017 when Brian Callahan was QB coach for the Lions. Joe Burrow threw for at least 4,400 yards in both seasons when Callahan was their offensive coordinator. In 2023, Levis threw for 1,808 yards with 8 TDs, 4 INTs, and a 58.4% completion rate in only eight games. In Super Flex Dynasty Leagues, Levis was an early 2nd pick while in 1QB formats, you could find Levis in the middle of the third round. Either way, you were happy that Levis was thrust into a starting position as a rookie and should expect his value to continue to rise. His connection with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was easy to see after his three-touchdown game against the Atlanta Falcons. I expect Levis’ numbers to grow next year as the Titans use free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft to bolster their wide receiver room and find a strong WR2. The Titans have a lot of cap space over the next two offseason and there are many popular names being linked to the Titans such as Tee Higgins. This is why I would HOLD Will Levis for this season.
Derrick Henry all but said farewell to Tennessee at the end of the 2023 NFL season. Tennessee is expected to hand the reins to young running back Tyjae Spears who has shown a lot of promise in both the rushing and receiving game. In 2023, Spears rushed for 453 yards off 100 attempts and scored 2 touchdowns. He also had 385 receiving yards off 52 receptions with 1 receiving touchdown. These are very favorable numbers for a rookie running back with a third-round draft capitol. While Brian Callahan has mainly been a QB coach, I expect Spears’ production to continue to grow as he is entrusted with a larger portion of the offense. Because most contenders won’t sell Spears for anything less than a first and I wouldn’t pay more than a second right now, I would advise managers to HOLD until the new Titans offense plays out. Our own Mike Lindberg wrote about Spear's dynasty value back in October.
WIDE RECEIVERS & TIGHT ENDS
As I mentioned before, I expect the Titans passing offense to greatly improve under Brian Callahan. After Joe Burrow had his season-ending injury, Jake Browning played fairly well with a 70% completion rate and 98.4 QB rating. He threw for almost 2,000 yards after only starting 7 games and had a 12:7 TD/INT ratio. I expect Levis and Hopkins’ relationship to continue to grow. I also think tight end Chig Okonkwo’s production will increase next season under Brian Callahan. If I am a contender and I need to bolster my wide receiver room, I am trying to buy DeAndre Hopkins for an early 2024 2nd. If I am rebuilding, I am trying to sell Hopkins for a young WR+ or a first-round pick to a desperate contender. I wouldn’t pay anything more than a third for Treylon Burks and would hold Chig and try to sell him mid-season for a 2nd when his production grows.
HOLD WILL LEVIS, SELL FOR A 2024 FIRST
HOLD TYJAE SPEARS, BUY FOR A 2024 2ND
BUY DEANDRE HOPKINS FOR AN EARLY 2ND, SELL FOR A YOUNG WR+
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My name is Nishant Nagalia and I have been playing Fantasy Football for nearly 10 years.
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