Anthony Firkser 2021 Fantasy Sleeper Near the Top of the Titans Target Totem Pole - Roto Street Journal
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Anthony Firkser 2021 Fantasy Sleeper Near the Top of the Titans Target Totem Pole

After Jonnu Smith packed his bags and set the market for tight ends during free agency, the Titans inked Anthony Firkser to a one-year deal instead of giving him a tender as a restricted free agent. Although his name might not sound familiar to fantasy owners, Firkser has the receiving chops to make noise as the 2021 Titans TE1. With a laundry list of pass-catchers no longer residing in Tennessee, Firkser has a chance to be a true 2021 fantasy sleeper at the up-and-down tight end spot.

Vacated Targets

Entering the 2021 season, the Titans have the third-most vacated targets (224 targets and 47.9 percent) and they have the largest percentage of vacated targets inside the 10-yard line (15 targets and 48.3 percent). 

The Titans have lost wide receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries, as well as Smith at tight end and, have only added… Josh Reynolds. That’s it? Obviously, the NFL Draft is still yet to come, but Firkser has the potential to be Tannehill’s number 2 target behind AJ Brown, who has a 150 target floor.

“(Smith) played a very important role in everything we did, run game, pass game,” Firkser said. “It’s going to be difficult to fulfill the jobs he did, but as a tight end room we’re going to embrace everything he did and just keep improving and do the best that we can do in our position, in our roles.”

Flourished in Limited Playing Time

Firkser has only started two games in his young, three-year career. But he did get additional playing time when Smith exited their Week 6 win against the Texans with an ankle injury. With TE1 duties, Firkser dominated. On nine targets, he put up 113 yards and a score on eight grabs. Furthermore, he commanded a 21.9 percent target share and ran 29 routes on Ryan Tannehill’s 46 dropbacks in that game.

In week 13 (only his 6th game of the season where he played 40 percent of snaps or more), he received 7 targets, hauled in 5 receptions, for 51 Yds… and had 2 touchdowns vultured by 2 other TEs which prevented a massive day.

According to Warren Sharp, the 2020 Titans utilized multiple tight ends on 48 percent of their offensive plays, which was tied with the Browns for the highest percentage in the league. With only Geoff Swaim as a (somewhat) legitimate tight end option, Firkser will see a high percentage of his snaps in the slot after seeing 40 percent of his snaps in the slot last season.

Even though he played second fiddle to Smith, he still commanded the 23rd highest target share (12.2 percent) among tight ends last season and had a 10.8 percent target share in the red zone. Either way, it’s clear Tannehill trusts the Harvard grad when he’s on the field.

Verdict

I’m sure the Titans will add at least one more weapon in the draft but even assuming they do, there are a ton of vacated targets up for grabs. Firkser set a career-high in targets, receptions, and yards last season and his snaps and opportunity will only go up in 2021. He’s definitely far from a sure thing, but he’s a cheap dart throw with some high target potential in a porous TE landscape. 

Firkser landed on TE16 on The Wolf’s 2021 Fantasy Rankings & Big Board, a mind-blowing +21 vs the ECR.

Author

  • Fantasy football enthusiast & writer for Roto Street Journal. Graduate of Saint Joseph's University Class of 2019.

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