Two weeks ago, Titans running back Tyjae Spears generated fantasy interest on the heels of a game in which he accumulated nine total yards of offense. However, his snap count was growing. The ageless Derrick Henry was looking kind of… aged. This forced us to take a look despite the obvious lack of production on the field.
With five games in the books, Spears’s spot in the offense has continued to solidify. After a solid Week 4, Derrick Henry had another off week in Week 5. For the first time, Spears put up real fantasy numbers. Spears found the end zone on his way to a spot of RB8 for the week, outperforming Henry in the process. Now, even the doubters have to look his way–this is probably the last chance fantasy owners have to snap him up off waivers.
ARE WE WITNESSING THE START OF A COMMITTEE IN TENNESSEE?
The argument for Tyjae Spears making an impact in fantasy used to be game flow. The thinking was that the offensively challenged Titans could find themselves behind in plenty of games. Their rookie third down and pass-catching back would then creep his way onto the field for more and more playing time.
Sadly for Derrick Henry owners (of which I am one), Week 5 threw that thinking out the window. The Titans were in a competitive, close game with the Colts from start to finish. Spears was a factor the entire time.
IS PRODUCTION GOING TO FOLLOW PLAYING TIME?
In Week 5, Derrick Henry ran the ball 13 times for 43 yards. He also caught three balls for an additional 19 yards. Spears, on the field for fewer snaps (but not many less, let’s admit it), ran seven times for 34 and punched it in for a touchdown. He also added four catches on five targets for another 35 yards.
It’s easy to point to the fact that Spears ran for an average of almost 5.0 yards a carry while Henry struggled at a paltry 3.3. You can’t possibly read too much into one game, right?
Right. But you don’t have to. Just look at the whole season. We’re five games in now–that’s a decent sample size.
Henry has rushed 86 times for 328 yards this year, which works out to 3.8 yards a carry–by far the lowest yards per carry of his career. On the other hand, Spears is rushing at a clip of 5.8 yards on average every time he gets the rock. This is a discrepancy that is going to be impossible to ignore if it continues.
THE WEEK 6 WAIVER WIRE MIGHT BE YOUR LAST CHANCE
Our very own Wolf of Roto Street has been shouting from the mountaintops. He’s been saying that Spears is a must-have on the waiver wire for close to a month. His availability has been slowly declining, but somehow, he is only owned in 26% of leagues at the time of this writing. That interest, however, has been based only on his presence on the field–not on any real fantasy production.
With a game under his belt that put up 17 fantasy points in PPR leagues, those rostered numbers will skyrocket. I would be utterly shocked if those numbers are 50, 60, or even 70% after Week 6.
As Derrick Henry continues to decline, Spears will only see more work. And at this point, even if Henry turns it back on, it seems Spears’s place in this offense has been cemented.
Spears is creeping up The Wolf’s Week 6 Rankings, coming in at RB36 this week against Baltimore.