Should You Draft Titans RBs Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears in 2024 Fantasy Football?

Can the two running backs co-exist in Tennessee?

Tony Pollard endured a disappointing 2023 fantasy football season, failing to meet lofty expectations despite his evident talent and workhorse role. Still, he showed enough and may have untapped talent at age 26 that the Titans felt comfortable to sign him to a 3-year, $24 million deal to kick off 2024 NFL Free Agency.

2024 Fantasy Football: Saquon Barkley to EAGLES, Josh Jacobs to PACKERS & More!

While this may look good on the outside with the Derrick Henry Era over in Tennessee, it throws a massive wrench into Tyjae Spears’ 2024 fantasy outlook, who appeared to be in for a significant role after a strong rookie season.

So, should fantasy managers fade both Tony Pollard and Tyjae Spears in 2024 fantasy football?

TONY POLLARD’S DISAPPOINTING 2023 SEASON

Alongside Tyjae Spears, Pollard represents one of the NFL’s more promising running backs, both ideally suited to be a part of a committee and primarily utilized on later downs.

Pollard’s significant playing time last season, totaling 836 offensive snaps, ranked him third among running backs, partly attributed to his skill but also due to the lack of competition within the Dallas Cowboys’ roster after the departure of Ezekiel Elliott. However, as Pollard assumed the lead role for the Cowboys, his production suffered, primarily influenced by a broken leg he sustained during the 2022 playoffs.

Nonetheless, he displayed a remarkable resurgence from Week 11 onward, earning a stellar 90.8 PFF rushing grade, the best among running backs, demonstrating his potential to excel when fully healthy.

Yet, with Spears now competing for snaps, Pollard may see a reduction in playing time, potentially impacting his productivity. Plus, he leaves behind PFF’s No. 9 offensive line in 2023 to go to the worst offensive line in the league, although the Titans should improve after adding legendary OL coach Bill Callahan.

TYJAE SPEARS’ PROMISING ROOKIE CAMPAIGN

Tyjae Spears found himself in a promising position following Derrick Henry’s departure, poised to step into a starting role for the Titans. However, after the Pollard addition, he’s likely to remain in a limited or split capacity for the foreseeable future.

While Spears should see increased opportunities in rushing situations, his involvement in passing plays may diminish, limiting his time on the field. Consequently, unless Pollard sustains an injury, it’s improbable that Spears will secure a spot in fantasy starting lineups.

During his rookie campaign, Spears displayed versatility by amassing 453 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 100 carries, along with 52 receptions for 385 receiving yards and one touchdown on 70 targets.

Despite seeing fewer touches than Henry, Spears had a solid 52.9% snap share (29th best among RBs). His reliability in both receiving and pass-blocking situations emphasizes his value, especially in PPR leagues.

His traditional statistics won’t ‘wow’ anyone, but he was an advanced metric darling last season. As a rookie, he ranked fifth in yards created per touch (4.58), breakaway run rate (7.0%), and juke rate (26.3%). Additionally, he sits at 11th in yards per route run (1.52) and 13th in fantasy points per opportunity (0.90), demonstrating his efficiency and potential as a dynamic playmaker.

Prior to this signing, Spears was ascending in both redraft and dynasty.

SHOULD YOU DRAFT POLLARD OR SPEARS?

After seeing how effective Pollard was as Ezekiel Elliott’s 1B and how effectively Spears complemented Henry, combining the two similar backs is a recipe for fantasy disaster.

Pollard was one of fantasy’s biggest busts after trying his hand as a workhorse (career-low 4.3 yards per touch), and it made sense to join a committee. But barring injury, having two backs with similar skill-sets will make it tough to decide who to draft and/or start on a weekly basis in fantasy.

Pollard ranks RB27 (-5 vs ECR) and Spears slides in at RB34 (-8 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings and Big Board.

If I were to choose between the two, I’d side with Spears due to his lower ADP and similar upside to Pollard. Still, there’s a new regime in Tennessee, and Pollard was handpicked to join Brian Callahan’s squad.

I’ll likely fade this backfield as a whole in 2024 fantasy drafts.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Most Popular

Related Posts