Titans Duo Will Levis, Calvin Ridley Rising Up 2024 Fantasy Football Draft Boards

Can Calvin Ridley boost Will Levis' sophomore season?

March Madness, NFL free agency, and the NFL combine. Is this not the best time of the year?

Narratives are spreading, and lines are drawn in the sand across Fantasy Twitter.

Everyone wonders where Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze will land as the NFL Draft approaches. How many spicy free agency splashes will be made bland by a surprise draft addition?

The Titans signed Calvin Ridley to a lucrative, head-scratching four-year deal worth up to $92M with almost $47M guaranteed. This raises the question: Is Ridley worth the contract? More importantly, what will his value be in 2024 fantasy football, and will he help Will Levis take a step forward after a flashy rookie season?

A CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN TENNESEE?

While neither of them are spring chickens, the Titans have two highly-touted pass catchers with elite production under their belt.

DeAndre Hopkins, who will turn 32 this June, is fresh off another 1,000-yard season in 2023.

Derrick Henry is no longer a Titan. Tony Pollard and Tyjae Spears now spearhead a potentially explosive backfield. The investment in Ridley to go alongside Hopkins suggests new head coach Brian Callahan wants to utilize Levis’ live arm and sling the rock.

The oft-injured but explosive Treylon Burks is still on the team, and the Titans made a point to retain Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. All of a sudden, the long-time power-running Titans have a deep, talented wide receiver room. Callahan didn’t mince words when he talked about utilizing his weapons.

“Being able to move Calvin around is going to be exciting,” Callahan said. “But I think the other guys, being able to move those guys around, too, will be helpful. Moving Hop around, trying to get him some matchups, put his skill set in good position against lesser players. We’ll see what Treylon (Burks) can do as we move him around.

CALVIN RIDLEY 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Ridley had no problem getting open last season. Despite getting open all over the place, the Jaguars rarely put Ridley in a position to create yards after the catch. He ranked below average in slant routes and post-routes.

His upside was bottlenecked by poor schematic utilization. Despite consistently winning on nearly every route in the route tree, 51.7% of his routes were low-value routes.

  • Curl route — 18.9%
  • Comeback route — 10.8%
  • Out route — 9.1%
  • Dig route — 12.9%

Last season, Ridley ranked 8th in the league in air yards, 8th in deep targets, and 3rd in red-zone targets. Despite finishing 11th among WRs in TDs with 8, it felt like he left a lot of fantasy goodness on the table. Aside from running nine routes on 18.9% of his routes, Ridley routinely found himself in low YAC opportunities.

Callahan believed Ridley’s up-and-down season was because Ridley wasn’t moved around much in the formation.

“You’re looking at a very similar role that Ja’Marr [Chase] played, in terms of his ability to move around the formation, use him in motion,” said Brian Callahan. “He’s got such a unique skill set. He’s got great quickness, he’s got great speed, he can run all the different routes.”

Boom or bust. That was Ridley’s season last year. In 35% of his games, you were happy. He finished as a WR1 and scored over 20 points in each boom game. The remaining 65% of games were lackluster. The last half of the year,

Touchdowns made all the difference for Ridley. In the last half of the season, he was on pace for 81 receptions, 1,067 yards, and 11 TDs. His 262 PPR point pace would have finished as the WR12 overall, just 0.7 points behind Ja’Marr Chase.

Ridley was able to get open at will and find the end zone with relative success. Despite being bottlenecked by his coach’s poor play-calling and Trevor Lawrence’s up-and-down 2023 season, Ridley finished as a solid WR2 overall. Will things get better with Levis vs. Lawrence?

WILL LEVIS’ 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Callahan is the son of legendary offensive line genius Bill Callahan, who coincidentally joined the Titans staff as the OL coach.

With a new offensive coordinator to pair with Callahan’s experience calling plays, the Titans seem to have pushed all their chips to the middle of the table with a full house in their hand.

Last season, Levis flashed greatness from the get-go. His jaw-dropping four-TD aerial assault against the hapless Falcons validated his second-round draft capital.

His live arm was flashed throughout the rest of the season, as was his propensity to put the ball in danger and rely too much on his arm and less on his mind.

Despite throwing the second-most catchable deep ball in 2023, Levis’ 3.1% TD rate left much to be desired. Across his nine games, Levis put the ball in danger a staggering 22 times, including 17 interceptable passes.

Some of that could be attributed to trying to make lemonade out of prunes. His blocking in the trenches made abysmal look desirable. He was pressured on 67 dropbacks and sacked more than three times per game (28 total).

Last season, the Titans threw the ball the third-fewest times in the league. Meanwhile, with the Bengals, even without Joe Burrow for most of the year, Callahan still called pass plays at the 7th-highest clip in the NFL.

Cincinnati threw 27 TDs last season (4.4% TD rate), a step back from Burrow’s usual rate of 6.2%.

Levis is not near the same caliber of passer as Burrow, and he lacks much of the polish Burrow came into the league with. But with the weapons at hand and the apparent commitment to making the Titans offense explosive, there’s no reason Levis couldn’t be in a position to be above league average (4.1% in 2023) in TD rate.

The hope is that improving his protection up front with Tennessee’s top 10 draft pick and surrounding him with seasoned, explosive talent will help Levis take that next step and capitalize on his obvious upside.

The outlook for Ridley with 2024 Levis and 2023 Lawrence is arguably a wash. Assuming he plays all 17 games, his stat line should be roughly similar. The hope is that Callahan’s commitment to moving him around the formation more could provide a higher, more consistent floor in 2024.

Levis checks in at QB20 (+7 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2024 Fantasy Rankings, while Ridley sits at WR30 (+3).

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