Fantasy Impact: Adam Humphries to the Titans

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Mar 13, 2019

Humphries cashed in on a strong 2018 season.

Former Buccaneers slot man Adam Humphries is another name on a growing list of players migrating to new teams in what has been an electric kickoff to NFL free agency. He will sign with the Tennessee Titans in a deal reportedly worth $36 million over four years. Now that he’s joined the Titans, what can we expect out of Humphries? How will the move affect his new teammates? Let’s dive in!

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The Numbers
Humphries joined the Buccaneers in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson. His career started out slow, but he made strides in receptions and receiving yards in each of his four years with the team, culminating in his breakout 2018 campaign that likely got him paid. Check out Humphries’ stats below:

Year Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
2015 40 27 260 1
2016 83 55 622 2
2017 83 61 631 1
2018 105 76 816 5

 
He struck while the iron was hot, cashing in on a 2018 season where he compiled career highs in all receiving categories. Humphries started 10 games in his final season with the Buccaneers and became well-known for his chain-moving abilities and sure hands. Humphries caught 72.4 percent of his targets which comfortably led all WRs on the team and ranked top 10 in the NFL among receivers. Humphries turned 28 third-down targets into 14 first downs in 2018, good for a 50.0 percent conversion rate. The Titans offense as a whole converted 40.0 percent of their third-down tries in 2018.

Although he’s gotten a reputation for being a small guy, don’t let Humphries’ size detract from his talent. At 5’11/195 lbs., he’s a little bigger and taller than Antonio Brown and about the same size as Odell Beckham Jr. As far as slot receivers go, Humphries is actually on the bigger side.

The Need
The Titans haven’t had a strong passing attack in recent years. Tennessee ranked 29th in passing yards per game in 2018, 23rd in 2017, and 25th in 2016, failing to eclipse 200.00 yards per game in each of the last two seasons. In 2018, the Titans ranked 27th in passing first downs gained per game, with a pedestrian 9.8. Humphries’ skill set should help to bolster those numbers in 2019 and provide Marcus Mariota with another reliable target opposite Corey Davis. Mariota has averaged just 28.6 passing attempts per game since joining the Titans in 2015 compared to Jameis Winston’s mark of 34.3. That’s a downgrade of six attempts per game for Humphries’ QB, but he’ll have a much bigger role in the Titans’ offense than he did with the Buccaneers. Mariota should improve in 2019, but he’s not even worth a late-round flier in standard leagues and should only be considered in 2QB formats.

Titans’ receiver Taywan Taylor is the biggest loser in the Humphries’ deal. He recorded a 37-466-1 line in 13 games in 2018, starting five of them. Dion Lewis will likely see his target share decline in 2019 with the addition of a quality pass-catcher in the short and intermediate game. Derrick Henry could see less stacked boxes now that the Titans have more than one receiver for opposing defenses to account for.

Who’s Left in Tampa Bay?
The departure of Humphries obviously boosts the stock of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, especially in the wake of the DeSean Jackson trade back to Philly. Evans is the locked-in target-hog in Tampa Bay and should finish no worse than a WR2 in 2019. Humphries’ departure doesn’t move the needle too much for him. Godwin, however, is the biggest benefactor to Humphries leaving. He could certainly put up WR3 numbers but has WR2 upside should he continue his ascension in an all-important third season. Godwin has been a popular fantasy sleeper already, and his ADP is sure to jump significantly after this move and even more so by the time fantasy drafts roll around. Jameis Winston loses a key target in the passing game and one that he relied on as a safety valve on third-down and short-yardage situations.

Conclusion
Humphries will get a permanent starting gig in Tennessee, and as such, his fantasy outlook is trending up in 2019. Despite the sometimes erratic play of QB Marcus Mariota, Humphries won’t have to fight for targets against the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, DeSean Jackson, and O.J. Howard. Instead, his only competition will be Corey Davis, and he should find himself peppered with targets throughout the season, especially on third down. He’s plenty capable of producing WR4 numbers in 2019, though his upside isn’t massive given the offense on which he’ll be playing. He’ll be much more valuable in PPR-scoring formats and should rack up a new career high in receptions and receiving TDs despite a decline in receiving yards. Marcus Mariota has averaged 458 passing attempts per 16 games in his career, and I think Humphries can command at least a 25.0 percent target share. He’s currently ranked as the 118th player overall and the WR49 based on our ECR, but those rankings will improve, as will Humphries’ ADP. He’s not a player who will change the fortunes of your fantasy team, but he can be a dependable PPR flex in the right matchups and a quality bye-week filler.

2019 Prediction: 115 targets, 81 receptions, 775 receiving yards, six receiving TDs

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Zachary Hanshew is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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