Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears was one of the highest-rated running backs in the 2023 NFL Draft. Some people questioned the pick with Derrick Henry already in the backfield, but they’re different style running backs. And after next season, Spears could take over as RB1 as Henry hits free agency. Here’s a look at Spears’ value in their Week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Football analysis: Titans RB Tyjae Spears
Spears rushed for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns last season at Tulane. He was a factor in the passing game as well as he had 22 receptions for 256 yards and two receiving touchdowns. What is most impressive about his great season is that he did this with no ACL in his left knee. He’s torn his right ACL twice in his career which is a bit concerning. If he can stay healthy, he is the future of the Titans backfield.
Start or sit in Week 1 PPR leagues?
Sit. In PPR 8-10 team leagues, I would say to keep him on the bench. With as high of an upside as Spears has, the volume won't be high enough to play him in this small of a league. There are No. 1 options that teams will have in their flex spot, while Spears is a No. 2. In 12-14 team leagues, I would consider him if your other flex options aren't great, but I would sit him there too. I just font see him having a major impact on the offense in Week 1. He’s a player to stash and maybe try to trade at his highest value point.
Start or sit in Week 1 standard leagues?
Similarly to PPR leagues, I think Spears should sit. Non-PPR leagues look better for Spears, but he is still RB2 behind Derrick Henry. He may appear in the passing game a bit, but Henry will be No. 1 in carries and I feel like they will ease Spears into his role. As the season goes on, I expect Spears to gradually take on a bigger role in the offense. I would only consider starting him in the flex of a 12-14 team league if other options were not No. 1 guys either.
Player(s) you would start ahead of Tyjae Spears
Spears is ranked 174th for FLEX options on Fantasypros. A few names around Spears in rankings that I would start over him are Ezekiel Elliott and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I’m high on Elliott this year as I know what Bill Belichick will do with his running backs. Stevenson can be carrying the ball well, but Elliott will still trot into the game around the goal line and get his touchdown. Edwards-Helaire is more risky, but he’s still one of the proven guys in Kansas City. I am not high on him, but I expect him to have a stronger role in the first few weeks over Spears.