I’m going to call my shot right now, if Marcus Mariota plays the full season with a clean bill of health he will land himself in the top-five of fantasy football quarterbacks. Which isn’t that unrealistic, since he was the highest scoring fantasy quarterback from Week 5-Week 12 last year.
While it seems a majority of us out there are jumping on board with Mariota’s draft day counterpart over in Tampa Bay, I’m buying all the stock I can in the young Titan’s QB. The kid is a dual threat averaging 22 rushing yards per game in addition to 5.5% touchdown rate, which could go down this season with an increase in pass plays.
Mariota has averaged 17.7 point per game in standard leagues in his first 27 NFL games, those numbers landed Cowboys’ Dak Prescott in the top 6 last season. Now let’s remove that eyesore Mariota had against New England during his rookie campaign and his average jumps to 18.3 point per game.
Now those numbers were before Tennessee decided to go out and make solid investments in the passing game. Using their first round pick on receiver Corey Davis and their pair of third-round picks on tight end Jonnu Smith and receiver Taywan Taylor. In addition to the rookies the Titans added veteran receiver Eric Decker, whose health could come into question.
I’m far from a detective but when I see a team invest three picks and dip into the free agency pool, I start to put together the notion that they might be looking to open up the passing game. They ran the ball last season at a 47.2% rate which was 5% higher than league average, so they do have the room to throw it more without being so obvious.
Mariota isn’t a finished product just yet, but with the weapons he’s been given on offense and the growth he has shown over the last two season I’ll stick my neck out there for him and say he is a must have this fantasy football season.