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Spotlight: Kenny Britt

posted by Jeff Haseley on Jul 30th


Jeff Haseley's thoughts

There are a lot of questions surrounding Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt, as the 2012 season nears. Will he be fully healthy when he enters the huddle for the first time this season? Will he miss any games due to suspension? If so, how many? Should you consider drafting him or stay away?

Injuries
Britt dominated the first two games of 2011, catching 17 passes for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he suffered a devastating knee injury in week 3, tearing his ACL and MCL.The injury forced him to have reconstructive surgery, thus ending his season. The former first rounder from Rutgers worked hard to rehabilitate himself in hopes being 100% for training camp this year. In May, he suffered from some discomfort and swelling in his surgically repaired right knee, which resulted in him having a clean out arthroscopic scope. One month later, he had a very similar procedure on his left knee, after mini camp gave him some discomfort. He was placed on the camp Physically Unable to Perform list.

Legal troubles
Britt was arrested in July for driving under the influence, which puts him in danger of being suspended by the league. This latest brush with the law was his eighth such infraction since he was drafted in 2009. The expectations indicate that Britt will likely receive a suspension of two to three games to begin the 2012 season. If that's the case, it actually may be a blessing in disguise, as it would allow him the opportunity to recover from his knee ailments.

Rising Star
Prior to his knee injury that sidelined him for most of the 2011 season, Britt was a man among boys, making plays all over the field. It was clear that the 2010 season was not a one-year flash. He has a career 17.5 yards per catch average, but unlike other wide receivers with a high YPR, Britt, who will be 25 in September, is not just a deep threat with good hands. He has also shown the ability to make plays over the middle, catch the ball on the run and use his speed and quickness to gain yards after the catch. If his knee injuries cause him to lose some of his blazing speed, all is not necessarily lost. While speed is important, Britt's ability to be the team's go-to possession receiver in the clutch will fuel his production as a consistent fantasy threat.

Britt - Career Touchdown Receptions

Year V.Young K.Collins M.Hasselbeck
2009 3 x x
2010 7 2 x
2011 x x 3
Total 10 2 3

Positives

  • At age 25, Britt is one of the best young rising wide receivers in the league
  • He has shown production with three Titans quarterbacks, which gives the impression that he'll find success with Jake Locker as well
  • A suspension in the beginning of the season could be a blessing in disguise that will give his knees time to heal

Negatives

  • He has suffered injuries in both knees, including an ACL and MCL tear in his right knee that he has yet to play with
  • Legal trouble - eight brushes with the law since 2009 and a likely suspension looming in 2012. Another incident would be devastating, which would severely hinder his fantasy value
  • Britt has shown immaturity and lack of work ethic in his first two years in the league. Combine that with a major injury and it could lead to never reaching his full potential

Final thoughts

There is definitely a red flag surrounding the possible outlook of Kenny Britt this year, as well as years beyond. Pick your poison of being worried about injury concerns or legal issues. Having said that, there is still value from a fantasy standpoint, provided he is selected at the right time in your draft. Recent mock drafts indicate that his ADP is somewhere in the eighth or ninth round of 12-team re-draft leagues. He is expected to be suspended for two to three games, possibly longer. The best scenario to utilize his potential for your team is to draft him as your WR4. That way, you can insert him into your lineup, when he is available and productive and not waste a starting WR position in the process. He may not finish in the Top 20 this year, however his per game production is what's important. A healthy Britt could make all the difference in the second half of your season and playoffs. Depending on how the draft is going, he is a risky WR3 pick, however if you have a hunch on a WR4 pick, that could turn into a weekly start, it may not be a bad idea to pull the trigger on Britt, if the timing is right.


Quotations from the message board thread

To view the entire Player Spotlight thread (there's a ton of fantastic commentary in there), click here.

David Yudkins (Footballguys.com Staff Writer) said:

First year back after major knee surgery that already required additional surgery is enough of a flag for me to suggest lower totals. Quotes that he hopes he can be able to play by opening day not giving me the warm and fuzzies. Maybe he will be closer to himself by the end of the year, but I would rather let someone else deal with wondering when Britt will be 100% in terms of quickness, cutting, endurance, and availability. 55-875-5

footballnerd said:

Not that I'm saying Britt will do it (health reasons) this year but this kid had 12 TDs in his last 13 games. In 2010 TEN as a team had 24 total TDs, Britt had 9 of the 19 TEN TDs in the games he played in. Include the 3 games he played in 2011 and he had 12 of the last 24 TEN TDs in games he played in. He did it in 2010 with "quality" QBs in Kerry Collins and Vince Young in a year where Chris Johnson rushed 300+ times. So if 40% of a teams TDs is really really good, I wonder what 50% is. If completely healthy he would be a huge part of this teams production.

nittanylion said:

I thought reports were that Britt has matured over time, and most of the knucklehead behavior is in the rear view mirror? Wasn't most of that stuff dispelled courtesy of how he handled himself post injury, and during rehab?

I have reservations about Britt, but they don't involve Britt the person. Britt the health risk? Right now, if he fell to me in the late 6th/early 7th, as a WR3, I'd do it...and I'd probably view my WR3 as a WR3BC, and draft a few more upside guys maybe a round or two earlier, just to make sure I had a solid rotation, just in case. That's right now.

The things I've read, lead me to believe the Titans have it in them to evolve into more of a throwing offense. Obviously, they can't do this without solid QB play, but I have faith that Hasselbeck is going to perform somewhere around QB 20, and that if Locker is good enough to work past him and see the field, then the Titans QB position will be in pretty decent hands, and good for a solid 20 Pass TD's, maybe a couple more. That puts Britt right in 8+ TD territory. Between Chris Johnson, Jared Cook and the WR group, there are several quality mouths to feed, but that also means honest coverage. I'm high on Chris Johnson this year, and I think the effective running game will open up the pass, and Britt could be a deadly part of play action, ripping off big chunks.

I think you have to weather the storm with Britt, and tolerate 4-8 games of unpredictable production. Might be able to pick him up cheap from a trigger-happy League mate. I think he'll hit his stride around midseason and have a very productive 2nd half. Certainly a solid buy-low candidate, and if you can insulate him with a few complimentary pieces so you aren't any more than flex-dependent on him early on, I think that's the right equation to reap nice rewards from Britt from November on, when he can be a productive member of your starting lineup.

az_prof said:

I like Britt. But he is a player with potential who is coming off a serious injury. People are drafting him like he is a proven stud; he isn't. He had a couple of great games last season but so did a lot of receivers who then went on to have a few duds. In Britt's case, he busted his knee so we really don't know what he is capable of in a full season. There is also uncertainty at QB and while he doesn't have the worst QBs in the league, they are far from the best. The team added another high potential, young WR who will be competing with Britt. Add in the knucklehead factor, and you have a player who realistically could produce anywhere from top 10 to WR40. My guess is that he is somewhere in the WR20 range this season. Even when a player makes a full recovery from ACL surgery, they rarely return to full form until the following season. Assuming Britt is as good as his supporters think, the process of recovery from that injury should keep him from being a fantasy WR1.


Kenny Britt projections

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Jeff Haseley59962600
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