Zach Mettenberger: Will He Become a Fantasy Starter?

Zach Mettenberger

Word around Nashville is that Zach Mettenberger may get an NFL start sooner rather than later. Should you care for your fantasy team, and what value would Mettenberger have in a 2QB or Superflex league? My guess is that his upside is limited, and Mettenberger is nothing more than a speculative add in very deep 2QB leagues. But let’s take a deeper look at why.

Who Was Zach Mettenberger in College?

As a youngster, Zach Mettenberger enrolled in the University of Georgia, but he was dismissed from the football team after pleading guilty for groping a young woman in a bar. After losing his spot on the team, Mettenberger transferred to junior college and threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in his only season there.

More importantly, Mettenberger moved on to LSU and finished his college career as their starting quarterback. In his senior season there, Mettenberger completed 64.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,082 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Mettenberger tore his ACL in LSU’s final regular season game, which only added to concerns about the large quarterback’s mobility.

Zach Mettenberger’s First Year in the NFL

The Tennessee Titans drafted Zach Mettenberger in the sixth round of this year’s draft, which didn’t suggest that they expected him to start early in the season. The Titans were reported to like Mettenberger as a developmental project to learn behind Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst.

In the preseason, Mettenberger completed 69.1 percent of his passes — nearly the same accuracy rate as he had in his final college season — while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions in 68 pass attempts. So far through six weeks, Mettenberger has only appeared once in the regular season, when he completed two of his five passes for 17 yards, with one interception.

On October 5th, Jason LaCanfora reported that Zach Mettenberger might get a chance to start by the halfway mark of this season. Then, Adam Schefter went on NFL Insiders on ESPN the next day to suggest that Mettenberger might get a chance “pretty soon.”

The Titans’ starter, Jake Locker, has already missed games due to a hand injury, and the 32-year old Charlie Whitehurst is on the roster more for his role as adviser to the young quarterbacks than as a long-term answer. So as Jake Locker has missed time and struggled when on the field, rumors have increased suggesting that Mettenberger might be getting his chance soon. So should we care for fantasy football?

How Much Would We Like Zach Mettenberger?

Through six weeks, Titans quarterbacks have completed 57.7 percent of their passes for seven touchdowns and six interceptions. They’re barely averaging two hundred yards per game. The team ranks 27th in passing touchdowns, 28th in pass attempts, and 24th in passing yards. And that’s with their quarterbacks who aren’t rookies.

I like the weapons who would surround Zach Mettenberger if he got the start. Kendall Wright is a trustworthy PPR machine, and Justin Hunter has the ability to take the top off defenses with speed and size. If the team continues giving Bishop Sankey more touches out of the backfield, we can hope they improve on their already 8th-best yards-per-carry average.

If Zach Mettenberger becomes the starter, you could safely expect him to put up slightly worse numbers than Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst — at least at the start, but he has the arm strength and talent around him to potentially sneak into the top-25 in any given week.

I am not adding Mettenberger in many of my leagues, unless the waiver wire is already bare of starters. If that’s the case, he’s well worth adding along with guys like Michael Vick and Ryan Mallett, because he looks likely to get a chance at starting sometime this year.


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