WHO SHOULD I DRAFT? – AFC SOUTH
This is the last of my articles looking at the AFC divisions and this time its the AFC South that im going to be checking out. I am using a half PPR ADP for the mock draft information.
The first team that I am looking at today is the Houston Texas who managed to get in the play-offs with a 10-6 winning record last year. The Texans have got one of the most wanted QB’s in the league with Deshaun Watson who finished number 5 last year and number 4 the previous. He amassed 33 touchdowns passing and rushing but did suffer 12 interceptions dropping him down a few spots. Watson has an ADP of 5.02 which is a heavy price to pay for a QB but he will always be near the top of the QB charts due to his rushing.
At running back the Texans picked up David Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals in a trade that saw DeAndre Hopkins going the other way. Johnson was a previous number 1 running back with the Cardinals back in 2016 when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns. Unfortunately, time and injuries have affected him and he is not the same guy anymore and last year he only managed 345 yards due to being replaced.
Johnson has moved to the Texans during the off season and he is being touted as the starter for the team as they only have him and Duke Johnson. David Johnson has an ADP of 4.09 meaning he is one of the final starting running backs you can pick up at a good value. Duke Johnson is more of a pass catching running back who was the running back number 35 last year with just over 500 all purpose yards. His ADP is 12.09 but he isn’t going to be anything but a back up for your fantasy team in case David Johnson was to get injured.
The wide receiver department of the Houston Texans has taken a massive drop in class with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins had 150 targets last year and Watson has to throw the ball to someone so there is some serious value available for people to get from the Texan wideouts. Brandin Cooks had a poor season last year with the L.A Rams but his previous four years he had amassed more than 1,000 yards and averaging 7 touchdowns. With an ADP of 7.06 he is worth a punt of being a success for the Texans and you could get yourself a wide receiver picking up around 7 touchdowns and 800/900 yards.
Along with Cooks the Teaxans have also got Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb available for you to pick up. Fuller has an ADP of 8.01 but he comes with serious risks given his injury history. He is yet to play 16 games in any of his four years with the Texans and so he becomes a bit expensive when you could pick up Cooks at the 7.06. Kenny Stills is a much better option than Fuller as he has a solid injury record gets roughly the same amount of yards and touchdowns but the big positive for him is his ADP. If you want to pick up Stills he is currently going at 14.09 which means you are taking him as a guy to sit on your bench but he could easily play a lot of snaps.
At tight end the Texans have got Darren Fells who is a bit of a journeyman now as he is on his fourth team in as many years. He became a big play for the Texans last year in the red zone picking up seven touchdowns but only 341 yards. He isn’t even in the first 15 rounds of most mock drafts and you would only pick him up as a back up for your team.
The second team that needs to be looked at are the Tennessee Titans who came second in the division with a 9-7 record but managed to make their way to the AFC championship game under Ryan Tannehill. Unfortunately for them Tannehill and the Titans fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs but that didn’t stop the Titans signing Tannehill to a huge new contract. Tannehill throw for 22 touchdowns but only played in 12 games last year for a predominantly running team. His ADP is 13.01 which makes him quite an attractive QB to go for as the team have heavily invested in him and he wont cost you much in draft capital.
At running back the Titans have one of the most wanted guys in Derrick Henry who had an unbelievable season rushing for 16 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards. The game plan for the Titans wont be any different this year and Henry is going to be the main man again which is why his ADP is 1.06. They have picked up Darrynton Evans via the draft but he will only be a back up to Henry and the only reason to pick him would be in a dynasty league.
The Tennessee Titans have got one of the most exciting wide receivers around in A.J Brown who had an amazing rookie season. He amassed eight touchdowns and 1,051 yards which meant he was the wide receiver number 10 for the season. There is no reason why he couldn’t do something similar again this year and with an ADP of 4.02 he would be a good choice to pick at the price.
The Titans have also got Corey Davis and Adam Humphries as part of their wide receiver core but neither of them have an ADP in the first 15 rounds. Davis could be worth a punt as he did manage 601 yards but he would only become a bench spot for your team.
At tight end the Titans have got Jonnu Smith who was the number 17 last year but only managed to get 439 yards and three touchdowns. His ADP is 12.02 and if you want to wait until the 12th round for a tight end then he is one of the guys you should be looking at. Smith wont be a massive hit for your team but he will be a solid tight end.
Next up we have got the Indianapolis Colts who came third in the division with a disappointing 7-9 losing record. The beginning of the season proved to be problematic for the Colts with star QB Andrew Luck retiring during pre-season. This left them with Jacoby Brissett who only managed 18 touchdowns throughout the season. In free agency the Colts went out and got Phillip Rivers to be their starter this year and also drafted Jacob Eason from Washington in the fourth round. Eason is a potential for the future but Rivers is the guy to draft if you want a QB this year.
Although Phillip Rivers has not be at his best for the last couple of years he is defiantly worth your thoughts now. He might only be around for a year or two but he is joining a team with one of the best o-lines in the game. He still has a good arm and he has got the attacking options that he needs in order to make a success of it. His ADP is 13.06 which is seriously good value given the potential for him to do better then the QB15 spot he got to last year.
At running back the Colts have got a couple of nice choices for your team in Marlon Mack and newly drafted Johnathon Taylor. Mack has been with the Colts for a few years now and he looked his best last year rushing for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns. Mack ended up being the running back number 17 and has an ADP of 5.11 which might seem low but with the arrival of Taylor there is a worry that the workload will split.
Taylor looked good at Wisconsin last year and was one of the most sought after running backs but you have to think Mack will get the first chance. His ADP is 6.10 which seems expensive for a player who might have to split the workload. Also, the Colts have got Nyheim Hines who is a pass catching running back and you have to feel he will get better having Rivers as his QB. His ADP is 13.09 which is a low price but he is most likely to only be a bench spot for your team.
The wide receiver group is looking a bit stronger this year due to drafting Michael Pittman Jr and having a fully fit TY Hilton. Hilton is a quality wide receiver and has been for many years but due to injury and a sub standard quarterback meant he could only manage 501 yards and five touchdowns in ten games. His ADP is 4.03 which for a wide receiver who has averaged over 1,000 yards every season before last year is worth taking.
Pittman looks like a potential star in the making after starring for USC over the last couple of years. He will fit in nicely at Indianapolis who needed a big bodied player to supplement the likes of TY Hilton and Parris Campbell. Both Pittman and Campbell have ADP’s in the 14th round and so you would only use them as bench spots but if you are playing dynasty Pittman is worth taking as he could become a major player very quickly.
At the tight end position the Colts have got Jack Doyle, Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox in their ranks. Doyle is the clear number one for the team after producing 448 yards and four touchdowns last year. The difference this year is that Eric Ebron is no longer in the team after moving to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the off season. With an ADP of 13.02 Doyle has the potential to get more yards and touchdowns than before and so he becomes someone worth looking at. Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox might play some part but Doyle is the guy to go for.
Finally we have got the Jacksonville Jaguars who have had a hard time of it the last few years and had a poor 6-10 losing record last year. At the beginning of last year the Jags lost Nick Foles due to injury and he never looked much when he came back and ended up being traded away to Chicago. This means that Gardener Minshew became the starter and managed to end the season as the number 20 quarterback. Currently he isn’t even in the first 15 rounds in most mock drafts and you can pick up a much better player for your team.
At running back the Jags have got Leonard Fournette who had one of his best seasons last year amassing 1,674 all purpose yards but only three touchdowns. Fournette has had a strange time with the Jags over the last couple of years due to off filed issues and the team not sure if they want to keep him. He goes again this year for them and you have to feel that he is going to get a lot of use again. Chris Thompson has come over from the Washington Redskins and is well known as a good pass catching option and so will probably take some reps from Fournette. Given that Fournette has an ADP of 2.10 it feels a bit to high to be drafting him if he is going to lose out on them reps because of Thompson.
D.J Chark is the Jags main wide receiver after having a top notch season last year gaining 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. He has the potential to improve on them figures especially as this will be another year for him with Minshew at the quarterback position. He has and ADP of 5.03 and so if you are taking him as your number two wide receiver on your team then he would be a great option at that price.
Along with Chark the Jags have got Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and newly drafted Laviska Shenault Jr. All three of them are unlikely to produce much for your team as the Jags are more of a running team. If you are going to pick one of them you have to feel that Dede Westbrook could push on a bit but it would only be a punt and their are much better choice on better teams. Shenault is much more of a dynasty option at the moment.
At tight end the Jags have got Tyler Eiffert who was the tight end number 21 last year producing 436 yards and three touchdowns. He is someone who isn’t likely to improve much but if you need a bench spot filled and you need a reserve tight end then he is someone who you could go for.
Top QB : Phillip Rivers
In this division the quarterback who will finish the highest will most likely be Deshaun Watson as long as he doesn’t get injured. However, his ADP is 5.03 and that’s a very big price to pay for a quarterback. Rivers has moved to a better team with a quality o-line and decent offensive weapons that could see him throw more touchdowns than last year and be better than the number 15 he was. Also, his ADP is very low at 13.06 and that is a great price for a potential top 10 quarterback.
Top RB : Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry is one of the best running backs around at the moment and the Tennessee Titans are a mainly running team. His ADP is high at 1.06 but he is worth every penny of that draft price and I cant see him doing anything other than being a top 10 running back.
Top WR : A J Brown
This was a hard choice as there are some really good wide receivers in this division like T.Y Hilton, Brandin Cooks and D.J Chark but I had to go for the potential of A.J Brown. Brown had an amazing rookie year last season, receiving 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns but what was so impressive was he only had 84 targets. If he was to get more targets he could truly have a chance at being the number one wide receiver in the league. Obviously this is unlikely to happen as the Titans want to run the ball but even a slight increase would see him jump up. His ADP is 4.03 which is the same as T.Y Hilton but he offers more upside.
Top TE : Jack Doyle
Doyle is not the best tight end in the league to pick up but if you don’t want one of the best he will be a solid option. He has a new quarterback who has always used a tight end in the past and with Eric Ebron now gone he has got a good chance of improving from his tight end 18 position of last year. His ADP is 13.02 which is a cheap price for a starting tight end.