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AFC South Off-Season Changes
The Colts are another team with too many wide receivers, and most of them start on any team. However, that didn’t stop them from using their round draft pick on ANOTHER receiver. After seeing their defense get hammered by quality offenses last year, one would think that all the top picks would be spent on defense, but the Colts don’t. WR Philip Dorsett is a smooth burner out of Miami with 4.33 40-yard dash time, but how much of a factor will he factor into the game plan this year with so many other options? Of course, they defended with their next 4 picks; Florida Atlantic’s CB D’Joun Smith, Stanford’s DE Henry Anderson, and Central Florida’s C Clayton Geathers, as well as Georgia’s LB Amarlo Herrea, but those guys have to dominate their draft position to justify taking another WR, though a very talented, with his first choice.
The Colts acquired a veteran pass rusher in Andre Johnson to give their young talent some speed in the NFL. He should help teach Dorsett and Donte Moncrief and make them better receivers in the near future. They added WR Winsert Brown from San Diego in free agency to further complicate matters. I’ve always thought Brown was underrated, but he can’t be completely healthy to prove me right. After finding an additional running game for their air attack, the Colts hit free agency and brought back veteran Frank Gore. Most teams rely on 30+ year old running backs, but the Colts hope that having Daniel “Boom” Herron and a healthy Vic Ballard will help keep Gore fresh throughout the season. I also like the addition of LB Trent Cole from Philly via free agency.
Fantasy starters: QB Andrew Luck, RB Frank Gore, WR TY Hilton, WR Andre Johnson
Fantasy Class: TE Dwayne Allen, TE Coby Fleener, RB Daniel Herron
Legendary sleeper: WR Philip Dorsett
The Titans have been in an enviable spot this year due to their unexpected roster position. It seems like they were offered multiple trades that could have benefited them at many other positions than the 2nd pick, but they rejected them all and decided that QB Marcus Mariota was their franchise QB. It could be a decision that either restores their self-respect or dooms them for years to come. If the trade rumors were true, they would have had to be high school sweethearts in love with Mariota to flip the dice like they did. To further show their love, they used their 2nd round pick to gamble on WR Dorial Green-Beckham. He is GREAT, but annoying and pointless. His ceiling is tremendous, but could easily drop out of the league. You can safely say that Titans ownership is a bunch of risk takers! The remaining 7 picks were scattered across most positions as a testament to how poor the talent is on this team. After another year of running, they actually found a sleeper in the 5th round in RB David Cobb from Minnesota. He is the antithesis of Chris Johnson; not very fast, but gains a lot of yardage after contact. Expect him to be used in short-handed situations at first, as RB Bishop Sankey gets one last chance to impress.
In free agency, the Titans didn’t go bust, but I like the addition of WR Harry Douglas from Atlanta. I think his speed will help Mariota in the slot and complement WR Kendall Wright nicely. They also added WR Hakeem Nicks, but he has steadily declined since his breakout season. On the defensive side of the ball they smartly added LB Brian Arakpo from Washington. It’s a smart move because their current patrons are gone, and it’s a way to keep him busy studying for a new book instead of entertaining more outrageous advertising ideas.
Legendary starters: WR Kendall Wright, TE Delaney Walker
Fantasy jersey: QB Marcus Mariota, RB Bishop Sankey, WR Dorial Green-Beckham, WR Harry Douglas
Legendary sleeper: RB David Cobb
Can JJ Watt QB also play TE and be the most dominant defensive player in the league? The Texans may be hoping for that because they can’t afford a quality signal caller under center. Bill O’Brien seriously has to choose between Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer and Tom Savage to start the year. Looks like another year of giving the ball to Arian Foster 350 times!
It will be amazing to see the Texans on the field, but WR Andre Johnson is playing for a division rival. Based on the outlook of this offense, I’m happy for him. He deserves a Super Bowl shot. WR DeAndre Hopkins was a worthy running mate last year and inherited the #1 WR spot. To help him, the Texans added WR Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington, but more importantly, they took WR Jaelen Strong from Arizona St. in the 3rd round. This kid can play and is a little more durable than Hopkins to pair them up nicely. Before him, the Texans filled two glaring holes by drafting CB Kevin Johnson from Wake Forest and LB Benardrick McKinney from Mississippi St. Lance.
As far as defense goes, it has the potential to be the top unit in the AFC. Besides JJ and a draft pick, they could have a healthy Jadeveon Clowney (remember last year’s contenders?) and added DT Vince Wilfork in free agency, as well as Denver’s S Raheem Moore.
Fantasy starters: RB Arian Foster, WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston D.
Fantasy Draft: RB Alfred Blue, WR Jaelen Strong
Legendary sleeper: TE Garrett Graham
When you’re a Jaguar, bad luck follows you. After scoring with his 1st round draft pick in DE Dante Fowler Jr., he promptly blew out his ACL in his first practice. This was clearly an area that needed to be addressed in the Jags D. Fortunately, they got a bit of a steal in the 6th round by taking DT Michael Bennett from Ohio State. Not much of a consolation prize right now, but he will contribute this season. After RB Toby Gerhart became an absolute bust on offense, they needed to upgrade their backfield. WR/RB Denard Robinson filled in nicely last year, but they need to think long term. So they grabbed Gamecock G AJ Cann in the 3rd round to help block RB TJ Yeldon, who they acquired in the 2nd round from Alabama. Yeldon won’t knock your socks off as a quarterback, but they needed help, and they hope he provides it.
They picked up a few late WR picks to add to their current stable of middling wideouts. No team in the league has a No. 3-5 WR group quite like the Jaguars. How they can separate them and call each their #1 and #2 is beyond me. I know getting new free agent TE Julius Thomas will definitely be a Go-To target.
Legendary starter: TE Julius Thomas
Fantasy Reserves: RB TJ Yeldon, RB Denard Robinson, WR Allen Hurns
Legendary sleeper: WR Marquis Lee
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