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Hey guys, we are only a few weeks away from real football! Football that actually counts! Holy moly! I’ve been a bit tied up these past few weeks, and haven’t been able to finish my division previews (thanks a lot Sammy Watkins, Ezekeiel Elliot, Julian Edelman and Spencer Ware). So let’s do that, with the final two coming in the AFC West and South. So for today, let’s look at the AFC South!

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Tennessee Titans

The Titans made some pretty impressive moves in the offseason. In the draft, they went out and got Corey Davis from Western Michigan, who is already making a name for himself in the preseason and training camp (and isn’t a bad late-round flier in drafts either), and over the offseason, went out and got veteran wideout Eric Decker. Both moves already add to an impressive receiving corps for the young QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota, who already had a very solid 2016 season, looks primed to have an even better 2017 season. He’s currently being drafted at 72nd overall as the 8th QB off the board, which in my opinion, is just about right as he’s my 8th QB in my rankings. However, he does pose some legitimate upside, and if you aren’t going early with either Rodgers or Brady, then I think Mariota is a really great option.

As for the individual receivers themselves, I’m a little less certain. Sure, they all collectively are great for Mariota, but individually for fantasy, I can’t say for certain that one stands out over another. I wouldn’t invest in a Titans wideout for 2017, as it’s a crowded group, but I don’t mind the likes of Corey Davis (110th overall) or Decker (92nd overall) as late round fliers. Rishard Matthews is going pretty late, but I wouldn’t expect too much from him. As for Delanie Walker, I think there are better options above him and below him that have much higher ceilings, so I don’t really find myself getting him in drafts.

As for the running games, a lot of people seem to be worried about DeMarco Murray, but I don’t really mind him that much. Sure, he’s got a lot of tread on his tires, but he’s still very consistent and a great fit in this offense (unlike in Philly), so I really don’t mind him at his current ADP of 11th overall. I think it’s a great idea to handcuff him with Derrick Henry, as he should be an immediate RB1 should Murray go down, but it’s gonna cost you a little bit, because unlike typical handcuffs, he carries a 8th round price tag. Still a great option, however.

Houston Texans

Heading into the offseason and NFL Draft, the Texans didn’t have to do much to transform an already good team into a better one, and that mostly just meant for them to get rid of QB Brock Osweiler. Well, they did, and didn’t waste too much time in turning around and getting QB Deshaun Watson from Clemson. It’s still too early to tell yet if he’ll get the start over Tom Savage (thanks in part to Savage’s BFF-for-evs DeAndre Hopkins), but either candidate is a big upgrade over Osweiler. On offense, it’s more of the same from last year. I’m still interested, but not excited, about Lamar Miller. The hope is that the passing game is good enough for opposing defenses to not stack the box against Miller, but only time will tell. I’m interested, and excited about Hopkins, however. I think it’s a big upgrade from Osweiler to Savage/Watson, and I think he’ll easily finish as a Top-12, maybe even Top-10 receiver in fantasy this year.

And that’s pretty much it. The Texans are a stellar team, yet pretty simple for fantasy. You like Miller, you love Hopkins, you want their D/ST, you’re not touching anyone else, except for Savage/Watson as a streaming option. Simple as that.

Indianapolis Colts

This might get a little complicated. It’s looking more and more as the days go by that Andrew Luck is going to miss the first week of the regular season, although it looks like it might just be one week and that’s that. Which is why it’s so puzzling why everyone is avoiding him like the black plague. In fact, recently, Matt told me that he got Luck in the TENTH round of a draft of his (regular, not an industry one). Everyone is preparing for the worst for Luck, which actually makes me sort of like him if he gets to be a serious value during my drafts.

If he is only out for a week, I’m not moving T.Y. or Moncrief. For Hilton, he was still incredibly productive last year as a WR1 for both the Colts and in fantasy, and one week without Luck this year shouldn’t change that. However, it’s a lot different for Moncrief. Moncrief’s fantasy stock pretty much depends on Luck being there for Indy, and if he misses any serious amount of time, I’ll be forced to move Moncrief down some in my rankings.

As for the rest of the offense, I don’t really mind some of these names in fantasy. Frank Gore hasn’t been outside of the Top 20 in PPR leagues since Bush was in offense, and although he’s a year older, I don’t have any doubts that he can do it again. However, it’s wise to invest in a handcuff for the rookie Marlon Mack. Tehol loves him some Mack, and I originally wrote him up as a really solid college prospect before the draft.

One final name for the offense to consider is Jack Doyle. Doyle last year had his best games in the blue uniform without Dwyane Allen, and now Allen is permanently out of the picture. If you’re gonna punt on TE’s in drafts, you should eye Doyle and Eric Ebron as your guys to get.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This team is pretty rough (except for Fournette). Like I’ve said  numerous times on many different podcasts and live streams, this Jags team is like a Kansas City 2.0. A team marked by strength on the defense to mask the inefficiencies of their QB play, while relying on the ground game to give them the advantage in the end. So for fantasy, I’m going to stay the hell away from Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson (unless he’s coming at a serious value), while placing emphasis on their team D/ST and Leonard Fournette.

Matt and I disagree a TON on Fournette, and it’s pretty clear. Matt believes he’s gonna suck because Bortles is terrible, and their O-Line isn’t good enough to solely rely on Fournette to save the offense. While I slightly agree about their O-Line, the name of the game is volume in fantasy, and the production will come where there’s volume, and there’s gonna be plenty of that for Fournette. Unless I’m dead wrong and they’re gonna use their other All-Stars of T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory.

Yeah I didn’t think so.

 

 

You Can Follow Zach on Twitter @razzball_zach.

  1. Hello says:
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    Thanks for the write up. Most assuredly will be another crazy year.

    Couple questions for you-

    Would you trade marshawn lynch and Travis kelce for gronk?

    How about Christian mccaferry and cj promise for Michael Thomas?

    Thanks

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Hello: Thank YOU my man! All of these trades really depend on who you have left for WR’s and HB’s. Send me your team and I’ll take a look at both of these trades

    • hello says:
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      @Hello:

      qb- big ben
      rb- freeman, coleman, lynch, mccaffery, prosise, some others I cant remember
      wr- Antonio brown, stefon digs, rishard Matthews, Jordan Matthews,
      te- kelce
      qb2- phillip rivers

      • Zach

        Zach says:
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        @hello: Okay, great. I would pull the Gronk trade off if you can, but I wouldn’t recommend the trade for Michael Thomas

  2. Bigben says:
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    Wound up with Big Ben as my qb in last nights draft and prettt weak WRs (AB/Stefon diggs/Rishard Matthews/Jordan Matthews)

    I’m “set” at rb until injuries strike (freeman/lynch/Coleman/mccaffery)

    Would you trade Jordan Matthews or rishard Matthews and marlon Mack for Maclin and Derek Carr?

    Carr may become my starter then I’d have Big Ben and him… and maclin may end up being my wr2..

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Bigben: I don’t think you have too terrible of WR’s at all. If you can do Matthews/Matthews and Mack for Maclin and Carr, do it. I don’t care if it’s Jordan or Rishard.

  3. Ryan says:
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    I just completed a draft in my 14 team ppr league. I think my team looks fairly solid, but I am a little concerned. Is there any weaknesses I need to address before the season starts?

    qb carson wentz
    wr antonio brown
    wr doug baldin
    wr jamison crowder
    rb kareem hunt
    rb tevin coleman
    te martellus bennett
    w/r/t eric decker
    k wil lutz
    def arizona

    bn doug martin
    bn corey coleman
    bn devin funchess
    bn jason witten
    bn shan vereen

    fyi my computer crashed when I was drafting in the 3rd round. I was planning to take hilton, but I had hunt in my queue and he as auto selected. Did this work in my favor or screwed up my draft?

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Ryan: No I actually like your team quite a bit for a 14-team league. Sure, you don’t have the BEST QB of all time, but Wentz should have a very solid year and has immense upside.

      • Ryan says:
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        @Zach:
        Btw I screwed up and accidentally took Baldwin over Michael Thomas. Do you think this will hurt my team?

        • Zach

          Zach says:
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          @Ryan: I think Baldwin is better than Thomas

  4. Abe Froman says:
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    Standard scoring 16 team league. Start QB, RB, 2 WR, Flex, TE, DST, K.

    How would you rank the following keepers?

    Jordan Howard
    Todd Gurley
    Michael Thomas
    Brandin Cooks

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Abe Froman: Gurley, Thomas, Howard, Cooks

  5. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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    Hey Zach,

    Great write up! Can you give me some feedback on my 12 team, standard scoring team?

    QB – Wilson ($6), Rivers ($2)
    HB – Bell ($103), Johnson ( $120), CJ Anderson ($9), Henry ($1), Conner ($1)
    WR – Benjamin ($21), Bryant ($22), Parker ($7), J Matthews ($2), Corey Davis ($1)
    TE – Ebron ($1), J Thomas ($1)
    D/ST – Cardinals ($2)
    K – Lutz ($1)

    $300 budget, I spent$223 of on the top two players, a strategy I never have employed before. What do you think?

    Thanks, my dude!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @OldMilwaukeePounders: What’s up man!!?!?! Thanks!!! Of course I can!

      I really think you got an absolute steal with Russell Wilson. I freaking love every single one of your running backs and I really like Ebron.

      In fact, I think the smart move is to trade away Bell/Johnson for an ELITE WR1. We’re talking AB/Julio/Odell/Jordy/A.J. Green. That would make your team even stronger.

      • Zach

        Zach says:
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        @Zach: AND THANK YOU!!!!

  6. Teddy says:
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    Greetings!! .5 PPR I drafted last night & just looking for some insight regarding my team

    QB: Winston (got him round 11, 109 overall)

    RB1: David Johnson keeper
    RB2: Melvin Gordon keeper

    WR1: alshon Jeffery (round 3, 29 overall, he was best available WR after keeper selection & draft starting)

    WR2: martavis Bryant (round 5, 49 overall)

    WR3: Devante Parker ( round 7, 69 overall)

    TE: hunter Henry (round 14, 132 overall)

    Flex: flex may change week to week but currently have Christian mcaffery there got him round 4, 32 overall. I really wanted c mc I knew if I waited he’d be gone.

    Bench:
    Kareem hunt (round 6 , 52 overall)

    Brandon Marshall (round 8, 72 overall)

    Willie snead (round 9, 89 overall)

    Jeremy Maclin (round 10, 92 overall)

    Chris hogan (round 12, 112 overall)

    Jamaal Williams (round 13, 129 overall)

    Smallwood (round 15, 149 overall)

    De’anthony Henderson (round 16, 152)

    Evan Engram (round 19, 189 overall)

    D/St & kicker I plan on streaming but for week 1 I have bills D who face jets, then josh lambo chargers kicker.

    — here are a few players who went undrafted:

    QB: Wentz, Eli manning

    RB: turbin, Marlon Mack, Jonathan Williams, Alfred Morris, charcanderick west

    WR: funchess, Taylor Gabriel, Goodwin, kupp, Kenny galloday.

    TE: cam brate, fleener, Jared cook

    Based on my team stand pat, or field a trade ? I was thinking my Gordon for mike Evans straight up.

    Or what about sending my Gordon + either Marshall, Bryant or Maclin for Gronk + mike Thomas?

    Just a couple ideas I had there are no offers out there, but I’m also content in staying pat & maybe trading by week 3 or 4 so I can see where I stand

    Thank you!

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @Teddy: I actually think you have quite a good team here. You’re solid at the RB position with two top 10 guys, with plenty of WR upside picks. You don’t have textbook definition Top WR talent, but a lot of guys that could very well be halfway through the season. Guys like Parker, Snead and Bryant. As of now, hold off on the trading, but start trading if things don’t go your way around weeks 5-6 or so. Good job!

  7. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    I have cook and gore (non-ppr with David Johnson as RB1). Would you rather have Latavius Murray or Marlon Mack as a bench handcuff – or neither?

    Thanks

    TFD

    • Zach

      Zach says:
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      @The Fantasy Dick: Mack. They seem to like him in Indy, whereas I don’t think they have much hope in Minnesota with Murray, plus, he’s a bit banged up.

  8. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    Somebody just waived Maclin (12 tm, non-ppr, no TE required and we start 2 rbs, 2 wr/tes, 1 flex (rb/wr/te))

    Would you rather have Maclin than: Hogan, Eifert, Garcon, or Breida?

    Or do I sit tight since guys like Zay Jones, Ginn, Mike Williams, Rudolph, Ertz are all available later on?

    Thanks!

    TFD

    • Brent

      The Fantasy Dick says:
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      @The Fantasy Dick: Prosise is also available…is he a better bench stash than Breida? My RBs are weaker than my WRs, but if you think Maclin is an upgrade over Hogan or Eifert and Prosise is an upgrade over Breida…then let me know. thanks!

      I also heard a rumor that if/when Matt Jones is cut that the Eagles may be interested after they cut Blount…is Jones worth a stash? no denying his talent. thanks

      • Zach

        Zach says:
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        @The Fantasy Dick: Prosise is a huge upgrade over Breida, but I would have Hogan and Garçon than Maclin

      • Brent

        The Fantasy Dick says:
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        @Zach: ?Thanks Zach. Gonna grab Prosise for Breida. Would you rather have Maclin than Eifert in a league where TEs are not required, they just play as WRs?

        thanks

        • Zach

          Zach says:
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          @The Fantasy Dick: Yeah I would definitely take Maclin over Eifert

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