AFC South 2020 Fantasy Breakdown
By Steve Uetz
Continuing our journey through the AFC we head south with the, wait for it, AFC South. Before we start, here is a reminder of what the team breakdowns are all about!
The team breakdowns will contain an overarching theme for each team or more specifically each offensive core. The offensive cores will be organized into four categories: FADE, NEUTRAL, BUY, and BIG BUY! ADP and auction values will somewhat reflect this but I will be adding some personal perspective with keeping some rules of thumb in mind.
Rule of Thumb #1: Each offensive core may have specific player exceptions.
Rule of Thumb #2: Every player has value at the right price.
The breakdowns will include the players to target from each team, the players’ ideal positional count for your roster, target cost for auction budget % and round #, league type preferences, along with optional blurbs from yours truly. Throughout the team breakdowns be sure to keep your eyes wide open looking for the players with coveted “Ladder Pick” label. The “Ladder Pick” players are who I have identified as those who will help you climb the ladder of fantasy football success for the 2020 season.
I have 6 teams whose offensive core make up the BIG BUY category, 8 teams in the BUY category, 12 teams in the NEUTRAL category, and the remaining 6 teams will generally be considered as a FADE. Just so we are on the same page…BIG BUY=offensive cores to target aggressively; BUY=offensive cores that are reach worthy; NEUTRAL=offensive cores (with some players exceptions both positive and negative) to be drafted at value – not to be reached for nor to be shied away from; FADE=offensive cores to pass on at consensus ranking, players to be drafted weighing risk, or players to be drafted only if at a value, larger the discount the better; always!
The Colts have a new QB, amazing O line, stout RB and WR groups, and HC Frank Reich. This offensive core is NEUTRAL, gladly targeting without reaching.
QB Phillip Rivers: QB2, priority FA, QB is too deep of a position to be drafting Rivers but always worth to keep a close eye on an established veteran with a strong supporting cast!
RB Jonathon Taylor: Low-RB2, ideal RB3, 10-12% auction, round 4, Jonathon Taylor feels a lot like Ezekiel Elliot’s rookie year. Great offensive live, in the mix with veteran RB prescence, drafted highly, studs in college, and could be a fantasy 1st rounder as a sophomore. Love him, think he will be special!
RBs Marlon Mack: (RB4, 3-4% auction, round 9) and Nyheim Hines (zeroRB and PPR target, RB5-6, 1-2% auction, round 13) are in the mix for splitting the workload. It would be wise to invest in this backfield!
WR TY Hilton: Low-WR2, ideal WR3, 6-7% auction, round 6, I think this best ball target is being a little undervalued with his cost, big upside! I think Rivers will look for him often!
WR Michael Pittman (priority FA, deep league end of bench WR) and Parris Campbell (WR5, 1-2% auction, round 14) are great complimentary pieces with TY Hilton. Both being big upside potential. The more I think about it the more I think this entire offense is undervalued!
TE Jack Doyle (TE2, borderline undraftable) and Trey Burton (priority FA, if Doyle misses time) will be more exciting options if a WR would miss time. Always best to keep an eye out for players in a good offense like this one!
The Titans were certainly remembered for their playoff run last season. Nice bit of career redemption for Ryan Tannehill and monster efforts from Derrick Henry and AJ Brown were very exciting to see! The Titans are NEUTRAL with fair ADP all around.
QB Ryan Tannehill: QB2, priority FA, glad to see him do well on this team, struggling with injuries in Miami, it is always good to see a player full potential on display, I hope he can keep it up!
RB Derrick Henry: RB1, 20-22% auction, round 1, a big stock riser for me over the course of the summer, I now have him solidified as my RB6 and 6th overall player in all formats. This king of volume looks to repeat his success with little competition behind him.
RB Darryton Evans: RB6, $1 deep auction, intriguing prospect lands in a great situation. Pass-catching upside is there!
WR AJ Brown: Low-WR1 (robust RB with elite TR), ideal WR2, 12-13% auction, round 4, he had a truly amazing rookie season being a YAC monster, but questions of statistical sustainability linger. He is the top dog in town. Buy!
WR Corey Davis: (priority FA) has potential for opportunity, he just hasn’t done much with it so far. I’m fading until proven otherwise. Opportunity and talent remain bit I want to see it consistently come together before I get on my roster.
TE Jonnu Smith: TE2, $1 deep auction, round 14 if TE waiting has gone out of control. This TE on the rise certainly has plenty of opportunity with Delanie Walker out of town. Perhaps I’m too low on him but other TE options are more exciting to me. Worth drafting for sure! If he doesn’t pan out, TE is super deep.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a FADE, every player has value at a certain price, almost all of them I will be targeting only if at a bargain. Looming loses seems likely but week to week value can still be had.
QB Gardner Minshew: A national treasure, full of Chuck Norris energy! Or did Chuck Norris (RIP) have Gardner Minshew energy? Hmmm. Anyway, the only way I’m drafting him in standard rule leagues is with the Bud Light sweepstakes in mind. Have I mentioned that he is a national treasure?! Fun guy on a bad team, I’d rather not count on garbage time points.
RB Ryquell Armstead, Devine Ozigbo, and Chris Thompson: After the release of Leonard Fournette, can one of these guys return fantasy value? We always want to keep players on our radars, but in this case I’m gonna let the radar blip. If Chris Thompson can stay on the field he has legitimate pass catching upside. Deep PPR target.
WR DJ Chark: WR2, 6-7%, late-4th/early-5th, Nope, not going sing it, can’t do it, let’s not get that song stuck in your head, I won’t do that to you my valued reader. He had a glorious breakout season, and was garbage time proof! Focal point of the offense! Call Me Maybe...ha
WR Dede Westbrook (deep PPR target, priority FA) and WR Lavishka Shenault (priority FA, deep end of bench stash) are still intriguing in the way that fantasy points can still be had in this offense, especially with the passing game if they are trailing in games.
TE Tyler Eifert: low TE2, priority FA, always has upside when he is healthy, his journey in the NFL has been rough, always flashed but has overcome some brutal injuries. Rooting for the guy, keep an eye out!
HC (and GM?) Bill O’Brien has made some “interesting” off season decisions... new faces include David Johnson and Brandin cooks but franchise WR DeAndre Hopkins is gone. Deshaun Watson alone makes this team full of NEUTRAL targets.
QB Deshaun Watson: QB1, 5% auction, round 7, rushing upside while surrounded by nice weapons continues to make him an attractive QB! This fantasy friendly offense is likely to find themselves in shoot-outs with Watson being the prime beneficiary!
RB David Johnson: “Ladder Pick”, RB2 12-13% auction, round 4, I was very happy to see that I am higher on him than the market is. Could see a lot of touches, some worry remains about what he is able to do with them. I’m ok taking that risk with a player with his inherent upside.
RB Duke Johnson: Low-RB4, zeroRB and PPR target, I wish he would be implemented more because he is a unique talent with great pass-catching ability. Houston could find themselves in some shoot-outs. Best ball target!
WR Will Fuller: Low-WR3/high-WR4, 5-6% auction, round 7, only worry is health, but when healthy the Sky is the literal limit! QB-WR Continuity will be key is the season! I’d be aggressive targeting him in Best ball!
WR Brandin Cooks: Low-WR3 (robust EB with elite TE), ideal WR4, on his 4th team now starting his 7th season, he has proven to be new location proof. Houston can put up some serious offensive numbers. PPR target!
WR Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb: Priority FAs in a good offense. Should become wildly relevant if Fuller/Cooks were to miss time!
Steve Uetz has over 15 years of experience in fantasy football. He enjoys writing fantasy football content and articles. He is very passionate about Auction Leagues. Other than his own fantasy football teams, Steve is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles & Penn State! Steve (@FantasyLadder on Twitter) is very accessible and involved in the Fantasy Football Twitter community! Reach out to him anytime for questions or advice! His primary goal is to help you win your leagues.