NFC South Divisional Breakdown Recap for 2022

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The Fantasy Footballers are here to continue their Divisional Breakdown series, delving into each division and their team’s fantasy outlooks. We head down to arguably the ugliest NFL division in the NFC South. And heavens to Betsy, this division is as cattywampus as all get-out (bless their hearts). Not only does this division boast the worst projected combined win totals at 29, but they are also the most lopsided as Tom Brady‘s Buccanneers claim the highest divisional disparity this year (11.5 O/U; rest of division avg: 5.8).

In case you missed it, our own Julia Papworth covered the NFC North breakdown, so check that out if you haven’t. Now, let’s get divisional!

Tampa Bay Buccanneers

Head Coach (NEW): Todd Bowles
Offensive Coordinator: Byron Leftwich

Offense

2021 Pace of Play PPG Total Yards Pass Att. Pass Yards Pass TDs Rush Att. Rush Yards Rush TDs
Tampa Bay Buccanneers 5 2 2 1 1 1 31 26 9

Defense

  • DEF Rush Yards – 3 / DEF Pass Yards – 21 / Points Against – 5

Schedule

  • First Four Matchups: @ DAL / @ NO / GB / KC
  • 2022 Projected Vegas Win Total: 11.5

Current ADP

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Anytime we doubt Tom Brady, he makes fools of us all by laughing death in its stupid old face. Meanwhile, Mike Evans remains Mr. 1000, consistently (yet inconsistently per week) maintaining top-tier fantasy status. It helps tremendously that he’s a TD phenom, snatching anything zipping by the endzone with gusto.

It’s difficult to draft Chris Godwin with any confidence as his status is up in the air after suffering a late ACL tear, leaving room for newly signed Russell Gage to vulture all those coveted vacated targets left behind by Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski. Gage is the perfect WR to target if you take the leap on delayed-satisfaction wideouts like DeAndre Hopkins or the multitudes of rookie receivers that may pan out by the latter half of the season.

The situation isn’t as opportune for Cameron Brate. As TE aficionado Andrew Cooper states, it’s extremely difficult for any TE to make a fantasy difference if they are not a top-two target in their offense. Even without Godwin, Brown, or Gronk, Brate feels like a lost cause as he only finished in the top-12 once in the last season. Those aforementioned vacated targets will more likely go to Evans, Gage, and Leonard Fournette instead, or Gronk might simply come back from retirement.

New Orleans Saints

Head Coach (NEW): Dennis Allen
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael Jr

Offense

2021 Pace of Play PPG Total Yards Pass Att. Pass Yards Pass TDs Rush Att. Rush Yards Rush TDs
New Orleans Saints 22 19 28 30 32 11 4 15 24

Defense

  • DEF Rush Yards – 4 / DEF Pass Yards – 14 / Points Against – 4

Schedule

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  • First Four Matchups: @ ATL / TB / @ CAR / MIN
  • 2022 Projected Vegas Win Total: 8

Current ADP

The year is 2006. Pluto was declassified as a planet, Saddam Hussein was executed, Borat had just come out in theaters… and Sean Payton made his debut as the New Orleans Saints head coach. It’s been 16 years of Payton’s reign, and now new head coach Dennis Allen will attempt to start a new era with Jameis Winston at the helm.

Winston was a volatile streamer last year, although it was obvious that Payton limited his role as he only averaged 23 pass attempts in the 8 games he played before tearing his ACL and MCL against the Bucs, a far cry below his career average of 32.8. Michael Thomas may not ever be 100% healthy and Alvin Kamara is expected to face a lengthy suspension, forcing Winston to rely on newcomers Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave, the latter being a UDK Sleeper pick. Veteran Mark Ingram could also be leaned on with some extra targets going to the Hitman’s darling, Adam Trautman, but this personally looks like an offense to avoid except in DFS or best ball leagues. By the way, do not miss out on our amazing DFS content by Content Manager Kyle Borgognoni and Lead Writer Big Daddy Betz.

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Atlanta Falcons

Head Coach: Arthur Smith
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Ragone

Offense

2021 Pace of Play PPG Total Yards Pass Att. Pass Yards Pass TDs Rush Att. Rush Yards Rush TDs
Atlanta Falcons 15 26 29 19 16 25 29 31 27

Defense

  • DEF Rush Yards: 27th / DEF Pass Yards: 18th / Points Against: 29th

Schedule

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  • First Four Matchups: NO / @ LAR / @ SEA / CLE
  • 2022 Projected Vegas Win Total: 5

Current ADP

It doesn’t get much uglier than this. While I’ll always have a place in my heart for Hawaii’s own, Marcus Mariota, it’s evident that this team is in full tank mode. There’s always a chance Mariota could surprise folks if he utilizes his legs — much like ‘wideback’ Cordarrelle Patterson did last year — but with such a depleted arsenal, turnstile O-line, and piss-poor defense, there’s not much to look forward to. Patterson was Andy’s “WildCard” Pick Last Month due to how unpredictable his fantasy production will be this year. Good luck to those brave souls who take a chance on him.

With Calvin Ridley suspended for the season, many fantasy managers are taking a gamble on rookie Drake London to emerge. However, the only surefire bet in this offense is sophomore TE Kyle Pitts, who is coming off the 2nd best rookie receiving season for a TE ever and finished as fantasy’s TE7 while only scoring once. If he can garner more Red Zone targets, then the sky’s the limit. Unfortunately, this optimism is already baked into his ADP so you’ll have to pay a hefty toll if you want to roll the dice on him.

Carolina Panthers

Head Coach: Matt Rhule
Offensive Coordinator: Ben McAdoo

Offense

2021 Pace of Play PPG Total Yards Pass Att. Pass Yards Pass TDs Rush Att. Rush Yards Rush TDs
Carolina Panthers 17 29 30 14 29 31 14 20 13

Defense

  • DEF Rush Yards: 18th  / DEF Pass Yards: 4th / Points Against 21st

Schedule

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  • First Four Matchups: CLE / @ NYG / NO / ARI
  • 2022 Projected Vegas Win Total: 7.5

Current ADP

Here. We. Go. For those of us who love narratives, we are treated to a delightful one as newly signed Baker Mayfield gets to take on his despised former team in the season opener. Who can tell what an angry Baker will do? He might wreak havoc and demolish the league with great vengeance and furious anger. Or he might fizzle as a middling QB like he’s historically done.

But this could turn out to be a great fit for Carolina’s receivers, with Mayfield possessing the 3rd best completion rate on deep-ball passes (20+ yards, minimum 20 attempts) while Sam Darnold crumbled at 31st. He’ll enjoy throwing to every fantasy analyst’s favorite WR D.J. Moore, while the contemptuous Robby Anderson stretches the field. There’s also potential breakout candidate Terrace Marshall Jr. there to hopefully improve on his disastrous rookie season where he finished with one of the LOWEST yards per route run (0.54) among rookie WRs since 2014. Oh, and there’s also elite wunderkind RB Christian McCaffrey to lean on, assuming he can stay healthy.

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