AFC South Divisional Podcast Recap for 2022
A reminder that in these divisional breakdowns, we are looking at off-season changes from 2021 – 2022, including players, rookies, coaches, etc., and how they may function in the upcoming season. Andy, Mike, and Jason will also look at the win totals and predict who they think will take the division. If you want to deep dive, head over to the UDK+. Now let’s find some hidden value in the AFC South!
Tennessee Titans (12-5)
The Titans were 13-4 in one-score games over the last two seasons, demonstrating great coaching and execution. They start the season with a healthy Derrick Henry but without AJ Brown and rookie Treylon Burks on the roster as the potential new star. Questions surround the rookie dealing with conditioning and asthma issues, and Andy reminds us that we must monitor this situation. Robert Woods is your solid second option in this offense, and he might end up being a PPR steal, with many owners looking in the direction of Burks. The offense SHOULD still run through Derrick Henry, but the Yeti is getting older and has a weaker offensive line this season. It is hard for Jason to draft him with as much confidence as usual, especially with his workload and his chance of injury. It is hard to find confidence in QB Ryan Tannehill in 2022 – he has a consistency issue, so he might just be a spot start if he ends up on your roster. TE Austin Hooper is worth a last-round dart throw, especially since the Titans have the most vacated targets and air yards in the NFL. The Vegas win total for the Titans is nine games in the 2022 season.
Indianapolis Colts (9-8)
The Colts had a rough end to their 2021 season losing a “win-and-get-in” game to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Au Revoir Carson Wentz and Bonjour Matt Ryan! It will be exciting to see how a former MVP takes advantage of a solid offensive line and offensive-minded coaches to possibly get the Colts over that playoff hangover hump. Ryan gets a significant weapon in Pitty City and the QBs hand-off darling in Jonathan Taylor, and he is a clear upgrade from Carson Wentz, even with his age. Andy cautions us to remember that Matt Ryan can be good for the team and still not be good for fantasy, and Michael Pittman might just be the only solid Colts fantasy receiving option this year. If other players emerge, it will probably be WR Parris Campbell and TE Mo-Alie Cox. Nyheim Hines, although a good pass catcher, might be nothing more than an insurance back and a snap goblin. The Colts are projected to win ten games this season.
Houston Texans (4-13)
The Texans are in this division! With an 0-4 record in one-score games, it was a rough offensive life for Houston last season. They were 24th in pace of play, 30th in points per game, and last in total yards. There were some bright spots, the brightest being Brandin Cooks, who finished as a top 20 WR despite missing a game. As he does every season, Cooks has a high floor and continues to get ignored in fantasy drafts. QB General Mills had four weeks as a top 12 QB, and no one is really targeting him in drafts, but Andy mentions that he might be the king of garbage time this season. He is someone to look at in Superflex leagues. The Texans also traded up to draft WR John Metchie to add to Nico Collins in their WR room, and this, coupled with a decent QB, could give some fantasy options. The Texans also have a strange collection of RBs – Marlon Mack (post Achilles injury), Rex Burkhead, and Dameon Pierce (incoming rookie). Jason likes to take a shot on Mack since he is a full year recovering from his injury and is going in the double-digit rounds. If he is taking a shot on any of these RBs, Mike is going with Pierce and then dropping him quickly if he does not deliver. Houston is projected to win 4.5 games this year.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14)
Closing out this powerhouse of a division is the Jacksonville Jaguars. They put their money where their mouth was and added Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, and Zay Jones in the off-season, not to mention getting Travis Etienne back from his season-ending 2021 injury. Trevor Lawrence, out of the shadow of Urban Meyer, gets Doug Pederson and a rejuvenated sense of potential. In what many say was the worst situation possible, Lawrence still threw for over 3600 yards, and Jason says a world still exists where he can be a star. The Jags spent the most money on free agents this season, one of them being Christian Kirk, who is being drafted in the double-digit rounds. Kirk has potential, but Jacksonville might simply have too many mouths to feed this year fantasy-wise. TE Evan Engram has good value here, and Jason is looking at him as a potential sleeper, but Andy vehemently disagrees. Vegas thinks the Jags will get 6.5 wins.
Wrap – Up
Andy, Mike, and Jason think the Colts will take the AFC South. The toughest player to project for Jason is Laviska Shenault, although not incredibly fantasy relevant. Andy votes the backfield in Houston, and a sneaky addition is Evan Engram – at least for Jason and Mike. Andy says Brevin Jordan, and Jason jumps in with Alec Pierce as an option.