The 4th Down Decision: AFC South

Written by Zach Lyons, co-host of Football & Other F Words and The Flex, “The 4th Down Decision” will look at various fantasy topics from whether you should “Punt” or “Go For It”. When reading the advice please keep in mind: 12-team league, PPR, 6-pt passing TDs. All ADPs based on FantasyPros.com‘s web site.

The AFC South has seen a shift this offseason. DeAndre Hopkins is gone. Philip Rivers is here. The Tennessee Titans have consistency on offense. The Jacksonville Jaguars…well not much has changed, they’re still a dumpster fire. So let’s take a look at the fantasy outlook for the AFC South. 

Go For It: Leonard Fournette

  • Current ADP: 29 (3rd Round)
  • Current Positional Ranking: RB15

I am not going to lie, I hate myself a lot for this, but this is pretty good value for a running back, especially in PPR.

Many people may not know this, but Leonard Fournette was heavily featured in the passing game in 2019. He received 100 targets and caught 76 of them! He also had 522 receiving yards on top of his 1,152 yards rushing.

He’s actually not that bad for fantasy purposes. A third-round running back with RB1 upside is fantastic, and really he is due for positive touchdown regression, because he only got three total touchdowns last year.

Note: From now on instead of positive regression, I will be using the phrase “touchdown aggression”. It will possibly be in all caps, but feel free to use #TDAggression and let’s start a movement.

I am all about opportunity when it comes to fantasy football, and Leonard Fournette is the guy. Here are the scrubs behind him: Chris Thompson, Ryquell Armstead, and Devine Ozigbo. None of these guys are going to get Fournette, who played 83% of the offensive snaps in 2019, off the field that much.

I think people are real low on Fournette, and this could be a sneaky guy as he has the 6th-easiest fantasy schedule for running backs, and even if they get behind, he will be involved in the passing game.

Now I need to go take a long, hot shower.

Punt: T.Y. Hilton

  • Current ADP: 55 (5th Round)
  • Current Positional Ranking: WR24

Dear T.Y.,

Not this year, Eugene Marquis “T. Y.” Hilton. Not. this. Year. I will not draft you. I will not start you. You are undraftable.

You’re going to be turning 31 in November, and you are going to be trying to catch balls from Philip Rivers. Your speed is diminishing. You cannot stay healthy. I am done.

Rivers loves to throw to his first read 71% of the time, and you are not going to be able to get open fast enough for him. You are already being overshadowed by Michael Pittman’s arrival. The staff loves him. Draft nerds love him. The writing is on the wall.

You are also due too much money. I am sorry, but unless you’re playing Adoree Jackson, you are not going to be able to live up to your current draft status.

You are a WR3 at best.

Much Love,
Zach

Go For It: The AFC South as a whole

This will sound like a cop out, but the rest of the AFC South, outside a few players, are really good values.

Here are the people I hate that I’ve written about:

  1. Philip Rivers
  2. Jonathan Taylor
  3. Tyler Eifert

However, when you look at guys like D.J. Chark, Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, David Johnson, and all of the Titans players, they all can be drafted at a bargain.

The Tennessee Titans’ big four are presenting great value, as we talked about on The Flex, but since that episode a few weeks ago, A.J. Brown’s status has actually somehow improved, as he’s moved from WR10 to WR16 in PPR formats, dropping him down to the 4th round.

As much as I made fun of D.J. Chark coming out of LSU and after his rookie season, he proved that he has fantastic chemistry with Gardner Minshew, and that will just continue to build. He has a hard schedule for fantasy wide receivers, but he’s really Jacksonville’s only option, and he should eclipse 1,000 yards receiving yet again — and he’s going WR22 in the 5th round. Not bad at all.

I will throw all of the Houston Texans offense in one big thing. DeShaun Watson, to me, is the biggest wild card. What will he be without DeAndre Hopkins pulling off his acrobatic catches to bail him out? He’s going as a QB6 and really that’s probably the appropriate spot for him.

Cooks and Fuller make one whole wide receiver, but when healthy Will Fuller is on another level. Same with Cooks, so what about their values? Not bad. They’re both going in the 7th Round. I would say if I was choosing between one of them, I’d lean Brandin Cooks, but really if you have a good foundation for your roster, take a risk on one of these guys.

David Johnson is going to have a chip on his shoulder. We’ve seen him play with it before, and he was amazing. However, I am not sure what to make of him. He is going as RB19 in the 4th round. Don’t you have to take a flier on him at that round after seeing Carlos Hyde run for over a thousand yards last year?

Yes, yes you do.

In the end, I am bullish on the AFC South as a whole, and from a fantasy perspective, you’re going to be able to find a lot of value with this division week to week.

Have questions? You can reach Zach at zach@broadwaysportsmedia.com.

Love my opinions? Hate my opinions? Leave comments below, and let’s discuss!

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