AFC South Divisional Dive

by Jason Allwine · NFL

The NFL Draft is over, most free agents have been signed, and trades have been made. Barring any more major trades, we now know what each team will be working with in 2022. Before we move completely onto the next year, it is important to remember what players and teams found success in 2021. After all, a player’s fantasy success is largely tied to their team’s success. This series will serve to function as a reminder of last year’s performances and also take a look at who may breakout in 2022. Each division will have its teams dissected and I will find a player who should be a more valuable asset in 2022 than they were in 2021. Every relevant player leaving, every relevant player coming, and every draft pick is here. So without further ado, let’s take the AFC South Divisional Dive.

Tennessee Titans

2021 Record: 12-5

Offense: Points For – No. 17, Yards For – No. 6

Defense: Points Allowed – No. 19,  Yards Allowed – No. 25

Top Fantasy Players

1. Ryan Tannehill, QB – 268.36 points

2. Derrick Henry, RB – 193.3 points

3. A.J. Brown, WR – 180.9 points

Fantasy Relevant Players Leaving

1. A.J. Brown, WR – Eagles

2. Julio Jones, WR* (still a free agent)

3. D’Onta Foreman, RB – Panthers

4. Anthony Firkser, TE – Falcons

Fantasy Relevant Additions

1. Robert Woods, WR

2. Austin Hooper, TE

Draft Results

R1: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

R2: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

R3: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State / Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

R4: Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan / Chigoziem Okwonko, TE, Maryland

R5: Kyle Phillips, WR, UCLA

R6: Theo Jackson, DB, Tennessee / Chance Campbell, Ole Miss, LB

Potential Breakouts

Treylon Burks, WR

The Titans made waves on Day 1 of the Draft by trading A.J. Brown to Philadelphia. This came reportedly after Brown asked for more guaranteed money, which Tennessee refused to pay. They then used Philly’s No. 18 pick on Treylon Burks; the sixth WR drafted, but PlayerProfiler’s No. 1 rookie WR.

Treylon Burks Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Burks showed explosiveness throughout his college career against SEC opponents, though he was on a bad Arkansas team. Even with the Titans bringing in Robert Woods, Burks should find himself the main target on the offense. Granted it’s an offense that will run 30 times a game, bringing me to:

Hassan Haskins, RB

It is no secret that this is of the best systems to be in for RBs. Last year, Derrick Henry broke his foot in Week 8 and the backfield became a three-headed monster. Two journeyman backups, Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman, both found success in their opportunities. Hilliard had three games over 15 points and Foreman had four double-digit performances. Henry will be back, but this time his handcuff will be rookie Hassan Haskins.

Haskins looks to join the ranks of valuable handcuffs. In dynasty, there’s even a case that he could be the Henry’s successor. He carried the Michigan Wolverines backfield last season with 20 touchdowns and 1,327 yards rushing. After the Ohio State game, he received media coverage proclaiming him a Heisman candidate and potential first-round pick. However, a poor performance against UGA (Jordan Davis) tanked his stock. If Henry comes back lesser than he was before the broken foot, Haskins should get some change-of-pace work. If the worst happens to Henry, then Haskins could be a premier fantasy RB.

Indianapolis Colts

2021 Record: 9-8

Offense: Points For – No. 9, Yards For – No. 16

Defense: Points Allowed – No. 9,  Yards Allowed – No. 16

Top Fantasy Players

1. Jonathan Taylor, RB – 373.1 points

2. Carson Wentz, QB – 258.02 points

3. Michael Pittman, WR – 238.6 points

Fantasy Relevant Players Leaving

1. Carson Wentz, QB – Commanders

2. Marlon Mack, RB – Texans

3. T.Y. Hilton, WR* (still a free agent)

4. Zach Pascal, WR – Eagles

5. Jack Doyle, TE – retired

Fantasy Relevant Additions

1. Matt Ryan, QB

Draft Results

R2: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

R3: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia / Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan / Nick Cross, S, Maryland

R5: Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State

R6: Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State / Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati

R7: Rodney Thomas, CB, Yale

Potential Breakouts

Jelani Woods, TE

With Jack Doyle retiring, the only TE on the Colts roster was Mo Alie-Cox, a 28.6 year old undrafted TE from 2017. An obvious hole on the roster that the Colts addressed in the draft. Jelani Woods is perhaps one of the most gifted tight ends ever at 6-7, 252-pounds with a 4.61 (89th-percentile among qualified tight ends) 40-yard dash. Here is his profile in case you want to get even more excited.

Jelani Woods Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Colts are also upgrading at QB with Matt Ryan, hopefully pointing towards a stronger passing game. Woods will probably be either the second or third option on this offense next year. Behind Michael Pittman and potentially behind the next potential Colts breakout, rookie WR Alec Pierce.

Alec Pierce, WR

Again, a new QB is coming to town so for the most part the most productive WR role is up for grabs. Thankfully for Alec Pierce, Michael Pittman enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2021 cementing his role as the WR1. Unlike some of the other receivers taken in 2021, Pierce finds himself in a spot where he won’t have to take on CB1 coverage. He’s also very athletic, scoring above the 90th-percentile in his 40-yard dash, Speed Score, Burst Score, and Catch Radius. Pierce was the alpha on the Cincinnati team that made the College Football Playoffs, nearly doubling the next best Cincinnati receiver in both receptions and yards. In 2021, the Colts had a top-10 scoring offense with Carson Wentz. So if you want a piece of the Matt Ryan led Colts offense, Pierce will present excellent value for those that take the chance on him.

Houston Texans

2021 Record: 4-13

Offense: Points For – No. 30, Yards For – No. 32

Defense: Points Allowed – No. 27,  Yards Allowed – No. 31

Top Fantasy Players

1. Brandin Cooks, WR – 231.8 points

2. Davis Mills, QB – 156.96 points

3. Rex Burkhead, RB – 104.3 points

Fantasy Relevant Players Leaving

1. Deshaun Watson, QB – Browns

2. Tyrod Taylor, QB – Giants

3. David Johnson, RB* (still a free agent)

4. Danny Amendola, WR* (still a free agent)

5. Jordan Akins, TE* (still a free agent)

Fantasy Relevant Additions

1. Marlon Mack, RB

2. DaeSean Hamilton, WR

3. Pharaoh Brown, TE

Draft Results

R1: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU / Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M

R2: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor / John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

R3: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

R4: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida

R5: Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford / Tegan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State

R6: Austin Deculus, OT, LSU

Potential Breakouts

Davis Mills, QB

Fantasy success often starts with a team’s quarterback. The Texans have now shown their commitment to last year’s third round pick by trading away Deshaun Watson, letting Tyrod Taylor walk, and not drafting a QB.

Last season with barely any weapons, Davis Mills finished with a 63.6-percent (No. 9) Completion Percentage Vs Man and a 74.5-percent (No. 6) Completion Percentage Vs Zone. Now the Texans have brought in a better RB in Marlon Mack and drafted an explosive Alabama WR in John Metchie. They also promoted QB coach Pep Hamilton to full Offensive Coordinator. Hamilton is one of the league’s great offensive minds and was part of Justin Herbert‘s record breaking rookie year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

2021 Record: 3-14

Offense: Points For – No. 32, Yards For – No. 27

Defense: Points Allowed – No. 28, Yards Allowed – No. 20

Top Fantasy Players

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB – 199.04 points

2. Marvin Jones, WR – 180.2 points

3. James Robinson – 173.9 points

Fantasy Relevant Players Leaving

1. D.J. Chark, WR – Lions

2. Carlos Hyde, RB* (still a free agent)

3. Dare Ogunbowale, RB – Texans

4. Jacob Hollister, TE – Raiders

5. James O’Shaughnessy, TE – Bears

Fantasy Relevant Additions

1. Zay Jones, WR

2. Christian Kirk, WR

3. Evan Engram, TE

Draft Results

R1: Travon Walker, DE, UGA / Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

R3: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky / Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

R5: Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Miss

R6: Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist

R7: Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas

Potential Breakouts

Trevor Lawrence, QB

Expecting Trevor Lawrence to succeed last season was a tall order as nothing seemed to go right for the Jaguars. D.J. Chark only got to play three games, Travis Etienne didn’t even get to start the season, and well, we all know what happened with Urban Meyer. Lawrence entered the league with the expectations of being the next Peyton Manning, expectations that are hopefully unlocked with new head coach Doug Pederson. There hasn’t been a more slam dunk QB prospect like Lawrence since probably Andrew Luck, and it would be extremely surprising if he doesn’t pan out next season.

Doug Pederson guided Carson Wentz to a near MVP season, and was instrumental in the Eagles Super Bowl win with Nick Foles as well. Now he has one of the highest touted QBs in NFL history. Unfortunately, the Jaguars drafted an alarming zero wide receivers, so the brunt of the targets will fall on the hands of Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram. Another thing to hope for is trust in Lawrence’s mobility, which wasn’t shown much in 2021.