NFC South Offseason Recap and Power Rankings

by Christopher Buonagura · NFL

In the few short weeks since the conclusion of Super Bowl 55, the NFL landscape has changed drastically, with many teams taking entirely new forms. PlayerProfiler is a one-stop shop for all major moves, power rankings, and honest expectations for all 32 NFL teams heading into the NFL Draft and training camp. 



Each team will be broken down as follows:

  • -Overall Power Ranking and Tier – the team’s Power Ranking relative to all 32 NFL teams
  • -Notable Additions – new additions that move the needle
  • -Notable Losses – lost talent that matters
  • -Summary 
  • -Expectation – the minimum we should expect in 2021 to consider the season a success
  • -Expected Wins – based on a 17-game season
  • -Fantasy Implication – a broad spectrum look into each team’s seasonal fantasy value

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 2 (Elite) 

Notable Additions: Re-signed all major FA

Notable Losses: none 


Tampa Bay will be a dominant force in the NFL for 2021 with all relevant starters returning, but I do not expect them to lead the NFC in wins or secure the No. 1 seed. Tom Brady usually starts the year slow and this team is not perfect. However, they will dominate again in the postseason barring a Brady injury. 

Expectation: Super Bowl or Bust 

Projected Wins: 11-13

Fantasy Implication: Evans, Brady, and Gronk will all present good value at their draft ADP, avoid drafting from a messy Bruce Arians backfield.

New Orleans Saints

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 19 (Average, Lower)

Notable Additions: none

Notable Losses: QB Drew Brees, CB Janoris Jenkins, LB Kwon Alexander, TE Coach Dan Campbell, DB coach Aaron Glenn, QBs Coach Joe Lombardi, DT Malcolm Brown, WR Emmanuel Sanders, TE Jared Cook, EDGE Trey Hendrickson, DT Sheldon Rankins, LB Alex Anzalone, TE Josh Hill, CB Justin Hardee


The Saints face massive losses across the board heading into the 2021 NFL season. Starters at every major position group and coaches at multiple levels are gone. The retirement of franchise quarterback Drew Brees all but guarantees a significant decrease in total wins. Brees’ retirement is an overall positive for the organization long-term because he physically lost the ability to win in the post-season. However, a 40-plus year old Brees is still better than Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill when it comes to season win totals. This coupled with the additional roster/coaching losses will keep the Saints on the playoff bubble in 2021. This team won’t be outright bad, but they are no longer a dominant force.

Expectation: Make the Playoffs 

Projected Wins: 7-9

Bold Prediction: The Saints fail to get upper-tier production from the QB position and the extreme loss of talent/coaching has them finish in the bottom 10 in overall standings

Fantasy Implications: Player roles will be influenced by which quarterback ends up the starter. It will be tough to project accurate roles this upcoming season, but trusting the top-end talent is a safe choice. 

Atlanta Falcons

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 25 (Below Average)

Notable Additions: HC Arthur Smith, DC Dean Pees, RB Mike Davis

Notable Losses: S Keanu Neal, S Damontae Kazee, S Ricardo Allen, C Alex Mack, G Justin McCray, DE Allen Bailey 


There is little to like about the Atlanta Falcons going into 2021. Moving on from Dan Quinn is long overdue and the lasting effects of the previous regime will be felt for now. The future also points to uncertainty with many unknowns ahead. The short term roster lacks depth and the current franchise players are not long for this team.

Matt Ryan and his weapons on offense will buoy this team to at least five wins, but this season is already lost. The lack of defensive playmakers and the coaching turnaround present additional short term hurdles. Expectations are low in 2021.

Expectation: Play Competitive Football Games

Projected Wins: 4-7

Fantasy Implications: This offense will continue to be a source of fantasy value similar to previous years.

Carolina Panthers 

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 28 (Below Average)

Notable Additions: QB Sam Darnold, WR David Moore, OT Cameron Erving, OG Pat Elflein, OT Taylor Moton, OG John Miller, LB Denzel Perryman, CB A.J. Bouye

Notable Losses: WR Curtis Samuel, S Tre Boston, DT Kawann Short 


The Carolina Panthers have made minimal improvement to the roster in the offseason. The free agent additions address key weaknesses with players at good value. The team is moving in the right direction, but the players added do not move the needle towards more wins. This offense is loaded with explosive playmakers but lacks a true signal caller. The addition of Sam Darnold is a high risk and low upside approach to the most important position in sports.

The Panthers have added multiple Jets over the years with three starters in key roles (Robby Anderson, Darnold, Elfein).  Last I checked, picking up scraps from the Jets is not a winning strategy, regardless of the “Gase Effect.” Don’t expect consistent wins in Carolina this year.

Expectation: Play At a Competitive Level

Projected Wins: 3-6

Fantasy Implication: There are many popular names to select on this team, but keep in mind the touchdown total will be below average and most scores siphoned by Christian McCaffrey.


The NFC South is the division of identity crisis. The Panthers and Saints have no solidified starter at quarterback. The Falcons can’t figure it out on either side of the ball. Tom Brady sits up at night debating whether he’ll wear five rings on one hand and two on the other, or if he is a “four on one and three on the other” kind of guy. Matchups with the NFC and AFC East division will bolster the fantasy production from all parties involved.