Football is back! With the preseason underway, fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy players want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential. In the seventh part of an eight-part series, I will look over the AFC South and provide ADP values, likely to bust candidates and potential sleepers.
Players ADP is from Fantasy Pro’s PPR ADP.
Be sure to check out all eight parts of Fanelli’s ADP values, busts, and sleepers series.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (QB11, 90.8 ADP)
When fantasy players think about the Titans, rarely do they start with Tannehill. However, that might change after this year. Last season, Tannehill finished as the QB7, averaging a career-high 21.5 fantasy points per game. The biggest jump in Tannehill’s production last season was the touchdowns. Tannehill not only had a career-high 33 passing touchdowns last season but a career-high seven rushing touchdowns. However, despite some concerns about regression earlier this offseason, those numbers should easily repeat themselves in 2021.
Tannehill had a 7.1 percent touchdown rate last season, which could easily be repeated this year, especially with the addition of Julio Jones. Furthermore, of Tannehill’s 30.1 pass attempts per game last season, 15 percent came in the red zone. After losing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in free agency, Tannehill was an obvious regression candidate. However, after trading for Jones, Tannehill has two elite receivers and a tank in the backfield. Fantasy players should expect another mid QB1 finish from Tannehill this season, making him a value at his current ADP.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (WR35, 93.8 ADP)
Last season, Cooks had 119 targets in 15 games, 10 short of his career-high 129 from 2015. However, he picked up his pay once Will Fuller got suspended. In the four games without Fuller, Cooks averaged 7.3 catches on 10.3 targets per game. Over a 17 game pace, Cooks would have had 175 targets last season without Fuller, easily setting a career-high. Furthermore, Cooks averaged 9.6 more fantasy points per game without Fuller in the lineup last season. While Deshaun Watson is unlikely to play this season given his legal situation, Cooks will be the focal point of the passing attack. Despite the drop in quarterback play from Watson to Tyrod Taylor or Davis Mills, expect Cooks to see enough targets to be a weekly top 30 wide receiver.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB26, 65.2 ADP)
As a rookie, Robinson averaged 101 scrimmage yards and 17.9 fantasy points per game, finishing as the RB7. However, the Jaguars added several weapons in the offseason that will hurt Robinson’s value. They started with the addition of Marvin Jones. He will give Trevor Lawrence a veteran receiver he can count on consistently. The Jaguars then used their other first-round pick on Travis Etienne. Furthermore, the Jaguars also added Phillip Dorsett, Jamal Agnew, and Carlos Hyde. All three won’t play massive roles themselves but will take some touches away from Robinson.
Last season, the Jaguars lacked weapons, and Robinson benefited from it. He had a usage rate over 30 percent, ranking fourth among running backs. Furthermore, Robinson accounted for over 85 percent of the backfield touches and played 74.3 percent of the snaps. With all the new additions, the Jaguars won’t need to rely on Robinson as much, making him a low-end flex option at best. Short of an injury to Etienne or trade to Atlanta, Robinson isn’t worth his current ADP cost.
DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (WR34, 90.3 ADP)
Coming off a sophomore season breakout, Chark regressed last year. His target share dropped 1.8 percent, his touchdown rate dropped 1.6 percent, and his fantasy points dropped 3.3 per game. Furthermore, during his breakout season, Chark was very inconsistent weekly. He had seven games with 16.5 or more fantasy points. By comparison, he scored 11 or fewer fantasy points in the other eight games, scoring under 7.5 in five of them. Meanwhile, there have been reports this offseason of Urban Meyer criticizing Chark. Furthermore, Chark’s finger injury will likely cost him the rest of training camp and could put his Week 1 status at risk. With Laviska Shenault shinning in camp and the addition of Jones, Chark could find himself as the team’s third receiver, making his fantasy outlook bleak.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (WR44, 112.8 ADP)
Despite finishing third on the team with 79 targets last season, Shenault led all wide receivers in total fantasy points with 157.1 and catches with 58. Furthermore, even with the inconsistent quarterback play, Shenault had 600 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with five touchdowns. Even without consistent targets each week, Shenault scored 11 or more fantasy points in half of his games last season. Now, with Lawrence under center and Meyer on the sidelines, expect Shenault to have a bigger and consistent workload each week. Reports are Shenault has impressed Meyer while Chark has disappointed. Furthermore, Chark’s injury opens up more opportunities to earn the WR1 role in Jacksonville. Instead of taking Chark, fantasy players should wait two rounds and grab Shenault.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (WR58, 153.7 ADP)
While Hilton is on the wrong side of 30, the speedy receiver is due for a bounce-back season. Over the past two seasons, Hilton has dealt with quarterbacks who couldn’t throw the ball downfield. In 2018 with Andrew Luck, Hilton averaged a career-high 10.6 yards per target. By comparison, he has 7.4 and 8.2 yards per target over the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz averaged 4.8 deep ball attempts (further than 20 air yards) per game last season despite a lack of weapons. In 2018, Hilton finished as the WR14 in 14 games, averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game. While he won’t return to his end-high WR2 level, Hilton has become a complete afterthought.
Currently, some wide receivers going ahead of him include DeVante Parker and Cole Beasley. While Hilton is on the wrong side of 30, the addition of Wentz will help him rebound to his old form. Furthermore, the Colts made it a priority to re-sign Hilton this offseason. They also waited till the seventh round of the draft to add a wide receiver. Hilton has all the tools needed to finish as a top-36 wide receiver and weekly flex option for fantasy owners. While all your league mates pass on Hilton, be smart and take him at his current ADP as your WR4 or WR5.
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