Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 12

By Adil Khan Deshmukh (@dillytoon)

The Fantasy playoffs are fast approaching and you need a win to get in there. Here are some players to start and sit to help guide you to that all important W…



Quarterback – Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns vs Miami Dolphins

Baker has been difficult to trust this year with his inconsistent play, even suffering the ignominy of a negative scoring week versus the 49ers. This week, that is most definitely the opposite as he faces one of the league’s whipping boys in the Dolphins.

In the past three weeks, Mayfield has scored over 17 points in standard QB scoring and that will most definitely continue this week. Whilst his yardage has hovered around the 230 mark throughout that stretch, there has been a reasonable TD haul (5 passing, 1 rushing).

Baker is a sure-fire start this week and he’s also available in a lot of leagues too!


Running Back – Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Before this season started, you wouldn’t have even considered benching Mixon. He was a player that was being taken in the second and third rounds of many fantasy drafts. Considering the draft capital that many spent on him, he’s been nothing short of a disappointment.

However, with all that doom-and-gloom now seemingly behind Mixon, he has managed to score very well over the last three weeks. In the last three games he has scored over 17 points in full-PPR, and with Finley under centre, the Bengals are committed to running the ball a lot.

This was highlighted in the loss to the Ravens, with Mixon carrying the ball 30 times.


Wide Receiver – Jamison Crowder – New York Jets vs Oakland Raiders

Two weeks ago in week 10, Crowder was marked as a top waiver-wire target and if you picked him up you would have benefited greatly.

For the past three weeks, Crowder has found the endzone and is being targeted at just under 8 targets per game. Jamison will get you that little bit closer to the fantasy playoffs this week with a home bout versus the Raiders.

The Raiders pass rush leaves a lot to be desired, this will allow Darnold to look for his favourite target in the slot. You could well see another performance around the 20 point mark (which he’s been around for the past 3 weeks).

He’s becoming a must-start, particularly with Darnold under centre. 


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Tight End – Jacob Hollister – Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

To say there aren’t a plethora of options at the Tight End position would be an understatement. Add into that melting pot the teams who have TE superstar Travis Kelce and the serviceable Hunter Henry on bye week, you could well be looking for your streaming option.

This week, that guy will be Jacob Hollister. Hollister has become a serious receiving option for the Seahawks over the past two weeks, accumulating on average 20 points in full-PPR in that time period. The 49ers was supposed to be a relatively tough matchup for him and he busted out an 8 reception for 62 yards and a TD performance.

We saw earlier on in the season Wilson’s usage of Will Dissly and now it’s Hollister time to shine.



Quarterback – Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots

This season Dak has been catapulted into the fantasy stratosphere with consistent performances week on week, failing to hit 20 points in only two weeks.

However, Dak is about to hit an extremely difficult stretch with a trip to Gillette Stadium this week followed by a home bout versus the Bills and then a trip to Soldier Field. The Patriots are the most difficult team to face for a quarterback. To date they concede on average just 8 points to the QB position.

This week may be a fallow one (just like vs the Saints), so leave Dak on your bench.


Running Back – Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The fantasy hype train that was Brian Hill came crashing down last week as he put up putrid numbers in fantasy.

The thought that he would be a plug and play starter following Devonta Freeman’s injury was a misgiven thought. It’s clear he doesn’t have the pass game capabilities that allowed Freeman to flourish more recently. His opposition this weekend whilst porous against the pass, are extremely stingy against the run.

Leave out Hill from your lineups this week as he’s likely to stink the bed again.


Wide Receiver – Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

As long as Finley is under centre, Tyler Boyd will not be a viable fantasy starter.

In the two games with Finley as QB, Boyd has averaged just over 7 points per game in PPR format. This combined with the Bengals commitment to running the ball a lot, Boyd cannot be trusted.

Additionally, Boyd was held to just 6.3 points when he faced the Steelers last time around, and that was with the Red Rifle as QB.


Tight End – Noah Fant – Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

It will be tempting to start Fant this week for many as he’s performed reasonably when compared to other Tight Ends over his past three games; highlighted by his 20 point week over the Browns.

However, this week is one to fade on expectations of him. Fant is facing the no.1 defense versus the TE position and the game is in Buffalo too.

Avoid him this week and look towards other options for your start.

Week 10 Waivers

By Adil Khan Deshmukh (@dillytoon)

We’re heading into the crunch weeks in fantasy football as we hit that beautiful path towards the playoffs. Here we’ll take a look at who you should be targeting in this week’s waiver wire.


Quarterback – Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans) – owned by 8%

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Image Credit: Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports

A good streaming option for this week in the quarterback position is the man under centre at Nissan Stadium. Tannehill has been a serviceable fantasy quarterback for the last three weeks, with him scoring 21.5 points per game on average. That has resulted in him being the QB5 throughout those weeks. In two of those games he has topped 300 passing yards and has thrown for 6 TDs plus a rushing TD to boot. 

A home tie versus Kansas City awaits, and with the potential return of Mahomes for the Chiefs; the Titans could be forced to throw the ball a lot. The Titans have a bye in week 11, so if you’re looking for a one week streaming option or some much needed bye-week help; look towards Tannehill and snap him up.


Running Back – Ronald Jones II (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – owned by 38.1%

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Image Credit: Kim Klement

The second year back out of USC has finally been named the starting running back for the foreseeable future. Since the Bucs have returned from bye, Jones has out-touched Peyton Barber 32-15, managing a 18 rushes for 67 yards and a TD stat line in the game at CenturyLink Field during week 9. 

Jones is likely to be available in the majority of leagues and two of the next three matchups are favourable. Week 10 sees the Bucs face the Cardinals and in week 12 they face the hapless Falcons. Jones is likely to occupy your flex spot during those weeks, so snap him up off waivers before somebody else does!

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Wide Receiver – Jamison Crowder (New York Jets) – owned by 54.7%

Image Credit: Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire

Now that Darnold is back from his bout with Mono, Jamison Crowder has returned to fantasy relevance. In the week 9 bout with Dolphins, Crowder amassed 83 yards from 8 receptions and a score. For those in PPR leagues, a 22.3 point haul from a guy who’s most likely to have been occupying a flex position is incredible value. Darnold has really struggled to stretch the field consistently since coming back, dispelling hopes of a Robby Anderson return to fantasy form, and this has resulted in him finding Crowder repeatedly for short yardage gains. 

Week 10 sees the Jets face the Giants in the battle of the Meadowlands, a matchup that is most likely to be very favourable to Crowder. When you factor in the next 5 games into the picture, Crowder could be absolutely vital to your fantasy hopes. After the Giants, they face the Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and the Dolphins; a mouthwatering stretch for all you fantasy fiends.


Wide Receiver – DeVante Parker (Miami Dolphins) – owned by 22.9%

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Image Credit: Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire

As long as Fitzpatrick us under centre for the Dolphins, there is some viability to Parker for your fantasy team, particularly for PPR leagues.

In each of the past 5 games for the Dolphins, Parker has managed to score over 10 fantasy points in PPR. There have been 4 touchdowns in 5 of those games, and the team is likely to throw the ball a lot considering their QB and the likelihood of them falling behind. This week’s opposition in the Colts doesn’t provide that juicy matchup that a lot are looking for, however he will be serviceable as a flex player.

Also, if you manage to make it into the playoffs, the stretch through weeks 14-16 are great as they face the Jets, Giants and the Bengals.

Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 8

By Adil Khan Deshmukh (@dillytoon)


QB – Jared Goff (LA Rams) vs Cincinnati Bengals 


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Image Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whilst the LA Rams offense has been nowhere near as efficient in past seasons, the matchup in London for QB Jared Goff is a juicy one. The hapless opposition this time round is the Bengals and their woeful defense. The Bengals come into the week with the worst record in football at 0-7 and they are the 7th worst team at giving up points to the quarterback position. Goff has had his good weeks (last week in Atlanta) and his bad weeks (home to SF), but he can be relied upon in this game to provide a good baseline of passing performance.


RB – Chase Edmonds (Arizona Cardinals) at New Orleans Saints


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Image Credit: Joseph Maiorana

All signs are pointing towards David Johnson being out this weekend after him taking just the first snap last week. What resulted in Chase Edmonds fully taking over the backfield and running amok for 126 yards rushing off 27 attempts for 3 touchdowns. In full PPR he amassed a whopping 35 points. Elite levels can be tempered this week with the extremely good Saints rush defense, however Edmonds will easily provide RB2 numbers. Plug him in and reap the rewards.


WR – Courtland Sutton (Denver Broncos) at Indianapolis Colts


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Image Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

A major trade this week resulted in Emmanuel Sanders swapping his 2-5 record for a pristine 6-0 record in San Francisco. The knock-on effect of this is that Courtland Sutton is going to be a target monster for this team. Sutton has impressed this season, considering how pitiful the Broncos have been as an actual team to date. Sutton has surpassed double-digits in all but one game this season (full PPR) and that was against the Bears. It’s likely the Broncos find themselves behind against the Colts and they will be forced to throw the ball, lending a hand to nicely pad out Sutton’s stat line. He could even be a WR1 on the week against a middle-of-the-pack Colts defense against the wide receiver position.


TE – Gerald Everett (LA Rams) vs Cincinnati Bengals 


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Image Credit: Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Yes we’re advocating a Goff/Everett stack this week. For those that are needy for the TE position, Everett is going to be your guy. In three of the last four weeks, Gerald has scored 15 points or more in full PPR. There seems to be a concerted effort to get him the ball, with him garnering at least 8 targets a game in those 15+ scoring games. The last time the Bengals faced such a high volume TE, they were torched by Mark Andrews. Everett is a sure-fire TE1 this week as London will come calling for many fantasy points! 


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QB – Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) @ Tennessee Titans


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Image Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

Sorry Jameis truthers, this quarterback is just simply too unreliable for you to be putting into your fantasy lineups on any given week. Whilst Jameis threw for 400 yards, this was tempered by his disregard for any modicum of good quarterback play. He threw five interceptions on the day and fumbled twice (losing one). The Titans defense is relatively difficult to pass the ball on, with them ranking 9th versus quarterbacks. Look away from Jameis and place your fantasy hopes elsewhere.


RB – Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals) @ LA Rams


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Image Credit: Frank Victores / AP

As most of us have figured out by now, the Bengals are a bad football team this season. They are bad to the level that none of their running back options are scoring in fantasy. For a guy who many spent relatively high draft capital on, Mixon has far from produced the goods. The past two weeks he has failed to surpass 10 fantasy points, with his performance versus the Jags standing out with a 10 attempts for 2 rushing yards stat line. Game script is not going to be Mixon’s friend so expect to see plenty of Gio Bernard on the field as the Bengals try to throw their way back into the game.


WR – Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia Eagles) at Buffalo Bills


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Image Credit: Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

To say the Bills defense is good this season would be an understatement. Finally there is a team in the AFC East that is attempting to challenge the Patriots for a divisional title. Against all four offensive skill positions, the Bills feature in the top-10 for fantasy points scored against them. Alshon is certainly a highly capable player but this is not a plus matchup for him. In fact for the next two weeks they aren’t plus matchups as he faces the Bears the week after.


TE – TJ Hockenson (Detroit Lions) vs New York Giants


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Image Credit: Ron Schwane / AP

It will be tempting for many to put Hockenson into your lineups, especially as his opposition is the hopeless Giants. However, don’t let that fool you, as they are only giving up 7.9 points (PPR) to the TE position. The Giants may sport a horrible 2-5 record on the season, but they just don’t give much to this position. Additionally, since his week 1 explosion, he has not surpassed 4 receptions in a single game and will be highly touchdown dependent. Don’t let the TE position burn you this week so stay off the Hock-monster and pick someone else!

Full10Waivers – Week 6

By Adil Khan Deshmukh @dillytoon

Week 5 is in the books and we hope you’re sporting a 5-0 or 4-1 record.

There’s plenty of time left in this season to turn it around and the best place to that is the waiver wire! So here are the guys that you should be looking out for this week…


Gardner Minshew – Quarterback – Jacksonville Jaguars – owned by 18.7%

The man with the fantastic name is your number one QB waiver wire pickup this week.

Sixth round pick Gardner Minshew has surprised everyone in the league with his consistent fantasy performance. To date has broken 16 points in each week (4-pt passing leagues), with him throwing two TDs on 4 of 5 occasions. Minshew has struck a chord with DJ Chark, who was one of my waiver wire suggestions a few weeks back.

Look to Minshew to provide a solid performance against New Orleans. He won’t blow your socks off but you’ll get by without suffering a single digit score.


Auden Tate – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals – owned by 13.7% 

With the impressive John Ross injured and AJ Green still in the treatment room, there has been another player that has emerged as a reasonable WR option.

Tate is clearly the Bengals’ WR2 and the team as a whole has spent swathes of the season playing from behind. This has meant the Red Rifle Andy Dalton has needed to pass the ball a significant amount.

In the last three games Tate has averaged 11.1 points. Whilst this again is not a substantial amount, WRs Allen Robinson and TY Hilton are on bye, Davante Adams has turf-toe, Tyreek is questionable still… I could go on, however you may be really in need of a WR. Tate will provide that 10 point performance that may get you by.

After-all it’s better than having a player giving you a goose-egg!


Mohamed Sanu – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons – owned by 43.3%

The surprising news this year (compared to pre-season predictions) is that the Atlanta Falcons suck as a football team.

The defense is woefully bad, but that has meant that Matty Ice has thrown the ball a lot. Those who picked Julio Jones this year have been woefully disappointed, but a man that you should definitely be looking out for is Mohamed Sanu, particularly in PPR leagues. Sanu has broken 10 points in 4 of the 5 games this season aided by him seeing at least 5 targets in every game this season.

Look to Sanu as an immediate flex guy or bye-week fill-in.


Chris Herndon – Tight End – New York Jets – owned by 12%

Sam Darnold aka Mr Mono has been cleared to return for the Jets and this immediately increases the value of the pieces on the Jets offense.

Whilst HC Adam Gase has stated he wants to see Herndon on the practice field, it’s almost certain he will be on the field significantly come this weekend. With TEs Waller and Ebron on bye, you may well be looking for a guy who’s going to get a reasonable target share.

Dallas have given 14.1 points per game to the TE position this season and Herndon could well benefit from this. 


Fantasy Waivers: Week 3

By Adil Khan Deshmukh – @dillytoon

Where did the first two weeks of the season go?

We hope you picked up Terry McLaurin and John Ross over the last week as they produced stellar fantasy performances in Week 2. Let’s take a look at the guys that you should be looking to acquire ahead of Week 3.

Josh Allen – Quarterback, Buffalo Bills – owned by 30%

Image Credit: Associated Press (AP)

Week 2 was the demise of a couple of veteran quarterbacks, with Drew Brees tearing ligaments in his hand (6 weeks injury) and Ben Roethlisberger ruled out of the rest of the season with an elbow injury. So if you’re licking your wounds from losing your QB, or you’re in the business of streaming your QB, we have found your guy.

Allen is surprisingly undervalued in fantasy terms, particularly as he was the QB2 for the final 5 games of the 2018 fantasy season (we don’t count wk17). So far after two weeks in the 2019 season, he is QB12 and has come off a decent fantasy performance versus the New York Giants (22.1 points). He has thrown for over 250 yards in both games this season, a feat he didn’t achieve in his rookie year. With Allen’s propensity to scoring rushing TDs (scored in both games this season) and with a plus matchup in their home season debut versus the Bengals, look to him to be your QB going forward. 


Raheem Mostert – Running Back, San Francisco 49ers – owned by 11%

Image Credit: Associated Press

The 49ers have been sneaky good to start the season, with them starting the season 2-0. Jimmy G looks good and the running back duo of Breida and Mostert both are playing well and that’s before we get to the master of vulture Jeff Wilson. 

Mostert in week 2 rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries and had 3 catches for 68 yards and a TD. The Niners face a struggling Pittsburgh side next, who may struggle to keep the offense on the field after their spate of injuries. Mostert will have a lot of flex appeal in week 3, ahead of their week 4 bye so pick him up and reap the rewards.


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DJ Chark – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars – owned by 22.2%

Image Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images

Chark over the first two games has performed more than admirably, particularly as they have lost their franchise QB Nick Foles to injury. Week 1 he scored 24.6 points in full-PPR, by way of 4 receptions for 146 yards and a TD, and then followed that up with 7 receptions for 55 yards and a TD in Houston. 

The second week performance was key, as this came with the brilliantly named Gardner Minshew under centre. Now the schedule is not that kind to the Jaguars, with them facing the Titans, Broncos and the Panthers in their next three outings. Pick him up and matchup dependent stick him in your flex.


Demarcus Robinson – Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs – owned by 1.1%

Image Credit: Arizona Daily Star

The human cheat code. Yes, you know who we’re talking about – Patrick Mahomes. He elevates guys on his offense from relative unknowns to fantasy superstars. 

Week 2 was the turn of Demarcus Robinson to ‘ball-out’ with an incredulous 6 catches for 172 yards and 2TDs. Four of the Chiefs receiving corps scored over 10 points in full-PPR and with Tyreek Hill out for an unknown period of time we can expect the targets to remain spread as Mahomes continues to blitz the league. Week 3 brings the matchup against the Ravens, who just let Kyler Murray throw for 349 yards on them. Robinson was on the field for 69% of snaps so look to him to provide your x-factor in the coming weeks.


Greg Olsen – Tight End, Carolina Panthers – owned by 58.7%

Image Credit: JASON E. MICZEK AP

The old man is back to producing fantasy performances! If you are one of those that do not own Kelce, Ertz, Kittle or Andrews; you’re probably scrambling to find the guy who will obtain a reasonable number of points at the TE position. In week 2, Olsen had a stat line of 6 receptions for 110 yards for a massive 17 points in PPR.

This has all happened whilst Cam Newton has been nothing short of disappointing with his inability/refusal to move around the pocket. Next up for the Panthers is a trip to Arizona and their swiss cheese defense in relation to covering the tight end. In the first two weeks, they have given up 131 yards/1TD to Hockensen and 112 yards/1TD to Andrews. Look to Olsen to provide that matchup specific stellar performance when you’re in need.

Fantasy: DraftKings/DFS Week 2

by Adil Khan Deshmukh – @dillytoon

Week 1 is in the books, we hope you did well in your DraftKings contests last week and will heed our beautiful advice ahead of Week 2! So who are you going to be picking in your DraftKings lineups this week?

QB – Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers vs Seattle Seahawks – $5800

Whilst Big Ben did not have the best of times in Foxboro, look to him to have a big game against Seattle this weekend. In Week 1 we saw the Red Rocket Andy Dalton rack up 418 passing yards and 2 passing TDs against the Seattle D, whilst having premier WR AJ Green on the sidelines and Joe Mixon banged up for a significant portion of the game. Juju, Conner and co. will aid Big Ben plenty in getting a value return from the QB position.

RB – Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – $7200

The Vikings offense seems to have committed to pounding the rock this season with Dalvin Cook racking up 21 carries for 111 yards and 2TDs in week one. The team made a total of 38 rushing attempts over the game and this was a stark contrast to Kirk Cousins only throwing the ball 10 times. Whilst the balance between the run and passing game is unlikely to be the same at Lambeau, expect Dalvin Cook to have another very good game with the potential for a few more receptions out of the backfield.

RB – Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers @ Detroit Lions – $7100

Ekeler is primed for another elite performance this week with Melvin Gordon still holding out on the Chargers. In week one, Ekeler scored a massive 39.4 points on the DK platform and the signs are pointing towards another big one. There were questions as to how the 1a (Ekeler) vs 1b (Justin Jackson) touches share would pan out and it was massively in Ekeler’s favour. There are questions over Mike Williams’ fitness for this weekend and when combined with Hunter Henry’s unfortunate injury; you can surmise that Ekeler’s target share in the passing game may increase.

WR – Sammy Watkins – Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders – $7200

To say Watkins killed it in week one would be an understatement. Mahomes found him on 9 of 11 targets for a whopping 198 yards and 3TDs. Last week’s haul was a massive 49.8 points and it’s not difficult to see that Watkins is going to be a target monster this week. 

Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The big reason behind the solid target share we expect him to have is the injury to Tyreek Hill who is expected to be out for a significant period of time with a shoulder injury. Whilst some of the work will go to Mecole Hardman, the lion’s share of receptions will go towards the main two targets in Watkins and Kelce in this high powered irresistible team. 

WR – Michael Gallup – Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins – $5600

The Cowboys wide receiver corps performed exceedingly well in week one. Both Amari Cooper and Gallup surpassed 100 yards receiving on the day with slot receiver Randall Cobb also getting over 60 yards. They now face a Redskins D who allowed Wentz to throw over 300 yards with DeSean Jackson burning them for 154 yards and 2 TDs from 8 receptions. Cooper will receive the attention of Josh Norman, therefore leaving Gallup to pick off the Washington Defense one reception at a time. Put him in your lineup, you won’t regret it! 

WR – Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens vs Arizona Cardinals – $5000

To win in Daily contests generally you need to have that gem of a pick who has the potential to completely score big for minimal investment. This week, that man is Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown. Brown took the league by storm in week one, amassing 147 yards, 2TDs off just 4 receptions (5 targets). Everything is primed for a repeat big time performance with the Ravens facing the Cardinals; a team that is missing their top-two cornerbacks. During this week, Brown has said that he was disappointed with his top speed shown on Next Gen Stats, hampered slightly by a hip injury. Bad news Cardinals, he’s even more rested and he’s only going to get quicker! Stick him in your lineup this week, at $5000 he has the ability to go big this week!

TE – Darren Waller – Oakland Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs – $3300

It’s easily tempting to go with one of the big 3 in the tight end position, with Kelce and Kittle being the ones that are playing in the Sunday slate of games. However, this is a position in which you can get real good value and this week Darren Waller is most definitely that guy! In week one, Waller was the only player (outside of Carr / OL) to play every single snap. This led to him scoring 14 points from 7 receptions for 70 yards. Whilst the Chiefs have a high powered offense, their defense is still frail. With the loss of AB prior to the regular season starting, Waller will feature a lot in the passing game. Reap the rewards of this truly bargain signing at just $3300.

FLEX – Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers – $6400

Carson balled out week one in fantasy, he scored a touchdown on the ground and through the air. He racked up 46 yards on the ground and was heavily involved in the passing game with 6 receptions for 34 yards. 80 yards total may not sound like a lot but with the PPR benefit of 6 receptions from a running back, he managed to score 25 points in the week. 

DST – Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars – $2800

The Jaguars’ QB1 Nick Foles is down with injury for the foreseeable future, with 6th round pick Gardner Minshew taking up the reins under centre. He may have been able to move the ball on the Chiefs defense, but the Texans D is a whole different kettle of fish. JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus will be just that, merciless; as they pursue Minshew all over and shutting his offense down. The Texans have just come off the gut wrenching defeat in New Orleans and they will be pumped to give their divisional rivals a beat down. 

AFC South Breakdown

By Adil Khan Deshmukh (@dillytoon)

Last Season
Texans 11-5

Colts 10-6

Titans 9-7

Jaguars 5-11

Houston Texans:

Draft Selections: Tytus Howard OT (1.23), Lonnie Johnson Jr. CB (2.22), Max Scharping OT (2.23), Kahale Warring TE (3.22), Charles Omenihu DE (5.22), Xavier Crawford CB (6.23), Cullen Gillaspia FB (7.06)

Off-season key additions: Tashaun Gipson FS, Bradley Roby CB, Matt Kalil LT, Duke Johnson RB (traded from Browns)

Off-season key departures: Tyrann Mathieu FS, Kareem Jackson CB, Kevin Johnson CB

Super Bowl Odds: 40/1

Analysis:

The Texans won the AFC South title last season with their stellar 11-5 record, however they were swept aside by the Colts in the Wildcard game 21-7 at NRG Stadium. However, DeAndre ‘big hands’ Hopkins ended the season as probably the most feared WR in the game and their defensive line is not too shabby either. The Texans decided to let the ‘Honey Badger’ Tyrann Mathieu leave to the Chiefs and they also lost their premier CB (Kareem Jackson) to the Broncos. At the time, GM Brian Gaine (now with the Bills), had tried to fill the gaps in the secondary with Tashuan Gipson (from Jacksonville), Bradley Roby and 2nd round draft pick Lonnie Johnson Jr. It’ll be interesting to see whether the secondary is effective as last year, but they sure can rush the opposing QB with JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. On the offensive side of the ball, they will run through messrs Deshaun Watson and Hopkins. Following D’Onta Foreman’s release, they acquired Duke Johnson in a trade with the Browns and he will provide a decent foil for Lamar Miller in the backfield. The biggest bug bear for most Texans fans was their inability to protect the QB, with their offensive line giving a league high 62 sacks and 126 QB hits. They’ve attempted to bolster their line with first round pick Tytus Howard and the acquisition of Matt Kalil (1 year deal).

Look out for: The ongoing saga that is franchise tagged DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney has reached three successive Pro Bowls and wants to ‘get paid’ just like other elite defensive linemen. It will be interesting to see whether the Texans do indeed canvass the league for a trade. The most likely destinations from a cap space point of view are within the AFC South so it’s unlikely they’ll want to bolster their division rivals. As far as retaining their AFC South title, much will depend on how they deal with their difficult road start, with their first three away games against the Saints, Chargers and Chiefs. Additionally, they also have their first trip across the pond to the mighty Wembley Stadium.

Indianapolis Colts

Draft Selections: Rock Ya-Sin CB (2.02), Ben Banogu LB (2.17), Parris Campbell WR (2.27), Bobby Okereke LB (3.25), Khari Willis S (4.07), Marvell Tell III S (5.06), E.J. Speed LB (5.26), Gerri Green DE (6.26), Jackson Barton OT (7.26), Javon Patterson C (7.32)

Off-season Key Additions: Justin Houston DE, Devin Funchess WR, Spencer Ware RB

Off-season Key Departures: None

Super Bowl Odds: 16/1

Analysis:

The Colts came into the 2018 season off the back of an abysmal 2017 season and questions over how well Andrew Luck would play following a year on the sidelines. Fast forward a few months and Luck had answered that question with being awarded Comeback Player of the Year but that didn’t tell the full storyline. The Colts opened the season 1-5 and subsequently went to win 9 out of the next 10. The backbone of that charge was the offensive line, holding opposing defences to a league-best 18 sacks in the regular season. This offensive line is still intact for this season and the ‘pancake monster’ Quenton Nelson will only get better in his second year. When you add a top pass rusher in Justin Houston to the extremely impressive Darius Leonard, the limit could really be the sky for the Colts this season. It goes without saying that Andrew Luck and T.Y. ‘the Ghost’ Hilton are the elite skill position guys on offense. When you add the plethora of Tight Ends (TD magnet Ebron, Doyle, Alie-Cox), WR Devin Funchess and the potential of Parris Campbell and Deon Cain; Luck certainly has a lot of weapons to play with.

Look out for: We are in the midst of another Andrew Luck off-season injury drama. Luck has been struggling with a calf/high ankle injury of some sort which has inhibited his lateral movement. Colts fans are all too familiar with off-season injury drama regarding their franchise QB and it is still undecided whether he suits up for the season opener against the Chargers. As far as backup QBs go, Jacoby Brissett is a capable player, but he’s no Andrew Luck. Keep your eyes peeled on this situation as the Colts season completely depends on Luck’s fitness.

Tennessee Titans

Draft Selections: Jeffery Simmons DT (1.19), A.J. Brown WR (2.19), Nate Davis G (3.18), Amani Hooker S (4.14), D’Andre Walker LB (5.30), David Long Jr. LB (6.15)

Off-season Key Additions: QB Ryan Tannehill, Rodger Saffold G, Adam Humphries WR, Cameron Wake DE

Off-season Key Departures: Josh Kline G, Brian Orakpo (retirement), Quinton Spain G

Super Bowl Odds: 66/1

Analysis: 

To say that the Titans have been consistent over the last three seasons would be an understatement. They have been distinctly just above average by obtaining a 9-7 record in each of the seasons. The latter part of the 2018 season paved the way for Derrick Henry to break into the history books and it’s likely the Titans will try and rely on him as a workhorse back. They brought in free agent WR Adam Humphries to play the slot and we will see if he makes another stepped improvement from the 800+ yards he accrued last year. The quarterback position (as of this article being written) appears to be still up for grabs following the Titans’ trade for Tannehill from Miami. If we make the assumption that Mariota keeps the starting job, you just need to look at his stat line from last season – 2528 passing yards. This was the lowest of his career, and whilst he was marred by multiple injuries (nerve endings affecting hand / neck), he’s currently a middling quarterback at best. On the defensive side of the ball, they have a good pass rusher in Jurrell Casey and have added the well experienced Cameron Wake. Their first round draft pick Jeffery Simmons tore his ACL, compounding the loss of Brian Orakpo to retirement, thus the interior of the D-line is a bit weak. 

Look out for: The QB battle in Nashville should be clearer come Week 1. However, Mariota is on the 5th year of his rookie contract and neither him or Tannehill have managed to set the NFL on fire. It will be interesting to see if Mariota is able to stay healthy this year but one should not hold their breath. The benefit for the Titans fans is that once he does go down injured, they don’t have to rely on a QB like Blaine Gabbert. Unfortunately for the Titans, they just don’t have enough elite talent to get excited about for this coming season. 

Jacksonville Jaguars 

Draft Selections: Josh Allen OLB (1.07), Jawaan Taylor (2.03), Josh Oliver TE (3.05), Quincy Williams LB (3.35), Ryquell Armstead RB (5.02), Gardner Minshew QB (6.05), Dontavius Russell DT (7.21)

Off-season Key Additions: Nick Foles QB, Jake Ryan ILB, Chris Conley WR

Off-season Key Departures: Malik Jackson DT, Tashaun Gipson FS, Donte Moncrief WR, Ereck Flowers RT, TJ Yeldon RB, Blake Bortles QB

Super Bowl Odds: 50/1

Analysis: 

All aboard the change train at the Jags with them spending the big bucks on Super Bowl MVP and future-HOF (I jest on the second bit) Nick Foles; we mark the end of the Bortles era in Northern Florida. The Bortles era ended in a flop with the team being rock bottom of the division having only just been in the AFC Championship Game in 2017. Foles is a significant improvement on Bortles and the team has talented receivers that need to push on during their second (DJ Chark) and third seasons (Dede Westbrook / Keelan Cole) in the league. The question in the backfield will be whether Fournette succumbs to another injury (and subsequently ruins fantasy seasons for people). On the defensive side of the ball they have lost top players in Jackson and Gipson but they did draft Josh Allen. Their corners are still lock-down with AJ Buoye and Jalen Ramsey arguably being the best pairing in the league. As with every year, the Jags will make the trip over to Wembley and it will be interesting to see whether Foles continues the Bortles Wembley Magic!

Look out for: Major improvements in the passing game, one of the receivers from this corps could well have a break-out year as is common with third-year receivers. However, the Jags fans will be feeling Blue after the inevitable injury that will beset Leonard Fournette; turning their offense into one that is pass-heavy.

2019 Season Predictions
Texans 11-5

Colts 10-6

Titans 7-9

Jaguars 6-10

*Ratings created with assumption that Andrew Luck is healthy