We’ve taken our tour around the NFL, looking at each team and figuring out their best bets for increasing their fantasy football production through the 2020 NFL Draft. Today, we finish that look around the league by taking a gander at the AFC South and figuring out which positions we hope they target to help our selfish fantasy football goals.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Houston Texans
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
Picks: #40 (round 2, from Arizona), #57 (round 2), #90 (round 3), #111 (round 4, from Miami), #171 (round 5), #240 (round 7), #248 (round 7, compensatory pick), #250 (round 7, compensatory pick)
The Houston Texans have had an extraordinarily baffling 2020 so far. They were up, 21-0, on the Kansas City Chiefs. They faced a fourth-and-short in their own territory. Had they converted, they could have put their boot on the Chiefs’ throats. Instead, they kicked a field goal, and the Chiefs unleashed an unholy torrent of pain and destruction, dropping 28 points in that quarter and 51 points in the game.
Then, for some unknown reason, and more curious for our purposes, they traded DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a second-round pick. They also signed Randall Cobb. It left massive questions in their wide receiver room, and most curiously, it did not end up with them snagging a first-round pick. So, they must make do without a first-round pick. And they need to both replace DeAndre Hopkins and keep Deshaun Watson upright.
The second-rounder the Texans snagged for Hopkins likely will end up being the player that replaces Hopkins. As of right now, the Texans have Keke Coutee, Randall Cobb, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills at receiver. That’s a lot of #2 and #3 receivers without a talented guy to cap it off. Sort of a… DeAndre Hopkins-type. This is the place where many, many mock drafts have them going (for obvious reasons). The big names here are Jalen Reagor, Michael Pittman, or Chase Claypool taking their Talents to Houston.
As for an offensive lineman, Deshaun Watson was the fifth-most sacked quarterback last season, which does not set up the young talented star for long-term success. Or, even setting him up for short-term success. I’ll be honest: it’s leaving Deshaun Watson out to dry. The Texans have not yet locked up LT Laremy Tunsil in the long-term, but he is the lone bright spot on a dreadful offensive line.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Indianapolis Colts
Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back
Picks: #34 (round 2, from Washington), #44 (round 2), #5 (round 3), #122 (round 4), #160 (round 5), #193 (round 6), #197 (round 6, from Dallas via Miami)
The Indianapolis Colts flew off into the atmosphere with Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement before last season. They turned to, and paid, Jacoby Brissett to do… not a whole lot when all was said and done. Indy turned to Philip Rivers this offseason to try to fill the hole left by Jacoby’s shortcomings, but Rivers has plenty of shortcomings of his own. Smart money is on Jacob Eason or Jordan Love with the #34 pick (their first-rounder became DeForest Buckner), either of which could reasonably start in the back half of the season and give the receivers a boost.
Speaking of the receivers… I am not bullish on the flotsam and jetsam behind T.Y. Hilton. Parris Campbell could still develop into something, but we’ve seen what the rest of the guys have to offer, and it isn’t much. Luckily, they have two picks in the second round to address their fantasy football deficiencies. A strong #2 receiver would go a long way to help Rivers, another quarterback, or a generic fantasy football owner. They’re drafting in the same range as the Texans with their picks, but you see different guys in most mock drafts. Brandon Aiyuk or Tee Higgins (should he still be available) are the clubhouse leaders for becoming Colts in 2020.
The more selfish wish I hope the Colts fulfill is a standalone running back. Marlon Mack doesn’t catch passes, and Nyheim Hines doesn’t run the ball very well on a down-to-down basis. Should the Colts add a running back with combined talents, they could do much better to roll all that production up into one running back and not telegraph their intentions. The recent Pro Football Focus mock draft has the Colts being the beneficiaries of a slight slip for Jonathan Taylor.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Jacksonville Jaguars
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
Picks: #9 (round 1), #20 (round 1, from L.A. Rams), #42 (round 2), #73 (round 3), #116 (round 4), #118 (round 4, from Denver), #140 (round 4, compensatory pick from Chicago), #165 (round 5, from L.A. Rams), #170 (round 5, from Minnesota via Baltimore), #189 (round 6), #206 (round 6, from Seattle), #223 (round 7)
The Jacksonville Jaguars took a tiny step forward last season for fantasy football purposes. Leonard Fournette suddenly started catching passes, D.J. Chark had his breakout, and we had Minshew Mania run wild. Unfortunately, they ended with Chark sputtering down the stretch, Minshew and Foles playing QB carousel, and Fournette breaking 100 total yards just once in after week eleven, and failing to score a touchdown in that span.
Fournette isn’t going anywhere, and the Jaguars sold Nick Foles for a bag of rice to solidify Minshew as the starter. That leaves two big areas of opportunity for the Jaguars to improve our Jacksonville-sourced 2020 fantasy football goodness: wide receiver, and offensive line.
I’m done with every wide receiver behind D.J. Chark. We’ve all spent our time trying to talk ourselves into Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, Marqise Lee, and Keelan Cole. There are a lot of guys there who aren’t spectacular who will be mired on a run-first offense. Stop screwing around with the miscellany on this roster. Slam in a top-flight wide receiver. Shake up the world and go get CeeDee Lamb in round one. Do it, Jaguars. Let’s ride this thing to the top.
Or, the more likely move is getting someone with their early second-round selection and instead going out and getting a boring tackle in the first round. They need to protect Gardner Minshew, as he tends to get a little frenetic in the pocket and sometimes runs toward pressure. Give Minshew some relief, and snag one of the OTs set to go in the first fifteen-or-so picks in this draft.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Tennessee Titans
Wide Receiver, Running Back
Picks: #29 (round 1), #61 (round 2), #93 (round 3), #174 (round 5), #224 (round 7, from Denver), #237 (from New England via Denver), #243 (round 7)
What do you get a team that knocked off two behemoths in the playoffs and ended the season as true fantasy football juggernauts? Well, some weapons. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry both return for 2020, and it’s high time they took their offense to the next level. Delanie Walker’s retirement leaves a hole at tight end behind the unproven Jonnu Smith, but that’s unlikely to be a focus of significant worry for Tennessee.
Instead, it’s time to let the dreams of the past go. Corey Davis hasn’t proven a single thing in his NFL career. A.J. Brown took over as one of the most dynamic rookie playmakers in the league, and the Titans had nowhere else to go among their wide receivers. The Titans would do well for Tannehill and their overall fantasy football prospects if they paired Brown with a big-bodied receiver like a Denzel Mims or a Chase Claypool.
The 2019 Titans only made everything work by bashing Derrick Henry into people until they gave up and decided they didn’t want anymore of it. Then, they went out and cut Dion Lewis to further consolidate power. I’m uncertain they can do that for a full season, so adding a pass catcher who can spell Henry should produce a lot of fantasy football value.
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