2015-2016 NFL Preview: AFC South

Just want to apologize for not getting the rest of these previews finished before Week 1. They’ll definitely be done before Thursday. None of my predictions have been changed.



GET: WR Andre Johnson, RB Frank Gore, G Todd Herremans, LB Nate Irving, DE Trent Cole, DE Kendall Langford

LOSE: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Hakeem Nicks, S Laron Landry, WR Reggie Wayne, DE Ricky Jean-Francois, S Sergio Brown, LB Shaun Phillips, DE Cory Redding, DE Fili Moala, CB Josh Gordy, RB Trent Richardson, WR Josh Cribbs

RE-SIGNS: S Mike Adams, LB Jerrell Freeman, QB Matt Hasselbeck, CB Darius Butler

DRAFT: 1st round: WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami     3rd round: CB D’Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic     DE Henry Anderson, Stanford     4th round: S Clayton Geathers, UCF     5th round: DT David Parry, Stanford     6th round: RB Josh Robinson, Mississippi State     ILB Amarlo Herrera, Georgia     7th round: G Denzell Goode, Mars Hill

SUMMARY: Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck continues to improve from year-to-year and I don’t see any precursor to suggest that trend will stop. He threw for 4,761 yards, third-most in the league and a league-high 40 touchdowns last year. He only threw 16 interceptions so his ball management has improved a lot since his rookie campaign. T.Y. Hilton has been solidified as his right-hand man with his latest contract extension and two valuable veterans in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson have been brought in.

With that said, the running scheme in Indianapolis is not effective. I don’t think the problem with the Colts’ running game is the running back. I think it’s the scheme itself and if they continue utilizing the scheme they have been, it won’t matter who the back is.

On the flip side, the defensive line of the Colts has been completely wiped out with the losses of Ricky Jean-Francois, Cory Redding and Fili Moala. Their 18th ranking against the run last year is sure to fall further down and at the end of the day, the Colts are still a one-dimensional offense. No matter how dynamic their aerial attack, that’s still a huge concern for me.

The Colts are sure to win the AFC South regardless, especially given their tame schedule, but down the road, I don’t know how they’ll be able to hang in with the big boys with their razor-thin defensive line.

As for fantasy, Luck and Hilton should be great pickups but I remain adamant about avoiding Frank Gore.


Week 1: @BUF   Week 2: vs. NYJ   Week 3: @TEN   Week 4: vs. JAC   Week 5: @HOU   Week 6: vs. NE   Week 7: vs. NO   Week 8: @CAR   Week 9: vs. DEN   Week 10: BYE   Week 11: @ATL   Week 12: vs. TB   Week 13: @PIT   Week 14: @JAC   Week 15: vs. HOU   Week 16: @MIA   Week 17: vs. TEN


GET: QB Brian Hoyer, WR Cecil Shorts, S Stevie Brown, S Rahim Moore, DT Vince Wilfork, WR Nate Washington, RB Chris Polk

LOSE: WR Andre Johnson, LB Brooks Reed, S Danieal Manning, S D.J. Swearinger, DT Jerrell Powe, S Kendrick Lewis, DT Ryan Pickett, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Case Keenum, QB Thad Lewis, WR DeVier Posey

RE-SIGNS: CB Kareem Jackson, LB Whitney Mercilus, QB Ryan Mallett, WR Damaris Johnson, LB Akeem Dent

DRAFT: 1st round: CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest     2nd round: ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State     3rd round: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State     5th round: WR Keith Mumphrey, Michigan State     6th round: OLB Reshard Cliett, South Florida     DT Christian Covington, Rice     7th round: RB Kenny Hilliard, LSU

SUMMARY: The Texans had more than their fair share of losses this offseason, including franchise player Andre Johnson. Three safeties and three quarterbacks departed, as well as two defensive tackles. The grabbing of longtime Patriot Vince Wilfork was one of the biggest signings of the offseason. Houston’s defense against the pass took a step back, so the changing of the guard might be the spark the team needs in the secondary. The defense should be top-ten, but the offense is concerning. The receiving core is lacking with Andre no longer in the mix and Hopkins standing all alone. He should have a big year in fantasy but there aren’t any reliable stars on this team. Arian Foster’s injury is going to hurt this team out of the gate but when he returns, they’ll be a whole different team. As for the quarterback position, you might as well flip a coin.

Hopkins and the Houston defense should be on your radar for fantasy and when Foster returns, I expect more of the same from him.


Week 1: vs. KC   Week 2: @CAR   Week 3: vs. TB   Week 4: @ATL   Week 5: vs. IND   Week 6: @JAC   Week 7: @MIA   Week 8: vs. TEN   Week 9: BYE   Week 10: @CIN   Week 11: vs. NYJ   Week 12: vs. NO   Week 13: @BUF   Week 14: vs. NE   Week 15: @IND   Week 16: @TEN   Week 17: vs. JAC


GET: TE Julius Thomas, DT Jared Odrick, OLB Dan Skuta, C Stefen Wisniewski, RB Bernard Pierce, S Sergio Brown, DB Davon House

LOSE: WR Cecil Shorts, DE Red Bryant, RB Jordan Todman, LB Geno Hayes, CB Will Blackmon, CB Alan Ball, LB J.T. Thomas

RE-SIGNS: LB Paul Posluszny, DE Tyson Alualu, TE Marcedes Lewis

DRAFT: 1st round: DE Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida     2nd round: RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama     3rd round: G A.J. Cann, South Carolina     4th round: S James Sample, Louisville     5th round: WR Rashad Greene, Florida State     6th round: DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State     7th round: WR Neal Sterling, Monmouth     TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

SUMMARY: Blake Bortles was drafted third overall with the intention of being a franchise leader and has the weapons on offense to thrive at an average level. Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and last year’s rookie addition, Marquise Lee, all have potential as does fifth-round pick Rashad Greene. Julius Thomas has also come to Jacksonville from Denver and if he can compete at a level comparable to what he did with Peyton, the Jaguars will have another big name on offense. What the team will do in the running game is anyone’s guess. They drafted T.J. Yeldon, but the backfield is crowded with Denard Robinson and offseason addition Bernard Pierce. The offensive line must be better for either area of the offense to excel. They allowed a league-high 71 sacks last year, 13 more than second-place Washington.

On defense, the numbers aren’t great but there’s some hope to be gathered from the play of the defensive line, which had 45 sacks last year, tied for sixth in the league.

The Jaguars are a young team with potential but it’s going to take a few years for that potential to become talent.


Week 1: vs. CAR   Week 2: vs. MIA   Week 3: @NE   Week 4: @IND   Week 5: @TB   Week 6: vs. HOU   Week 7: vs. BUF   Week 8: BYE   Week 9: @NYJ   Week 10: @BAL   Week 11: vs. TEN   Week 12: vs. SD   Week 13: @TEN Week 14: vs. IND   Week 15: vs. ATL   Week 16: @NO   Week 17: @HOU


GET: S Da’Norris Searcy, WR Harry Douglas, CB Perrish Cox, LB Brian Orakpo, TE Anthony Fasano

LOSE: OT Michael Roos, OT Michael Oher, OT Will Svitek, DB Brandon Ghee, S George Wilson, RB Leon Washington, WR Nate Washington, OLB Quentin Groves, G Chris Spencer, QB Jake Locker, RB Jackie Battle, RB Shonn Greene,

RE-SIGNS: DT Karl Klug, K Ryan Succop, LB Derrick Morgan

DRAFT: 1st round: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon     2nd round: WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri     3rd round: G Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah     4th round: DT Angelo Blackson, Auburn     FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama     5th round: RB David Cobb, Minnesota     6th round: OLB Deiontrez Mount, Louisville     C Andy Gallik, Boston College     7th round: WR Tre McBride, William & Mary

SUMMARY: The Tennessee Titans start the season as the clear favorite for worst team in the NFL. The offensive line is one of this team’s strong points and yet the Titans still managed to allow 50 sacks last year. With limited receiving options in Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter, the team doesn’t have a ton of choices. Bishop Sankey isn’t a bright light at the running back position either. Marcus Mariota is sure to bring a lot of Titans fans alive but I don’t know how much he can do with so few tools.

As for the defense, it allowed the second-most yards on the ground last year but an acceptable 15th against the pass. If the Titans had a better front-seven, their defense would be a whole lot better and could be leaned on when the offense struggled. Until then, I’m putting this team at the bottom.

As for fantasy, if you’re looking for someone on the Titans, you’re pretty desperate.


Week 1: @TB   Week 2: @CLE   Week 3: vs. IND   Week 4: BYE   Week 5: vs. BUF   Week 6: vs. MIA   Week 7: vs. ATL   Week 8: @HOU   Week 9: @NO   Week 10: vs. CAR   Week 11: @JAC   Week 12: vs. OAK   Week 13: vs. JAC   Week 14: @NYJ   Week 15: @NE   Week 16: vs. HOU   Week 17: @IND

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