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.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD: 12-4
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.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD:8-8
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.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD: 4-12
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.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD: 3-13
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