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AFC South Player Analysis

Houston Texans

 

QB David Carr – There are some pundits who think Carr will be the next elite fantasy QB. I have a hard time disagreeing with them. Carr has the skills and is starting to get the supporting cast he needs. If his line can keep him off his back this year, Carr could be a top-12 QB this season. He should be a great value pick as your backup QB.


QB Other – Carr’s backup is Tony Banks. If Carr goes down this season, look elsewhere for your QB. None of the backups on this roster have much upside.


RB Domanick Davis – Davis is quickly becoming an elite fantasy RB thanks to his knack for the end zone and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The only negative with Davis is his injury history.


RB Jonathan Wells – Wells is a classic third-down back. He’ll get some TDs and receiving yards, but not consistently enough to include him in your starting lineup.


RB Other – There are a slew of other players vying for roster spots on this team including Vernand Morency and Tony Hollings. Keep an eye on this situation. Whoever wins could be a nice waiver-wire pickup if/when Davis is injured.


WR Andre Johnson – Andre Johnson is quickly becoming a top-flight WR. The early mock drafts, however, are over-valuing him. He’s currently listed as the #8 WR and is going in the top-50 players overall. There were about 20 WRs that produced better than Johnson in 2004 and he only had 6TDs all year (2 in the last 11 weeks). I like Johnson, just not as much as others do.


WR Jabar Gaffney – Gaffney may be worth a late-round flyer. He’s been getting good press out of Houston this off-season and may be ready to finally have a productive year. If it’s late in the draft and you’re looking for a 4th wide receiver with some upside, Gaffney would be an excellent choice.


WR Others – There are no other WR on this team worth drafting. Corey Bradford and Jerome Mathis appear set to make the roster, but no one else is assured a spot.


TE Billy Miller – It’s hard to remember, but Miller had a pretty decent year a couple of years ago. He hasn’t been able to duplicate that feat since. Don’t waste your time drafting him.


TE Other – Mark Bruener is a blocking TE. Only draft him if you’re in a league I play in.


K Kris Brown – Brown is a solid, if unspectacular K. If you need to draft a backup K, Brown’s a decent option.

Indianapolis Colts

 

QB Peyton Manning – In the understatement of the year, Manning’s good. He’ll probably go in the top 5 picks of your draft. That’s probably too high – but if you’re picking in the early 2nd round and he’s still available, grab him.


QB Other – Nobody knows how good these guys are. Manning never gets hurt. Don’t waste a pick on any of these guys unless you have very deep rosters.


RB Edgerrin James – James will go in the early first round of almost every draft. In a league with a lot of scoring options (receptions, points for yardage, etc…) James is probably worth a mid-first round pick. His TD production, however, keeps him down the list a little. He had 9 TDs last year, 4 in the last 11 games. He’s still a first round pick – but he’s going a little too early.


RB Dominic Rhodes – Rhodes is probably not worthy of being drafted unless you want to handcuff James late in your draft. If James is hurt, Rhodes value will go up dramatically.


RB Other – None of the other RBs on the roster are worthy of being drafted unless the Colts are riddled with injuries.


WR Marvin Harrison – Harrison was once one of the ‘Big-3’ receivers, but is he still? He was #18 last year in receiving yards but #2 in receiving TDs. He was in the top-10 in fantasy points in nearly all scoring formats. With 6 straight years of 1100+ yds receiving and 10+ TDs, don’t write him off too quickly. He should be one of the first 5 WRs drafted.


WR Reggie Wayne – Wayne is going in the late 3rd round in most early mock drafts as the #10 overall WR. This site currently lists him as the #6 overall WR, so the two appear to be inline. He’s a big-play receiver and appears to be getting better and better. Also, he’s in the last year of his contract so he’s playing for a big payday.


WR Brandon Stokely – Stokely was the primary beneficiary from Manning’s great 2004 season. He’s one of the best slot receivers in the game. For FF purposes, however, he’s a risky pick. Each week is boom-or-bust. All of his TDs in 2004 were against the bottom half of the NFL’s pass defenses (NE was the best at #17). If you draft him, only play him against teams with weak pass defense.


WR Others – With the first 3 WRs catching so many passes, there’s not enough left over for anyone else on this roster. If you’re in a Dynasty league, keep an eye on the young guys, though. Wayne will probably be playing elsewhere next year and the #2 WR spot will likely be open in 2006.


TE Dallas Clark – Clark’s value seems to be increasing as we get closer to the start of the season. A few months ago, his ADP in mock drafts was early 8th round. Now it is mid 7th round. However, his situation hasn’t changed so I’m not sure why. If this continues, let someone else reach for him. Otherwise, late 7th / early 8th is about right.


TE Other – Keep an eye on Ben Hartsock if Clark gets hurt. Otherwise, steer clear.

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

QB Byron Leftwich – Leftwich may have the ability to be a top-10 QB in the league but he’s not there yet. He’s still learning how to be a pro quarterback and his wide receiving corps isn’t strong enough to help yet. Look to him as a backup this year.


QB Other – David Garrard is the primary backup. He has very little experience and has been average when he’s played. If Leftwich gets hurt, look somewhere else.


RB Fred Taylor – Taylor is one of the biggest question marks in the league right now. Coming off an injury that is almost as bad as an ACL tear, I have very low expectations for him this year. Let someone else take a chance on Taylor


RB LaBrandon Toefield – Toefield’s value is increasing as more and more information comes out about Taylor. He’s moved from the 11th round of the early mock drafts to the 10th round. Barring a trade, he’s the front-runner to be the starter if Taylor is unable to start the season.


RB Greg Jones – Jones has been moved to fullback. It will be interesting to see how they use Jones this year. He’s a former tailback and is a decent runner. Given the uncertainty surrounding Taylor, Jones may be worth a flyer in the late rounds.


RB Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala – “Fu” may be getting some of the goal-line carries this year. The pre-season should be an indicator to see how he’ll be used this year.


RB Alvin Pearman – Pearman was a late-round draft pick in the 2005 rookie draft. He’ll only have the chance to make some noise if others flounder.


WR Jimmy Smith – Smith’s age is starting to catch up with him. He’s still the #1 Wide Receiver on this team, so he’s worthy of being drafted – but don’t expect the same production you’ve been accustomed to getting.


WR Ernest Wilford – Wilford started his rookie year with a bang, scoring 2 TDs in his first 2 games. Those, however, were his only 2 TDs all year and he never had more than 56 yards receiving in a season.


WR Reggie Williams – 2004 was a major disappoint for Williams. He under-performed in just about every way manageable (although he did have 2 2-pt conversions!). He has the skills to be a solid contributor to your team but let him prove it before you draft him.


WR Matt Jones – Jones is a rookie wide receiver that is just learning the position. It takes most wide receivers a few years to be productive. Look elsewhere in 2005.


WR Other – There aren’t any other WRs on this team worth looking at.


TE Kyle Brady – Brady offered to become an offensive tackle for the Jaguars this season. They turned him down – but it gives you a clue as to how they’re planning to use him.


TE Other – George Wrightster may actually be a better FF tight end in 2005 than Brady. That’s not saying much however. If you’re in a league that requires 3 tight ends and you’re legally bound to remain in that league, then Wrightster is a good option for you as your #3 tight end.

Tennessee Titans

 

QB Steve McNair – Oh the questions … Is he healthy? How good is his supporting cast? How will he mesh with the new Offensive Coordinator (Norm Chow)? This site has him listed as the #23 QB. This seems like the logical place to put him in your rankings. If you have a very solid #1, then McNair might be a good #2. If your #1 is weak, don’t rely on McNair as your #2.


QB Billy Volek – Volek is probably the best backup QB in the league. If McNair goes down, you can count on Volek to produce solid numbers for you.


RB Chris Brown – Brown’s value dropped dramatically the day the Titan’s acquired Travis Henry. When healthy, Brown can be one of the best around – but he’s rarely healthy. With Henry stealing carries, expect Brown to moments of greatness and games with very little production.


RB Travis Henry – Henry got his wish. He’s out of Buffalo. Now, what do we expect from Henry in Tennessee? Look for Henry to get the goal-line carries and look for Henry to be the primary ball carrier during the games Brown misses. When Brown’s healthy, Brown will get the bulk of the carries between the 20’s.


RB Other – There’s a reason Tennessee wanted to get Henry. After Brown, there is very little depth on this team. Don’t even bother watching this situation.


WR Drew Bennett – Bennett had a huge year in 2004 and expectations are immense for him this year. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that 9 of his 11 receiving TDs were in the last 5 games of the season and came against the porous defenses IND, KC, OAK, and DET. The risk / reward with Bennett is better suited for your #2 receiver than your #1.


WR Tyrone Calico – Calico is coming of a major knee injury. So, while he has the talent to be a #1 or #2 WR for your team, don’t expect him to product that much this year. Look for Calico to be a decent #3 receiver.


WR Others – Tennessee has a lot of young wide receivers on their roster. Don’t expect much from them this year, but watch this situation for 2006. One of them will likely emerge.


TE Ben Troupe – Troupe is coming off a broken foot that was sustained during mini-camp. He showed a few flashes in 2004 and could be a nice backup if he proves to be healthy in 2005.


TE Other – Erron Kinney is currently listed as the starter for this team, but that’s only because of Troupe’s injury. Bo Scaife, a rookie 6th round pick, is hoping to make the team.
 

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