Fantasy Football

AFC South and West 2020 NFL Draft Team Needs

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The draft weekend is quickly approaching! As we’re all salivating for the first taste of football, I’m going to be taking a look at the AFC South and West 2020 NFL Draft team needs.

Admittedly, I was looking forward to seeing the unnecessarily lavish boat couriers, but a virtual draft will be enough to satiate my football appetite. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen due to the obvious.

In case you didn’t see my AFC North and East Team Needs article, I’m going to be taking a look at which teams are likely going to add players at their skill positions. More importantly, I’m going to breakdown what that means for your fantasy lineup.

AFC South and West 2020 NFL Draft Team Needs

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AFC South

Houston Texans

I want to take a moment to extend my deepest condolences to fans of the Houston Texans. Overlord Bill O’Brien has imposed his will yet again.

Following a head-scratcher of an offseason, the Houston Texans find themselves without the services of DeAndre Hopkins. They swapped him with the Cardinals for the aging David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

After Hopkins’ departure, Houston replaced him with a concussion riddled receiver coming off a career-low season in Brandin Cooks. They shipped away a second-round pick to the Rams in doing so.

Houston also finds themselves without a first-round pick after trading it away in the Laremy Tunsil trade debacle. It’s been a rough month for Houston.

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Running Back

Bill O’Brien defended his trade with the Cardinals and called David Johnson a three-down running back. After facing criticism following the disastrous trade (sorry, that was a knee-jerk reaction), it’s hard to imagine the Texans investing in another running back.

They may still add someone late for depth, but they won’t be a factor with David and Duke Johnson leading the charge. Still, if you take the chance on David Johnson, it couldn’t hurt to handcuff him late in your fantasy draft.

Wide Receiver

If Brandin Cooks returns to form, the Texans still find themselves with a talented group of receivers. Even so, they lack a true number one. Acquiring Cooks and Randall Cobb doesn’t fill the void left by Hopkins, so it’s in their best interest to grab another weapon for Watson.

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The fantasy outlook for this group is interesting and taking a Texans receiver is highly contingent on ADP. My advice: take the cheaper option between Cooks and Will Fuller.

Indianapolis Colts

Considering the calamity the Colts faced after Andrew Luck’s retirement on the eve of last year’s season, they had a pretty good showing in 2019. They started the year on the right foot with a 5-2 record until injuries derailed them.

So far this offseason they’ve signed veteran quarterback Philip Rivers to take control of the offense. They also made headlines sending away their first-round pick to the Niners in exchange for DeForest Buckner.

The Colts still have a strong roster, and their offseason activity suggests that they want to contend this season.

Quarter Back

Philip Rivers signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the team. After this season, however, retirement is definitely in the cards. The Colts need to think about their future at the position.

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Jacoby Brissett showed that he can’t be the team’s franchise quarterback. It would be an ideal situation for a rookie to come in and learn under Rivers. Anyone they bring in should be considered in dynasty.

Running Back

Marlon Mack is set to hit free agency in 2021. The team is going to have to decide if they want to stick with him long-term or look elsewhere at the position.

Mack and Nyheim Hines are going to run the show this season, but the team may still look to the draft for a potential replacement for Mack.

Wide Receiver

T.Y. Hilton will be approaching 31 at the beginning of the season, and he’s coming off of back-to-back seasons dealing with injuries.

Behind Hilton, the Colts have faith that their second option Parris Campbell can grow into a playmaking receiver. Despite this, with such a deep class of receivers, it would serve the team well to add another pass-catcher.

Hilton is still the alpha, and Campbell has breakout potential, but another weapon could siphon away some of his upside.
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Tight End

Rivers relies heavily on the tight end position, which makes Jack Doyle a sleeper this season. Still, Frank Reich’s system leaves room for two fantasy-relevant tight ends in a season. Mo Alie-Cox is still on the roster, but an incoming rookie could challenge him for the second spot in the offense.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Nick Foles experience in Jacksonville is over, and Minshew mania roars on.

The Jaguars said farewell to several veteran players, including Foles, and now find themselves with 12 draft picks to overhaul their roster. General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone have their hands full heading into draft night.

Quarterback

Gardner Minshew proved himself to the team after Nick Foles went down in the first game of the season. Minshew was by no means perfect, but he did enough for the team to feel confident in trading Foles to Chicago.

Minshew’s head coach Doug Marrone is in the hot seat this season. If Marrone wants to win, his main focus should be putting talent around Minshew.

To further help with Minshew’s development, the Jags brought in Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator. This bodes well for Minshew, as Gruden has a history of success with young quarterbacks.

Still, Minshew could use a solid backup, and the team could use a late pick in the draft to fill that need. Should Minshew struggle, the new guy in town might see the field.

Running Back

Leonard Fournette’s situation in Jacksonville last year was a fantasy owner’s dream. He was an every-down back who saw 341 touches throughout the season.

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The only problem with his output was his lack of touchdowns. He’s due for major regression after a mere three trips to the end zone this past year.

For now, Fournette is their workhorse back, but things might look different in 2021. He’s yet to play a full season, and he’s set to hit free agency next year if the team doesn’t re-sign him. It would make sense for the Jags to bring in a young back as a safety policy should the team let him walk.

Another part of Fournette’s success last season was his involvement in the passing game. His reception total skyrocketed from past seasons. He went from 22 receptions to a whopping total of 76.

Even with his uptick in receptions, the problem he has is that he lacks the explosiveness you usually see out of a pass-catching back. He averaged a mere 6.9 yards per reception. For this reason, the team needs to bring in someone who can get involved on third downs.

Don’t expect to see Fournette’s production in the passing game stay the same. Whoever they bring in will likely steal from his reception totals.

Wide Receiver

The Jaguars receiving corps, though talented, lacks a big-bodied receiver to compliment the likes of D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook, and Chris Conley.

Chark had a breakout year and showed solid chemistry with Minshew, but Jacksonville should look to add another outside weapon for their young quarterback. There’s a lot of buzz around Chark as a solid fantasy option for next season, but the draft might dampen some of that excitement. Fantasy owners should be wary of overpaying for the young receiver.

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Tight End

The Jags acquired former Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert in free agency. Eifert is an effective red-zone weapon but has a major problem staying healthy. Last year was the first time in his seven-year career that he managed to stay on the field for a full 16 games.

Doug Marrone has already said the team needs to upgrade at the position. Given his comments, there’s bound to be a rookie on the roster next year.

Not to sound like a broken record, but a rookie tight end rarely proves to be a fantasy asset. Anyone they bring in should be viewed as a dynasty grab and not a redraft option.

Tennessee Titans

The dark horse contenders of last season turned heads after beating both New England and Baltimore in the playoffs before losing to Kansas City in the AFC Championship game.

The Titans have been busy this offseason shoring up the offense by keeping key figures around. Ryan Tannehill got his payday, and the team gave Derrick Henry the franchise tag.

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Most of the team’s needs heading into the draft are on the defensive side of the ball, starting at cornerback. Although they’ll need to look for a replacement for departing offensive tackle Jack Conklin in the draft.

They don’t need much, but a couple of key additions on offense could push them over the top.

Running Back

There are few if any running backs in the league guaranteed more work than Derrick Henry. For all that Tannehill offered the team in their surge to the top, Henry was the lifeline of their offense. He bulldozed his way through the Patriots and Ravens, allowing Tannehill to throw a combined 29 passes in those games.

Henry was the league leader in rushing yards and was tied for first in rushing touchdowns. Expect more of the same in 2020.



Despite Henry’s prolific season, he has a lot of tread on the tires. With the nature of the position, there are no guarantees that the Titans will give a lofty contract to a back with a lot of mileage.

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Dion Lewis didn’t provide much as a RB2 behind Henry, and the team will need to bring in someone who can fill in on third downs.

For these reasons, the Titans are going to add a running back in the draft. Although that won’t mean much for Henry’s value in 2020, picking up their rookie back in a dynasty or keeper league could pay dividends in 2021.

Wide Receiver

The Titans are a run-first, ground and pound offense. That’s what their defensive-minded coach Mike Vrabel wants them to be.

A.J. Brown broke onto the scene last year in a spectacular way. His gigantic stature and freaky athleticism translated to a monster late-season run.

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Outside of Brown, Corey Davis has been a massive letdown, and Adam Humphries has yet to reach 850 yards in his five-year career. The Titans need to add another option in the passing game. They’re going to look for someone they hope can serve as a WR2 behind Brown.

Given the team’s conservative mindset, they’ll probably look at their defensive needs first before addressing this position later in the draft. If they surprise however and the team goes out and spends an early pick, the player they bring in won’t offer value in redraft leagues.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

General Manager John Elway has a litany of failed quarterback experiments under his belt. His latest prospect, however, showed flashes last season.

To double down on his investment, Elway hired former Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur as their offensive coordinator. Shurmur is going to take over play-calling duties and mentor the second-year quarterback Drew Lock.

If Elway wants Lock to flourish, the team still needs to fill gaps on the offensive line to protect Lock. They also need to provide him with a true number two option behind their breakout star Courtland Sutton.

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The Broncos ended the season strong, winning 5 of their last 8 games. With 10 picks in the draft, the Broncos have an opportunity to turn their fortunes of late around.

Wide Receiver

Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports recently gave the Broncos receiving corps the distinct dishonor of ranking them as the worst unit in the league. Behind Sutton, the Broncos have an utter lack of playmakers.

Losing Emmanuel Sanders last season was a big blow to the passing game. The Broncos are going to address this position early in the draft and possibly use up a second pick in a later round.

Without weapons and with plenty of opportunity available, their prize rookie should walk into a spot where they can immediately have fantasy value without impacting Sutton.

No one expects this offense to be prolific, but taking a flyer on their newly drafted WR2 could prove useful.

Kansas City Chiefs

Fresh off an unbelievable 2019 season that ended with the hoisting of the Lombardi, Kansas City has their eyes set on Tampa for a repeat performance.

It’s no surprise that the Super Bowl champions have a mostly complete roster going into the draft. The Chiefs didn’t suffer any major setbacks in free agency.

Sammy Watkins is staying with the team after restructuring his contract, and Chris Jones got hit with the franchise tag. As long as Patrick Mahomes is under center, they’re always going to be a contender.

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With some minor re-tooling, primarily in their secondary, they’re going to walk into the season as the undisputed favorites.

Running Back

Andy Reid has made his frustrations known over the injury bug that plagued Damien Williams. Williams had never been the front runner in a backfield before last year, and serious questions about his durability remain.

Still, when the team has leaned on him in crucial moments, he’s delivered. You could even make the case that he should have won the Super Bowl MVP.

Despite signing Raiders vet DeAndre Washington to a one-year deal, the Chiefs are going to need to pick up a back in the draft if they’re concerned with Williams’ health.

They didn’t seem comfortable going to Darwin Thompson, and LeSean McCoy is no longer on the roster. If the draft goes by and Williams is still their guy, his upside is enormous. But should they take a young back who has a promising training camp, it’s going to eat into his opportunity.

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Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have touched down in Las Vegas and judging by their frenzy spending in free agency, they plan on making an impression.

The Raiders were knocking on the door of the playoffs last season. That’s pretty impressive considering Antonio Brown unleashed chaos on their offense and left their receiving corps depleted.

Las Vegas has deficiencies in the draft they need to address if they want to compete for a playoff spot. Aside from their dire need of an alpha receiver, they need help in their secondary and on their defensive line.

Quarterback

Maybe I’m on an island, but I still believe that Derek Carr can be a franchise quarterback in the NFL. The Raiders clearly don’t share my view.

General Manager Mike Mayock has had a love affair with Marcus Mariota since before the 2015 draft. He labeled Mariota as the top quarterback prospect in the draft. Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden brought him in this offseason to turn the heat up on Carr.

There’s going to be a quarterback controversy heading into camp, and it’s never comforting to start the season feeling unsure of your future at the quarterback position. That makes this team a prime candidate to draft a quarterback. The Raiders have the option to do so early in the draft with one of the five picks they hold in the first three rounds.

What’s the moral of the story here? Don’t count on Carr for your fantasy team.
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Wide Receiver

The Raiders would be foolish not to spend one of their first two picks on a wide receiver. Yes, there’s plenty of talent available in this class of receivers, but why miss out on a top-tier talent like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb?

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Tyrell Williams performed admirably last season after Antonio Brown flew the coop, but he’s not a true number one. Behind him, a healthy Hunter Renfrow and free-agent signee Nelson Agholor will help the passing game. But Carr (or Mariota, or a rookie?) needs an elite target.

If the Raiders pull the trigger on a first-round receiver, they’re instantly fantasy relevant.

Los Angeles Chargers

For the first time since 2004, the Chargers are going to begin training camp without Philip Rivers. The Chargers parted ways with their longtime quarterback and star running back Melvin Gordon in free agency.

General Manager Tom Telesco has been busy since then, making multiple signings and filling holes on the team’s roster. For all of their added depth, the biggest question facing the team is what they plan on doing with their first pick.

Quarterback

The Chargers are a candidate for a major day one trade at the draft. They’ve been linked to Tua Tagovailoa, but they may have to leapfrog the Dolphins to take him. If not, Justin Herbert should still be available at number six.

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In the meantime, Tyrod Taylor will serve as the starter for the team. Although it’s likely that he’ll be supplanted by their rookie, Tyrod has proven himself in the past to be a valuable fantasy asset.

Should the Chargers taking an early quarterback come to fruition, Tyrod shouldn’t be drafted by fantasy owners. He could still serve as a great streaming candidate in a plus matchup.

Running Back

Justin Jackson and the well-paid Austin Ekeler are the stars of the two-man show in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for the Chargers, neither Ekeler nor Jackson have the build to be work-horse backs. The team lacks a bruiser who can move the chains in short-yardage situations.

Still, without a larger back in running game Ekeler lit the fantasy world on fire when he filled in during Gordon’s holdout. He averaged 20 touches a game until Gordon took the field in Week 5.

If they bring in a rookie, Ekeler will still be a solid fantasy asset (better in PPR), but Jackson would lose any potential value.
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Wide Receiver

Whoever the quarterback is for the Chargers in 2020, they walk into a situation with solid options in the passing game. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both have their strengths and will prove as reliable targets for their quarterback. What the duo lacks is speed. Los Angeles would benefit from a young speedster who could put pressure on the secondary as a vertical option on offense.

Whether it be Tyrod or a rookie, it’s going to be hard to predict the fantasy value of the Chargers receivers. Depending on their respective ADPs, it might be best to take a hands-off approach with this group.



I know that might sound ridiculous considering the talent and production of Keenan Allen. But with plenty of weapons on that offense and a new quarterback leading the way, I’m worried about his cost-to-output ratio.


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