In our Fantasy Draft Grades Series, we review each of the leagues 8 divisions. The Fantasy Draft Grades Series reviews and grades each organization’s draft selections from a fantasy perspective. Engage with 1,400+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.
In this installment of this 8-part series we review the Fantasy Draft Grades in the AFC South.
1. Indianapolis Colts
- Round 2, Pick No. 34 (from Redskins): Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
- Round 2, Pick No. 41 (from Browns): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
- Round 3, Pick No. 85 (from Eagles via Lions): Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
- Round 4, Pick No. 122: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
- Round 5, Pick No. 149 (from Lions): Danny Pinter, G, Ball State
- Round 6, Pick No. 193: Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State
- Round 6, Pick No. 211 (from Chiefs through Jets): Isaiah Rodgers, CB, UMass
- Round 6, Pick No. 212 (comp pick from Patriots): Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State
- Round 6, Pick No. 213 (comp pick from Patriots): Jordan Glasgow, LB, Michigan
The Colts drafted one of the RotoHeat team’s favorite rookie wide receivers in Michael Pittman Jr. from USC with their first pick in the draft. The #13 ranked player in the RotoHeat 1QB rankings, Pittman brings something the Colts were lacking in their offense last year–a big outside receiver that can double as a red-zone threat. Phillip Rivers should quickly love his rookie weapon who, with TY Hilton and Parris Campbell, are quickly making a receiving core to rival the best in the NFL.
Jonathan Taylor should quickly take over the reins as the top running back in Indy, even with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines already on the roster. I’d project him in the 750-900 rushing yards and probably 5-8 touchdowns as a rookie. That could go up if they use him as a pass-catcher as well, though I anticipate there still being a big role for Marlon Mack on this team.
In SuperFlex drafts, I am aiming to stash Jacob Eason as a long-term prospect. The 4th rounder learning from Rivers for at least a year could be huge. He brings a big arm, and the ability to make all the throws to a team that was looking for their franchise quarterback. Their last offensive skill position pick came from 6th rounder Dezmon Patmon, who could be a fine depth player but nothing terribly exciting for fantasy purposes.
From an IDP perspective, there isn’t much to like about this draft class, other than Julian Blackmon, the safety from Utah. Rumors are the Colts are already looking to move Malik Hooker, and Blackmon could be their long-term option to replace him when that move happens. Blackmon is still a player I’m not touching in combined offensive/defensive rookie drafts until the 4th or 5th round. Adding him to your taxi squad could provide big dividends in the end.
Overall Fantasy Draft Grade: B
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Round 1, Pick No. 9: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
- Round 1, Pick No. 20 (from Rams): K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU
- Round 2, Pick No. 42: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
- Round 3, Pick No. 73: Davon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State
- Round 4, Pick No. 116: Ben Bartch, OT, St. Johns
- Round 4, Pick No. 137 (from 49ers through Broncos): Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State
- Round 4, Pick No. 140 (comp pick from Bears): Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
- Round 5, Pick No. 157 (from Falcons through Ravens): Daniel Thomas, S, Auburn
- Round 5, Pick No. 165 (from Rams): Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
- Round 6, Pick No. 189: Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State
- Round 6, Pick No. 206 (from Seahawks): Tyler Davis, TE, Georgia Tech
- Round 7, Pick No. 223: Chris Claybrooks, CB, Memphis
The Jaguars came into the draft with a lot of draft capital, and I think they made some solid but not spectacular moves. From the offensive fantasy perspective, Laviska Shenault, if healthy, will be a huge long-term piece that I’m taking early in the 2nd round in 1QB and mid 2nd in Superflex drafts. He brings a well-rounded skill set and will pair nicely with returning starter DJ Chark.
From an IDP perspective, Henderson could be a CB2 in fantasy because of the style of corner he is and how he fits in that young and developing defense. K’Lavon Chaisson will probably be 3rd fiddle to Joe Schobert and Myles Jack, which will limit his value for now as most teams deploy a lot more Nickel packages, keeping only 2 linebackers on the field. The rest of their IDP-relevant draft choices are players I’d let go undrafted, and if they hit you can grab them as waiver-wire options if need be.
Overall Fantasy Draft Grade: B-
3. Houston Texans
- Round 2, Pick No. 40 (from Cardinals): Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
- Round 3, Pick No. 90: Jonathan Greenard, OLB, Florida
- Round 4, Pick No. 126 (from Rams): Charlie Heck, OT, North Carolina
- Round 4, Pick No. 141 (comp pick from Dolphins): John Reid, CB, Penn State
- Round 5, Pick No. 171: Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island
All the jokes have been made about the Texans and their unconventional GM trades as of late, and in the end, this class will help the NFL team much more than your fantasy team. Blacklock fills in for DJ Reader, Greenard adds youth to an aging outside linebacker group, and the rest are just “guys”. I’m not touching any of these options in my offensive or defensive fantasy drafts. Nothing more to see here…moving on.
Overall Fantasy Draft Grade: D-
4. Tennessee Titans
- Round 1, Pick No. 29: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
- Round 2, Pick No. 61: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
- Round 3, Pick No. 93: Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State
- Round 5, Pick No. 174: Larrell Murchison, DT, N.C. State
- Round 7, Pick No. 224 (from Browns): Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
- Round 7, Pick No. 243: Chris Jackson, S, Marshall
Like the Houston Texans, Tennessee came into this draft and filled needs that really help the NFL team much more than your fantasy team. Darrynton Evans is a nice fantasy pick, as the Titans have been looking for a pass-catching back since they signed (and now released) Dion Lewis. Evans is a guy I’d take a shot on at the back end of round 2, early round 3 at best, because of the depth of this class.
From the IDP Perspective, there isn’t a ton to love about this class, though with the departure of Logan Ryan who finished as a top DB in fantasy last year, Kristian Fulton should be drafted in your combined offensive/defensive rookie drafts. Fulton fits their scheme and should be as athletically gifted as Ryan was. Expect him to be a late 3rd or early 4th round rookie pick.
Overall Fantasy Draft Grade: C-
Thank you for reading Fantasy Draft Grades – AFC South. Be sure to subscribe to RotoHeat so you don’t miss the remainder of the Fantasy Draft Grades Series. Follow me on Twitter @RotoHeatBrad, and subscribe to the Sully’s 2 Cents Podcast for more of my fantasy football content.