2020 Fantasy Football: AFC South Team Needs

Jim Day

In this article we take a look at the needs of the AFC South. Houston and Tennessee both made the playoffs, but as you will see both still have quite a few holes to fill. Injuries hurt Indianapolis, so depth will be key for them and Jacksonville needs to reassess their defense.

So far we have posted articles about the AFC North and NFC North. Next up will be the NFC South. Enjoy!

Houston Texans

Main Needs: RB, CB, EDGE, OL

With both starting cornerbacks set to hit free agency and the backups not faring very well this year it becomes a huge position of need. According to PFF, second-round pick Lonnie Johnson Jr. had a 31.1 coverage rating on 532 defensive snaps.

Carlos Hyde did well for them with over 1,000 yards rushing and six touchdowns, so it will be interesting to see if they try to bring him back. There will be bigger names available in free agency and they have over $50M in cap space, so it is possible they bring in a more versatile back.

The offensive line held up a little better in 2019 than 2018. In 2018 they allowed the most sacks with 62, This past season, after the addition of Laremy Tunsil, they were able to get that number down to 49, and this is for a very mobile quarterback. Both guards, Max Scharping and Zach Fulton, were bad and this team needs to address both positions.

One of the biggest issues they have is that they have no 1st round pick in either of the next two seasons, thanks to the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade. This most likely means they will be active in free agency.

Relevant Free Agents:

  • RB Carlos Hyde UFA
  • CB Bradley Roby UFA
  • CB Johnathan Joseph UFA
  • QB AJ McCarron UFA
  • TE Darren Fells UFA
  • DT DJ Reader UFA
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Tennessee Titans

Main Needs: EDGE, QB, RB, OL, CB

The two biggest issues for Tennessee going into 2020 are whether or not they bring back both QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry. Once Tannehill became the starter in Week 7 this team came alive and Derrick Henry lead the league in rushing yards and carried the team through their two playoff wins this season.

Outside of those issues they desperately need to add some defensive rushing talent. Second-year OLB Harold Landry did a nice job with nine sacks and 68 total tackles, almost doubling both numbers from his rookie season. Unfortunately they need someone on the other side to take some of the pressure off Landry. Cameron Wake was great in Week 1, but disappeared for the rest of the season and is 38 years-old.

The offensive line needs to make some changes after giving up 56 sacks. Jack Conklin is coming off a decent season but is a free agent and Rodger Saffold will be 32 by the time the season starts.

Relevant Free Agents:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill UFA
  • QB Marcus Mariota UFA
  • RB Derrick Henry UFA
  • CB Logan Ryan UFA
  • RT Jack Conklin UFA
  • LB Wesley Woodyard UFA
  • WR Tajae Sharpe UFA

Indianapolis Colts

Main Needs: QB, WR, DL, EDGE

Jacoby Brissett played well to start the season as the Colts started out 5-2. Brissett threw 14 touchdowns with only three interceptions over that period. Then the bottom fell out. He got hurt against Pittsburgh in Week 9 and came back in Week 11. Over the last seven games of the season he only had four touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. Not that he was the only issue, but the team still seems undecided if he will be their starter in 2020.

Not that QB was their only issue in the passing game because wide receiver was a big issue too. TY Hilton got off to a fast start with four TDs in the first three weeks, but then got hurt in Week 4. Outside of one good game against Houston in Week 7, he was in and out of the lineup the rest of the season.

Zach Pascal did end up with more receiving yardage than Hilton and caught five touchdowns also, he was still very sporadic while Hilton was out. The next best receiver was third year Marcus Johnson with 277 receiving yards and two touchdowns. They definitely need to address this position.

Their defensive line is another key issue. According to Football Outsiders they ranked 18th in stopping the run and 24th against the pass. Justin Houston was the lone exception with 11 sacks.

Relevant Free Agents:

  • LT Anthony Castonzo UFA
  • WR Devin Funchess UFA
  • DE Jabaal Sheard UFA
  • TE Eric Ebron UFA
  • WR Zach Pascal UFA
  • S Clayton Geathers UFA

Jacksonville Jaguars

Main Needs: LB, CB, WR, LT

The Bengals once again played like the Bungles and ended up with the first pick in the draft. As of this writing, it looks like a virtual lock that Joe Burrows is the pick for this team so they can get the franchise quarterback they have been searching for as Andy Dalton enters the end of his career.

If they lose A.J. Green, they will surely be in the market for another receiver. Tyler Boyd had his second straight 1,000-yard season after catching 90 balls, but they don’t have a clear second receiver. They have John Ross, Alex Erickson and Auden Tate who all topped 500 yards, but they combined for only four total touchdowns. 

The offensive line is in the same boat. Hopefully 2019 rookie Jonathan Williams gets healthy and plays up to expectations. Trey Hopkins just received an extension at center, but they should be looking to fill the other positions either in the draft or free agency.

Relevant Free Agents: 

  • DT Marcell Dareus Team Option
  • LB Preston Brown UFA
  • DT Akeem Spence UFA
  • DE Yannick Ngakoue UFA
  • LB Najee Goode UFA

Stay tuned for the next divisional breakdown...

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