Our look at the AFC Non Factors continues with the South, home of the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. There is plenty of star power among these four rosters, but a fair amount of crud. It is to these names that we must focus our attention in this piece.
(Note – Average Draft Position Data is courtesy of FantasyPros.com)
Houston Texans – ANY Tight Ends
On an offense with a stud wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, a highly paid running back in Lamar Miller and a high draft pick in Will Fuller to take the top off defenses and stretch the field, there is a temptation to see a safe, across the middle target like a tight end as an easy way to earn a few cheap fantasy points. I really wouldn’t bother. In his two seasons as the Texans HC, Bill O’Brien has seen his main tight end targeted on just 5% of all total targets. It is simply a position that does not overly occupy his thinking, and that is reason enough for it to not occupy yours.
Indianapolis Colts – Phillip Dorsett, WR
A 2015 1st round draft pick, Phillip Dorsett’s arrival on the Colts allegedly had then OC Pep Hamilton “running to his office to rip up his two tight end plays“, so he could unleash three wide receivers onto the Colts opponents. This didn’t go too well, as Dorsett saw just 39 targets in 11 games last season and Hamilton got the boot. Now Rob Chudzkinski is running the offense in Indy, and with Dorsett still behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the wide receiver depth chart, he will struggle to be a full and firing part of this offense. In his last three seasons as an OC or head coach, the WR3 has seen 10% of total team targets, while the main tight end has seen 15%. With Dwayne Allen signed to a new deal this offseason, Dorsett will be forced to feed off scraps. He is currently the 62nd wide receiver going off the board in fantasy drafts in 2015, though he is worth holding on to in Dynasty/keeper formats.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Marqise Lee, WR
It must be tempting for the Jaguars to pretend that they drafted Allen Hurns in the second round of the 2014 Draft, and picked up Lee as an undrafted free agent, given that they gave Hurns a four year, $40m contract this Spring and Lee has given them 52 receptions in two seasons. The Jaguars have improved their defense and rushing attack in an attempt to ensure that Blake Bortles is not forced to try and repeat his efforts of 2015 (the Jags hate your fantasy team. And mine.), and with Hurns, Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas set to be the main pass catchers, Lee is very much on the outside looking in. Even if one of the Allens were to get injured, Rashad Greene has shown himself to be more reliable than Lee. This is evinced in Lee’s ADP of WR99.
Tennessee Titans – DeMarco Murray RB
Let’s cut to the chase. Murray was bloody awful for the Eagles in 2015, whichever way you slice it. Howie Roseman had barely given Chip Kelly enough time to pack up his office before he was working out a way to get this colossal sunk cost off his roster. His 702 rushing yards and 3.6 yards per carry won few games, and even fewer friends, with the Birds. He finds himself in Tennessee, who have been incredibly vocal about their desire to unleash “Exotic Smashmouth“onto the NFL, and given his history as a workhorse Murray would seem to fit the bill perfectly. As per Pro Football Reference, Murray’s 392 carries in 2014 ranked as the seventh most carries a running back had handled in a single season. It is this workload however, and the presence of rookie Derrick Henry, that makes me want to run for the hills, instead of call his number at his present ADP of RB19. In fact, to paraphrase the great Evan Silva, there isn’t a round late enough for me to consider drafting him in.