2020 NFC South Fantasy Football Outlook

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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 29: D.J. Swearinger #36 of the New Orleans Saints tries to stop Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The NFC South fantasy football outlook is on fire! Thank you to Tom Brady for taking his services to Tampa Bay. Additionally, Atlanta should continue to be a pass-happy offense, New Orleans remains the same and “Run CMC” doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. The NFC South fantasy football outlook is hot. Let’s dive in and adjust our draft boards.

2020 NFC South Fantasy Football Outlook

Atlanta Falcons

Mr. Consistent on Ice

Matt Ryan‘s reputation as a gunslinger will keep him getting drafted as a top ten quarterback in 2020 fantasy football drafts. I’m not so sure he should be drafted as a such. His 2019 fantasy football stats started on fire, he fizzled to end the year. PPR propped up the receivers but standard scoring deflated them. He was only able to average just over one touchdown per game over the second half of the season. We could argue he faced difficult defenses with no running game. If the running game in 2020 stalls, it could be a long season for fantasy football teams with Ryan as their QB1.

Worth the Gamble

Todd Gurley signs huge contract, wrecks knee. The Los Angeles Rams handle him with kid gloves for a year and then waive him. What do they know that the Falcons don’t know? I’m leary of Gurley as an RB1 but I’ll take a gamble on him as an RB2 with a strong RB3 on my bench. The Falcons just spent a bunch of money on Gurley and their back-up running backs leave little to be desired. Draft at your own risk.

Dynamic Duo

Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are as good as you get in the NFL. While I’m bearish on Ryan and Gurley, I am equally as bullish on the wide receivers. I like both Jones and Ridley in PPR scoring formats and just slightly less in standard-scoring leagues. With that said, I like Ridley over Jones in standard leagues due to a stronger possibility of getting into the endzone. Jones scored touchdowns in only four games in the 2019 NFL season. This is a trend that should be worrisome considering he is now North of 30 years of age. Remember the third year breakout rule for wide receivers? Well, that is Ridley.

Not Your Ordinary Sleeper Pick

Hayden Hurst couldn’t have come into a better situation. He goes to a team that the previous tight end, Austin Hooper, averaged over 7 targets per game from a team in which he saw 2 targets per game. You could argue Mark Andrews was just a superior tight end. And, you’d be right. But, are you going to tell me that Hooper is better than Andrews. I think the answer is no. Hurst is still a very good tight end and is in an offensive scheme that he should thrive. I like Hurst a lot after the big-name tight ends are taken off the board.

Carolina Panthers

Opportunity Knocks

Teddy Bridgewater is back! He asserted himself quite well in Drew Brees stead. Now he’s in Carolina to become the starting quarterback. He put up solid, not spectacular numbers, but, one start he passed for four touchdowns and 28 fantasy points. All be it against the Buccaneers, but who didn’t hit 30 fantasy points against them. However, 30 point games are in the range of outcomes and the Panthers’ offense has the potential to be explosive. That being said, this makes him a quarterback I’m targeting in later rounds. Don’t get me wrong, he should be drafted as a QB2 on rosters in re-draft leagues. However, if you, like me wait to draft a quarterback late, you could be getting a real steal.

Everyone’s Number One

Christian McCaffrey is the number one overall draft pick in all formats. We all know barring injury McCaffrey will continue to set defenses on fire. There just isn’t much to say here. If you have the number one overall pick, take McCaffrey. Don’t overthink it and take your time to consider Saquon Barkley or Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes. Do not waste anyone’s time. Click on McCaffrey and prep for your back to back picks to end round two and begin three.

Speed Kills

D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson combine to make for a very solid wide receiver corps for Bridgewater. Moore finished as a top 20 wide receiver in 2019 and I don’t see a slide out of that spot. If anything he could move up with the accurate Bridgewater. The fantasy community is waiting for Samuel to breakout. He is what he is. A solid WR3 in your line-up with upside. There are some players that we say, “If they would just use him more?” He is what, he is folks. They move him around, he’s fast. He’s a solid slot receiver. End of story. Move on. And, then there’s Mr. Late season explosion. Same thing. The past two years we peg Anderson to break into the top twenty. Then, he doesn’t. He’s merely a spot on your bench for injury, back-up purposes.

Diamond in the Rough, or Just Rough

Ian Thomas opportunity season. Seth Devalve is a non-starter figuratively and literally. With the passing on, I mean moving on of age, veteran, Greg Olsen, Thomas has the opportunity to breakout. He’s shown enough flashes to warrant a late-round draft pick. However, due to the weapons surrounding Bridgewater, I’m not counting on anything more than TE2 numbers.

New Orleans Saints

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Drew Brees, future Hall of Famer, is still a top tier quarterback in all formats. Jameis Winston signed on in the free agency. Let’s be honest. He’s hoping Bress retires and we all know the Taysom Hill is nothing more than a great gadget play. Draft Bree’s, handcuff Jameis if your into that sort of thing. Hill is good in one format and that is, he will win you money in a mass multi-entry showdown slate in Daily Fantasy.

One-Two Punch

Alvin Kamara continues to be a top pick in the first round of fantasy football drafts. While he dealt with an injury and missed two games in the 2019 NFL season, he was still the overall RB9 in fantasy leagues that use PPR scoring. He should be drafted in the middle of the first round in all formats. Latavius Murray is worthy of a roster spot in case of injury to Kamara. The Saints offense should be explosive and the average draft position of their players suggests it, as well.

Number One on all Lists

Michael Thomas will most likely be drafted in the first round of drafts. He’s Brees’ top target for a reason. He catches everything. Beyond Thomas, there hadn’t much to write home about regarding the Saints’ wide receiver corps. However, that seems to have changed with the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders. One of the most reliable slot receivers in the league, he should be drafted as your WR2. The PPR scoring formats will favor Sanders and he should provide relief for the rest of the Saints’ offense taking the focus off of Thomas and Kamara.

Now We’re Cooking

Jared Cook, entering his twelfth year, while only starting 7 games enjoyed his highest output in terms of touchdowns with nine. Surprisingly, he recorded only 43 receptions, on 63 targets for  700-plus yards. This was good enough for the overall TE7 in PPR leagues. I can’t say I trust the veteran tight end as my TE1 as other, younger tight ends emerge. But, you could do worse if you wait on drafting the position in the later rounds of your fantasy football draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Would You Retire Already

We joke about Frank Gore‘s age, but make no mistake Tom Brady is no spring chicken. The common denominator, however, is their ability to stay on the field and play at a high level. Brady’s arm strength may be diminishing but, he’s as smart as they come as commander of an offense. The Buccaneers boast a young, outstanding receiving corps including the tight ends. There is no reason, save for injury, that Brady shouldn’t be drafted among the top quarterbacks. Again.

Problematic Position

Ronald Jones, RoJo, will get his opportunity to be the number one running back. Peyton Barber has since signed with Washington. The fantasy football community seems split on Jones’ ability to rise in relevance as a highly drafted RB1 or even an RB2 for our roster decisions. While some think they’re drafting a “sleeper” pick late in drafts, let them gloat. And, watch as they let RoJo ride the bench up to the play-offs and they try to trade him for a can of paint. While you have picked, a rookie and now the starter, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and laugh all the way to your league championship.

Dynamic Duo and …

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are arguably the best set of receivers to line-up with Tom Brady. As soon as Brady signed with Tampa Bay the draft board engines fired up and sent the Buccaneers skill players flying up draft boards. The receivers will be valuable and rightly so. However, Brady has had a good running game and the offensive line to rely on. The Buccaneers O-line and the corresponding running game are suspect. Evans and Godwin should be drafted high. But, if Brady’s arm falls off mid-season it will be curtains for your fantasy football team. I’m just saying make a contingency plan.

Now It’s a Party

Break out the beer bongs, Rob Gronkowski is back. The question though, is his back, back? Regardless. The Buccaneers’ tight end room is loaded. Gronk, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard makes up the best group of tight ends in the league. It will be fun to watch. Which tight end will emerge as Brady’s go-to? If you guess right, depending on any given Sunday, I applaud you.

NFC South Fantasy Football Fire

You’ll want to have a sprinkling of NFC South players on your fantasy football rosters. By season’s end, it wouldn’t surprise me to see these teams set a record for overall points scored by a division. You want that. Adjust your draft boards. We’re getting closer to go time. And, yes! There will be a season! It’s my fantasy, it’s your fantasy. Build it how you like! Good luck and good fantasy!

 

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