The NFC South is a treasure trove of fantasy goodness. You could pick the entire first round from the division and it wouldn’t look out of place. So let’s do this, shall we?
Player I’m drafting: Calvin Ridley, WR
Somewhere in Rock Island DJ just fell out of his chair. I have been a Julio fan since forever, but I think this is the year that Ridley takes the statistical edge. I still think Matt Ryan goes to Jones in the clutch moments though.
Player I’m avoiding: Ito Smith, RB
Smith was the big name last year, but you don’t bring in Todd Gurley without plans to give him plenty of work. I would expect a 70/30 Gurley to Smith split, but it will probably be closer to 60/40.
Sleeper: LaQuon Treadwell. WR
It’s a bit of a roll of the dice to be sure, but he’s out of Minnesota where expectations were high. He won’t be better than the third or fourth option, so perhaps he can excel with less pressure.
Bust: Hayden Hurst, TE
It’s not his fault really. There are simply too many mouths to feed, so he’ll be extremely touchdown dependent. Would look elsewhere for tight end help.
Player I’m drafting: DJ Moore, WR
Yes, Christian McCaffery is the obvious choice here, but unless you are picking in the first two spots, he’s not a realistic option. Moore is the best receiver the Panthers have had since Steve Smith Sr.
Player I’m avoiding: Robby Anderson, WR
With all due respect to FFSQC founding member Nate Joyce, this isn’t a great landing spot for Anderson. Everything he excels at, McCaffrey does better, and we all know who is going to get those targets in a pinch.
Sleeper: Teddy Bridgewater, QB
For the first time in his career, Bridgewater is going to get a legitimate shot to show what he can do. He has plenty of talent around him, now he gets to demonstrate his talent.
Bust: Curtis Samuel, WR
I’ve never been a big Samuel fan, and on a run-first team, it’s never good to be the fourth passing option.
New Orleans Saints
Player I’m drafting: Ty Montgomery, RB
This is an insurance play. If anything happens to Alvin Kamara, Montgomery is a better fit skill-wise as his replacement. Latavius Murray is a steady option, but lacks Murray’s pass-catching abilities.
Player I’m avoiding: Jamies Winston, QB
He finally got LASIK so now he can see Taysom Hill taking all the backup quarterback reps.
Sleeper: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR
He missed last season with an injury, but he’s got speed to burn and will be a nice downfield compliment to Michael Thomas.
Bust: The whole tight end group
I would avoid any and all of these guys. There’s too much firepower on the outside for them to make any serious impact.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Player I’m drafting: Mike Evans, WR
He’s the best WR Tom Brady has had since Randy Moss. He’ll get plenty of action and should be a Top 5 wideout when the dust settles.
Player I’m avoiding: Rob Gronkowski, TE
Yes, I know he came out of retirement to play with Brady, but he already retired once and he was missing more games than he was playing before that. You can find better options.
Sleeper: OJ Howard, TE
Speaking of better options, snag Howard in the latter portions of your draft and let people draft Gronk too high. You’ll be the one who will be in the playoffs at season’s end.
Bust: LeSean McCoy, RB
Shady is more name than game at this stage, as Bill Parcells used to say. He might have a flashes in a couple of games, but you’ll be frustrated more often than not.