Daily Bread: AFC South
Crumbs of news and the fantasy impact from around the NFL.
Titans pass on running in order to run better? The focus has been Chris Johnson and running the ball, but many players and coaches are coming out of minicamp reporting a pass happy experience. The fantasy focus has been on Kendall Wright. The player I am keeping my eye on is QB Jake Locker. After watching all 76 of his drop backs last season, Locker showed poise and ability as a rookie. With the benefit of a full offseason this year, I believe Locker will win the starting job. With the tools round him, Locker has a great chance at fantasy success with his arm and legs. Keep an eye on Jake Locker as a QB2 sleeper. I already have him in my dynasty league.
The Texans are in the process of rebuilding the right side of their offensive line after losing RT Eric Winston and RG Mike Brisiel. The Texans have capable starters waiting in the wings but it remains to be seen how the line will gel and work as a unit. Until pads are donned and the real work in the trenches begins, it will be tough to tell if this line will continue to bulldoze holes for Arian Foster. From a pass protection standpoint, Winston allowed 7 sacks last season so there is room for improvement from the new guys. Keep Arian Foster at the top of your draft chart. Duh!
Mike Thomas seems to be the odd man out in Jacksonville. But I would not be too sure about that. Working against him is a $3.5 million roster bonus due this offseason. In his favor is a guaranteed $1.45 million salary. The Jaguars drafted Justin Blackmon and signed Laurent Robinson. Those two guys will man the outside receiver spots which will allow Thomas to return home to the slot. Thomas was the seventh best slot receiver in the NFL in 2010 according to ProFootballFocus.com. I expect a bounce back year from him after a lackluster 2011. Keep an eye on him as an early season waiver pick up, or take a late round draft flier if you need a WR4.
The Colts acquire CB Cassius Vaughn from Denver Broncos in exchange for FB Chris Gronkowski. Vaughn is a third year player out of Ole Miss. Vaughn brings some depth to the Colts and he may get a shot at more playing time. He was buried on the depth chart in Denver only seeing 237 snaps at the CB position. This is a helpful acquisition for the Colts but don’t expect a huge jump for Colts defensive fantasy numbers.