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Fantasy Redraft Sleepers: AFC South

Written by: Austin Thomas

We've made it to the second half of the sleeper articles. Four divisions down, four more to go! We've gone over both the AFC and NFC East and North divisions. Now we'll travel down south starting with the AFC South and its' core of teams. The start of the NFL season will be here before we know it, so you better start making your list of sleeper picks now to prepare for your drafts. Here are my favorites in this division outside of FTN Fantasy's top-100 average draft position (ADP) chart.

Houston Texans

Nico Collins (ADP 151.7; WR62)

I'm not going to try and sell you on the "someone has to catch the ball" narrative because the fact is any of these receivers in camp can bond a relationship with quarterback CJ Stroud and become the target hog. I'm a believer in Nico Collins' talent, so I think he's got a chance to be the top option in the passing game among the wide receivers. Collins has shown promise in his short career, but has had to deal with subpar quarterback play and hasn't had a chance to shine thus far. Enter CJ Stroud who was an elite passer at the collegiate level and should give a boost to all the pass catchers on the team. Playing alongside Brandin Cooks, who's a good and established player in his own right, Cooks only out-targeted Collins 60 to 53 in the eight games they both played 50% or more of the snaps last season. Regardless if Collins is the Texans fantasy WR1 or not, I think he's in store for a career season and that'll push him above his current ADP and beat that WR62 price. Get on board for the year-3 breakout.

Indianapolis Colts

Josh Downs (ADP 217; WR81)

Entering the 2023 NFL draft, Josh Downs was a consensus top-5 wide receiver in this rookie class. To say his draft slide into the bottom of the third round was shocking is an understatement. He was the 12th wide receiver to get drafted and I assure you he will keep that chip on his shoulder during his playing career. In his final season at North Carolina, Downs captured 28% of the total receptions for the team. The Colts already have an alpha receiver on the team in Michael Pittman, but Josh Downs should have no issues earning targets behind him in a rather wide-open receiver depth chart. Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson could be great for Josh Downs. Richardson is knocked for his "inaccuracy" and the Colts could put him in a position to make high percentage short to intermediate throws, which would benefit Josh Downs the most among the projected top-3 receivers on the team. Downs could be a target vacuum in his rookie season and is worth a last-round dart throw.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tank Bigsby (ADP 149.5; RB51)

Prior to the draft, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said they were looking to add another running back to complement Travis Etienne and they did just that adding Auburn's stud running back Tank Bigsby. In the six seasons, Doug Pederson has been a head coach, his RB2 has averaged 89 rush attempts and 22 receptions per season. Not only is Bigsby looking at 100+ touches this season, but Travis Etienne is primed for volume regression. Etienne had the most amount of total touches from a Doug Pederson RB1 during his head coaching career with 255 touches and had a 61.28% share of the running back carries. The Jaguars are projected to be one of the better offenses in the NFL this season and that always gives the players a boost in production. Having a piece of this offense in some capacity will be a good asset and taking one of the cheaper players that'll be involved seems like a good return on investment. Tank Bigsby should see 100+ touches and have weekly flex appeal while being one of the top "handcuff" options if something were to sideline Travis Etienne.

Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill (ADP 248.8; QB32)

At the time of this writing, Ryan Tannehill is going off the board at QB32 and an ADP near the mid-200s. I'm sure as we draw closer to the season his value will rise with fantasy players having time to fully digest the DeAndre Hopkins signing and what it means for the 2023 Tennessee Titans. This could arguably be the best supporting receiving cast Ryan Tannehill has had during his time in Tennessee. DeAndre Hopkins is still playing at an elite level and will outproduce all the previous veteran signings the Titans have experimented with. Treylon Burks is ready to explode onto the scene his sophomore season and take that next step towards stardom. Chigoziem Okonkwo was also a popular tight-end sleeper this upcoming season amongst the fantasy community prior to the Hopkins signing, but still adds a big, fast, and athletic tight end into the mix of playmakers at Tannehill's disposal. Also can't forget about underrated slot receiver, Kyle Phillips either. The Titans offense will still run through Derrick Henry, but in what could be Ryan Tannehill's final season as a member of the Tennessee Titans, I'm expecting an uptick in passing volume and close to his 2020 numbers where he threw for 3819 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Regardless if you agree Ryan Tannehill is in store for a big season or not, the Titans have made it clear with their offseason moves that they're giving it one last run at a Super Bowl title with the veteran cast they've been operating with over the last few years. The draft selection of Will Levis made Tannehill's value drop and most anticipated him to get benched at some point in favor of the rookie, but Mike Vrabel isn't the type of coach to just roll over and accept defeat. Many fans and analysts are sleeping on the Titans this season and will be in the thick of things toward the end of the season. I wouldn't be shocked if Ryan Tannehill ends up starting every game this year and if that holds true he'd surely bypass his QB32 draft price and be close to a high-end QB2. If you like to roster two quarterbacks, Tannehill is one of the best values this year as your fantasy backup.

This concludes another week of divisional sleepers. I hope at least one of these players can assist you during the season on your way to a fantasy championship. As always, thank you for showing your support and continuing to read these weekly articles. It truly means a lot. My biggest goal in the fantasy football community is to help everyone to the best of my abilities and I do that by giving my input towards these writings. Until next time, have a wonderful day!

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