Fantasy Football: The AFC South

Fantasy football is played by many, but few want to take the time necessary to dominate. Get an early look at the breakout players and where everybody has landed now that the smoke has cleared from the offseason.

Houston: The addition of wide receiver Eric Moulds should help take some pressure off of quarterback David Carr and star wideout Andre Johnson. Moulds isn't the deep threat he once was, but he gives the Texans a No. 2 receiver they haven't had since their inception, which should help this offense immensely. Moulds will be out to prove Buffalo was wrong to let him go as well. The team also signed running back Antowain Smith to back up Domanick Davis. Nobody was happier than Davis keeper league owners to see the Texans pass on Reggie Bush in the draft. That was really the only big news of fantasy note for the Texans on draft day, though the team did add offensive linemen Charles Spencer and Eric Winston in the mid-rounds. Both could end up as starters to help keep Carr upright. If not, the team did bring in Sage Rosenfels from Miami to back up Carr. This could be a make-or-break season for Carr.

Indianapolis: Edgerrin James is now in Arizona, breaking up Indianapolis' once-famed triplets. Dominic Rhodes is a capable replacement for now, but he'll be pushed by first- round draft pick Joseph Addai, a tough inside runner who also catches the ball well out of the backfield. Addai had injury problems in college, so he and Rhodes will likely share the running back duties in this still-explosive offense. The team's biggest offseason addition is placekicker Adam Vinatieri, who was already one of the most reliable kickers in fantasy football. Kicking for this team in the dome, Vinatieri is now the unquestioned top fantasy placekicker, just don't get carried away and take him in the third round. Most leagues don't give any extra points for game-winning field goals.

Jacksonville: The Jaguars continued to try to add to their offensive arsenal by grabbing pass-catching tight end Marcedes Lewis in the first round of the draft. Lewis will provide Byron Leftwich with a nice red zone target opposite last year's top pick, Matt   Jones. Lewis is a nice sleeper tight end this season. Looking for an eventual replacement for Fred Taylor, the Jags took Lewis' UCLA teammate Maurice Drew in the second round. The speedy Drew will likely open the season as a third-down back and return man, both of which he excelled at in college. With Jimmy Smith's retirement, Jones and Ernest Wilford will be the starting wideouts. Wilford has more experience and is a better bet to become the team's No. 1 receiver. Many fantasy players will jump on Jones because he's a former No. 1 pick, but Wilford is a great fantasy sleeper this season.

Tennessee: The utter and complete demise of the Tennessee Titans is complete now that the team finally cuts ties with quarterback Steve McNair, one of its last remaining stars from the team's Super Bowl appearance a few years back. McNair's departure leaves the quarterbacking duties in the capable hands of Billy Volek, who will keep the position warm until first-round draft pick Vince Young is ready to play. That likely won't happen this year, so keep Volek in mind on draft day. The Titans were patient in allowing McNair to develop and won't rush Young into the lineup. Volek will have an improved receiving corps to throw to as wide receiver David Givens was added to line up opposite Drew Bennett. Givens is a solid No. 2 receiver and considering the Titans will be behind a lot, he'll have good value. In addition to Young, the Titans grabbed former USC back LenDale White in the second round of the draft. The position is deep with Chris Brown and Travis Henry already on the roster. But Brown is an injury waiting to happen. Take a flier on White in the later rounds of your draft and hope the team at least makes him a short-yardage back, something he excelled at in college.

Courtesy of the Observer-Reporter


Steel City Insider Top Stories