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8 Best Ball Busts & League Winner Candidates: AFC South (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jul 13, 2022
Marlon Mack

Marlon Mack is someone I refuse to draft

Several factors go into building a winning best ball team. One of those factors is identifying which players will let your team down and bust. Another is knowing which players have league-winning upside, especially in the later rounds. To help you build an elite best ball roster, I will identify the most likely bust candidate and potential league winner for every NFL team.

Today I breakdown the AFC South teams: the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.

The average draft position (ADP) used for this article comes from Underdog Fantasy.


Potential Bust Candidates

Marlon Mack (RB – HOU): ADP 175.6

Given the lack of proven players on the Houston offense, it’s hard to find a clear bust candidate. However, Mack is someone I refuse to draft. He has played only seven games the past two years because of a torn achilles and several healthy game-day inactive scratches. Furthermore, he has averaged over 12.5 fantasy points per game only once in his career. More importantly, Mack won’t have a featured role in the backfield with Rex Burkhead and rookie Dameon Pierce on the roster. If you are targeting late-round running backs with upside, draft Mark Ingram, Brian Robinson, or Sony Michel instead. All three have a later ADP than Mack.

Matt Ryan (QB – IND): ADP 153.5

Trading for Ryan was a good move by the Colts. However, it won’t change his fantasy value much. The former Atlanta star has averaged under 18 fantasy points per game four of the past five years despite playing with elite wide receivers like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. While Michael Pittman is an emerging star, he’s not an elite receiver yet. More importantly, Ryan has never been a high touchdown producer. He has thrown under 30 touchdowns in 11 of his 14 seasons. Furthermore, Ryan offers no rushing production, averaging only 104.9 rushing yards per year in his career. Instead of drafting Ryan, target a quarterback with more upside like Zach Wilson.

Evan Engram (TE – JAC): ADP 178.3

Like the Texans, the Jaguars lack proven players on offense. Thus, it’s hard to find a clear bust candidate. However, you should avoid drafting Engram with one of your later-round picks. He has averaged under 9.5 fantasy points in all but one year of his career. Furthermore, Engram had six touchdowns as a rookie with a 20% target share. More importantly, he has only 10 receiving touchdowns over the past four years despite playing 77% of the games. He also had a career-low 408 yards last season despite the rest of the New York receiving core struggling with injuries. Engram will have to earn his snaps in Jacksonville with Dan Arnold already on the roster. There are several better late-round options at tight end, including Hayden Hurst.

Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN): ADP 178.1

Two years ago, Tannehill posted career highs in fantasy points per game (21.5) and passing touchdowns (33). Unfortunately, he regressed last year, averaging 15.8 fantasy points per game while tossing only 21 touchdowns. Any hope of Tannehill rebounding this season ended when the Titans traded away A.J. Brown during the NFL Draft. Now, Tannehill has a pair of rookie wide receivers and Robert Woods, who is coming off a torn ACL. The only thing in Tannehill’s favor is his rushing ability. He has scored seven rushing touchdowns each of the past two seasons. While the rushing upside is appealing, it’s not enough to overcome the lack of proven weapons in the passing game. I would take a chance on Deshaun Watson before drafting Tannehill.

Potential League Winners

Brevin Jordan (TE – HOU): ADP 208.8

One of my favorite late-round tight ends to target is Jordan. He was the TE29 on a points-per-game basis last year, averaging 5.1 fantasy points per game. However, Jordan produced for fantasy teams when targeted. He averaged 1.64 fantasy points per target last year. Furthermore, Jordan averaged 7.9 fantasy points per game in the four games with four or more targets. More importantly, the Texans leaned on Jordan in the red zone. Despite seeing only 28 targets last year, 14.3% of them came in the red zone, resulting in three touchdowns. The Houston offense lacks proven weapons other than Brandin Cooks, so Jordan has a path to a second-year breakout.

Nyheim Hines (WR – IND): ADP 137.1

The Colts had only one player with over 40 receptions last year. That player was Pittman with 88. Zach Pascal and T.Y. Hilton were the only other wide receivers on the team with more than 13 receptions last year. Pascal signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, while Hilton remains unsigned. Furthermore, the only addition the Colts made this year was using a second-round pick on Alec Pierce. The lack of new additions is good news for Hines. Last year he was second on the team with 40 receptions. Meanwhile, there has been plenty of hype surrounding Hines and a larger role this season. With Ryan’s lack of mobility, expect an increase in dump-off targets for Hines this year.

Christian Kirk (WR – JAC): ADP 89.1

Last year Kirk had arguably the best year of his career with 77 receptions for 982 yards and 169.12 total fantasy points scored, all career-highs. He had an 18.1% target share last season but should have an even larger share this season. The Jaguars made Kirk their prize addition this offseason and believe he can be Trevor Lawrence‘s No. 1 weapon in the passing game. Kirk averaged 1.64 fantasy points per target last year. By comparison, he averaged 1.41 fantasy points per target for the rest of his career. The Jaguars will be in a negative game script a fair amount this season. If Lawrence can make a sophomore leap, Kirk has top-20 upside.

Kyle Philips (WR – TEN): ADP 215.9

Do not disregard your last-round pick simply because it’s the last pick. Anyone who took a dart throw at Cordarrelle Patterson with their last-round pick probably won their league last year. While Treylon Burks gets all the attention as Brown’s replacement, don’t sleep on the fifth-round pick. The former UCLA star has a realistic shot at earning meaningful snaps as a rookie. Woods is coming off a torn ACL and recently turned 30 years old, while Burks has struggled to stay on the field during camp. During the pre-draft process, some compared Philips to Hunter Renfrow. If he builds a connection with Tannehill during training camp, Philips will become the steal of the draft with your final pick.


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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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