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 break down the AFC South teams: the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
The ADP used for this article comes from Underdog Fantasy.
- AFC Busts & League Winners: East | North | South | West
- NFC Busts & League Winners: East | North | South | West
- Fitz’s Draft Primers: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Fantasy Football Draft Strategy
- 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Best Ball Bust & League Winner Candidates: AFC South
Potential Bust Candidates
Dameon Pierce (RB – HOU): ADP 69.1 | RB22
Pierce would have been a league winner last year if it wasn’t for an ankle injury that cost him the final four weeks. The rookie was the RB15, averaging 11.6 half-point PPR fantasy points per game before the injury. Unfortunately, the Texans improved the depth behind him this offseason by signing Devin Singletary. While the veteran isn’t a star running back, he’s a massive upgrade over Rex Burkhead and others. Singletary’s arrival won’t crush Pierce’s fantasy value, but it does limit it. Fantasy players are better off taking Cam Akers in the same range or waiting a few more rounds and targeting a running back with more upside, like Javonte Williams or James Cook.
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND): ADP 65.3 | WR34
I called Pittman an underrated player last year. Unfortunately, the former USC star didn’t live up to expectations, ending the season as the WR23, averaging 10.4 half-point PPR fantasy points per game, down from 11.4 the year before. Furthermore, his receiving yards and touchdowns declined last year despite seeing an increase in receptions, targets, and routes ran. However, the veteran is a solid value as a sixth-round pick and the 34th wide receiver off the board. While Pittman won’t be a massive bust, fantasy players will get more value from Treylon Burks and Jahan Dotson. Both are getting drafted a few picks after the former USC star.
Evan Engram (TE – JAC): ADP 98.2 | TE8
Last year Engram was a popular sleeper candidate. He was the TE6, averaging 8.3 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, the veteran scored half his fantasy points over a four-week window. Meanwhile, the former Ole Miss Star averaged only 4.5 targets and only 5.4 fantasy points per game in the other 13 games of the year. Engram would have been as the TE20 over a 17-game space with that fantasy points per game average last season. More importantly, the Jaguars added Calvin Ridley and Brenton Strange this offseason. After being a late-round sleeper a year ago, Engram is not worthy of his ADP despite his recent contract extension.
Derrick Henry (RB – TEN): ADP 23.9 | RB8
Frankly, the Titans don’t have a clear-cut bust candidate on the roster, but Henry could be that guy this year. The superstar was the RB4 in 2022, averaging 17.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, the average was the lowest of his career since 2018. Furthermore, Henry has averaged under 4.5 yards per rushing each of the past two seasons after averaging at least 5.1 yards per rushing attempt the previous two years. While the superstar running back isn’t a bad pick, given his ADP, I would target a wide receiver like DeVonta Smith or Tee Higgins in the same range instead.
Potential League Winners
Tank Dell (WR – HOU): ADP 213.2 | WR95
Houston traded Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys, opening up a team-high 93 targets from last year’s squad. Furthermore, the Texans lost 64% of their targets from last season’s team. While Houston added multiple veterans in free agency, the younger receivers are the ones fantasy players want to target. Meanwhile, Dell was a popular dynasty rookie draft pick after C.J. Stroud reportedly asked the team to select him. While I believe Nico Collins will be the Texans’ new No. 1 wide receiver, the rookie has the much cheaper ADP. Even if he is the team’s second-leading receiver, Dell could be a league winner that fantasy players can land in the final round of their drafts.
Anthony Richardson (QB – IND): ADP 100.5 | QB11
Typically rookie quarterbacks don’t have much fantasy success. Yet, Richardson could have some success this season thanks to his rushing abilities. Head coach Shane Steichen spent the past two years with the Philadelphia Eagles as the offensive coordinator. Jalen Hurts was a fantasy superstar last season, ending the year as the QB3. However, he was the QB6 on a points-per-game basis in 2021, averaging 20.8 fantasy points per contest. Hurts had 139 rushing attempts for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns that season, leading quarterbacks in every category. While Richardson will struggle as a passer this year, Steichen will take full advantage of rushing upside. If he starts most of the season, the rookie has top-five upside.
Tank Bigsby (RB – JAC): ADP 141.2 | RB46
The Jaguars made several additions to their backfield this offseason. However, the most important one is Bigsby. The third-round rookie won’t replace Travis Etienne as the starter but will cut into his workload, especially around the goal line. Last year the former Clemson star had five rushing touchdowns, tied for the most on the team with Trevor Lawrence. Unfortunately, Etienne scored a touchdown on only three of his 13 goal-line attempts. While it won’t be to the same extreme level, fantasy players shouldn’t be surprised if Bigsby fills the Jamaal Williams role in Jacksonville, with Etienne becoming the D’Andre Swift guy.
Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE – TEN): ADP 127.3 | TE11
If I don’t land Travis Kelce in the first round, my plan is to wait until the later rounds and load up on high-upside tight ends. My favorite of the bunch is Okonkwo. The former Maryland star averaged 3.5 receptions on 4.3 targets for 40.5 receiving yards per game over the final six contests last season. He was the TE8 over those six weeks, averaging 8.2 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, Okonkwo finished first in yards after the catch per receptions and yards per route run among tight ends with at least 30 targets last year. Even after the Titans added DeAndre Hopkins, the second-year tight end is prime for a breakout season.