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As I started our Fantasy Football rookie preview for the AFC South, I though, “Why couldn’t the NFC East draft some of these guys?”

This division is loaded with rookie potential for us Fantasy Football players

I don’t even have room to talk about the Titans Dorial Green-Beckham or Jaelen Strong fully.

They’re just Honorable Mentions here! I put an offensive tackle there last week.

Could you imagine the buddy cop comedies if the Giants took Dorial-Green Beckham? They could have titled it ODB and DGB. Actually scratch buddy cop movies, I think they’d both make nice Wu Tang Clan additions.

AFC South: Fantasy Rookie Preview

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

Finally, an easy guy to write about. If you’ve paid even the slightest bit of attention to college football over the last three years you have probably heard the name Mariota floating around.

If you’ve been living under a rock he’s just your typical, dual threat quarterback who is equally skilled running with the ball as he is throwing it. And he has a Heisman Trophy. Which I was once told was the greatest gift a son can give his father so happy Father’s Day Mr. Mariota!

Anyway, he was a three year starter on one of the best teams in the country over that span and each year shouldered more of a load as the Oregon Ducks lost more and more skill players to the NFL.

He’s a deadly accurate passer and in the fast paced game the NFL has turned into, the quicker your quarterback can get the ball out of his hand and into your playmakers’ hands the better. But what if your quarterback is the playmaker…

Whoa. We could have another RG3 situation! And the good, rookie type of RG3. Not whatever has happened to him since then. He’s a guy who know how to move with the ball in his hands and has an uncanny ability to sense pressure. Obviously he’s a rookie quarterback so don’t get too excited and think he can carry your team right away. It would have been more fun for all fantasy owners if he was on the Eagles but he should still put up some solid numbers in Tennessee. I’d target him as a back up to for 1 QB leagues but you may want to take him a round or two earlier than you plan. If things break right he could put up a Cam Newton/Robert Griffin III type rookie season. And he also has a new weapon in Dorial Green-Beckham. That could develop into a deadly combination.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars


Yeldon has the profile of a late round fantasy running back who could make a sizeable return on investment. Photo credit: Matt Tosh/Flickr

The Jaguars deserve to catch a break. You get the exact player you want and need in the first round only to see him tear his ACL in the first minutes of minicamp? Bummer. At least they got some great value in the second round when they drafted Alabama running back TJ Yeldon, More solid NFL running backs come from after the first round now than in it and Yeldon fits the bill for a productive late pick in your fantasy draft who turns in way more production than expected.

The Jaguars signed Toby Gerhart last offseason to be their featured back but that didn’t work out the way they probably hoped. Oh, they wanted a productive back? Then no it didn’t work out at all. Yeldon comes from a pro style offense at Alabama and is the definition of a grinder. He doesn’t have break away speed but has a great knowledge of how to read a defense. He makes quick choices and usually finds the right hole. He isn’t the typical big back you expect when you see he’s 6’1 but with an NFL workout plan he can still probably add a little more strength.

The Jaguars are trying to develop Blake Bortles into their quarterback of the future and having a stead running back besides him should help. Yeldon is solid out of the backfield and good in the open field. That little bit of PPR value makes him a worth late round flier.

Philip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Great. Awesome. Fantastic. Just what we needed, another weapon for Andrew Luck’s arsenal. Some guys just get all the good breaks. Oh wait, I’m not a defensive coach in the AFC South so this actually is great for us! Luck is probably the second best quarterback this season and adding a speedster like Dorsett can’t be a bad thing. Yes the Colts already have a speedster in TY Hilton which makes the actual draft choice a bit strange but for our purposes he looks like a great late round flier.

The guy has blazing speed (he ran a 4.3 40 yard dash) and has a knack for big plays, averaging 24 yards a catch in his last season at Miami. In the NFL today you need to spread out defenses and Dorsett will stretch them out vertically. With his size and speed he’s made for the slot receiver position but he also showed in college he can produce out wide which is big. TY Hilton is the Colts top receiver and I’m sure they’ll want to move him around a lot. With Dorsett’s ability to adapt he’ll be able to stay on the field.

And all he needs to be a useful receiver in Fantasy Football are a few big plays and if he shows he can make them, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to make more.

Honorable Mentions

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

This guy has great size and speed. He was even the top high school recruit four years ago. He produced at a high level but off field issues caused a lot of problems. He could create a power duo with newly drafted QB Marcus Mariota but theres a lot of Josh Gordon potential there. Both to make big plays and to get kicked off the team. Take him late but don’t bank on him.

Jaelen Strong,

WR, Houston Texans
He’s a big receiver that has a great shot at being the #2 receiver on the Texans. He’s got great hands and has enough strength to break some tackles. Oh and used to be a basketball player which means he’s automatically going to be great in the NFL. He’s still learning to play the position but if the Texans’ receiver coaches can coach him up he has the talent to be rosterable in all but the shallowest leagues.

Check back with us often over the next few weeks as we go through all of the divisions, doing Fantasy rookie previews for all of the incoming first-year players of interest!

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