The NFC South was dominant last year in terms of fantasy production. It gave us the RB1, WR1, WR2, and WR3 overall. It also experienced a ton of change this offseason. However, the usual suspects are still around to give it the structure of another year of good fantasy production. So, I am going to tell you who you should be buying, selling, holding, and who you can acquire as sleepers.
Buys are people I am trying to acquire either because their ADP is lower than their actual value or their production is going to take off. My first player to buy is Chris Godwin. This may come as a surprise as he was the WR2 overall, but based on ADP he has "fallen" to WR5. The reason he is a smash buy for me is his ADOT was 10.7 and Julian Edelman, Brady's favorite target, had an ADOT of 9.63. Godwin's ADOT is the closest to that out of all of Brady's new targets and if Godwin gets the same number of targets Edelman got, 153, and maintains his points per opportunity would score 24 points per game. His game matches up with Tom better so I am trying to acquire him.
Buy number two is Alvin Kamara. In year one he scored 13 total TDs, and in year two he scored 18 total TDs. In year three he scored six, regressing past the average of 9. He said he was playing on 75% of one leg, so with a fully healthy Kamara and Brees being the dump-off king, I think Kamara gets at least 81 catches like he has in his previous three seasons and gets his TD numbers back up.
Emmanuel Sanders, another Saints player, comes in as our third buy. While Sanders is a new addition to the team with the odd offseason we are having, I am not concerned about him getting chemistry with Brees because he has played with lesser quarterbacks in his most recent years. Sanders's ADOT is 10.6 while Drew Brees' ADOT is 6.78. When you include his RBs who both had ADOTs lower than one yard. If you take out his runningback's ADOT, Brees' average ADOT is 9.68 and is much closer to what Sander's was. So when Michael Thomas is double covered or facing the number one corner on a team, that is going to leave Sanders facing a lesser corner. He is still good enough to beat them and get open and I think he is going to be sneaky good this year with as talented a QB as Brees. Age would be the only concern as he is 33, but he could be a great option as a flex or WR3 on a bye week for one of your other studs and is pretty cheap with an ADP of 86.
When talking about a sell, these are the players who I want to get rid of because there ADP does not match their production, or I think they are at peak value and I want to get the best return possible. The first sell is a duo of receivers in Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel. Both of these guys are burners which I love in my WRs. However, I think that they are both too similar to each other for either to take over as the WR2 in Carolina. They fulfill the same role and with Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore being there, these two guys are going to have to fight for the remaining targets and they have a new QB who I'm not sure likes to throw deep. Curtis Samuel had 105 targets last year. The next highest "receiver" was Greg Olsen with 82 who is no longer on the team, so Samuel and Anderson will have to split 187 targets and Samuel already got 105 last year. There is some opportunity for them, but it not enough to make me buy them. If I had to choose one to go after it would be Curtis Samuel because he may have some extra motivation to perform. After all, it is a contract year. The only way I think these two succeed is if Joe Brady's offense from LSU last year translates to the NFL and they can unlock Bridgewater like they did Joe Burrow.
Sell number two is going to be a shocker. Michael Thomas. Michael Thomas is one of, if not, THE best WRs in the NFL. He had a historic season last year racking up 149 receptions on 185 targets. 149! He outscored Chris Godwin by 98 points last year. You should sell him because the odds of him repeating that historic season are slim to none. His ADP after the season had him going 3rd overall in one QB PPR. He has dropped some to eight but is still the WR1 off the board. Is he the WR1? Yes, but I would rather pick a running back in that first round, or if I am on the clock and he is up based on ADP, I would rather trade back for more picks and get another WR later. WR is the value position this year, so you don't necessarily need the WR1 overall to win the league.
Holds are players I want to hold because their production is either unknown to buy or sell based on ADP or there production has been consistently good and I expect that to continue. The first player I want you to hold is the man himself, Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey also had a historic season like Thomas, but the difference to me is Carolina has shown for two years straight that they are going to use him. In 2018 he was RB2 overall in PPR and last year he was the number two player in fantasy football overall. I expect him to be a top-two RB again for at least this year, so you need to capitalize on that and go win your championship!
Second on our hold list for the NFC South is none other than the big guy, Mike Evans. Mike Evans is sneakily always a good fantasy WR option in the fact that we don't talk about him a whole lot. He is 26 years old and entering a season with the GOAT as his QB. I don't like that as much because Tom Brady's ADOT as mentioned above was 9.6. Mike Evans ADOT last year was 15.33. He is my type of WR, big and fast and just dominates people down the field. I don't love him this year because I don't know if Brady's playstyle is going to utilize him enough. Brady is getting up there in age though, so if he only plays for a year or two in Tampa, Evans will still be young enough to go out and return to form of WR1 for a couple more years if he drops off at all with Brady. I think he might, so we will see.
Hayden Hurst is my third hold. He was a first-round pick in Baltimore but was surpassed by Mark Andrews who was a third-round pick. Baltimore thought highly of him to draft him, but he still lost his job. I think this first year in Atlanta could be a make or break for him in his third year overall. Atlanta targeted Austin Hooper 97 times last year, so Hurst could step right into that role. I think some of those targets will get spread to Calvin Ridley and even Russell Gage, especially with the limited offseason. However, if Hurst steps into the Hooper role, expect great things.
Sleepers are some of my favorite players to research. It is always enjoyable finding that diamond in the rough. The first sleeper is Adam Trautman, a tight end out of Dayton, drafted by the Saints. Trautman might have the opportunity to step into a role immediately depending on Jared Cook. Cook is 33 years old and is underrated in his own right, but he's not getting any younger. So you should be drafting Trautman at the end of your rookie drafts or later in your startups. In his sophomore and junior years, he had at least 40 catches and over 500 yards. In his senior year, he had 70 receptions for 916 yards. With him being at a smaller school, his senior year production is exactly what I want to see from him. He dominated at his position.
The next sleeper is not your typically defined sleeper because we all know who he is. There will probably be a 30 for 30 on this man called 30 and 30. It's Jameis Winston. Winston made a business decision to advance his career by going to learn from two of the greats. This year he is going to sit and learn and hopefully mature behind the leadership of Brees and Payton. Then next year when Brees retires does that mean he takes the reigns? Possibly! A Jameis Winston led by Sean Payton offense is one I want a part of. If not I think he gets a second chance somewhere else.
With this final segment, I am going to present a player and then tweet out a poll. This division's player is Julio Jones. Julio was the player that I could not decide on because he has been a perennial superstar. He finished as the WR3 overall in 2019. He is also 31 years old, and in dynasty, that concerns me. Historically, we have seen WRs start to decline at this age. Julio isn't most WRs, so what say you? Buy, Sell, or Hold?