The AFC South looks like it could be a highly competitive division in 2018. Each team addressed specific needs up and down the roster with this year’s NFL Draft. The Titans and Jaguars prioritized defense more with defense and special teams. The Colts and Texans bolstered their offenses in areas of need. It looks like every team truly got better on paper this year with no clear draft blunders at first glance. But what does that mean for the players already on each team in the division? Let’s take a look at each team’s offensive selections and find some winners and losers in terms of dynasty value.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (Round 1, Pick 6)
Braden Smith, OG, Auburn (Round 2, Pick 5)
Nyheim Hines, RB North Carolina State (Round 4, Pick 4)
Daurice Fountain, WR Northern Iowa (Round 5, Pick 22)
Jordan Wilkins, RB Mississippi (Round 5, Pick 32)
Deon Cain, WR Clemson (Round 6, Pick 11)
Luke Falk, QB Washington State (Round 6, Pick 25)
Marlon Mack, RB IND
“What? How could this be? The Colts just added two running backs in the NFL Draft. How could that be a good thing for Marlon Mack’s fantasy value?” It’s a great question. Thanks for asking.
Ever since Mack was drafted in 2017, there were rumblings of the Colts eventually selecting a “real” feature back early in the NFL Draft in the near future. Even though it was clear Frank Gore was on his way out after 2017, many people just assumed the Colts would invest early in the 2018 NFL Draft, leaving Mack as an afterthought.
The Colts took one look at their offensive line and recognized it wouldn’t matter who ran behind that mess if they didn’t fix things quickly. They nabbed possibly the best player in the entire draft when they selected Quenton Nelson (OG, Notre Dame). And then they went and grabbed Braden Smith (OG, Auburn) just for good measure. The result was an instantly improved offensive line – that’s immediate plus for whichever running back leads the Colts backfield.
But yes, the question still remains. Who is going to lead the Colts backfield? The answer should obviously be Marlon Mack. Why? Nyheim Hines started out at NC State as a wide receiver. He should see some snaps out of the slot and see some work out of the backfield, too. However, he’s a tiny little 5’8”, 198-pound scat back. He offers zero real lead back potential in the NFL.
Jordan Wilkins is a “bigger” back, but is really just a cheap backup by pro standards. He boasts an average athletic profile, average (at best) receiving chops and is going to be 24 years old before he takes an NFL snap (yes, he is 1.5 years older than Marlon Mack). Plus, for the people who think he offers better size than Mack, his BMI is actually slightly lower.
The situation is far from clear to some, but that’s why Marlon Mack is an even bigger winner. He’s obviously going to be the lead back for the Colts, but his price is still incredibly low. Go buy him up in your leagues.