Pre-Free Agency Fantasy Football Division Preview: NFC South

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pre-Free Agency Fantasy Football Division Preview: NFC South

Fantasy Football

Pre-Free Agency Fantasy Football Division Preview: NFC South


David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are good NFL divisions, there are bad NFL divisions, and then there’s the NFC South. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons are currently the laughingstock of the NFL. As the only division without a single team with a winning record, hopefully the entire division gets a makeover following the NFL draft and free agency. We will take a look at their current fantasy value heading into 2023 and try to find some bright spots in the darkness we call the NFC South.  


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback: Kyle Trask

Trask is currently the only quarterback under contract for the Buccaneers in 2023, and it appears the Buccaneers may see what the former second round pick can do. In a likely rebuilding year, the Buccaneers may start Trask through thick and thin. If they win a lot of games, Trask will be the future starter, if they lose numerous games, the Buccaneers could draft their franchise quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft. Trask should not be drafted in any redraft league, but draws interesting value in dynasty superflex leagues.  


Running Back: Rachaad White

As it currently stands, White appears to be the lead back for the Buccaneers in 2023.  Leonard Fournette was just cut, which allows White to take over the lion’s share of the work. White was inefficient in 2022, but his potential usage next season could make White a low end RB2. Keep an eye on April’s draft to see if the Buccaneers pair White alongside a bigger back.


Wide Receiver: Chris Godwin / Mike Evans

Godwin has officially overtaken Evans as the de facto top receiver in this offense.  Godwin had an equal season to Evans in 2022, but was far more consistent and did so while in ACL recovery and nursing multiple hamstring strains throughout the year.  Godwin is a pure route runner and has the makings of a more quarterback proof receiver than Evans. Godwin should still be a solid midrange WR2 in 2023 regardless of who his quarterback is. Godwin also has midrange WR1 potential, although I don’t think we will see that in 2023.  

Evans profiles as a go-route, jump ball receiver who needs a confident arm to give him his opportunities. Evans has set an NFL record with the most seasons with 1,000 or more yards to start a career (nine), but I regretfully believe his incredible streak will come to an end in 2023. Unless Derek Carr or Aaron Rodgers come to town, Evans is a bottom tier WR2 with boom or bust production in 2023. 


Tight End: Cade Otton

Cade Otton was a rookie in 2022 and finished as the 26th best fantasy tight end.  Despite his unproductive season, Otton showed flashes that he has potential to be a reliable tight end option in the future. Trask may use Otton as a safety valve in the offense, thus giving Otton mid TE2 potential along with solid dynasty value. 


Carolina Panthers

Quarterback: ???
The Carolina Panthers only have Matt Corral under contract in 2023, although it is expected Sam Darnold will be re-signed as well. Corral is still in recovery from a Lisfranc injury and may even miss OTA’s in 2023. This quarterback carousel is confusing and hopefully the Panthers explore draft options as they hold the ninth overall pick in April’s draft. 


Running Back: D’Onta Foreman / Chuba Hubbard

Both of these backs are far below average, but both would be good late round targets for those using the zero running back strategy. As individuals, they are only bench pieces in most redraft formats. The running back position may be addressed in the NFL Draft.  


Wide Receiver: D.J. Moore / Terrace Marshall

D.J. Moore is a soft-spoken, quiet young man who is extremely talented. His talent has gone to waste as none of his quarterbacks can seem to get him the ball! Moore is adored by fantasy players and NFL general managers alike, but as long as the Panthers refuse to address their hole at quarterback, Moore remains a high end WR3. Should the Panthers draft a franchise quarterback, Moore can suddenly jump into top 10 receiver production with an accurate arm like C.J. Stroud’s under center.

Marshall has improved massively since his rookie year, but still hasn’t shown any consistent production. He is a great buy-low candidate in dynasty, but can be left on waivers in redraft leagues.


Tight End: Ian Thomas / Tommy Tremble

Both Tremble and Thomas are good real life tight ends who specialize in blocking, they can be left on waivers in fantasy. 


New Orleans Saints

Quarterback: Andy Dalton / Jameis Winston

Winston lost the job to Dalton after throwing five interceptions in the first four games of the season, and he also dealt with a back injury throughout the year. Dalton is a bottom tier QB2; neither Dalton nor Winston should be starting on any redraft team in 2023.  


Running Back: Alvin Kamara

Kamara is facing serious legal issues in 2023 and will likely be suspended if not expelled from the NFL. He is a clear avoid in any fantasy format until his legal situation is cleared up. I would not bother drafting Kamara until you’ve reached the ninth round or later in redraft or dynasty leagues. Even then, he may still be avoided.  


Wide Receiver: Chris Olave / Michael Thomas

Olave was highly productive in large part because he was force-fed targets all season long.  Olave has talent, but his usage carried his overall value. Luckily, in fantasy football we don’t care how or why players produce, as long as they produce.  Olave is a midrange WR2 in 2023.  

Michael Thomas played only three games in 2022 and was highly productive in each game. He will always have elite level talent, but it’s time to give up on the injury prone diva. Thomas hasn’t been healthy since 2019, which feels like it was an eternity ago.  Happily allow your league mates to draft Thomas, so a better player can fall into your lap during the draft. 


Tight End: Juwan Johnson / Taysom Hill

Johnson and Hill were both top 15 options at the position, and Hill was even the third-best tight end in standard leagues! Both have freakishly good games occasionally and are amazing best ball draft options. In typical redraft leagues, Johnson is the preferred option in a spot starting role.


Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback: Desmond Ridder

Ridder did not do much in 2022 and did not have much to work with in a porous offense. Ridder should not be touched in one quarterback leagues, but has QB3 value in superflex leagues.


Running Back: Tyler Allgeier 

Allgeier finished the year on a hot streak and stole the starting job away from Cordarrelle Patterson.  After finishing with over 1,000 rushing yards, Allgeier is a low end RB2 candidate in 2023. Having been a fifth round pick, history shows that Allgeier has a very high chance to be replaced in the near future.  At the very least, the Falcons may add a receiving back threat to support Allgeier and take over the Patterson role.


Wide Receiver: Drake London

London is a physically imposing receiver who Ridder relied on heavily.  His usage rate with Ridder is promising, and he may be a WR2 despite the limited usage and opportunity in this run-first offense. London has all the tools to be a great receiver, but he needs an improvement at quarterback to reach his potential.


Tight End: Kyle Pitts

Pitts was one of the biggest busts in 2022 finishing as the 33rd best tight end in fantasy after being drafted as a top three option. Pitts is a risky pick in 2023 due to his coaching staff’s lack of ability to get Pitts the ball. Pitts was the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but was used primarily as a decoy, limiting his potential severely. Pitts should be drafted as a low end TE1 with risk, but has the potential to be a top two tight end in any given year.  


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