Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Eli

Eli's Articles

Team Needs
AFC / NFC South
AFC/NFC West | AFC/NFC North | AFC/NFC East | AFC/NFC South


AFC South

Houston TexansHouston Texans


Biggest Needs: RB, OG, OT
The Houston Texans were a popular selection of many pundits to ascend to the top of the AFC South division in 2009. But a slow start to begin the season put them behind the eight ball early and left them scrambling during the second half of the season. Houston’s passing game has matured into one of the league’s best, but fortifying the offensive line would make improving the entire offense as a whole a much easier task. Even though the Texans signed veteran offensive lineman Wade Smith for depth, there remains a need up front.

Steve Slaton was one of the biggest sleepers heading into 2009 after a stellar rookie campaign in 2008. But a serious case of fumble-itis during the season, coupled with neck surgery in the off-season has placed a huge question mark over his long-term prognosis as the starting RB in Houston. Other ball carriers on the roster don’t scare anyone; so securing a solid RB at some point in the draft would be a good move.

Potential Free Agent Targets: If the Texans were willing to gamble on a few available free agents, they’d certainly have their pick of the litter. Free agent O-linemen Shawn Andrews and Flozell Adams are available and could possibly add stopgap production to a unit that could use a bit of depth. The Texans would benefit from a between-the-tackles RB—someone reminiscent of a Larry Johnson-type. But since LJ signed with the Washington Redskins, there aren’t many other options left, unless you consider the flirting-with-retirement Jamal Lewis.

Draft Picks: 1.20, 2.19: It is said that the 2010 NFL draft is fairly deep with offensive line talent. If that is indeed the case, the Texans should find gems in tackles Charles Brown from USC or Anthony Davis of Rutgers available when they select in the first round. Or, if they decide to improve their running attack, they could elect to draft Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews. At 6-0 and 218 lbs, he has the measurables to add an element to Houston’s running game that they’ve been lacking for some time.


Biggest Needs: CB, FS, DT
Dunta Robinson’s departure leaves a huge void in the Texans’ secondary. Even when he was on the roster, the secondary proved to be one of the weakest links on the team. So certainly, selecting a defensive back in the first round, I believe, takes precedence over other team needs. USC safety Taylor Mays has put up tremendous numbers during his off-season workouts. He’s a hard hitter, but his coverage skills have been questioned a bit. Nevertheless, Mays could improve Houston’s secondary tremendously if he’s selected. Depth on the interior defensive line is a need as well.

Potential Free Agent Targets: Houston has a lot of good, young talent on defense, but they’re light on veteran leadership on that side of the ball. While D-backs Dre’ Bly and Anthony Henry won’t remind many of Deion Sanders in his prime, both could had depth to a secondary desperate for it. Chances are it won’t happen, but an infusion of talent and experience is much needed.

Draft Picks: 1.20, 2.19: As mentioned above, Taylor Mays should be in the cross-hairs of Texans’ front office personnel. He’s everything the Texans are NOT in the secondary. While Houston’s front seven is as talented as any in the league, putting the pieces together in the team’s last line of defense could finally propel the Texans to their first playoff appearance in franchise history.

Indianapolis ColtsIndianapolis Colts


Biggest Needs: OT, OG, RB
The Colts have few needs on offense. Offensive line depth was solidified when they picked up Andy Alleman and Adam Terry this off-season, but those moves shouldn’t preclude Indy from picking up an O-lineman or two in the draft. And believe it or not, a back-up QB should be on the agenda as well. Sure, Peyton Manning hasn’t missed a game during his career, but Jim Sorgi’s ouster means there’s no one on the roster that’s intimately familiar with the intricacies of the Colts’ offense. Plus, long-time offensive coordinator Tom Moore rode off into the retirement sunset after last season; how much that affects the team’s offense remains to be seen. Manning, though, is the unquestioned OC on the field, so it’ll probably be a moot point. Don’t count out the Colts drafting a RB, since Joseph Addai becomes a free agent after next season. That could be an interesting situation to follow.

Potential Free Agent Targets: There are a number of available free agent offensive linemen but none that really fit the type of player the Colts usually seek. Players such as Damion McIntosh, Seth McKinney, Montrae Holland, and others have experience but either are beyond their productive years or simply don’t fit the kind of scheme Indy runs.

Draft Picks: 1.31, 2.31: Indy would do backwards flips if C/G Maurkice Pouncey were available at the tail end of round one. His ability to play both guard and tackle makes him an intriguing prospect and paves the way for him to eventually replace the aging-but-still-productive center Jeff Saturday. Tackle/guard Vladimir Ducasse is another two-position player on the offensive line that could be had in round two.


Biggest Needs: CB, DE, FS
DE Raheem Brock and CB Marlin Jackson were both shown the door this off-season and their replacements must come in the draft. Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney remain one of the best DE duos in the league, but a defense can never have enough horses up front. Plus, we remember how much the Colts struggled in the Super Bowl when Freeney was far from 100 percent. And honestly, Jackson’s departure could be considered addition by subtraction. He never quite lived up to the hype that accompanied his draft position. As dynamic a safety as Bob Sanders is, the fact remains he simply can’t stay healthy, and the Colts can’t continue to rely on him. Getting his replacement as soon as possible should be a high priority for Indy.

Potential Free Agent Targets: Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Colts to pick up a free agent defensive player at this stage of the off-season. I think they’re content with holding off until the draft and attempt to improve their defensive holes there. However, Alex Brown’s recent release from Chicago should have perked up a few ears in Indy’s war room. Brown’s release had more to do with Julius Peppers’ arrival than it did Brown’s production. Keep an eye on Brown this off-season. He will get picked up soon; whether it’s the Colts is a mystery.

Draft Picks: 1.31, 2.31: CB Devon McCourty would be a nice pick-up at the end of round one, and so would DE Everson Griffen from USC. DE Jermaine Cunningham could be a target late in round two.

Jacksonville JaguarsJacksonville Jaguars


Biggest Needs: WR, OL, QB
Let’s face it, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense is short of talent but long on questions marks. There are a few bright spots, but all and all, there are glaring holes on that side of the ball. It was quickly and painfully obvious that WR Torry Holt was a complete shell of himself, and if not for the out-of-nowhere emergence of Mike Sims-Walker, the Jags’ passing game would have been beyond anemic. They need speed and youth in the receiver position. QB David Garrard is an average QB and quite frankly is better suited to being a high-quality back-up.

Potential Free Agent Targets: The free agent pickings are slim and not much is out there for what the Jags need. I think this team plans to rebuild through the draft. And after pursuing and ultimately signing DE Aaron Kampman to a big-money deal, perhaps the coffers are exhausted of funds—especially when you consider the Jags’ home games are often about half-full of spectators at home games. So suffice it to say it may be in the best interest of Jacksonville on several levels to concentrate on strengthening the team through the draft.

Draft Picks: 1.10, 3.10: Unfortunately for Jacksonville, no receiver is worth a top 10 pick this year. Consequently, they may have to look at another position to strengthen with the tenth pick, which could be Florida Gator QB Tim Tebow. I personally don’t agree with Tebow going this high, but mocks have him going anywhere from #10 overall to Jacksonville to as late as the mid-third round. Translation: no one knows. WR Andre Roberts of The Citadel may be available in round three. He has less than ideal size but can still do a few things on the field that players last year could not do for the Jags.


Biggest Needs: DE, OLB, FS
Jacksonville had a ridiculously-low 14 sacks all of last season, so getting the athletes up front to put pressure on opposing QBs should be priority #1. Aaron Kampman was signed to help in that area, and the Jags are also hoping 2008 first round draft pick Derrick Harvey starts to show his worth. Even if Kampman maintains his high level of play and Harvey turns into a pass rushing stud, the Jags must remain vigilant in improving their pass rush. Consider the QBs in their division: Manning, Schaub, and an emerging Vince Young. So putting the heat on the opposition’s passer is critical to the overall success in the AFC South.

Potential Free Agent Targets: I like Alex Brown here. The former Chicago DE still has a lot of production left to give and this could be a nice landing spot for him. And who knows? Even a Terrell Owens could help the passing game in Jacksonville.

Draft Picks: 1.10, 3.10: DE Derrick Morgan seems to be the logical choice at #10. It’s important that Jacksonville strikes gold with their first round pick, considering they lack a #2 this year. Round three could see Jacksonville taking Morgan’s Georgia Tech teammate in FS Morgan Burnett.

Tennessee TitansTennessee Titans


Biggest Needs: WR, OG, C
Tennessee has been without a legitimate #1 WR since Derrick Mason skipped town to go to Baltimore. If they want Vince Young to continue his upward momentum, and if they hope to keep teams from stacking 8 and 9 men in the box in an effort to stuff the run game, they have to provide a way for Young to have viable options down field. This is not the draft if you’re a team in need of a WR, though. Offensive line is a need, especially at center where veteran Kevin Mawae remains unsigned. Even if the 16 year vet does sign with the team, his playing days are numbered and his replacement must be identified soon.

Potential Free Agent Targets: I’m reminded how years ago the Titans drafted WR Kevin Dyson over Randy Moss. What would have been had Tennessee drafted Moss? Anyway, I digress. Vince Young had an unexpected resurgence last season, and that has many Titan fans thinking the QB has finally turned the corner. That corner won’t be completely turned, though, until he gets help on the outside. How about Terrell Owens? It intrigues me why he remains unsigned and players like Antonio Bryant and Arnaz Battle have deals. Sure he’s 35. Big deal. A one-year deal won’t upset the apple cart too much.

Draft Picks: 1.16, 3.13, 3.33: The only WR that would make sense to draft in the first half of the draft is Dez Bryant. It’s a possibility that Seattle can grab him, but if he’s there at #16, the Titans should look long and hard about drafting him. He lacks the top-end speed Tennessee has grown accustomed to from its draft selections, but they need a reliable threat in the worse way. The two third round selections could be centered on the offensive line, with Jon Asamoah and John Jerry being viable options at that point. I wouldn’t be all too surprised if the Titans addressed their needs on the offensive line at #16, however.


Biggest Needs: DE, ILB, CB
The departures of DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and DT Albert Haynesworth over the last two seasons have left Tennessee thin up front. Getting reliable replacements for those two should be addressed in this draft. Keith Bulluck’s days as a Titan appear to be over. His production could possibly be replaced, but his leadership will be difficult to duplicate.

Potential Free Agent Targets: I will keep suggesting DE Alex Brown to teams in need of a pass rusher. Exiled from Chicago, the eight-year pro has been a steady producer. While he’s far from All-Pro status, the ability he brings to a team would certainly add quality depth. Brown is currently the best available free agent DE in the league, and teams would be foolish not to check him out.

Draft Picks: 1.16, 3.13, 3.33: DE Carlos Dunlap is the consensus pick at #16 in most mock drafts, but his work ethic and apparent poor decisions off the field may be too much of a risk for the Titans. The last time they took a chance on such a player (Packman Jones) it blew up in their face. Dunlap’s approach to preparation may not vibe well with head coach Jeff Fisher’s style. CB Cortland Finnegan is a Lone Ranger in the secondary. CB and kick returner Akwasi Owusu-Ansah could be a possibility in the third. His five returns for TDs in 2009 were solid examples of his playmaking ability.

NFC South

Atlanta FalconsAtlanta Falcons


Biggest Needs: WR, TE, OG
Is it time for Atlanta to attempt to upgrade the WR position opposite Roddy White since it’s clear Michael Jenkins isn’t the answer? I think so. But much like the other teams in need of an upgrade at the WR position, this isn’t quite the draft to shore up that part of your roster. And TE Tony Gonzalez, while still productive, is on the back-nine of his career for sure. Maintaining productivity at that position and giving QB Matt Ryan the reliable outlet receiver that Gonzalez was for the youngster last year is a much-needed commodity even WHEN Gonzalez hangs up his cleats.

Potential Free Agent Targets: Don’t look for the Falcons to do much in the way of free agent pick-ups at this time of the year offensively. WR Terrell Owens, though, will be an interesting story to watch as the off-season continues on. Who will sign him? The Falcons could kick the tires on him.

Draft Picks: 1.19, 3.19, 3.34: TE Jermaine Gresham is coming off a knee injury, but the talented pass-catching TE would benefit from a year of tutelage from Gonzalez. Selecting Gresham at 19 over WR Dez Bryant is the prudent thing to do, because I think Bryant should have ‘BUYER BEWARE’ tattooed on his forehead. I don’t think Atlanta can afford to swing and miss at another first round WR. They could wait to address their WR needs until the third round, where WR/KR Jacoby Ford should be available.


Biggest Needs: DE, CB, OLB
After three full seasons, 2007 draft pick Jamaal Anderson has only 2 ½ sacks. That alone is reason enough to move on. The Falcons added CB Dunta Robinson this off-season, but they still must upgrade a secondary that will have to contend with their pass-happy divisional foe New Orleans Saints two times a year.

Potential Free Agent Targets: It’s safe to consider Atlanta being done with its free agent shopping after they signed Robinson. Surprise cuts happen often, but if no one of significance is handed a pink slip, I think the Falcons are set until the draft.

Draft Picks: 1.19, 3.19, 3.34: As mentioned above, Anderson’s 2 ½ sacks during his three-year career should have Falcon fans anxious to move on. Armed with those facts, DE Brandon Graham from the University of Michigan would look good in the black and red of the Falcons. Many consider him a Lamarr Woodley clone—able to beat the opposition with either bull rush or speed and agility tactics. Consider Graham a lock if he’s there at 19. Veteran linebacker is getting up there in age and it’s time they look to find his replacement in the third round. An AJ Edds from Iowa, Dekoda Watson from FSU or Clemson’s Ricky Sapp are all possible targets in the third round.

Carolina PanthersCarolina Panthers


Biggest Needs: WR, QB, OG
I think the bottom will fall out of the Panther’s 2010 season. This team is a mess and getting worse. WR has been an issue for some time, but it’s not that they’ve ignored the position. Dwayne Jarrett has had trouble beating out 37-year-old Muhsin Muhammad, and Jarrett’s long-term prognosis for NFL stardom has gone the way of the dinosaur. QB Matt Moore takes over at QB now that Jake Delhomme is gone. They need to bring in a young signal-caller and groom him in the event Moore stinks up the joint.

Potential Free Agent Targets: I believe this team will look to rebuild through the draft. Bringing in aging free agents does nothing at this point. This team will have to be blown up real soon if the Panthers have any thoughts of returning to past glory any time in the next half-decade.

Draft Picks: 2.16, 3.14: The Panthers are without a first round selection, so their front office brass must ensure they’ve done their homework. There are holes all over this roster, but if they decide to go offense with their first selection, drafting Mardy Gilyard would be a step in the right direction. He could be looked at as a poor man’s Steve Smith: a versatile, dual threat player capable of running precise routes while equally suited to return kicks. Guard John Jerry from Ole Miss could be looked at in the third round.


Biggest Needs: DE, DT, OLB
Let’s see, Carolina has lost Julius Peppers, Na’il Diggs, Landon Johnson, Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis this offseason. Yes, I think that classifies as an overhaul by any definition. Head coach John Fox may not even make it through next season, so it remains to be seen how much influence he has in the war room. If his word carries any weight, we should expect to see a draft defense-heavy—and rightfully so.

Potential Free Agent Targets: It’d be interesting if former Chicago DE Alex Brown goes to Carolina after Peppers’ arrival in the Windy City expedited Brown’s departure. That’d be the only sensible free agent pick-up I see happening at this point.

Draft Picks: 2.16, 3.14: DE/DT Alex Carrington or DE/OLB Koa Misi are solid choices in the second round. Mike Neal, DT from Purdue, could possibly soften the blow after the departures of Kemoeatu and Lewis.

New Orleans SaintsNew Orleans Saints


Biggest Needs: TE, RB, C
The Saints have an embarrassment of riches on offense. There are no glaring needs on that side of the ball, but maybe depth at TE and RB are areas they may look to address. Upgrading the offensive line could also be a target. No offense to Pierre Thomas, but I still believe New Orleans would be better off getting a better quality runner. Whether or not they find that in the draft remains to be seen. Nonetheless, Thomas is a good back, but even though there’s a glutton of talent on the team, no position should be ignored when it comes to trying to improve the team as a whole.

Potential Free Agent Targets: I think the only free agents New Orleans is worried about are their own. Thomas has yet to sign his tender, but many expect him to do so soon. Lance Moore is another one waiting to sign his tender, along with O-linemen Jamaal Brown and Jahri Evans. None of these players are expected to move, but it goes to show that the Saints have their hands full and probably haven’t had much time nor interest in free agents from other teams.

Draft Picks: 1.32, 2.32: Even though this isn’t a need, how about WR Golden Tate at the end of the first round? Stranger things have happened, of course. Perhaps more realistically, though, is offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey or RB Ryan Mathews. But honestly, the pick at the bottom of the first round could be anyone—especially if they go offense.


Biggest Needs: DT, OLB, FS
Good thing the Saints have such a great offense because they may need to be every bit as explosive as they were in 2009. The defense may take a step back. They’ve had so many departures, and with some of their free agents having not yet signed, the defense we saw help win a Super Bowl last season could have a different look in 2010. DE Charles Grant was released, DT Anthony Hargrove and SS Roman Harper have yet to sign their tenders, and FS Darren Sharper and DE Paul Spicer have not resigned yet. Weather they all come back remains to be seen, but we at least know that many—if not all—of these positions will be addressed in the draft.

Potential Free Agent Targets: As mentioned above, the Saints are looking more at their own free agents than other teams’ free agents. But perhaps a veteran defender gets released that raises the curiosity of New Orleans brass. I personally believe that Sharper and Hargrove resign with the team, but the team may look at youngsters in the draft to replace the others.

Draft Picks: 1.32, 2.32: DT Brian Price or DE Everson Griffen are potentials at the end of round one. OLB Daryl Washington from TCU could seamlessly replace Scott Shanle at the LB position.

Tampa Bay BuccaneersTampa Bay Buccaneers


Biggest Needs: WR, OG, OT
There’s virtually no chance the Bucs go offense with the #3 overall pick in the draft. It’s not that they’re loaded on offense. They simply have enough young players at key positions that really haven’t shown if they will be capable players or busts. But as it stands right now, that #3 pick will almost assuredly be a defensive player.

Potential Free Agent Targets: The Bucs traded for WR Reggie Brown this off-season. He didn’t do much in Philadelphia with an All-Pro QB throwing to him, so the chances of him fulfilling the promise he had when he was drafted with an unproven QB throwing to him are slim. He’s a step down from the departed WR Antonio Bryant, and in my eyes that’s saying a lot.

Draft Picks: 1.03, 2.03, 2.10: As mentioned above, expect the #3 overall selection to be a defensive player. But if they surprise the NFL world and go offense, it could be interior offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga. WR Arrelious Benn has good size and could be a target at the top of the second round, and so could WR Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech with the second selection in round two.


Biggest Needs: DT, DE, FS
Tampa Bay has been looking for that 3-technique DT for years. Former Buc Warren Sapp is the quintessential 3-technique DT, and many feel both Gerald McCoy and Ndamakung Suh are tailor made for that style of defense. So if ever need fit availability, the Bucs are it. Expect one of the top DTs to be selected by the Bucs early.

Potential Free Agent Targets: The Bucs are in full-fledge rebuild mode, and signing free agents for their defense at this stage seems counterproductive. This defense will be rebuilt through the draft. Period.

Draft Picks: 1.03, 2.03, 2.10: This will probably be the easiest selection of ‘em all come the draft. Tampa Bay will pick whichever DT remains. If both are gone, DE Jason Pierre Paul is a likely candidate at #3. Some have argued that S Eric Berry could go at #3, but that’s entirely too early to pick a safety. CB Devin McCourty may be available at the top of the second, and so should DT Geno Atkins. Atkins, by the way, ran a 4.75 40-yard dash at the Combine. That should be illegal for a 293 lbs. DT to do that.

Next: AFC/NFC West