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Matthew Betz
AFC South Line Health

Matthew Betz lets you know how each AFC South teams’ lines will affect your fantasy roster.

Jun 10th

AFC South Line Health

*For the purposes of this article series, the positional players listed below are the team’s top scoring fantasy players from the QB, RB, and pass catcher position (WR/TE).

Houston Texans

Team Record: 11-5

BYE: Week 10

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Zach Fulton missed Weeks 7-8 with an ankle injury. He also missed Week 14 with a hand injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1-6, 9, 11-17) → 14 games

Player Stats

  • Deshaun Watson was a top 12 QB ten times, averaging 21.4 fantasy points/game.
  • Lamar Miller missed Week 5 with a chest injury and Week 16 with an ankle injury. He was a top 12 RB two times, averaging 11.5 fantasy points/game.
  • DeAndre Hopkins was a top 12 WR seven times, averaging 21.0 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 243.6
  • Total Rush yards/game: 120.9

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 7-8) → 2 games

Player Stats

  • Deshaun Watson was a top 12 QB two times, averaging 20.95 fantasy points/game.
  • Lamar Miller was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 18.1 fantasy points/game.
  • DeAndre Hopkins was a top 12 WR one time, averaging 20.1 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 185.0
  • Total Rush yards/game: 164.5

*Conclusion: The Texans’ offensive line was overall, very healthy in 2018, so it’s difficult to read into the health status of their offensive line for fantasy football purposes. One thing that is reassuring is that DeAndre Hopkins averaged the exact same fantasy points (20.1) with a fully healthy line and with an injury to the line. Deshaun Watson will look his way regardless of the health of his linemen. Watson threw for about 60 more yards per game with a fully healthy offensive line. More time for Watson should help his deep threat receiver, Will Fuller, get down field for big plays.

Indianapolis Colts

Team Record: 10-6

BYE: Week 9

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Anthony Castonzo missed Weeks 1-5 with a hamstring injury.
  • Ryan Kelly missed Weeks 12-14 with a knee injury and Week 17 with a neck injury.
  • Mark Glowinski missed Weeks 15-16 with an ankle injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 6-8, 10-11) → 5 games

Player Stats

  • Andrew Luck was a top 12 QB five times, averaging 23.0 fantasy points/game.
  • Marlon Mack was a top 12 RB two times, averaging 17.8 fantasy points/game.
  • T.Y. Hilton missed Week 6 with a chest injury. He was a top 12 WR one time, averaging 17.5 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 255.2
  • Total Rush yards/game: 150.4

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 1-5, 12-17) → 11 games

Player Stats

  • Andrew Luck was a top 12 QB seven times, averaging 19.7 fantasy points/game.
  • Marlon Mack missed Weeks 1 and 3-5 with foot and hamstring injuries. He was a top 12 RB two times, averaging 12.2 fantasy points/game.
  • T.Y. Hilton missed Week 5 with a chest injury. He was a top 12 WR two times, averaging 16.9 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 289.5
  • Total Rush yards/game: 87.8

*Conclusion: The Colts’ offense was completely different with the offensive line injured versus when the offensive line was healthy. When the line was injured, the ground game suffered drastically, averaging less than 88 yards per game. When the offensive line was healthy, the rushing attack was more successful, averaging 150 yards per game. Marlon Mack was the biggest beneficiary of the healthy offensive line, averaging 5 more fantasy points per game in these weeks. On the contrary, the passing attack was more productive when the offensive line was banged up.

Tennessee Titans

Team Record: 9-7

BYE: Week 8

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Jake Conklin missed Weeks 1-3 and 15-17 with a knee injury. He also missed Week 10 with a concussion.
  • Taylor Lewan missed Week 2 with a concussion.
  • Quinton Spain missed Week 7 with a shoulder injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 4-6, 9, 11-14) → 8 games

Player Stats

  • Marcus Mariota was a top 12 QB four times, averaging 15.0 fantasy points/game.
  • Derrick Henry was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 11.9 fantasy points/game.
  • Corey Davis was a top 12 WR two times, averaging 12.8 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 205.0
  • Total Rush yards/game: 117.5

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 1-3, 7, 10, 15-17) → 8 games

Player Stats

  • Marcus Mariota missed Weeks 2 with an ulnar nerve injury and Week 17 with a stinger. He was a top 12 QB one time, averaging 10.0 fantasy points/game.
  • Derrick Henry was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 13.3 fantasy points/game.
  • Corey Davis was a top 12 WR one time, averaging 10.2 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 166.9
  • Total Rush yards/game: 135.9

*Conclusion: The Titans’ offense was puzzling in 2018, as they struggled to move the ball both on the ground and through the year for the majority of the season. Ironically, they rushed the ball better when one of their offensive linemen was injured and passed for more yardage with the offensive line was fully healthy. Fantasy owners also need to know that Mariota was injured for the vast majority of the season, which obviously affected the offense as a whole.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Record: 5-11

BYE: Week 9

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Jeremy Parnell missed Weeks 15-17 with a knee injury.
  • Andrew Norwell missed Weeks 13-17 with an ankle injury.
  • Brandon Linder missed Weeks 12-17 with a knee injury.
  • A.J. Cann missed Week 3 with a triceps injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1-2, 4-8, 10-11) → 9 games

Player Stats

  • Blake Bortles was a top 12 QB five times, averaging 17.6 fantasy points/game.
  • Leonard Fournette missed Weeks 2-3 and 5-8 was a top 12 RB three times, averaging 12.4 fantasy points/game. In games where Leonard Fournette was out and T.J. Yeldon started, he was a top 12 RB two times, averaging 15.8 fantasy points/game.
  • Dede Westbrook was a top 12 WR zero times, averaging 11.3 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 255.9
  • Total Rush yards/game: 104.8

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 3, 12-17) → 7 games

Player Stats

  • Blake Bortles lost his starting job from Weeks 13-15. In the other weeks listed above, he was a top 12 QB zero times, averaging 7.1 fantasy points/game.
  • Leonard Fournette was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 14.4 fantasy points/game.
  • Dede Westbrook was a top 12 WR one time, averaging 10.5 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 115.1
  • Total Rush yards/game: 111.4

*Conclusion: The biggest discrepancy in offensive output when it came to offensive line health in 2018 for the Jags was the passing output with a fully healthy offensive line. With the line fully healthy, the QBs threw for more than 140 yards per game, likely with more time to deliver the ball. On average, running back production didn’t change much when the offensive line was banged up versus when the line was at full strength. This is likely because with Leonard Fournette out, T.J. Yeldon picked up work in the passing game, helping his PPR fantasy performance.

Insight by
Matthew Betz
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