5 Questions Surrounding the NFC South

Throughout the month of August we here at the Sports Script are going to answer the 5 key questions regarding each division in the NFL. We have gotten together 3 of the Sports Script writers Ricky Valero, Matt Wincherauk & special guest Mandi (@dvnmsm) to answer the questions. These will lead up to the ultimate reveal of everyone’s prediction for the NFL season. Today we start off with the NFC South.

1. Which player needs to step up the most this year?

Ricky: Josh Freeman: This is a make or break year for him. I believe he needs to take this team to the playoffs if he plans on being the starting QB for the Bucs next season.

Matty W.: Matt Ryan: Ryan may have finally gotten over the one playoff win hump, but he’s not out of the fire yet. He’s got to give more than just one playoff win with such a good regular season team. Ryan is on fire in the regular season, but he needs a Super Bowl appearance to validate that success.

Mandi: Matt Ryan. Last season he finally took a solid step into the leadership role on his team, and this season he needs to take that last step. The fans expect it. He’s more than capable.

2. Which coach has the most pressure to win this year?

Ricky: Ron Rivera: He is 13-19 as HC of the Panthers. I think he has to make some serious strides in order to keep his job this year.

Matty W.: Sean Payton: After serving his one year suspension as a result of bounty gate, Payton has returned and is being hailed as the Saints savior. If he can’t provide playoffs and some wins, he’s going to be looking at a hot seat.

Mandi: Sean Payton. Since the Saints tied for second place in the division with the Bucs and Panthers, I think most fans equate his return from suspension as a return to the team’s winning ways.

3. Who is the Sleeper player to watch in the division?

Ricky: Darrelle Revis: I believe the health of this man can determine whether or not the Bucs will contend this year. If they get a healthy Revis they have a real shot at making some noise in this division.

Matty W.: Lance Moore: He may not be the biggest name weapon on the Saints behind Coltson and Graham, but he’s one of Brees favorite targets. And in what should be a huge bounce back year for Brees, I expect Moore to look fantastic alongside him.

Mandi: Call me crazy, but I have to say Jacquizz Rodgers. There is something I like about him. Now that the Falcons have an every down back who can also catch passes (Steven Jackson), Jacquizz will have the chance to make some noise when the D is focused on Jackson. The key is that he has to take advantage of those opportunities…

4. Which player means the most to their team’s success this year?

Ricky: Matt Ryan: Ryan goes down this team has no chance at making the playoffs.

Matty W.: Cam Newton: Cam Newton has all the makings of a star, and has showed the ability, but the problem is he’s surrounded by such a lackluster group. With overpaid running backs, an aging star receiver, and a mediocre defense, Newton is going to have to shoulder a lot just for the Panthers to make a dent in the NFC South.

Mandi: Hmm. That’s a toss-up between Ham…er…Cam Newton and Josh Freeman. Both of these guys seemed to fade into the woodwork last season. They each need to make loud statements through their play this season.

5. How will the division play out?


Atlanta Falcons 11-5 – The Falcons have a tough schedule ahead of them this year and if they lose a couple of games I have them slated to win they may miss the playoffs this year. But with the addition of Steven Jackson this team could go all the way.
New Orleans Saints: 10-6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-7
Carolina Panthers: 5-11

Matty W.:

Atlanta Falcons: Once again I think the Falcons win this division as they have the most complete team. At a mark of 11-5, it seems like a bit of a regression, but the fact is this division won’t be pushovers like they were last year.
New Orleans Saints: 9-7
Carolina Panthers: 8-8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-9


Falcons 12-4
Saints 11-5
Buccaneers 9-7
Panthers 8-8


Week 16 Must Start/Must Sit …….

Championship Week is upon us all, some of you the title game is next week. But for everyone it’s an important week this week. Good luck to you all.

Must Start

Matthew Stafford v.s ATL – Coming off a rough week against the Cardinals, Stafford faces a semi tough matchup. But the Falcons defense before last week gave up 275+ yards in 3 straight games against QB’s. I think they just made sure to revenge last year’s playoff blowout. So look for the him to have a nice bounce back game this weekend.

Darren McFadden v.s Car – Carolina has been good against the run the last two weeks because they have jumped out to big leads. I don’t think they do the same against the Raiders. McFadden had his 1st 100 yard game since week 8 and should have another this week. I am always cautious about teams traveling across the country to face teams. But start McFadden regardless.

Alfred Morris v.s Phi – Whether Griffin plays or not Morris is a must start. But if RGIII sits again this week, his value peaks high again. He had a season high 27 carries last week and he has 100 yards or a TD in 4 straight games. He faces a Eagles team that has given up 100 yards on the ground in 10 straight games. Love the matchup, easy must start this week.

Steven Jackson v.s TB – Facing one of the tough defenses against the run in Tampa Bay. You would think Jackson might be good on the sidelines this week. Well I think that is wrong, he will have another solid week this week. He has 19+ touches in the last 4 games and has 14 catches out of the backfield in the last 3 games.

Pierre Garcon v.s Phi – Ever since coming of the injury this guy has been money. It doesn’t matter if RGIII or Cousins is at QB, he has 32 targets in the last 3 games. He is producing and should again this week against a weak Eagles secondary.

Danny Amendola v.s TB – Can we just call him Wes Welker 2.0? Could you imagine how many receptions this guy would have if he stayed healthy all season? He is a PPR machine, easy must start whenever he is playing.

Antonio Gates v.s NYJ – Gates found the end zone for the 5th time this year late in the game last week. I look for him have a very nice game against the Bad news Bears the Jets.

Must Sit

Andrew Luck v.s KC – If you have him as an only option this week, than I believe you should start him. But if you can get your hands on another option i.e. Wilson, Freeman or Flacco. I would start them ahead of Luck this week. They are ranked 7th against the pass this year in terms of yardage. The potential for a rough week is possible.

Jonathon Dwyer v.s Cin – Terrible matchup for him this week against a Bengals team that hasn’t given up over 50 yards on the ground in 3 games. Look for other options this week that have a better upside than Dwyer.

Chris Johnson v.s GB – Green Bay hasn’t been the best on stopping the run, but I don’t think this game will be close. I think the Packers will get out in front early taking the run out of this game. So if you have better RB’s on the roster to start, I would put them in the lineup.

Bryce Brown v.s Was – He is basically Fantasy Irrelevant now that McCoy has been named starter of the Eagles. Even with possibly splitting carries he is not worth the start this week.

Josh Gordon v.s Den – The young rookie will get to meet Champ Bailey this week. Bailey is one of the best this game has seen. I believe he will make him a non-factor in this game. Making him bench able this week in all formats.

Falcons D v.s Lions – I don’t trust the Falcons D we saw last week, they will struggle against the Lions. I think the Lions will get a lot of yardage and score over 20 points. Making them a not so hot start for this week.

Those are my week 16 start/sits, any Fantasy Football Questions you can ask on here or on twitter. (@rickygangster) I’ll answer any and all questions you send leading up to game time.