Many apologies to the two people that were looking forward to my fantasy article yesterday, but fear not, I am back today with the rest of the AFC East. Today, I look at the Team Defenses and kickers (YEAH!!!!) and forecast what type of numbers to expect. New England has a pretty solid fantasy unit, and New York could do some damage as well. Miami enters 2009 fresh off of Joey Porter's monster season, and the Buffalo Bills haven't exactly solidified themselves as a fantasy threat.
The AFC East Team DEFs
After the jump I manage to fight the urge to suffocate myself with a paper bag as I forecast the kickers...
Although the Patriots do have some solid names on defense, the scheme is so effective and well-coached, that all-stars aren't necessary to be effective. The Patriots run one of the best schemes in the league, and generate all kinds of trouble for opposing offenses. Leigh Bodden is an underrated signing, coming off a disaster 2008 with the Lions. The retiring of Ted Bruschi shouldn't hurt this team, as the depth at LB is plentiful. Richard Seymour provided 8 sacks last season, and is still one of the better 3-4 ends in the league. Ditto for Vince Wilfork's status as one of the best NTs in the league. A lot of teams may overlook New England on draft day, and you may be able to find shortly after the popular teams are off the board. Take them, because I fully expect this defense (and team) to be playing 2009 with a chip on the shoulder. Fantasy Forecast: 40 sacks, 18 INTs, 12 FR, 3 TDs, 1 Blk Kick
Many people have the Pats kicker as the number on fantasy kicker, and while it's debatable, it's not unreasonable. In 2008, Gostkowski had just one game without a field and seven contests with 3 or more FGs. Yeah, that's pretty good, and I recommend New England's steel leg for your fantasy team (oh yeah, he was 10-12 from 40+). Fantasy Forecast: 28 FGM, 55 XPM
New York Jets
From a philosophical standpoint, you can throw 2008 out of the window when looking at the 2009 Jets team. Rex Ryan enters as the main man, bringing the Baltimore attitude to the AFC East. He also brought over Bart Scott and Jim Leonard to solidify the team's defensive unit. You can't deny the playmakers in New York's secondary, and 2008's numbers are relevant: the team returned 3 INTs for a TDs (5 total TDs) and Darrelel Revis led the team with 5 INTs. Kerry Rhodes and Leonard make a pretty darn good safety duo, and Lito Sheppard will be locking down the corner position opposite Revis. This team has the talent to produce in 2009, especially with a team philosophy of beating people up. Fantasy Forecast: 40 Sacks, 17 INTs, 10 FR, 3 TDs, 1 Blk Kick
In 2008, Feely had two contests in which he booted 4 FGs doing so in weeks 9 and 10. However, Feely had just 5 additional multi-FG games, all of which the kicker hit 2 FGs in. In the few attempts from 40+ yards, the Jets kicker was 6-7 (2-2 from 50+). I'm not sure excatly how often the Jets will be marching up and down the field, but Feely should help them capitalize when in scoring range. He's not the greatest option and you can certianly do better. Fantasy Forecast: 25 FGM, 32 XPM
Like the rest of the Dolphins team, I expect the defense will have trouble reproducing 2008's totals. Miami relied heavily upon Joey Porter, as the LB sacked QBs 17.5 times; the team finished with 40 total sacks. I don't see Porter putting up 17.5 sacks or the Dolphins getting as many as a team either. The team also picked off 18 passes, but the team lost both of its top INT leaders (Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill both went to Denver). Will Allen is quietly aging, but rookies Sean Smith and Vontae Davis are very promising rookies. The team's defense isn't exactly stacked with spring chickens, so it may be in your best interest to avoid them this season. Fantasy Forecast: 33 sacks, 14 INTs, 10 FR, 2 TDs
I'll say it with a straight face - who cares? Carpenter had a good rookie season in 2008, but he still finished 23rd in fantasy scoring at the position. The Dolphins kicker was pretty accurate from 40+, going 10-14 (1-1 from 50+). Carpenter also had five games without a FG, so stay away from him come draft day. Fantasy Forecast: 22 FGM, 31 XPM
My apologies to the Bills fans, but I simply don't recommend touching the team's defense, as the offense may find itself in shoot-out after shoot-out in 2009. Terrence McGee and Donte Whitner are staples in the secondary for the team, but overall, I think the unit will not produce many fantasy points. In 2008, the Bills finished just ahead of the 49ers in fantasy scoring rankings, which was not all that impressive (22nd overall). I can't see the Bills have much of a pass rush in 2009 (they had just 24 sacks in '08), so avoid them. Fantasy Forecast: 25 sacks, 12 INTs, 9 FR, 1 TD
Lindell finished 11th amongst kickers in 2008, and was the one consistent thing in Buffalo's "offense". The team has improved it's offense in 2009, and Lindell should prosper. Lindell's only game without a FG came in week 17, when most leagues are already finished. The Bills kicker also had five games with 3 or more FGs, and I think he'll be just as effective in 2009. Unlike the defense, don't avoid Lindell at all costs, as he should be consistent for your K position. Fantasy Forecast: 27 FGM, 44 XPM
* all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring