This week we will be taking a look at the AFC East. Who is gonna come out of no where to help you in your league, and who is gonna disappoint you. I will be using terms like AAPP (Above Average Player Performance) which I explained in an article earlier. Here is a link if you have not read it yet http://www.ninersnation.com/2012/5/3/2997232/are-you-ready-to-step-your-fantasy-game-up . In the coming weeks I will be previewing all of the divisions, as well as releasing my final Big Board and my All-Bust & All-Sleeper teams later before the start of the regular season.
This was a division that leaves a lot of questions to be answered.
How big of a factor is Brandon Lloyd gonna be?
This guy is a big time player and he will be BIG TIME this year in your league. But with Welker there and after he had such a killer season I think Lloyd will fly a little bit under the radar. You can wait around til the 4-5th round at least to pick up a WR who i think will easily be top 10 in fantasy WR production. Lets not forget this guy lead all WRs in fantasy 2 years ago with KYLE ORTON at the helm. Imagine what he will do with Brady tossing him the ball!
Is Stephen Ridley, Danny Woodhead or maybe even Addai the Patriots featured HB?
Now on to the Patriots HB situation. I really like Ridley, he impressed me last year in the preseason and then did well in limited duty in the regular season. Woodhead is a good pass catching 3rd down back but I don't feel he can carry the load. And as far as Addai goes, I don't see him as a feature back. More of a Kevin Fault type roll. But knowing Bill he is gonna go back and forth all year. I feel like Ridley is worth a late round flier. Hold him on the bench and see where the Patriots decide to go with this HB situation.
How big of an impact can and will Stephen Hill be in New York?
On to Stephen Hill, he is an interesting guy here. On one hand, who else is gonna start over him? But how effective is he gonna be? He will be a mid-level back-up and a match up based starter. He is not polished enough to come out and be a 70-80 yards and a TD a game guy yet. So if you wanna grab him in one of the last two rounds go ahead but there are much better options than him as late round sleepers go.
Is what happened last year with the Bills a fluke or something that is here to stay?
The Bills are somewhat for real. Stevie Johnson is for real and the same for Fred Jackson. But Fitzpatrick is not. The only time you should even consider starting him in hopes of getting top 5 numbers is when he is going into a shoot out. This is a team who is way over matched in this division with two bullies in The Jets and Pats.
Who will the Dolphins number 1 WR be? And does it even matter? Who will be the guy who wins the Dolphins QB battle?
Well Hartline will be there number one option unless Gates takes a big step up. But no it doesn't really matter. I don't care if it is Matt Moore or Tannehill who wins the starting job, this team is not going anywhere as is. There backfield also scars me. Bush had a good year yet they drafted Miller and Daniels is going into his second year and being a bigger back might get the bulk of the goal line carries. Bush is the only real viable draft-able player on the Dolphins. And be careful not to reach for him, because if you are drafting him in the first 5-6 rounds you are attaching yourself to a guy who has only had ONE 1,000+ yard season.
And last but not least Is Tim Tebow a viable fantasy option?
YES, is there any doubt? He will be starting by half way through the season. And you need to start him against any team that does not have a top 10 defense. With the way he plays and the goal line touches that he gets it is stupid not to use him. No he is not gonna go out and throw darts but this is about fantasy points and not his completion percentage. And if he is starting Shonn Greene becomes a viable option as well. They will be running the ball over and over and when you are sick of them running it... they will run it some more.
Top 5 Fantasy Players In The AFC East
1. Rob Gronkowski NE TE, He is one of the most important players in all of fantasy football. Reason being is that he is so far and above the average TE that it's almost laughable.
2. Tom Brady NE QB, Him having Brandon Lloyd is giving me flash backs of record breaking seasons. He has two legit big time WRs and this will be another HUGE year for Brady.
3. Wes Welker NE WR, I don't think he will produce like last year. He made a huge jump in TDs which wont happen again especially with Lloyd being there.
4. Brandon Lloyd NE WR, Josh McDaniel's system plus Tom Brady at QB, Lloyd is wondering how he got this lucky. Do not be surprised if he has a career year and also finishes ahead of Welker in fantasy points.
5. Fred Jackson BUF HB, If Jackson can stay healthy he will be a top 10 HB. He is in a good system for his skill set and if The Patriots and Jets don't make big strides in their defense he will run wild on them both.
Stephen Ridley NE HB, He has all the skills to be a feature back. And given the opportunity he will SHINE!
Shonn Greene NYJ HB, I know he had been a disappointment but when Tebow takes over he will need to be in your line up every week!
Tim Tebow NYJ QB, Is he accurate? No. Is he a good decision maker? No not really. Does he put up great fantasy numbers? YES! He will take Mark's job and run with it..... LITERALLY! Don't let real life ruin your view on the fantasy monster Tebow can be.