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Mining your way to fantasy gold - AFC East WR/TEs Edition

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Apologies if this seems rushed, or if it doesn't get up until a bit after 5 PM Pacific.  I recently started a new job (switching careers) and lolly-gagged my way home completely forgetting I had something to do.  Kind of like the way the 49ers failed to address RT in the draft.  Anyway, today it's the AFC East wide receivers and tight ends edition, and I'll probably be here for quite some time forecasting the numerous options that the Patriots and Bills have to offer (at WR its much more than the Jets and Dolphins).  Let's get to the rankings.

AFC East WRs

  1. Randy Moss NE
  2. Terrell Owens BUF
  3. Wes Welker NE
  4. Lee Evans BUF
  5. Jerricho Cotchery NYJ
  6. Ted Ginn MIA

After the jump I rank the TEs and forecast the entire bunch of fantasy ballers, apologies to any WR not good enough to make the top 7 of the East...

AFC East TEs

  1. Dustin Keller NYJ
  2. Anthony Fasano MIA
  3. David Martin MIA
  4. Ben Watson NE

The Patriots

Randy Moss is hands down the best receiver on this team, and quite possibly the most dangerous fantasy WR now that Tom Brady has returne from injury (we all know what happened the last time those two played 16 games together).  Last season Moss put up respectable numbers with Matt Cassel at the helm, so I expect bigger numbers now that Brady is back.  Perhaps not 23 TDs, but Moss is still worth considering as the first WR off the board on draft day.  Fantasy Forecast: 1300 total yards, 16 total TDs

Wes Welker is a beast in PPR leagues, but in most standard scoring leagues, he's still a servicable WR2.  In 2008 Welker didn't score as many TDs with Cassel leading the charge, but still managed 111 catches.  It doesn't matter if Kevin Faulk is playing QB for the Patriots, Wes Welker getting a lot of catches is going to happen.  Since joining the Patriots, Welker has 223 receptions (that's just two seasons).  Bonus points for those who can tell me what school Welker went to, and what category he set records in for career totals.  Fantasy Forecast:  100 catches, 1050 total yards, 6 total TDs 

Ben Watson isn't much in terms of fantasy production, but with Brady (like everyone else) he stands to score more TDs than he did in 2008 (he had just 2).  Chris Baker really makes the New England TE stituation sticky, especially with everyone's favourite Alex Smith (the one that isn't a 49er QB) also in the mix.  I can't recommend any TE from New England, let alone Watson.  Fantasy Forecast:  400 total yards, 4 total TDs

The Bills

I've said it more often than I need to, but the addition of Terrell Owens makes the Bills offensive dangerous in 2009.  Owens is aging, like Moss, but is still productive, although not as much as Moss.  Two of the greatest wide receivers finally go head to head in two divisional games in 2009, and it should be very interesting indeed.  While the Bills offensive line isn't the greatest unit in the world, the presence of Lee Evans and Marshawn Lynch will help Owens find open spaces to make grabs and YAC it up.  He's definitely a WR1, although not qutie as valuable as the top tier WR1.  Fantasy Forecast:  1100 total yards, 9 total TDs

Lee Evans has four 100-yard games in 2008, and is a very explosive playmaker.  T.O. should provide Evans with plenty of single-coverage opportunities, and Evans should be able to capitalize.  The speedster from Ohio State has scored 32 career TDs in five seasons, and I expect him to keep that average up in 2009.  Evans value will be greater depending on how late you can catch him in your draft, but he's definitely worth considering as a fantasy WR2.  Fantasy Forecast:  1000 total yards, 6 total TDs

The Jets

Jerricho Cotchery, to me at least, is overrated; I still cannot believe the guy has a 1000-yard season under his belt.  He seems slow, he looks smaller than he is, yet he still finds ways to make catches.  Mark Sanchez leading the Jets hurts Cotchery's fantasy value, and I don't think he'll get 1000 yards.  The WR corps in New York is pretty weak, and the team will be relying heavily on its run game and defense than it will Sanchez' arm.  Cotchery has some decent value as a WR3, so a pick in the 90s or 100s isn't ridiculous.  I still advise against Cotchery, however.  Fantasy Forecast:  800 total yards, 3 total TDs

Dustin Keller, on the other hand, should benefit from having a rookie QB taking snaps.  In his rookie season, Keller totalled 535 yards and 3 TDs; not terrible for a first year tight end.  When I was doing my mock drafts, Keller was popping up in the mid 120s to early 130s, but I expect he's gone up since then.  If you miss out on the big name TEs, and need to spend a late round pick on Keller, he's worth consideration.  Fantasy Forecast:  650 total yards, 5 total TDs

The Dolphins

Ted Ginn Jr. makes this list by default because he sits atop the Dolphins depth chart.  Drafting him thinking he'll be more value than a WR3 is not very bright.  He'll serve his purpose as a spot start, but won't put up fantasy numbers week after week to warrant a permanent place in your starting lineup.  Ginn showed much improvement last season, but I expect the entire Dolphins offense to take a few step backs this year, even with the Big Tuna running the front office.  Fantasy Forecast:  700 total yards, 5 total TDs

Anthony Fasano and David Martin put up fairly similar numbers in 2008.  Fasano finished with 34 catches for 454 yards, Martin had 31 catches for 450.  The big difference was Fasano's 7 TDs compared to Martin's 3.  So, if I had to pick a Dolphin TE to draft, it would be the former Cowboy (Fasano).  While they may end up with a similar amount of catches and yards, TDs make all the difference for TEs.  Fasano is extremely borderline as your number one TE, but both make servicable fantasy back-ups.  Fantasy Forecast:  500 total yards each, 6 TDs for Fasano, 4 for Martin