The AFC East fantasy football landscape has changed. Oops, not so fast! A certain, grumpy head coach in New England had other ideas. What was widely considered a breath of fresh air with a potential shift in power? Many touts are now penciling the Patriots to continue their AFC East dominance. However, does that translate into points for the 2020 fantasy football season? The AFC East fantasy football outlook has a few old stand-bys at the top of our draft lists. However, don’t overlook the young guns looking to make their mark.
2020 AFC East Fantasy Football Outlook
Josh Allen had more ups than downs in the 2019 NFL season. With the exception of an 11 and 10-point performance and playing only one series in the season finale, Allen averaged 21 fantasy points per game. In many scoring formats, he was the overall QB4 in fantasy football. His running ability makes him a valuable pick. And, with the arrival of Stefon Diggs, the sky’s the limit. He’s a QB1 for all fantasy football formats.
Devin Singletary‘s time to shine. Or, will third-round draft pick, Zack Moss usurp the sophomore? Singletary started hot averaging nearly double-digit yards-per-carry. Unfortunately, his year was marred by injury, stuck behind Frank Gore and Buffalo’s offense willingness to let Allen run with the ball. With the drafting of Moss, he could be pushed out of goal-line carries. This leaves me viewing Singletary as an RB2 at best on rosters. However, keep an eye on Moss as a potential workhorse making him an excellent pick in dynasty leagues.
Big Time Addition
Stefon Diggs was signed in free agency. What does this mean for John Brown? Some are worried about the target share. However, we are looking at this the wrong way. Both will be fine. The presence of Diggs should provide an uptick to Josh Allen’s passing numbers. Allen threw only 20 touchdowns in 2019. And, if you had Brown as your WR2 in PPR leagues, you were more than happy with his production. He averaged double-digit fantasy points with the potential for blow-up games. Sure, Diggs’s presence will depress Brown’s value to WR3 levels and Allen’s accuracy makes Diggs a WR2 on rosters. With that said, Cole Beasley looks to be the odd man out in the pecking order. Keep him on the waivers until further notice.
Knox-ing on Stardom’s Door
Dawson Knox has the talent. Can he break into an increased role in the Buffalo offense? The problem with the Buffalo’s tight ends is Allen. When the play breaks down, he doesn’t look to his tight end. He runs. When the play is designed and targets go toward Knox, he has shown his talent. That said, if you punt the position of tight end you could pick Knox or Tyler Kroft with the hope of an increased role. However, I’ll pass on the Buffalo tight end position.
You have to applaud the Dolphins’ ability to win games down the stretch of the 2019 NFL season, drop a few draft slots, and still get their man. Tua Tagovailoa is a must-add in dynasty drafts. No question. However, does his presence add value to the wide receivers? Time will tell. However, the running back position is the winner in year one of Tua. I can see a scenario that the running game is leaned on to make sure Tua is past his injury concern.
Not Sexy, But Good
The running game in Miami has taken one giant step forward. They’ve added Jordan Howard and traded for Matt Breida. Brieda offers more upside and I like him as a low-end RB2 on rosters. Howard will be the ground and pound option at the goal line. The true number one running back to emerge from this system will be very valuable. Breida has more PPR value than Howard. And, that’s where I’ll lean in re-draft leagues.
Miami has a solid duo in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. It took a while, but Parker broke out in the 2019 NFL season going for over 1,000 yards and catching nine touchdowns which made him the overall WR11 in PPR leagues. Parker was aided by Miami’s ineptitude and having to pass 66 percent of the time. Williams, as a rookie, averaged six targets per game and asserted himself as a solid WR3 in PPR leagues. However, he went down with an ACL injury halfway through the season. Watch his health prior to the 2020 NFL season before adding to your roster.
Mike Gesicki has started to realize his potential. Due in part to Williams’ injury, Gesicki’s target share increased after week nine. However, even with an increased target share, Gesicki still just averaged three receptions. I’m leary about adding him to my roster as my TE1. But, if you wait on drafting the tight end position and take Gesicki, don’t expect much consistency.
New England Patriots
Still King of the Mountain
Wow! Don’t call it a re-build. Bill Belichick strikes again. A league MVP/Hall of Famer leaves and in walks former league MVP Cam Newton. Can he reclaim past glory? Time will tell. But, at a bargain bin price, it’s well worth the hype. However, does this automatically shoot Cam up the 2020 AFC East fantasy football draft boards? I might be more skeptical than most. Age and injury have crept in and the surrounding cast, save for Julian Edelman, is suspect. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a must as a QB2 in redraft leagues and worthy of rostering Best Ball leagues. Sorry, Jarrett Stidham, maybe next year.
Running Back Carousel Continues
Waiting on a Sony Michel break-out party. We’ve gotten glimpses but it seems he’s slogging through mud. He’s an RB3 at best with potential be a weekly RB2 if he gets solid usage. However, lurking is Rex Burkhead, James White, and Damien Harris. If your league allows for bigger rosters then take a flyer on all of the above. If not, monitor the situation.
One and Done
Edelman aka Targets Galore. I envision a PPR monster here, whether it’s Newton or Stidham. They will both rely heavily on the sure-handed Edelman. With the highly touted incoming 2020 wide receiver class and the success of 2019 rookies such as A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and Marquise Brown, one may be going overlooked: N’Keal Harry. The Patriots receiving corps is thin and if Harry can step up in 2020, he could be a steal late in drafts.
Gronk, Have I Loved
Still searching for a capable replacement for Rob Gronkowski. Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene are rookies in the mold of Gronk and Aaron Hernandez tandem. However, ascending to that type of production is a tall order. Keep tabs on this situation. It seems unlikely that Belichick doesn’t pick-up a savvy veteran to come in as a starter right away.
New York Jets
Time to Shine
Sam Darnold enters his third year and the fantasy community is still bearish on him. The Jets continue to try to get talent around him. The question is, can head coach, Adam Gase get the most out of him. There are reasons to be skeptical. Darnold has flashed his potential. However, it’s too far and few between. Darnold is nothing more than a flier in best-ball leagues and I’ll leave him on the waiver wire until Gase’s passing offense proves to be worthy of fantasy relevance.
Le’Veon Bell, once a fantasy football number-one draft pick, is now approaching “past his prime” status. Bell still gets plenty of work running and catching making him a nice pick in PPR leagues. Gase has stated that he hopes to get some of the younger backs worked into the offense in order to keep Bell fresh. They drafted Lamical Perine but added the ageless Frank Gore. What does this mean for our 2020 fantasy football season? Nothing! Draft Bell in all formats and Perine in established dynasty leagues only.
Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims highlight the Jets receiving corps. I mean, I guess there is potential with Mims. He’s definitely worth a high-round selection in established dynasty leagues. We know what we get in with Crowder. He’s a meat and potatoes guy that will get 75 receptions, about 800 yards, and six touchdowns. Those are solid numbers for a WR2/3 on your roster. Not sexy, but he gets the job done. Perriman signed as a free agent looking to cash in on the success he had at the close of the 2019 NFL season in Tampa Bay. He’ll garner more targets as the Jets work Mims into the scheme. I’ll project him as a WR4 with a few break-out games good enough for best-ball. Regardless, I won’t look to him as a weekly starter.
AFC East Up for Grabs
Leave it to the Pats to ramp up interest in a division that was all but set to crown a new winner. All eyes will be on the up and comers, such as Josh Allen looking to put their stamp on the AFC East and the league. Likewise, can Cam Newton keep the pace for New England’s annual run towards the playoffs? Will Tagovailoa’s hip, sink Miami’s ship? These are a few of the players we’ll pin our hopes on in the 2020 fantasy football season.
Good luck and good fantasy to you!
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