Top 5 Player Picks From Each Team: AFC East
If I was drafting today, These are the guys I prioritize, in order, from each AFC East team.
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- LeSean McCoy – McCoy will turn 29 next month, but his starting role on perhaps the most run heavy team in the league makes him a can’t miss player. Also, he’ll be more involved in the passing game than he ever has been with the Bills under new OC Rick Dennison.
- Sammy Watkins – Watkins hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year 3 seasons ago, but his ability to dominate his opponents is uncanny. With possible free-agency facing him next season, Watkins will do all he can to make an impact this year.
- Zay Jones – My favorite player at this year’s Senior Bowl, Jones is electric on the field and a video hound off of it. He has NFL pedigree, which is always a good indicator for success, and Jones may have to assume a big role in the offense if Watkins can’t stay healthy. The one knock is that he’s missing precious preseason time to a minor injury. That’s an integral period for a rookie.
- Jonathan Williams – Williams is one McCoy injury away from the starting role on the team that came 2nd in total rushing attempts last year to Dallas. If Mike Gillislee’s former role in Buffalo is any indication, he’ll get plenty of run spelling McCoy anyway.
- Andre Holmes – Holmes has been useful in spurts as a Raider, and he’ll likely be more involved as a Bill. With both Watkins and Jones dealing with injuries right now, Holmes has been running with the 1st team offense all preseason. It’s not unthinkable that he could get the no.2 spot over Jones.
- Jay Ajayi – Already slated for a huge role in Miami, Ajayi has been working on his receiving this offseason in preparation for an increased role in the passing game. His health is always a risk, but such is the case for any high volume RB in the NFL.
- Jarvis Landry – Even though Landry hasn’t topped 5 TDs in a season, He’s a boon in PPR leagues with the 7th most receptions in 2016. He’s as consistent a fantasy contributor as they come.
- Kenny Stills – Stills was just re-signed in Miami as their primary outside receiver. With a team leading 9 TDs in 2016, he’s a high upside value pick this year.
- Julius Thomas – Thomas has yet to play a full season in the NFL, and that’s why, though he’s going to be the primary red-zone target in Miami, I have him as low as I do.
- DeVante Parker – Everyone in and around the Miami Locker room is saying this is Parker’s year, but we’ve heard it before. I would have more faith in the kid, but I just don’t think Tannehill has enough arm for 3 fantasy relevant WRs and Thomas. I hope I’m proved wrong.
New England Patriots
- Rob Gronkowski – Gronk hasn’t played a full season since 2011, but he’s still a man amongst boys in the tight end game. Even though the Pats added Cooks to the receiving game, he’s not the red-zone threat that Gronk is. Gronk’s role is as certain as ever.
- Tom Brady – Brady would have led the league in passing yards at the rate he played last season, if he had played every game. There isn’t a safer play at his position in the NFL. The addition of Cooks could bring another historic season to fruition.
- Brandin Cooks – It’s almost as if the Pats have too many good receivers now, which is the only reason I don’t have Cooks higher. Look for Cooks to match or best his most productive year in New Orleans.
- Julian Edelman – One has to think that the aging Edelman will take a backseat to Cooks, but Brady is more than comfortable using Edelman early and often. He’s still a PPR superstar.
- James White – Yeah, Mike Gilleslee is leading the running for starter in the crowded New England backfield, but White has the safest role of the bunch as the primary pass catching back.
New York Jets
- Bilal Powell – Powell isn’t a sexy pick, but he’s likely to be the most productive one on an underwhelming offense.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins – I would be not at all surprised if ASJ leads the Jets in TDs this year. He’s had a hard go of it thus far in the NFL, but he’s been the best player on the field in OTAs thus far. He’s going to be a safety blanket for an oft beleaguered McCown.
- Quincy Enunwa– Enunwa was about 150 yards short of a 1,000 yard season on just 58 catches in 2016. He can easily best that number with Marshall and Decker out of the picture.
- Matt Forte – I’m not sure what Forte’s role will be this year, but it will be secondary to Powell’s. His use on the goal line is my main reason for putting him here.
- Robby Anderson – Anderson was 6th in rookie receiving yards in 2016, and he’ll be the Jets’ main outside receiver this year. McCown still has an arm, so Anderson will have the opportunity to thrive at a low cost to his owners.