Fantasy Football: AFC East Winners & Losers from the NFL Draft
In a country bent on democracy, the AFC East is not really up for debate. This is a dictatorship and the rest of the NFL knows that. The Bills, Dolphins, and Jets all have a legitimate shot to be bottom 5 teams in 2018 while the Patriots seem locked in as the Vegas favorite to lead the NFL in wins at an 11.5 over/under. While Buffalo and New York paid up with future draft picks to select their franchise QBs, the Patriots offensive moves are also worth noting and paying attention to.
Losers: The Bills Fans, Offensive Line, AJ McCarron’s agent
This was a curious situation of the Bills using their draft capital to move up while basically decimating the picks they acquired last year to allow the Chiefs to move up and select Pat Mahomes. The Bills traded Pick 12 + Pick 53 (2nd Rd) + Pick 56 (2nd Rd) to the Buccaneers to move up to Pick 7 + Pick 255 (7th round). It was a head scratcher as Josh Allen is a polarizing prospect and will take time to develop. Kelvin Benjamin and Mr. Neccesary, Charles Clay, should see significant volume although we’re not quite sure how much quality the targets will have. AJ McCarron’s agent is probably pouting somewhere realizing he blew his client’s chance to be a franchise QB. The only other major offensive pieces were Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud and UNC WR Austin Proehl. Overall, this could easily be among the worst teams in the league and LeSean McCoy could be running into a brick walls all year long.
If you thought the Bills were bad, the Dolphins could make an argument for being among the worst situations in the league talent-wise. It was long forecasted that they were in the running to select one of the top 4 QBs but instead only signed UDFA Riley Ferguson from Memphis. After selecting Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th pick, Miami spent their 2nd rounder on athletic freak Mike Gesicki, who plays more like a WR than an in-line TE. He will be given the chance to showcase his skills as the basketballer turned TE with Julius Thomas out the door. Arizona State RB Kallen Ballage is an intriguing pick in the 4th that further muddles the RB situation. He plays like a scatback while having the body of a big bruiser. While the ageless wonder Frank Gore was added in the offseason, it seems that Kenyan Drake could still be the lead dog albeit in a terrible offensive situation.
New York Jets
Winners: Existing RB & WRs
Losers: Josh McCown‘s playing days
The Jets must’ve been pretty pleased with themselves to see Sam Darnold fall to them at the 3rd overall pick. Although Josh McCown will likely be the starter to begin the season, the J-E-T-S have their franchise QB in place. The surrounding weapons in the offense were surprisingly unaffected by the draft. With Bilal Powell, the newly signed Isaiah Crowell, Thomas Rawls, and 2nd year Elijah McGuire, it seems like a logjam of players that fantasy owners will be left frustrated with. The WR corps also was shockingly not touched as it seems the front office is content with a combination of troublesome Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and his neck injury, Jermaine Kearse, Chad Hansen, and the recently signed but enigmatic Terrelle Pryor. Somebody will be fantasy relevant and worth a flier at the end of your drafts.
New England Patriots
The Patriots used both of their 1st rounders on a pair of Georgia Bulldogs who also were college roommates. OG Isaiah Wynn is a mauler who started all 4 years and should shore up an already elite offensive line. Tom Terrific seems like a clear winner regardless of how the media portrays his happiness with the team. His WRs also have to be happy as 6th rounder Braxton Berrios is an Edelman-lite slot clone at best. Sony Michel was unforeseen before the draft as the Patriots pick but must’ve shown something that Uncle Bill clearly liked. He’s a versatile threat who can more than replace what Dion Lewis did last year. This is a massive hit to Rex Burkhead truthers (aka Mike) as the off-season investment made it seem like New England was willing to name him the lead back. The rest of the options further grey a backfield that seems to have a proverbial rain cloud over it for fantasy purposes.