AFC EAST PREVIEW

Le’Veon Bell

Since the 2001 season, the New England Patriots have been dominating the AFC East. Will it be more of the same in 2019? What are the other teams looking like as we get set for a new season? Let’s take a look and find out.

Buffalo Bills

2018 Record: 6-10

A year after a surprising playoff berth, the Bills took a step back in 2018. The team would enter the offseason with a clear idea of where improvement was needed. Buffalo managed to check off all the boxes.

Josh Allen has new weapons and better protection. The club has found a potential anchor on defense via the draft in Ed Oliver. Things are looking up for the Bills, but oddsmakers still aren’t expecting all that much in the way of improvement.

Key Departures
John Miller (G), Charles Clay (TE)

Key Additions
Ed Oliver (DL), Cole Beasley (WR), John Brown (WR), Mitch Morse (C)

Prediction: 9-7
The Bills looked awful in the first-half of 2018, but it was a different story down the stretch. The tweaks the team has made should lead to improvement. We’ll gladly take the Over on regular season wins and keep our eyes peeled for value in September game lines.

Fantasy Radar: Cole Beasley
Allen now has some much needed weapons in the passing attack. Beasley steps into the safety blanket role for the second-year pro, and he should see plenty of targets. He’s an intriguing player to keep in mind for the mid to late rounds.

Miami Dolphins

2018 Record: 7-9

A rebuild is on the menu in Miami. The Adam Gase era is over, and Brian Flores will be tasked with putting the franchise back together again. Based on the offseason moves, the club is taking a build from the inside out approach.

That could work in the long run, but there will be growing pains along the way. It’s unclear if Josh Allen will be the long-term answer at QB, but it looks this club is going to be in line for an early pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Key Departures
Ja’Wuan James (RT), Cameron Wake (DE)

Key Additions
Christian Wilkins (DL), Josh Allen (QB) Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB)

Prediction: 3-13
The Dolphins have done all but waive the white flag heading into 2019. That doesn’t bolster enthusiasm for much more than a 3-win campaign. We’re not expecting to see them favored often, if at all.

Fantasy Radar: DeVante Parker
Miami should be behind often in the coming year. That means Allen or Ryan Fitzpatrick should be slinging the rock a lot. Parker has disappointed thus far. There’s simply no excuse if he doesn’t rack up some serious yardage this year.

New England Patriots

2018 Record: 11-5

The defending Super Bowl champions weren’t being taken seriously by a number of observers heading into the playoffs. That proved to be a bad call. Another trophy is now in the case, and the club enters 2019 as a favorite to do it again.

There’s always turnover for the Patriots to deal with, and it’s the same this year. There will likely be a bad loss somewhere along the way in 2019. We’ll patiently await the warnings that the sky is falling in on New England afterwards and check back in for the postseason.

Key Departures
Trey Flowers (DE), Rob Gronkowski (TE), Trent Brown (RT)

Key Additions
N’Keal Harry (WR), Mike Pennel (DE), Jamie Collins (LB)

Prediction: 12-4
Barring something catastrophic, the Patriots will contend for another ring in 2019. We can’t promise that everything will go swimmingly along the way, but we also don’t feel the need to try and call a shot on an end to a dynasty which has no intention of going away.

Fantasy Radar: Sony Michel
The backfield in New England is traditionally frustrating for fantasy owners. Michel showed a lot in his rookie campaign and earned the trust of coaches. That’s enough to rely on him as a reliable fantasy asset for the new season.

New York Jets

2018 Record: 4-12

Gase proved to be the wrong guy in Miami, but Jets brass thinks he’ll do just fine. The club was quite active in the offseason, and there is a chance that the moves will bear fruit. Le’Veon Bell changes the offense, while Quinnen Williams and C.J. Mosley can help bolster a defense which already had solid pieces in place.

On the down side, dysfunction reared its head in New York once again when GM Mike Maccagnan was shown the door. This happened after he was entrusted with spending a boatload of cash. We can’t guarantee that will impact the product on the field, but it certainly doesn’t help.

Key Departures
James Carpenter (G), Buster Skrine (CB

Key Additions
C.J. Mosley (LB), Le’Veon Bell (RB), Ryan Kalil (OC), Quinnen Williams (DT)

Prediction: 6-10
We’re optimistic that the Jets will improve on both sides of the ball this year. However, that’s tempered by the behind the scenes drama and a seemingly lackluster hire at head coach. New DC Gregg Williams will make the defense better, but we’ll see what Gase can do with Sam Darnold and company.

Fantasy Radar: Robby Anderson
While most of the attention will go to Bell in fantasy circles, the Jets passing game should also improve as a result of his addition. Anderson has wheels and can do some damage. He should find even more room to get open this season to boot.

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