Free Agent Fantasy Breakdown: AFC

We’ll continue to monitor what teams do during this off-season, but as we stand now, here’s a breakdown of what Free Agency has done to the AFC in the “fantasy world”.

Hope you enjoy:

AFC East

Buffalo Bills:  The Bills did what they needed to do offensively; they kept Stevie Johnson alongside with Fred Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, etc.  The big change, however, came on the defense.  Mario Williams and Mark Anderson are added to the defensive line and could help this unit be a decent start, depending on matchup.

Miami Dolphins:  No, I have no idea what they’re doing.  Miami started by trading their #1 WR, Brandon Marshall, to Chicago for a couple of draft picks.  They then signed David Garrard to a 1-year deal to compete vs. Matt Moore for the starting QB spot.  As of right now, this team won’t wow anyone and will rely on Davone Bess and Brian Hartline to garner most of the receiving yards.  If there’s one guy that can really help your team, especially in PPR leagues, it’s Reggie Bush.  Bush picked it up in the 2nd Half of the season last year and proved he can produce.

New England Patriots:  Well, obviously the Patriots decided they needed more wide receiver depth.  You can expect Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski to again be at the top of their positional heap.  Aaron Hernandez is also worth picking.  As for the rest of their receivers, that’s where it gets fun.  Expect Brandon Lloyd to get plenty of looks, but stay away, for now, fromDonte Stallworth,Chad Ochocinco and Deion Branch.  The running back position will likely continue to be one by committee, with Steven Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead getting the carries.  This situation is too fluid to rely on one of these guys getting you consistent points.

New York Jets:  Tim Tebow or bust?  Pretty much.  The Jets don’t have a very good quarterback, whoever it ends up being.  The receiver position is Santonio Holmes and a bunch of JAGS.  People have been expecting great things from Shonn Greene for a couple of years and now that’s just turned to hope.  No Jet other than Holmes is worth much of a look.

AFC West

Denver Broncos:  This begins and ends with Peyton Manning.  Manning changes the dynamics of this offense and helps the stock of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker have certainly gone up.  Another interesting piece of this offense is the tight end slot, with the Broncos signing Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen.  The projection here is that Tamme will be the main target out of the two, thanks to his familiarity with Manning.

Kansas City Chiefs:  Some interesting moves here…Kevin Boss adds to a receiving corps that includes Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Tony Moeaki.  Not sure there are enough footballs to go around for Boss to make a big difference.  The signing of Peyton Hillis will have an affect on this team’s offense.  Jamaal Charles is coming back from a torn ACL and now Hillis will get carries.  Due to those two factors, don’t expect Charles’ carries to improve much from two years ago.

Oakland Raiders:  They’ve lost Michael Bush, Kevin Boss and Jason Campbell.  They haven’t added anyone, apparently comfortable with their young receivers, Run DMC and Carson Palmer.  This offense has potential weapons, but consistency and the quarterback will likely remain problematic.

San Diego Chargers:  Mike Tolbert’s out the door, which increases Ryan Mathews’ value (if he can stay healthy).  The Chargers also lost Vincent Jackson to Tampa Bay and hope that Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal can fill the void.  The Chargers have a lot of weapons on this offense, but the problem is; which weapons are pick worthy?  The bet here is, Mathews and Rivers will be the consistent producers on this team, with others being matchup plays.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens:  The only major change has happened to the offensive line with the Ravens losing Ben Grubbs to the Saints.  Other than that, the Lee Evans subtraction won’t mean much.  This team will rise and fall on Ray Rice once again.  Don’t expect huge numbers from Joe Flacco, but Anquan Boldin should be more consistent with the outside threat of Torrey Smith, who also should be better this year.

Cincinnati Bengals:  This is a team on the uptick and the addition of BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a good one.  The Law Firm is dependable, doesn’t fumble and is a touchdown machine.  Green-Ellis should be considered a top-20 running back heading into the season, surrounded by improving weapons Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham.

Cleveland Browns:  Let’s be honest, there’s just nothing here…They’ve lost Peyton Hillis and haven’t added anything.  Not that Hillis did much of anything last year, but the last thing this atrocious offense needed was to lose any possible help.  Pay attention to the draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers:  Nothing much to see when it comes to the Steelers offseason.  The biggest thing Pittsburgh has done during the free agency period is somehow manage to keep Mike Wallace.  They’ll continue to be productive, but is Isaac Redman the answer if Rashard Mendenhall gives them nothing?

AFC South

Houston Texans:  They’ve lost Joel Dreessen to Manning’s Broncos and don’t overlook the loss of key blockers Eric Winston and Lawrence Vickers.  Outside of that, this remains a potential devastating offense that hinges on health.  The Texans also decided to spend a boatload of money on Arian Foster, which should guarantee even more carries this upcoming season for the best running back in the NFL.

Indianapolis Colts:  So, not much happening here, outside of losing their offensive cornerstone for the past decade-plus.  Manning out, Addai out, Garcon out,Clarkout and Saturday out…hey, at least Reggie Wayne stayed!  Look forWayneto put up good numbers as the go to guy for #1 pick Andrew Luck.  Also expect Donald Brown and Delone Carter to share carries in the backfield.

Jacksonville Jaguars:  The Jags have helped themselves with free agency, although they overpaid to do so.  That’s what bad teams do this time of year.  But, onto the positives; Chad Henne will compete with Blaine Gabbert and that might help Gabbert improve sooner rather than later.  The other move that was made was the signing of Laurent Robinson.  Tread carefully here, Robinson doesn’t have a long documented successful track record and the QB spot is still wholly mediocre.

Tennessee Titans:  One of the losers of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, the Titans didn’t do much to help themselves otherwise.  Steve Hutchinson will help the offensive line, but much of this team’s offensive success will come down to two questions:  Will Kenny Britt be healthy and can Chris Johnson return to his All-Pro form?

– Nick Cattles

This entry was posted in AFC Breakdown, Blogs, Fantasy, NFL Offseason and tagged , , by Nick Cattles. Bookmark the permalink.

About Nick Cattles

My name is Nick Cattles and studied Journalism at the University of Rhode Island. I am currently the afternoon drive host on ESPN Radio 94.1 in Hampton Roads. I have played fantasy football for 15 years and counting and look forward to helping fellow owners that are looking for options and opportunity. I am obsessive in my work and co-hosted a fantasy football show in Boston. I may not be right 100% of the time (just so you know, NO expert is), but be sure there's been work done behind my advice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s