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Team-By-Team Dynasty Roundup: AFC East (2022 Fantasy Football)

Team-By-Team Dynasty Roundup: AFC East (2022 Fantasy Football)

As we approach the 2022 NFL season, there is one thing we can say with absolute certainty: this offseason featured an unprecedented number of shocking transactions. We saw teams agree to big free-agent deals, make blockbuster trades and reload their rosters through the NFL Draft.

The AFC East features a little bit of everything. The Buffalo Bills are currently the class of the division. The New England Patriots are coming off a 10-7 season in Mac Jones‘ rookie year, and the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets have each made significant investments in their offenses in hopes of getting the best out of their young quarterbacks. So today, we’re going to take inventory of the division as a whole and see where things stand for the notable players within it and what could be in store for their dynasty value.

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

Buffalo Bills

2022 NFL Draft Picks

Player Position School Round Pick
Kaiir Elam CB Florida 1 23
James Cook RB Georgia 2 63
Terrel Bernard ILB Baylor 3 89
Khalil Shakir WR Boise State 5 148
Matt Araiza P San Diego State 6 180
Christian Benford CB Villanova 6 185
Luke Tenuta OT Virginia Tech 6 209
Baylon Spector LB Clemson 7 231


Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Gabriel Davis steps up in the absence of Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, going over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career.

The Buffalo Bills feature one of the most prolific offenses in the entire NFL. They ranked fifth in the league in yards per game during the 2021 season, and there’s no reason to expect things to slow down in 2022. Josh Allen is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and one of the premier options at the quarterback position. He should be locked and loaded as an elite QB1 in all fantasy formats and is worthy of a top-five selection in dynasty Superflex startup drafts.

Stefon Diggs finished as a top-seven wide receiver in PPR formats in 2021, and while there’s no reason to expect that to slow down in 2022, questions remain regarding the rest of the receiving weapons on the team. Both Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders departed in free agency, which leaves 184 targets up for grabs in an elite passing attack.

The smart bet is looking for Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox to increase their target share in 2022. Last season, those two players combined for just over 21% of team targets. Look for Knox and Davis to step into expanded roles and post career-best seasons in 2022.

The running game features multiple players, but Devin Singletary and the newly drafted James Cook figure to be the most prominent players in this backfield. Since there is always the possibility of Josh Allen keeping the ball himself for rushing scores, upside in the receiving game is the easiest way for any of these backs to find a steady floor for their fantasy value. His receiving ability alone makes Cook worth a selection in the back end of round one or early in round two of rookie drafts.

New England Patriots

2022 NFL Draft Picks

Player Position School Round Pick
Cole Strange OG Chattanooga 1 29
Tyquan Thornton WR Baylor 2 50
Marcus Jones CB Houston 3 85
Jack Jones CB Arizona State 4 121
Pierre Strong Jr. RB South Dakota State 4 127
Bailey Zappe QB Western Kentucky 4 137
Kevin Harris RB South Carolina 6 183
Sam Roberts DT Northwest Missouri State 6 200
Chasen Hines OG LSU 6 210
Andrew Stueber OG Michigan 7 245


Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Mac Jones throws for over 4,200 yards and finishes in the top 10 in passing yards.

Mac Jones came in and helped solidify the quarterback position for the Patriots in 2021 following a shaky 2020 season that saw the Cam Newton experiment end poorly. Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a rookie. There’s reason to believe he can see a slight uptick in passing yards and improve his TD-INT ratio. He finished as a top-24 option at quarterback in 2021, and he’s best treated as a solid QB2 in dynasty formats. A second consecutive top-24 finish feels all but certain, and if the touchdowns go up, Jones has the talent to flirt with back-end QB1 value.

The most significant addition to the receiving corps is second-round rookie Tyquan Thornton. Speed kills in the NFL, and that’s a trait that Thornton has plenty of. In a pass-catching group looking for someone to emerge as an elite weapon for Jones, it will be interesting to monitor how much work Thornton can command early. If he and Jones can establish an early rapport, Thornton has a shot to massively outperform his acquisition cost in rookie drafts, where you can likely select him somewhere from the late second round on.

Last season was a banner season for Damien Harris, but it’s important to follow the money at the RB position. 2022 is the last season of Harris’s rookie contract, and it seems unlikely he will be retained by the Patriots when he hits free agency. The Patriots selected Rhamondre Stevenson in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and invested a fourth-round pick this season in Pierre Strong. If you’re looking to invest in the Patriots backfield, those would be safer long-term bets than acquiring Harris at this point. That’s not to say we should expect a down year from Harris in 2021, but you should always be churning the running back group on your dynasty roster to maximize value on aging players.

Miami Dolphins

2022 NFL Draft Picks

Player Position School Round Pick
Channing Tindall LB Georgia 3 102
Erik Ezukanma WR Texas Tech 4 125
Cameron Goode LB California 7 224
Skylar Thompson QB Kansas State 7 247


Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: With a surplus of weapons at his disposal, Tua Tagovailoa has a career season and locks himself into back-end QB1 valuation in dynasty. He will throw for at least 3,700 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Even after seeing Jaylen Waddle rack up over 100 receptions and over 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie season, the Miami Dolphins decided there was still work to be done in their wide receiver group. So when the Kansas City Chiefs gave superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill the option to seek a trade, it came down to two finalists: the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins won the Tyreek Hill sweepstakes and shipped a first-round pick, a second-round pick, a fourth-round pick in 2022, and fourth and sixth-round picks in the 2023 draft to the Chiefs for Hill’s services. As a result, the Dolphins now boast one of the most explosive wide receiver tandems in the entire league, and all eyes will be on Tua to see if he can take the next step in his growth as a professional quarterback.

The biggest lingering question revolves around the Dolphins’ backfield. The team added Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert in free agency to go along with the returning Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. None of these players profile as a workhorse running back, so this figures to be a full-blown committee situation. Reading the tea leaves throughout OTAs (optional team activities) and training camps will be of the utmost importance to extract value from the Dolphins’ RB group.

New York Jets

2022 NFL Draft Picks

Player Position School Round Pick
Ahmad Gardner CB Cincinnati 1 4
Garrett Wilson WR Ohio State 1 10
Jermaine Johnson EDGE Florida State 1 26
Breece Hall RB Iowa State 2 36
Jeremy Ruckert TE Ohio State 3 101
Max Mitchell OT Louisiana 4 111
Micheal Clemons DE Texas A&M 4 117


Dynasty Stock Watch

Bold 2022 Dynasty Prediction: Headlines are centered around the acquisition of Garrett Wilson, but Elijah Moore will lead the Jets in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2022. He will eclipse 1,100 receiving yards and score at least eight touchdowns.

It’s time for Zach Wilson to take a big step in his development in his second professional season. Elijah Moore flashed elite playmaking potential in his rookie season in 2021, and Corey Davis is also returning for the Jets. The team also spent the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Garrett Wilson. If that wasn’t enough, the Jets overhauled their tight end group from 2021. They acquired CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency and spent a late third-round selection in the NFL Draft on Jeremy Ruckert.

After investing in the offensive line for two consecutive seasons both through free agency and the NFL Draft and adding several pass-catching options, it’s on Zach Wilson to showcase the skills that made him the second overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The safe bet is to treat him like a mid-range QB2 in dynasty leagues currently, but the trajectory could shift significantly in either direction this season. After finishing 2021 on a solid note, look for Wilson to pick up where he left off and take a significant step forward in 2022.

Michael Carter was a solid pick for dynasty managers in 2021 rookie drafts, but it would seem he’s lost his grip on the lead-back role for the Jets. In the second round of the NFL Draft, the team traded up to select Breece Hall, who should immediately slide in and take over lead-back duties. Hall and Carter will still split work, but Hall should get around 250 carries in his rookie season for a team that will look to run the ball with regularity.

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