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Dynasty Draft Primer: AFC East (Fantasy Football)

When it comes to dynasty fantasy football draft prep, the offseason can be one of the most exciting times of the entire season, especially for those perpetual rebuilders in your league (don’t be them). The problem can be keeping up with all of the changes in rosters across the league. Let’s take a look at the AFC East Dynasty Draft Primer.

Luckily, the FantasyPros team is here to help, diving into each division and telling you exactly which players you should not only keep an eye on but should be looking to acquire in your dynasty leagues as you prepare for your drafts.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

AFC East Dynasty Primer

We dive into the AFC East division and examine the dynasty draft outlook for each team. Let’s get into it.

New England Patriots

Names to Know

The Patriots say goodbye to Bill Belichick and enter a new era of New England football. After finishing last season 4-13, one thing became crystal clear: Mac Jones needed to go. Luckily for the Patriots, they were able to land Drake Maye as the third pick in the NFL Draft. Maye has some dangerous and foolish gunslinger moments, but with that comes some of the most tantalizing upside we have seen in a quarterback prospect in some time. He is my QB2 of the 2024 class and currently my dynasty QB13.

In many rookie drafts, Maye is falling as far as 1.08 in SuperFlex (SF) drafts, and you should capitalize on that kind of value everywhere you can.

Now, let’s talk about skill players. The Patriots lack superstars, but they do have some quality starters and welcome a couple of rookies who are poised to make a significant impact as early as week one. The running back room has two names of note: Rhamondre Stevenson and Antonio Gibson. Stevenson had a down year in 2023 as he battled injury and became the focus for opposing defenses. 2024 should relieve some of that pressure with Drake Maye at the helm and some intriguing pass catchers, but one thing we may see less of is his receiving work.

Gibson has never been used the right way in Washington, but he is a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield, and he looks to fill that role in New England. If Gibson does step into this role, we could see Stevenson, who has averaged 4.8 targets per game over the last two seasons, drop to around three targets per game. That might not seem like a big difference, but it makes a season total of 82 targets drop to only 51. That would bring him down to my RB17 in dynasty leagues. Gibson is more of a vital handcuff at this point in his career as my RB50.

The Patriots’ pass catchers present a similar situation regarding how they rank for dynasty and the value you should be looking to invest in them. The names you will recognize coming back for the 2024 campaign are Hunter Henry and Demario Douglas. For dynasty purposes, moving on from Hunter Henry is safe unless you have a very deep bench. He currently ranks outside my top 32 TEs (37). He could also cede some playing time to rookie Jaheim Bell, an unrefined prospect with good athleticism and the traits to win at the next level.

Demario Douglas, on the other hand, provides an interesting evaluation. He doesn’t profile as a WR1 in the NFL, but he may be asked to fill that role early in the season. Douglas sits as my WR55 in my dynasty rankings. He may see a small spike in value in the first few weeks of the season while Javon Baker and Ja’Lynn Polk acclimate to the NFL game. If and when that happens, you should be looking to trade Douglas away to capitalize on the jump. Baker and Polk, in that order, are going to eventually be the top pass catchers for Drake Maye and Co., and any of your league mates who don’t know that yet should be trade partners for you before the end of week two.

Both are good route runners with frames that should hold up well in the NFL. Not only that, but they also have a skill set that matches their rookie signal-caller well. It may be a bit of a slow burn to get them adjusted to the Patriot’s scheme, but both present tremendous value in rookie drafts and will fight to lead this team in targets this year. Javon Baker is my sleeper pick for this season, and New England fans and fantasy managers everywhere should be going out of their way to acquire them where they can.

Buffalo Bills

Names to Know

The Bills have been among the most talked about teams since the NFL Draft. After a season that ended short of the ultimate goal once again, they made an interesting move in trading down with their NFL rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, gift-wrapping them an exciting young wide receiver Xavier Worthy. A need they would address just a few picks later.

As far as what you need to know as dynasty managers, there is not a ton of change in Buffalo. Josh Allen is the consensus QB1 overall; at worst, he falls to QB2. Even with Stefon Diggs taking his talents to Houston, Allen should be set up for another monster season.

Buffalo’s running back depth chart did change slightly, but it’s unlikely to alter your dynasty rosters much, if at all. James Cook remains the clear-cut RB1 for the Bills, but he is joined by Kentucky standout Ray Davis. Davis enters the league after an impressive senior season where he posted nearly 1,200 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns while adding another 300+ receiving yards.

It is unlikely that Davis impedes Cook’s receiving workload much, but he may steal whatever goal-line opportunities are left after Josh Allen takes his. Cook is on the fringes of dynasty RB1 territory, coming in as my RB11. If you aren’t a contender, he is an excellent trade-away candidate if you can turn him into a young wide receiver.

When it comes to the pass catchers for the Bills, rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid looks to be primed for a breakout season. The departure of Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis leaves an inexperienced wide receiver room led by Khalil Shakir and rookie second-round pick Keon Coleman.

In terms of targets, I expect them to play out in this order:

  • Dalton Kincaid
  • Keon Coleman
  • Khalil Shakir
  • Dawson Knox

Kincaid is my TE4 with the potential to see 120+ targets and be the centerpiece of this offense in the red zone. Coleman is one of the prospects I was much lower on than consensus, and that hasn’t changed. Even with a premier landing spot, Coleman has raw athleticism and inconsistencies as a route runner, which makes him more suited to be a big slot rather than a true alpha. The Bills have already talked about lining him up as an X receiver, which doesn’t bode well for his early career success.

He is my dynasty WR45 heading into the season and a player that I recommend selling before his value drops due to poor alignment and usage in his rookie year. His teammate Khalil Shakir is lower in my dynasty rankings (WR60) but higher in redraft.

If you are a contender and need a solid bench wide receiver with WR3 upside, Shakir is a great target, and you can likely acquire him for a pair of 2025 third-round picks.

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New York Jets

Names to Know

The Jets are a tale of extremes when it comes to fantasy football and dynasty value. They have two of the most exciting fantasy football assets in the entire league, surrounded by a bunch of middling-at-best players. So what should you expect in 2024?

Quarterback, we can keep it brief. Aaron Rodgers, in his return from a season-ending Achilles injury, should not be getting you excited. He is currently my QB30 in dynasty, and while he ranks higher for the 2024 season, the chances we will see a QB1 season are slim. The real benefit of Rodgers will be for both Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson.

Breece Hall averaged over 17 points per game in his first season back from a torn ACL. That is not something you see often. Hall is a rare talent in the NFL and one of only three running backs you should even consider rostering for the long term. He is my dynasty RB2 overall, and a case can be made that he should be the RB1. He is a true workhorse and the perfect blend of power and speed. From Week 5 on, he was a top-10 running back eight times; of those eight, he was a top-five running back five times.

The dude is just different. In Year 2 post-injury, you can expect even better things. Of course, the Jets added two rookie mid-round runners, one of whom was highly rated Braelon Allen out of Wisconsin. The truth is Allen is the only handcuff worth rostering in deep leagues or on Taxi Squads. Beyond that, the Jets’ running backs are off the fantasy radar.

Now, to touch on the Jets pass catchers, I will say this. Ignore their tight ends in non-premium leagues, and if you do play in a tight-end premium league, an unlikely dart throw I don’t mind rostering in deep leagues is Jeremy Ruckert. Now to the wide receivers.

Garrett Wilson has thus far been a dream unrealized for dynasty managers, but this year could bring an end to that suffering. Wilson averaging 158 targets per season, has one of the highest noncatchable target rates over the last two seasons.

If Aaron Rodgers can be even 50% of his former self in 2024, we should see that number rise. Even if Mike Williams steals some of that target volume, Wilson’s efficiency should cover the difference. Wilson is my dynasty WR6 overall, and he is one of the few true cornerstone pieces in dynasty fantasy football.

Wilson is a buy-high candidate in all formats. His new teammate, Mike Williams, is still recovering from injury but should provide WR3 production in 2024. Beyond that, he is pretty far off the radar and should be a mid-season sell for any draft capital you can acquire.

Miami Dolphins

Names to Know

The Dolphins had a phenomenal season, posting an 11-6 record. They, too, fell short of the ultimate goal but had some fantasy football superstars emerge along the way. Tua Tagovailoa had his first full season in the NFL, posting career-best numbers in every passing category. He ended the year as the QB9 and finds himself in the mid-range QB2 range for dynasty purposes, currently my QB18. He provides little value as a runner and is heavily reliant on his offenses, such as his run-after-the-catches ability. He is largely off your radar if you aren’t in SuperFlex leagues.

When you look at the Dolphin’s skill players, you see SPEED, and that rings true with their top three running backs. Devon Achane, Raheem Mostert, and rookie Jaylen Wright. Achane struggled with injury on and off all season. Something that may plague his entire career, but what he was able to accomplish when he was on the field was historic. He averaged over 7.5 yards per carry (YPC) in 2023 while adding eight touchdowns.

Achane could give us one of the best seasons by a running back ever if he can play even a 14-game season in 2024. That being said, he is my dynasty RB8 with the potential to blow that ranking out of the water. Raheem Mostert’s time in Miami may be coming to a close with the addition of Jaylen Wright in the draft, but until that time comes officially, he has some solid running back utility. Wright has more value than Mostert in dynasty leagues, not just because he is younger but because the former also struggles with injury.

If Wright gets a regular run in Miami, he fits the scheme well and could be a potential league winner, but until then, he is a premier handcuff and my RB38 in the dynasty.

Now to the pass catchers. Tyreek Hill posted an incredible season in 2023. He fell just short of 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns in 16 games. Now entering his age 30 season, he could see a bit of regression, but not one that removes him from the top wide receivers in the league. If you are a contending team, you have a top-10 wide receiver for redraft and dynasty on your roster, and you should enjoy the ride.

Rebuilding rosters should look to tier down slightly and go for youth at the position. Think Brandon Aiyuk, Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze. The next man-up is something like a Tyreek Hill clone in Jaylen Waddle. Waddle dealt with injuries last year and had to fight off Hill for targets, which is no easy feat. Still, he was able to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. Waddle is young enough to still make a name for himself in dynasty circles and is a top 15 dynasty wide receiver.

Waddle will be the primary beneficiary if Hill were to see any regression this year, and with a down year in 2023, he may be a substantial value in your league for 2024. To touch briefly on the rest of this group, Odell Beckham Jr. provides some flex and bye week fill-in value in dynasty leagues, but he is far from an asset you should be looking to invest in. Because of his presence, Malik Washington and other Miami receivers are unlikely to see any significant portion of targets.

Finally, tight end Jonnu Smith was brought in during the offseason to be a mismatch and a different kind of player than the rest of the names above. He could be a sneaky TE1 candidate in 2024 for contending rosters.

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