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AFC EAST – How Divisional Schedules May Impact Your Fantasy Team

Des Boodram

In my efforts to leave no fantasy stone unturned, it’s about that time to unpack each division’s schedule, with the hopes of identifying some fantasy gold.  This is not a new strategy, but opinions can change drastically from forum to forum, so pick your poison carefully, but also know that direct correlations can be made between game-to-game matchups and fantasy performances. Let’s go mining.

 

DOLPHIN TALE 

Many people scoff at the New England Patriots because they supposedly play in one of the worst divisions in football, but those same people seem to forget, that same division had two teams make the playoff as well.  It’s all pretty convenient when making that argument, but the Dolphins found themselves in the Wild Card round and kudos to them as they were the worst team in the division defensively finishing last in yards allowed per game, rushing yards allowed per game and second last in passing yards allowed and points allowed per game.   Either their offense was good, or they were extremely lucky….  This story is not fully written yet.  The pending schedule, which includes trips to Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina and Kansas City screams 7-9 and unless you know something I don’t know about Ryan Tannehill  I don’t know how that record or worse wouldn’t come to fruition.  They also have to host Oakland, Denver and Tennessee whom I think will be great this season.  My prediction is that this team reverts back to their old ways of getting their fan base amped up and optimistic only to crush their dreams by seasons end.  I’m investing early in all fantasy formats but dumping  after week 7 as the go  at BAL, OAK, at CAR, at NE, DEN, NE, at BUF, at KC by week 16.  That’s brutal and I can see them only winning one game in that stretch. Sell all Dolphins by Week 7.

 

PAYING THE BILLS 

Unless you can get LeSean McCoy in the 2nd round this team has no fantasy on its entire roster.  I have my doubts about McCoy as well, because I feel like the Bills will be playing from behind all season.  This once proud franchise will be run ragged by season’s end after allowing their best free agents to go to New England and failing to pay the bill by way of signing big money FA’s.  In all due respect to humans in general, who the hell would ever want to live in Buffalo let alone play there.   Six of their of their 16 games are against top 15 defenses which makes Bills fans thankful that they at least get the Jets twice.

 

EMERGENCY LANDING 

What the Jets have done this off-season, is deplorable, and one step away from intentional tanking, and I wish the NFL could sanction their first round pick next season.  The worst part is head coach, defensive genius Todd Bowles is going to be the scapegoat for this dumpster fire.  The Jets should be underdogs in every game they play and I can’t see them covering in any game this season that’s not against Buffalo.  Running the table in reverse is very real possibility here and yes I think Cleveland covers at home… that’s how bad they are.

 

BRADY’S BUNCH

The Patriots are rightfully favored in every game thus far, but their schedule aside two games against Buffalo and New York is quite tricky.  They have seven games against playoff teams from last season as well as trips out to Denver and Tampa Bay.  They play four games against the NFC South, all of whom have Pro Bowl QBs.   They have a matchup at Pittsburgh in week 16, which has trap game written all over it.  I’m a huge buyer this season especially later on when the schedule eases up.  Five of their last six games are against divisional opponents (see above) whom New England has treated more like sparring partners as they prepare for more formidable opponents outside of the division.  I’m all over the New England defense for the playoff run as they gave up a league best 250  points, 34 points fewer than the next team.  I love Tom Brady in fantasy but wouldn’t  reach for anyone else including Gronk, who may lose targets in the red zone to Dwayne Allen.  Be careful with that schedule especially in the first third of the season when they play Kansas City, at New Orleans, Houston, Carolina, and at Tampa Bay… don’t be surprised if they drop one or two of those.  Good Luck gamers.