The Fantasy Points staff recently welcomed NFL Insider Adam Caplan to talk about the AFC East as part of our Virtual Town Hall Series. We highly encourage you to check out the entire conversation by accessing our Fantasy Points YouTube page and the Fantasy Points podcast feed.
Adam joined John Hansen and company to break down the AFC East from front to back to help us get a deeper understanding of every roster heading into the summer. John has been holding these closed-door meetings with Adam for the last 15+ years. The Fantasy Points staff is proud to let the public peek behind the curtain during these exclusive meetings! Here are the notes we compiled from the AFC East conversation.
Graham Barfield (GB): Rookie TEs are typically bad bets for redraft fantasy leagues, but Dalton Kincaid could be an outlier. The Bills have been looking for a slot receiver, and he could be that guy. Kincaid produced just one year in college, but he was an absolute beast on tape. I love the fit in this pass-heavy offense, but he’s a little overhyped.
Brett Whitefield (BW): They’ll play a lot more 12 personnel with Dawson Knox and Kincaid at tight end, but we need to see how much Kincaid plays in 11 personnel, which will determine just how much volume he’ll see as a rookie. He can work the short to intermediate areas of the field so, from a football standpoint, the pick makes a lot of sense.
Adam Caplan (AC): The numbers between Brian Daboll’s offense in 2021 and Ken Dorsey’s offense from 2022 may have looked similar, but this offense wasn’t the same on tape last year. They had no one to close games running the ball, and they’re hoping Damien Harris can do it. They were frustrated with their inability to sustain leads. James Cook is the primary back but the primary back for them might get just 14 touches in a game.
GB: They’ve gone out of their way to upgrade the interior of their O-line by signing Connor McGovern and drafting O’Cyrus Torrence, which will help them be more effective in running the ball.
Joe Dolan (JD): Gabe Davis’ ADP has plummeted compared to last year, but he’s in a similar situation. They didn’t do anything to upgrade on the perimeter with their WRs this off-season.
AC: Khalil Shakir is going to line up inside when they go with 11 personnel. They cross-trained him to play inside and outside as a rookie last year.
AC: This offense is still predicated on running the ball despite having Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They don’t have that true lead back. Raheem Mostert is 31 years old and always injured, Jeff Wilson is a career #2 back, and Devon Achane is a change-of-pace option.
BW: Achane has blazing straight-line speed, and this is a perfect landing spot for Mike McDaniel’s scheme. The big question is how much he will get on the field. The Dolphins had very limited draft capital and used one of their picks on a running back. That suggests he should be used quite a bit right away.
AC: Tua Tagovailoa’s biggest problem is he doesn’t see the pass rush. He doesn’t have that intuitive sense when pressure is coming to get rid of the ball and protect himself. The offensive line still isn’t great.
JD: I’m not terribly interested in Tua. I’ll get my piece of the offense by drafting Tyreek and Waddle.
GB: The Dolphins don’t have a whole lot of questions on offense. I’m wondering if a few of the targets left behind by Mike Gesicki go Waddle’s way. They don’t have a #3 WR or a TE that’s commanding the ball, so the targets could somehow be even more condensed.
New England Patriots
AC: Bill O’Brien had too much responsibility as a head coach, but he’s at least a real play caller. He’ll coach Mac Jones hard and get the best out of him after last year. They could use a little more 12 personnel than you’d think after adding Mike Gesicki, but this offense is just a collection of parts.
JD: Rhamondre Stevenson was a big winner of the draft. They’ve gone out of their way to draft backs, and they didn’t this year. They lost Damien Harris and signed James Robinson. He’s a great reason to draft WRs in the first two rounds, because you can grab Stevenson in the third round on Underdog.
AC: The offense should revolve around Stevenson. I told you guys about him last year. They loved him, and he was the talk of training camp. I don’t know what happened late in the year, if it was an injury or if he wore down.
BW: Robinson seems like a backup candidate to Stevenson and for short-yardage situations. Pierre Strong is explosive and should work as a change-of-pace guy. Rhamondre is insanely tough to tackle, a good receiver, and great in pass protection.
GB: Rhamondre’s targets could come down. His 88 targets might be the reason why they brought in a guy like Gesicki. They had way too many dump-offs to him last year.
New York Jets
AC: There’s no way Corey Davis can stick without taking some sort of pay cut to stick around. The Jets were looking to draft Mecole Hardman back in 2019 before the Chiefs traded up to get him. New York will be versatile with 11 and 12 personnel with all of their depth at wide receiver and tight end.
BW: Israel Abanikanda will have to compete a little bit. They liked Zonovan Knight late last season, but Izzy has all the skills to be the early-down backup behind Breece Hall.
AC: They wanted to run the football because of their issues at quarterback last season. Knight is really stiff but strong as a runner and can handle volume carries. They didn’t think Michael Carter could do it. Abanikanda could be involved on third downs if he’s active on gamedays.
GB: Aaron Rodgers has led the league in touchdown rate four different times in his career. I’m not saying he’s throwing 48 TDs like he did in 2020, but I could see him back in the low 30s. He’ll be touchdown dependent. They’re built to run and play defense so the attempts might not be there from week to week.
AC: I’m told Breece Hall is ahead of schedule and should be ready for training camp, which puts him on schedule to be ready for the start of the season.