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AFC East Preview for 2024 Fantasy Football

The AFC East is completely up for grabs. In four seasons of the post-Tom Brady Era, the Buffalo Bills have run the show each year. Now, with a large quantity of roster changes, and improvements elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and even the new-look New England Patriots all can hold their own. Each roster has its strengths, especially on offense, all of which are worth targeting for the 2024 fantasy football season.

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Previewing the AFC East for 2024 Fantasy Football

Buffalo Bills


Here’s how Josh Allen has finished amongst quarterbacks in fantasy football since 2020 in each of the last four seasons respectively: QB1, QB1, QB2, QB1.

It’s fine to try and predict players who could dethrone Allen in 2024, but I’m not betting against him. Allen does have 57 regular season interceptions over the last four seasons, but his 4,385 passing yards average and rushing ability overcome the turnovers time and time again. He’s finished inside the top five in quarterback rush attempts over the last four regular seasons as fantasy football’s quarterback king. Additionally, Allen has a career average of 7.11 rush attempts per game, including the playoffs. His floor is incredibly high as a result.

So, let’s talk about his ceiling. After trading away Stefon Diggs this off-season, Allen is without his number-one target from the past four seasons. While this loss feels heavy, Allen’s QB1 finish in 2023 is in spite of a massive letdown from Diggs during the back half of the fantasy season. From Week 10 onward, Diggs was fantasy football’s WR54 on a points-per-game basis averaging just 43 yards per game and scoring one total touchdown. Meanwhile Allen was the QB1 during Diggs’ downfall averaging a league-best 23.8 fantasy points per game.

I don’t think I need to convince anyone to draft Josh Allen this season. However, there could be more apprehension than usual without Stefon Diggs. The season before adding Diggs, in 2019, Allen was fantasy football’s QB8. He’s not going to be a bad investment, but I understand letting someone else spend one of their first three picks in a 1QB league on him and drafting another elite option a round or two later.

Running Back

The Buffalo Bills replaced offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey with Joe Brady after Week 10 of the 2023 season. In the first 10 weeks, James Cook’s 11.8 fantasy points per game were RB29 numbers. Once Brady took over as the O.C., Cook exploded. His 17.8 points per game from Weeks 11 through 17 makes him the RB5 during that span. This off-season, Joe Brady was promoted from the interim role to full-time offensive coordinator. That can only be good news for Cook.

Sharing the backfield with Cook in 2024 are Ty Johnson, Darrynton Evans, and rookie Ray Davis. I expect Davis, who is just two months younger than Cook, to see the majority of work behind him. He has three separate 900+ yard rushing seasons at three different schools. Davis, as well as Josh Allen’s own propensity to run, could pose a threat to Cook in the red zone, especially in goal-to-go situations. James Cook is a good investment as an RB1 for teams that draft two or three wide receivers to start their drafts.

Wide Receiver

The departure of Stefon Diggs via trade and Gabe Davis to free agency opens up a massive amount of targets for the 2024 Buffalo Bills wide receivers. Those two alone accounted for 44% of the team’s targets last year, including the playoffs.

Keon Coleman is going to be the first Bills receiver off of fantasy draft boards. He had just 1,506 yards total in three collegiate seasons but has the traits to be a WR1 on an NFL offense. More specifically, Coleman’s 6’4″ and 215-pound frame should earn him plenty of red zone targets. It only takes a few solid preseason or camp highlights to boost Coleman’s Average Draft Position, but investing in Josh Allen’s potential top wide receiver should cost more than it currently does.

The rest of the Bills’ wide receivers lack a ton of upside but are all solid enough veterans to run an efficient offense. That’s Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chase Claypool, and Mack Hollins. As always, Valdes-Scantling has boom-or-bust potential catching passes from yet another stud quarterback. Curtis Samuel is probably the safest investment in reuniting with Joe Brady, his former offensive coordinator from their time with the Carolina Panthers in 2020. Samuel notably logged a career-high 118 touches, including 41 rush attempts, that season.

Tight End

Despite a TE14 finish in fantasy football as a rookie, Dalton Kincaid finished the 2023 season as the second-leading target-getter in Buffalo. More importantly, Kincaid’s 26 targets in the Bills’ final four games, including the playoffs, rivals Stefon Diggs’ 32 targets. He emerged as a trustworthy target as the season went on, especially in Dawson Knox’ absence due to injury.

Kincaid is capable of closer to 120 targets in his second season. Especially if he continues to see work out of a slot, Josh Allen should be looking his way often. The tight end position is deeper than usual for fantasy football, but Kincaid is justifiably a top-five option with his expected role on an offense with Josh Allen under center.

Miami Dolphins


Tua Tagovailoa’s 4,624 passing yards in 2023 were the league’s most. Now, consider there were a ton of quarterback injuries last season, but objectively, it was a massive season for Tua’s future in Miami. Consider, too, that 2,177 of Tua’s passing yards were yards after the catch generated by receivers. That’s the second-highest total in the league, which shouldn’t come as a surprise with a receiver like Tyreek Hill. His 653 receiving yards after the catch ranked third amongst pass catchers in 2023. Yards after the catch shouldn’t be held against a player like Tua Tagovailoa while also positively factoring it into his fantasy value with Hill still very much the top target in Miami.

Regardless of how you feel about the above, Tua was still the QB18 on a points-per-game basis from last season. That’s a result of Miami’s massive success in the run game, specifically scoring 27 rushing touchdowns to Tua’s 29 passing touchdowns. Even just three more passing touchdowns would have Tua just outside the top-12 quarterbacks on a points-per-game basis last season.

I don’t expect Raheem Mostert to score 18 rushing touchdowns in 2024. As a result, I don’t expect the Dolphins running backs to score 27 rushing touchdowns, either. Either way, Tua Tagovailoa, at best, is a back-end QB1 without the price tag. For 1QB leagues, he’s more of an every-week consideration to stream while getting much more attention as an every-week starter as a second quarterback in Superflex leagues.

Running Back

I’m going to refer to 32-year-old Raheem Mostert as “old” when I, myself, am 32 years old. However, I’m not the one expected to lead an NFL backfield in touches this season. Despite entering his 10th NFL season, Mostert has just 735 total rush attempts due to getting buried on a few depth charts and injuries. It’s no secret that his 2023 season was the best of his career. It accounts for 29% of his career rush attempts and touches as well as 48.6% of his career rushing touchdowns. To expect the same production from Mostert in 2024 is fool’s gold, but he should still present plenty of value getting drafted rounds after De’Von Achane.

Speaking of Achane, I currently have him inside my top 12 running backs for fantasy football, but drafting him as such is a bit hard to stomach. It’s hard to imagine Raheem Mostert taking a complete backseat role to Achane, but the upside from Achane is just too good to ignore. Achane finished inside the top eight in five fantasy performances last season but outside the top 20 in the other five. On just 103 regular season carries in 11 games as a rookie, Achane averaged an absurd 7.8 yards per carry. Additionally, he moved the chains gaining a first down on 30 of his 103 rush attempts.

Lastly, there’s rookie Jaylen Wright. It’s not the ideal situation for a rookie running back of his talent to be walking into, but again, Raheem Mostert is 32 years old. An injury to Mostert, or just a late-season playoff push, could pave the way for significant touches for Wright, who the Dolphins traded a 2025 third-round pick to select in this year’s fourth round. He’s more likely to produce off of the waiver wire, if at all, in most fantasy formats this season.

Wide Receiver

Tyreek Hill is a lock to be a first-round pick in 1QB fantasy football leagues for the 2024 season. He has 170 and 171 targets respectively in two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Oddly enough, Hill has hauled in exactly 119 of them in each season with at least 1,700 receiving yards each season, as well. He opened last season with an 11/215/2 receiving line and proceeded to have seven more games of 100+ yards. Drafting Hill means drafting an unlimited amount of upside with arguably the highest floor at the position.

Jaylen Waddle is one of a handful of 2021 wide receiver draft picks to get paid this off-season. He has a new three-year extension worth $84.75 million with $75 million guaranteed. Waddle’s 2023 season is full of disappointment, and a few injuries, which could make him a value for the 2024 season. Waddle’s 15.6 points per game in 2022 yielded a WR13 finish while his 14.2 points per game last season yielded a WR22 finish. Tyreek Hill’s role in the Dolphins’ offense likely cements Waddle in as a WR2 for fantasy football, though any time missed by Hill immensely boosts Waddle’s value.

I’m not interested in Odell Beckham Jr. as anything more than a late-round best-ball pick for the 2024 fantasy football season. Signing a cheap, one-year deal with Miami is an upgrade to the team’s WR3 role, but not enough to carve out a big enough role for fantasy football.

Tight End

It’s not every year the Miami Dolphins have a fantasy-relevant tight end worth investing in. I’m not so sure 2024 is any different, but Jonnu Smith is a name worth mentioning. Smith is probably best known for tanking Kyle Pitts’ value in the Atlanta Falcons offense last season, but he had minor success with the Tennessee Titans a few seasons prior. It’s hard to imagine Smith emerging as a top target amongst Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Odell Beckham Jr., and the Dolphins’ running backs. Like most of the tight ends in the AFC East, Smith is better suited for 2024 best ball leagues at a low cost.

New York Jets


Aaron Rodgers is 40 years old and returning from a season-ending Achilles injury. That alone is enough to deter a large percentage of fantasy football managers. Additionally, Rodgers finished as the QB6 and then QB26 respectively in the two seasons prior. It’s more likely than not we are going to see a few strong fantasy weeks from Rodgers in 2024, but not a complete QB1 season.

On a positive note, a healthy Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback the Jets offense has had in a long time. Even though his 2023 season ended after just four snaps, he was already back practicing by the end of it and will be one year removed this September. Rodgers also has three prior seasons in Green Bay playing for the Jets’ current offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, in the same role. Having Rodgers back means more for the overall success of the offense and skill players than Rodgers himself when it comes to fantasy football.

Running Back

Breece Hall is far and away the best running back for fantasy football from the AFC East. Even after tearing his ACL as a rookie, Hall’s bounce-back in 2023 is nothing short of impressive, finishing the fantasy football season as the RB8 on a points-per-game basis. That’s with scoring just eight total touchdowns from Weeks 1 through 17. We can’t effectively predict touchdowns, but with a healthy Aaron Rodgers under center, there’s reason to believe Hall should find the end zone more this season.

Hall is one of just a handful of running backs that should push for 300 or more touches this season. While he boasts a strong 4.8 yards per carry average in the run game, Hall’s receiving work should instill confidence in fantasy managers to use a first-round pick on Hall this season. His 76 receptions in 2023 led all running backs.

Behind Hall is 20-year-old rookie Braelon Allen. He has three strong collegiate seasons with at least 180 carries, averaging 17 per game during his time at Wisconsin. Allen himself is a capable pass catcher, but not enough to threaten Hall’s ability to stay on the field on third downs. If Hall were to miss time for any reason, Allen is a strong sleeper to keep the offense humming out of the backfield. He should be a handcuff target in later rounds for anyone drafting Hall in 2024.

Wide Receiver

No doubt about it, I am ready to get hurt again investing in Garrett Wilson for the 2024 fantasy football season. Drafting Wilson is a chance at redemption for what could have been last season. It all comes down to Aaron Rodgers’ ability to stay on the field. In two NFL seasons, Wilson has caught passes from five different starting quarterbacks none of which are Aaron Rodgers. Despite inconsistency and downright misery under center, Wilson still has 1,000+ yards in back-to-back seasons. At least this season, if Rodgers does miss time, backup Tyrod Taylor is more serviceable than those before him.

Mike Williams is joining the Jets on a one-year “prove it” deal after tearing his ACL in Week 3 of last season. A healthy Williams is a great addition to this offense providing Rodgers with a big, downfield threat. That should open up things even more for the aforementioned Wilson. Health is the key though as Williams hasn’t played a full season since 2018.

The only other wide receiver from the Jets worth mentioning is rookie Malachi Corley, the team’s 2024 third-round investment. He’s drawn comparisons to Deebo Samuel, especially for his abilities after the catch. He’s probably not going to emerge as an asset during his rookie season but is a high-upside stash for dynasty leagues.

Tight End

Tyler Conklin is the name in the Jets’ tight end room you want to remember for fantasy football. Even with quarterback woes over the last two seasons, Conklin averaged 8.0 and 7.5 points per game respectively as the TE14 and TE18. His 2024 Average Draft Position is outside the top 25 at the position. I’m not suggesting drafting Conklin as an every-week starter for fantasy football, but he should have some strong weeks, making him more of a best-ball format target. Outside of Garrett Wilson, the Jets wide receivers don’t necessarily pose a huge threat to Conklin in regards to a potential target share.

New England Patriots


The quarterback of the New England Patriots probably doesn’t have a ton of value for the 2024 fantasy football season. I say it that way because it’s still unclear if veteran Jacoby Brissett will begin the season or if the team will hand the reigns to third-overall pick, Drake Maye, right away. Generally speaking, quarterbacks drafted as high as Maye, who don’t start Week 1, are under center as soon as October. That makes a lot of sense in this case since the Patriots have three road games over the first four weeks against the Bengals, Jets, and 49ers, all defensive units that a veteran such as Brissett is more poised to handle.

Whether it’s Brissett or Maye for the majority of the season, the Patriots are a team undergoing a lot of change. They have a new head coach, offensive coordinator, and young, though talented, wide receivers. Drake Maye is a great investment for dynasty fantasy football leagues, but neither he nor Brissett are on the fantasy radar for the 2024 season.

Running Back

Rhamondre Stevenson’s 2023 season is one of the more disappointing for fantasy football. His upside, especially as a pass catcher, still remains, but he failed to build off of his 1,461 all-purpose yards the year prior. A Week 13 season-ending ankle sprain is a bit to blame, but he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry prior to with just four total touchdowns in 12 games.

Antonio Gibson, who has pass-catching upside himself, is looking for a fresh start in New England this season. Both he and Stevenson can handle a three-down role, but will likely rotate with Stevenson seeing most of the early-down carries. New England’s new offensive coordinator, Alex Van Pelt, has familiarity deploying two capable backs, namely Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, during his time as the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns from 2020 to 2023.

We could see a similar split between Stevenson and Gibson as we did with Chubb and Hunt in seasons past. Especially with Drake Maye expected to start at some point, both backs should see plenty of work but are nothing more than an RB2 or flex for fantasy football this season.

Wide Receiver

After drafting Drake Maye third overall, the Patriots added Ja’Lynn Polk with the 37th pick to begin the second round. While New England’s pass attack will have its growing pains, Polk’s competition for targets as a rookie isn’t quite as strong as some others from this rookie class. Kendrick Bourne is working back from a 2023 Week 8 ACL tear, Juju Smith-Schuster’s career is touch-and-go with injuries, Demario Douglas is entering just his second season, Javon Baker is a rookie himself, and K.J. Osborn is on a low-cost, one-year free agency deal.

Needless to say, the investment in the position is still a work in progress. If I am to invest in any of the above for the 2024 fantasy football season, it’s Polk. As this new coaching regime’s second-round pick, Polk has the ability to lead the team in targets as a rookie. Sharing the field with Rome Odunze last season at the University of Washington, Polk still managed 69 receptions, 1,159 yards, and nine receiving touchdowns in 15 games. Demario Douglas is a versatile player capable of posting flex-worthy stat lines, but at 5’8″ and 165 pounds is limited in overall upside.

Tight End

Since joining the New England Patriots, Hunter Henry has been inside the top-three in targets amongst the team. Granted, the Patriots’ passing game isn’t one many fantasy football managers are investing in, but he’s a proven pass-catching tight end nonetheless. As stated before, there’s plenty of change throughout this franchise, but Henry remains. It’s been said before that tight ends can serve as a “safety blanket” for rookie quarterbacks in the passing game. This could prove to be especially true in 2024 for Drake Maye when it comes to Hunter Henry.

It’s worth noting, too, that Alex Van Pelt, the Pats’ offensive coordinator, is coming over from the Cleveland Browns, where in the same role last season specifically, tight end David Njoku had his statistically best season yet. That’s an 81/882/6 receiving line. That’s an absolute best-case scenario for Henry, but he’s not going to be highly coveted in fantasy drafts, especially with the position as deep as it is in 2024.

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