AFC East Training Camp Updates: Devin Singletary Making Early Noise
The first week of preseason games is finished for all of the teams in the AFC East. We did not see too much of notable veterans, but some rookies made notable impressions. We have the latest key insights from training camps and exhibition play in the division, including an impressive game by Devin Singletary.
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AFC East Updates, Observations and Outlooks
Quarterback: Josh Allen was 6 of 11 for 66 yards, but it was a very uneven performance that reminded us he is still an erratic work in progress. He struggles with his downfield accuracy, which is frustrating because he has a strong arm. His receiving crew is improved, but at best, he is a mid-range Fantasy QB2.
Running Back: LeSean McCoy maintains that he is the starter, and he sat out of the preseason opener as many starters do. Frank Gore played briefly and does not figure to have a significant role unless McCoy is unavailable. Devin Singletary totaled 48 yards from scrimmage and generated some excitement. He could push his way into a role where he may be useful as a PPR flex player. T.J. Yeldon fumbled and there is a real chance he does not make the team.
Wide Receiver: Zay Jones caught two passes for 31 yards and was targeted five times before leaving the game to be checked for a concussion. Jones, who was cleared, will be looked for frequently this season and could be as good as a Fantasy WR4, but needs Allen to be more accurate to have any real significant Fantasy appeal. Cole Beasley and John Brown each caught one pass. The former may be a regular PPR target while the latter will get downfield looks. Neither will be reliable enough for Fantasy purposes. Robert Foster has superb speed but he has reportedly not looked good in camp. He did flash his jets for a bit on one 14-yard reception.
Tight End: Nothing to see here. Rookie Dawson Knox has stirred some buzz but sat out with a hamstring injury.
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick received starter’s treatment, leaving the game after completing two of five attempts for 20 yards against Atlanta. Josh Rosen played extensively, completing 13 of 20 passes for 191 yards and leading three scoring drives. But he also made some risky throws and had an interception, prompting new head coach Brian Flores to state that he wanted Rosen to calm down some of his “gunslinger ways.” Both passers are final round longshots in two QB formats.
Running Back: Kenyan Drake carried four times for 12 yards as he was the main RB to open the game. Kalen Ballage rushed for 23 yards and a TD on six carries and appeared on the field with Drake briefly. This is looking like a time share where Drake may catch more passes and Ballage could get more short yardage work. Dynasty prospect Myles Gaskin scored as both a runner and receiver. If injuries strike the backfield he could become a nifty waiver add.
Wide Receiver: Kenny Stills leads this crew again. No sane Fantasy player wants to draft DeVante Parker again. Albert Wilson is still on the mend from a hip injury. Undrafted rookie Preston Williams caught four passes for 97 yards and has been the talk of camp. It’s not crazy to think he could rise to take on a prominent role in this crew, so keep a watch on him.
Tight End: Mike Gesicki did not start and is reportedly continuing to look like a project this preseason. He caught one pass for six yards and is undraftable in Fantasy Football right now.
New England Patriots
Quarterback: Not surprisingly, Tom Brady did not play in the preseason opener. He can still win big games, but as a Fantasy QB, age, inconsistency and a declining pass-catching corps have turned him into a mid-level backup.
Running Back: None of the notable RBs played against Detroit. Sony Michel would be a high-level RB2 if his health was not a consistent concern. James White is an underrated PPR producer who could be the team’s second-best pass-catcher this season. He might play at a regular RB2 level in that format this season. Rookie Damien Harris can step in and produce for either guy if injuries strike, and is the essential handcuff to Michel.
Wide Receiver: Although he will easily be Brady’s most reliable target, there is a growing sense and whispers that Julian Edelman is going to start showing more wear and tear at age 33. First-round pick N’Keal Harry was reportedly not having a strong camp but made two pretty grabs for 36 yards. He suffered an ankle injury that was not major, according to published reports. He has Fantasy WR3 potential as a rookie. Several other receivers are competing for a spot in the pecking order after that. Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers made the best impression with six catches for 69 yards and two TDs, but Braxton Berrios (3-45) is a fine dynasty prospect who could eventually become the next Edelman. Maurice Harris also caught a TD pass.
Tight End: Matt Lacosse caught two passes for 37 yards, but there does not appear to be anyone draftable at this position.
New York Jets
Quarterback: Sam Darnold looked sharp in his first action under the guidance of Adam Gase. He completed four of five passes for 68 yards and a TD. Darnold does have the potential to operate as a solid, sometimes outstanding QB2 with better offensive pieces around him this season.
Running Back: Le’Veon Bell set out the preseason opener as his Fantasy draft stock stays steady as a late first-rounder/early second-rounder. Elijah McGuire caught six passes for 38 yards and a TD against the Giants and is the clear handcuff.
Wide Receiver: Jamison Crowder has been developing a good rapport with Darnold and it showed with a 28-yard reception and a three-yard TD catch. He could make his way back into Fantasy PPR relevance if he stays healthy and his QB shows real signs of progress this season. Robby Anderson should be the top wideout and a sure starter as a Fantasy WR3. Quincy Enunwa needs to stay healthy to get back on the Fantasy radar.
Tight End: Chris Herndon will be out for the first four games of the season (suspension), but he has Fantasy TE1 promise when he returns.
What storylines are you watching in the AFC East? For more great rankings, sleepers, and analysis check out the 2019 Fantrax Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame and a four-time award winner. He was one of the driving content forces in the rise of RotoExperts.com and was the lead host on the RotoExperts in the Morning for six years on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was also instrumental in the launch of the FNTSY Sports Network. Scott was the first-ever Senior Writer and Managing Editor at CBS SportsLine and won a company Hall of Fame Award. He was also an Associate Editor and Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He has been the featured Fantasy Writer on Seahawks.com since 2012 and his work has been syndicated to the Associated Press, NFL.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Yahoo Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Sports Illustrated and many others. He is a credentialed media member who won an FSWA award in 2016 for his Insider Fantasy Reporting. Known as “The King”, Scott is on Twitter @scotteTheKing
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