With the 2017 season fast approaching, I want to break down the buy and sell targets for every team. Because this is large league, I decided to break it down into eight parts. I will start with the AFC East and release my AFC North buy/sell later in the week. This article is written for redraft leagues using the PPR format.
New York Jets
Unfortunately, I need to pick players from every team so yes, I will even mention a couple of Jets players that may have some fantasy relevance. Because this team is on a steep decline, this was probably the toughest task among all 32 NFL teams.
BUY: Bilal Powel
Coming off an impressive finish to the 2016 season, Powell finished as the RB15 in full PPR leagues last year. He registered the 5th most catches as a running back last season and looking ahead to the 2017 season, I see that number staying around the same if not getting better. He is slotted as the starting running back for the Jets and figure him to get the bulk of touches.
SELL: Matt Forte
If I could put the rest of the team here as a viable option, I would. The Jets are a mess on both sides of the ball and I view them as a team looking to tank the season. Alas, I decided to go with Matt Forte. Once a dominating running back in the NFL, father time has caught up with him and I do not expect much from Forte. He is still a great best ball play if you can snag him in the double digit rounds, but I do not feel comfortable playing him in a week to week fantasy league.
The Bills are another team that are looking to tank for the future. Having just traded away two of their top players in Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, the Bills look primed for a 4 win season. With recently retired Anquan Boldin, the Bills receiving core takes another hit to their offense.
BUY: LeSean McCoy
I am taking McCoy all day especially since his ADP is dropping with the recent trades. McCoy has a real chance of finishing as the RB1 with the amount of volume he is likely to receive as the number one option. Some may say that he cannot sustain that level of production without Sammy Watkins, but if you look at his numbers from last year, they tell a different story. From Week 3-11 McCoy rushed for 599 yards in 7 games for an average of 86 yards per game. He also averaged 2.5 receptions per and 14 receiving yards per game in that span while scoring 7 touchdowns. That adds up to a total of 18.5 FPPG!
SELL: Tyrod Taylor
Coming off back to back seasons in 2015 and 2016 finishing as the QB16 and QB9 respectively, you would think that buying Taylor low in your drafts would be great. The reason I am now fading Tyrod is because Buffalo is clearly selling off all their assets and are focusing on the future. By the looks of things, it seems pretty clear that Taylor is not in their plans which could make for a murky QB situation.
The Dolphins are interesting because the talent is there for the position players. The problem is they don’t have a reliable quarterback and their defence is below average. They will finish above .500 but when I look for players in fantasy, I try side with players on elite level teams.
BUY: DaVante Parker
Parker has all the attributes that make him a highly sought after prospect. Coming off a couple of disappointing seasons where he did not really live up to his hype, I am looking to buy low on him. Jay Cutler is the new man in town and if you know Cutler, he primarily looks for a target he trusts. In preseason week 2, that was Parker. I still expect Landry to get the bulk of targets but Parker definitely has a higher ceiling making him a great middle round pick.
SELL: Jay Ajayi
SELL AJAYI?? He is coming off a monster season with over 1,200 rushing yards in a backfield with no competition. If that is what you are thinking then you are exactly right. He is a beast and could finish as a top 5 RB. My issue with Ajayi is his consistency. He had two monster games against the Bills last year and another against the Steelers. Aside from those two games, he only registered one 100 yard rushing game and the rest were not what you want when drafting your RB1. Talent wise, I love Ajayi and think he has the potential to be a top bruising running back in this league. However, at his ADP there are many more backs I prefer in that range.
New England Patriots
There are a plethora of players you can buy on this team. This may be the most gifted offense we have seen since the 2014 Broncos and the 2007 Patriots. The issue with the Patriots is that there may be too many players to pick from and trying to guess right week to week may drive you crazy. That being said, there are a couple that stand out.
BUY: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski
Yes I picked two guys here. But I honestly think with the team they have put together, it is possible to own 2 or 3 guys on this team. Overshadowed by the trade of Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski is still the guy to own here. Gronk averaged 21.6 yards per completion last year before his injury. Think about that for a second…He is probably the biggest difference maker as his respected position as long as he stays healthy. Because the Patriots have so many mouths to feed, it is much easier drafting Tom Brady and feeling great about starting him every week. You know he is going to throw the ball around 40 times per game and get you points no matter who catches the ball. I still suggest waiting to grab a quarterback until the later rounds, but if Brady slips to the 5th, I will scoop him in a second.
SELL: Mike Gillislee
Gillislee is an extremely talented back in a star studded offence, so why am I selling him? My reasoning is simple. Trying to guess Belichicks fantasy relevant running backs week to week will drive you insane. Gillislee is the man scheduled to take over LeGarette Blount’s role which may seem great to the naked eye. But with 4 RBs in that backfield, you never know which one is going to hit the big week. The safest option here is James White who is destined for a 3rd down role, but I’m fading all Patriots RBs at this point.