The Rundown: AFC East
Teams in predicted order of finish.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Who will be on receiving end of Brady’s throws?
It’s popular to ask who will be catching Tom Brady’s passes this year, with Wes Welker (Broncos), Aaron Hernandez (jail), Brandon Lloyd (out of football) all gone and the return of former Arizona Wildcat Rob Gronkowski (back and arm surgery) uncertain. But Brady will complete passes, and some or all of these names will be better known at this time next year: Danny Amendola, Kembrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Zach Sudfeld. In this division there is still very little competition for the title.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Tough early schedule could put team in a hole
This is the very little competition New England is facing. Miami seems to be on the rise. Ryan Tannehill appears to be the right QB to move the Dolphins to the next level. The team brought in a major addition for Tannehill, WR Mike Wallace. A tough schedule in the first five weeks (at Browns, at Colts, vs. Falcons, at Saints, vs. Ravens) could kill the team’s morale.
BUFFALO BILLS: Another long year in store despite presence of Spiller
The Bills are quickly becoming sad-sack perennial losers (think Lions of old, Browns of old ... and present). Adding Kevin Kolb sounded like a good move. Drafting E.J. Manuel in the first round gave fans reason for optimism. Now both are hurt, and the Week 1 starter Sunday could be undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who played a year at Salpointe Catholic High. RB C.J. Spiller will put up amazing numbers if he can keep up his per-touch average when given a heavier load.
NEW YORK JETS: QB, RB positions a mess for sinking team
Someone has to be the worst team in football, right? The QB situation is a mess: dinged-up veteran Matt Sanchez or rookie Geno Smith. The RB situation is a mess: injury-prone Chris Ivory or (fill in the blank) at RB. Ninth overall draft pick CB Dee Milliner boosts the defensive backfield. Maybe 2014 top draft pick Jadeveon Clowney will join Milliner on New York’s defense next year.
FANTASY FRIENDLY: WR, Tom Brady’s favorite target, Patriots
We don’t know who it is yet, but injury-prone Danny Amendola has already suffered his first injury of 2013. Rookies Kembrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce are contenders. Based on the preseason, the guess here is Thompkins. Any of them, as well as rookie TE Zach Sudfeld are probably available in your league.