As the best time of the year approaches, fantasy football drafts are well underway. The AFC East is a barren wasteland devoid of talent. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets are both in full rebuild mode and neither are looking that promising. The Dolphins are a middling team, hoping they can achieve more with their starting quarterback. The annual AFC East winning Patriots are looking prepared for another dominant season with Tom Brady at the helm. As always the question is who to draft. All of these stats are based on a non-ppr 12 team league.
Gronkowski is a true luxury pick. No one expects him to last the full year healthy, yet every year he is the first tight end drafted. This is because his potential ceiling is higher than any other tight end by a significant margin. With Tom Brady throwing him the ball and his freakish talent, Gronkowski is capable of putting up TE1 numbers consistently. This year will be no different. Maybe he will stay healthy this year, but probably not. Don’t draft him until after his average draft position which is 23rd overall or the end of the second round in this format.
Draft: Third round
LeSean McCoy has been one of the best running backs in the league for years now. Consistently racking up points, regardless of team. All in all, this could be a hard year for him. He is now 30 years old and will surely be facing numerous eight-man boxes. This is because the lack of quality quarterback on the roster means that teams won’t have to respect the pass. It is very hard to keep drives alive without throwing the football well. However, McCoy is one of the most effective running backs in the league against stacked (8+ man) boxes. He should be drafted right around his average position which is the third round (27th).
Draft: Third round
If the Dolphins are able to get their offense going this year, Drake could be the steal of the draft. Last year, he showed immense potential in the five games he started towards the end of the season. The presence of Frank Gore is a bad sign, however, the talent and youth of Drake should find its way onto the field.
Draft: Fourth round
Tom Brady is playing football at age 41 better than he ever has before. This year will not be the year he falls off. Brady has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback for five of the last seven years. No one should be worried about the departure of Brandin Cooks, Brady has never needed great receivers to rack up fantasy points. He will be fine.
Draft: Beginning of fifth round
The New England Patriots do not usually draft running backs early in the draft, let alone in the first round. They broke that trend this year when they drafted Sony Michel. Michel will have ample snaps this year. He is already getting snaps with the first team in practice. In addition, the Patriots would not have used a first round pick on a running back if they were going to stick with a full running back by committee approach.
Draft: Sixth round
Featured image from Ken Blaze of USA TODAY Sports
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