One Player, Each Team - AFC Edition

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I am back with my yearly article covering which specific player to target from each team. It could be based off of pure talent, a no brainer pick, or because the player is a huge bargain or carries massive upside. Regardless of the case, if you could pick only one player from each team for your fantasy squad, this is who they should be...

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills - There are slim pickings up in Buffalo, but what else is new.  LeSean McCoy is STILL rotting away up there, but do not fall for the name and select him come draft day.  Cole Beasley was the only somewhat real talent they brought in during the off-season, but he is third on the depth chart and will continue to be relegated to slot duties.  If I had to take a flier on anyone in Buffalo, and this would take place at the very end of a draft, MAYBE I select John Brown.  De facto number one receiver, he possesses top speed, and his quarterback Josh Allen possesses extreme arm strength.  Run straight and let it fly.

Miami Dolphins -  Somehow last year the Dolphins managed to win seven games.  While they made the move for Josh Rosen, they did not do much else and this team should be worse, regardless of first year head coach Brian Flores.  The defensive side of the ball lacks any real talent besides Xavien Howard, and offensively they have injury question marks all over.  Kenyon Drake is already sporting a walking boot and per usual, DeVante Parker is standing on the sidelines currently.   Kalen Ballage definitely offers some intrigue, especially if Drake's injured ankle lingers, but I would turn to Kenny Stills.  Stills has 21 touchdowns combined the last three years and consistently offers big play ability.  Stills posts the perfect numbers to warrant a spot on your bench as a 4/5 wide receiver.

New York Jets - Yes the Jets have Le'Veon Bell now, but I just do not love drafting a player who just sat out an entire season.  Not to mention he will cost you a top 5 pick.  I would however take a shot at Sam Darnold this season.  2865 yards and 17 touchdowns last year is a decent floor and you should easily expect closer to 3500 yards and 25 touchdowns this season.  Especially with Bell's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  Darnold is setup to take that next step this year and if you stack your team at all other positions and wait out your opponents for a quarterback, you will do just fine if Darnold becomes that guy.
 

New England Patriots - I just do not like drafting any Patriots offensive players.  And that is not because I am not a Patriots fan, it's because of their game-plans.  Every single week it is a different player going off.  One week it's Michel, the next Edelman, the next White, the next a tight end they just signed off of the Cardinals practice squad.  When they had Gronk, I would say Gronk, but he is no longer in the league.  While Brady is Brady, again, one thing I have learned is you can wait much longer and still do just fine at the quarterback position.  I guess where I would turn with your hometown team this year is their defense.  I do expect them to be a top unit once again and four games against Buffalo and Miami certainly helps.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens - I believe Baltimore has a team rule that says their running back depth chart must be at least four players deep at all times.  As they have a turnstile at the position every year, now they bring in Mark Ingram, but still possess Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon and three others jockeying for a spot on the team.  What I am saying is there is too many mouths to feed to risk a pick there.  As for their wideouts, it's basically a list of number three wide receivers.  Take a flier on Jackson this year.  He will get you a solid combination or rushing yards and touchdowns and passing touchdowns.  He is the best fantasy option coming out of Baltimore in 2019.


Cincinnati Bengals - If AJ Green starts to tumble in your draft because of his ankle injury, you make that move.  And by tumble I mean roughly round six.  If he doesn't then Joe Mixon has a chance to become one of the top runners in the league this year.  Last year he made the jump that most hoped for tallying nearly 1200 yards and eight scores.  I would expect a little bit more yardage and double digit rushing touchdowns this year.  Draft Mixon as a RB1 with confidence.

Cleveland Browns - Boy is this Browns team going to be fun to watch.  Also, I am 31 and those words have never come out of my mouth.  But the past is the past.  This offense is loaded and there are names all over it I would want.  Mayfield, Beckham, Landry, Njoku.  But the name I love the most is Chubb.  By all accounts Chubb had a very good rookie year.  Falling four yards shy of 1000 on the ground and eight scores.  With Kareem Hunt out via suspension for the entire first half of the season, and defenses having to scheme hard on Beckham, Chubb should have plenty of room to run.  I love his high ceiling this year.  I have a chub for Chubb.  Can I say that?  I just said that.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Like everyone else, I am all in on Ju-Ju this year.  Brown is out of town and Schuster is ready to become a top wide receiver in this league.  Target him early, and target him as WR1 with confidence.


AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans -  If you're in a position to draft DeAndre Hopkins, do it.  If you're not, and you're in a position to draft Deshaun Watson do it.  If you're not, then avoid the rest of the Texans' roster for fantasy purposes.


Indianapolis Colts -  How about we start to get a little crazy?  Luck's injury woes worry me, and the same can be said about TY Hilton.  Mack had a really good year in 2018, but he has plenty of company in that backfield.  Do you expect Ebron to put up the numbers he did a year ago?  I don't.  So let's take a flier.  Parris Campbell, rookie wide receiver out of Ohio State.  Campbell has the chance to establish himself as the number two alongside TY Hilton very quickly.  The only thing that may hold him back is if Luck misses games.  With his ADP of almost 130 though, he is worth the late pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars - I do not feel the Jaguars defense is as bad as it was last year.  I do not feel it is as good as it was two years ago.  I do not love their wide receiver depth chart in the least bit.  Nick Foles is there now, but which Nick Foles is going to show up?  What about Leonard Fournette?  I am not sure if there is another team with as many what-ifs as the Jaguars.  I can see this team going 11-5.  I can see them going 5-11.  I personally am staying away from the Jaguars on my draft boards, but if I was forced to pull the trigger somewhere, I have been a fan of Dede Westbrook since his days at Oklahoma.  With a bad Blake Bortles last year he was able to post over 700 yards and five scores.  He could easily top that this year with Foles at the helm.


Tennessee Titans - In weeks 1-13 last season, Derrick Henry never rushed for more than 57 yards in a game and totaled 474 yards.  In weeks 14-17 last season, Henry rushed for 585 yards.  I will wait a minute while you process that.

Good? Good.

That absurd inconsistency combined with a timeshare still with Dion Lewis makes him nothing more than a borderline RB3.  Which is fine if you get him for just that, to be your backup and hope he gets the goal line touches the day you start him.  But why not take a shot at Delanie Walker?  Walker broke his ankle last year right out of the gate in week one.  And while he is now in his 14th season, I think it is still reasonable for him to reach his 2017 yardage of 807 yards and could easily top his three touchdowns he got that year.  Walker is shaping up to be a strong value pick.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos -Joe Flacco.   I'M KIDDING!  How about second year wideout Courtland Sutton? A big body wide receiver at 6-4 216, he's a red zone threat and a deep threat, and say what you will about Flacco, but those eyebrows love them some deep balls.  With Emmanuel Sanders working his way back from an achilles injury, Sutton has a chance to really establish himself as Flacco's number one option in the Mile High City.  Sutton is a low cost, high reward pick come draft day.

Los Angeles Chargers - I am really high on Mike Williams this year.  Let me preface this by saying I do not have any hard evidence besides he has looked great in camp, but some years you just get a gut feeling about someone.  And this year, looking fully healthy finally, I have a gut feeling Mike Williams is going to post some very strong numbers.  At least in the WR2 range.


Kansas City Chiefs - You all know the big three.  Mahomes, Kelce, and Hill.  If you're in a spot to pick them, pick them.  No brainer.  But what else is lying in the weeds on that team that may help your fantasy team?  How about Mecole Hardman?  His speed is off the charts and speed is what this offense is going to be based on.  He runs a 4.33 40 and showed it off in the Chiefs first preseason game where he took an end around to the house.  He has the ability to score every time he touches the ball and should get plenty of looks after Hill and Kelce.

Oakland Raiders - I think the Raiders can be really good this year.  I know there are a lot of "attitudes" in that locker room that need to gel for that to happen, but if it does the sky's the limit for this team, especially the offense.  Their defense will be suspect once again, meaning they will need to score points, especially when playing in a division with the Chargers and high flying Chiefs.  I think Derek Carr is a sleeper MVP candidate and that Tyrell Williams could end up being a massive addition.  However, I have my eyes on someone else on this team that is far from well known.  Tight End Darren Waller.  He makes for an excellent target in your drafts if you miss out on the Travis Kelce's and Zach Ertz's of the world.  The job is solely his with Jared Cook now departed for the Big Easy.  Darren Waller has sleeper written all over him.


Follow Ryan on Twitter and ask your fantasy questions @BesseBoy.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: One Player, Each Team - AFC Edition
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