As we lead up to redraft season, it’s always a good idea to reflect back on some of the veterans that have changed teams to see what that might mean both for them and their new teammates. Today we’re starting with the AFC/NFC East rosters to see what familiar faces are suiting up in new places, and what that could mean for their fantasy value in 2020.
AFC/NFC East Rosters: Some fantasy faces in new places
Quarterback – Cam Newton, Andy Dalton
Easily the biggest news in the AFC East this offseason was the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The New England Patriots replaced him with free agent Cam Newton, who was released by the Carolina Panthers after the 2019 season. Newton has been an NFL MVP and has likely won a few fantasy titles for his managers in his day, but he’s on a new team and has a lot to prove to fantasy owners before they can fully trust him.
The receivers on the roster didn’t change from last year, but the addition of Newton to the Patriots offense is definitely something to keep an eye on early this year. If he struggles, the Patriots could move to backup QB Jarrett Stidham earlier than expected, putting Newton’s value for redraft entirely up in the air. For now, Newton is not someone I’m targeting except for in Superflex leagues, but he could be a league winner if things go his way.
The only real quarterback change of note in the NFC East is the Dallas Cowboys signing of Andy Dalton. Franchise QB Dak Prescott didn’t get a long term deal done with the team, so if he gets hurt or struggles at all in adjusting to the new offense in Dallas, Dalton could be a sneaky waiver wire pick up down the stretch. I’m only rostering Dalton in deeper dynasty or best-ball leagues for now, but he could be someone you look at in redraft as the season progresses, so keep an eye on that situation.
Running Back – Matt Breida, Jordan Howard, Peyton Barber
The biggest free agent change among the AFC East rosters was the addition of both Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to the Miami Dolphins running back group. The Dolphins traded Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals last season and definitely made waves this off-season by signing both veteran backs. Breida is one of the fastest players in the entire league and Howard is definitely worthy of an RB2 role for most NFL teams.
Neither are truly talented enough to handle a full workload, due to risk of injury and their particular skillsets, but together they could be a dynamic duo for fantasy as well as NFL production. I wouldn’t trust either of them as an RB1 in fantasy until we see which one gets the majority of the work, but both warrant strong flex consideration in the later rounds for redraft and will likely be drafted in most leagues.
Another veteran running back in the NFC East to change rosters was Peyton Barber going from the Buccaneers to the Washington Football Team. Now that Derrius Guice has been released, all signs point to veteran stud Adrian Peterson taking on a larger role as well as rookie pick Antonio Gibson, but Barber is a sneaky option to get some work as well. He handled himself well in a timeshare role with Tampa Bay and is likely to go undrafted in fantasy leagues, making him a prime target for a waiver pick up early in the season if either of the two backs ahead of him struggle to perform.
Wide Receiver – Stefon Diggs
The biggest free agent change for the AFC East rosters this year is the Buffalo Bills trading the Minnesota Vikings for Stefon Diggs. Arguably, the one weak spot on the Bills roster was a true WR1, and the addition of Diggs should help immensely. They still have John Brown and Cole Beasley there to bolster their WR corps, so look for Josh Allen to take a step up this year now that he has another great weapon in the passing game.
Diggs was previously being drafted in the top five rounds while on the Vikings, and I’d be shocked if this team change does much to lower his draft value. Personally, I would prefer having Diggs as my WR2, but if you decide to go RB heavy in your drafts, he isn’t the worst option for your WR1. The WR group is also deeper than ever this year, so waiting for a guy like Diggs isn’t a bad plan if you can get good enough value for him in your own draft.
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Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering the NFL and Fantasy Football. You can follow him on Twitter: @AndrewHallFF.