The AFC East has suddenly become one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. Every team harbors playoff aspirations. Unfortunately, not every player will work out, so don’t enter your fantasy football drafts without checking out our 2021 fantasy busts for the AFC East.
All average draft positions (ADP) are PPR scoring and taken from Sleeper.
AFC East fantasy football busts for 2021
Which players from the AFC East could wind up being busts for your fantasy football team in 2021?
After decades of Patriots domination, the Bills now find themselves atop the AFC East. Still, the Bills don’t have that many valuable fantasy assets. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are superstars highlighted on all 2021 fantasy football cheat sheets and will continue to produce, but there isn’t much beyond that.
Zack Moss, Running Back | ADP: 107 (RB39)
The assumption is that Zack Moss will lead the running back committee, and he is being drafted slightly ahead of Devin Singletary as a result. Both being drafted this late is a reflection of Buffalo’s offense, though.
Moss is rarely used as a receiver, with only 18 targets as a rookie. As Derrick Henry has shown, running backs can still be successful without producing as a receiver, but Moss misses out on many valuable situations. Josh Allen is 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, and an outstanding runner. Moss saw 8 red-zone rushing attempts in 2020 from the 5-yard line in, but Allen saw 9. It could be a frustrating season if you’re counting on Moss.
Miami’s offense never really got going under Tua Tagovailoa in 2020. He’s looked efficient and composed in the preseason, though, and there are reasons to believe that better days lie ahead in Miami. The hip injury that saw a premature end to Tua’s college football career is now firmly behind him. The Dolphins will be hoping that he will repay their belief in him as the face of the franchise.
Mike Gesicki, Tight End | ADP: 88 (TE9)
Mike Gesicki is a competent tight end, but it’s fair to question the upside. The Dolphins have invested heavily in their wide receiver group, which could be to Gesicki’s detriment. First-round pick Jaylen Waddle does a lot of his damage from the slot, and that’s where Gesicki was most dangerous. If Tua wants to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers, Waddle is a more appealing option.
The Dolphins signed Will Fuller to a one-year, $10 million contract this offseason and he will be targeted heavily. Elsewhere, DeVante Parker had 103 targets in 14 games last season, and Myles Gaskin was used heavily as a receiver out of the backfield. Preston Williams looked an afterthought, but Gesicki will have to prove that he deserves targets more than the other receivers. Tight end is a tough position to project, but there are only so many passing yards to be shared around. Gesicki could fall victim to the numbers game.
New England Patriots
Transitioning away from Tom Brady was always difficult, but New England’s offense was borderline unusable for fantasy football in 2020 and packed with fantasy busts. The passing game was non-existent with Cam Newton at the helm, scoring just 12 touchdowns in 16 games. With rookie quarterback Mac Jones on the scene, what does the future hold for Bill Belichick’s team?
Damien Harris, Running Back | ADP: 100 (RB36)
Damien Harris looks to have a grip on the early-down rushing duties in New England, but it’s not as firm as we expected. Rhamondre Stevenson has impressed fantasy managers in the preseason, and the fourth-round pick looks capable of stepping in and playing right away. James White will reprise his usual role as one of the top pass-catching backs in the NFL, which limits Harris’ ceiling.
Harris was an effective runner last season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry behind a good offensive line. Without those opportunities in the passing game, though, he will need to increase his rushing yards and score far more touchdowns than the pair of rushing scores he managed in the 2020 NFL season.
New York Jets
After years of dysfunction, New York’s offense is entering an exciting new era. General manager Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh have invested resources into the offense. That’s excellent news for fantasy managers. A rising tide lifts all boats, but is the arrival of second overall pick Zach Wilson going to be good news for everyone?
Michael Carter, Running Back | ADP: 89 (RB33)
If any New York Jets running back will become a feature back, it’s Michael Carter. The rookie has impressed in preseason and looks to be heading up the committee. That’s the problem, though. The Jets look as if they’re set to turn to a running back by committee approach. This makes Carter an interesting floor play, but he’s unlikely to be a player who hits his ceiling unless he scores a long touchdown.
The team signed veteran Tevin Coleman, while Ty Johnson and La’Mical Perine remain on the roster from last season. None of those players will hold fantasy value themselves. However, as a collective, they have the potential to limit Carter’s value.
Frustratingly for fantasy managers, Carter is the smallest of the four options. While he could see the most opportunity, he looks unlikely to get the valuable red-zone touches that earn fantasy points.
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