Sunday - Feb 17, 2019

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View From The Pigpen – AFC

Well the preseason is over, and a lot of you have already drafted many times and may have one last draft before the season starts. I’m just going to throw out some general thoughts on some of the players and teams this year. I am going to eat crow on some of my earlier picks, and admit I may have been wrong. I watched pretty much every preseason game that was played, especially taking note of the third one since that is the so-called “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. A lot of these thoughts are based on those games. I’ll go by divisions and make comments on each team, picking how they will finish along with some bust and breakout fantasy players. I know the old saying about opinions ….. but here in the pigpen we all stink, and we love it.

 

AFC NORTH

Pittsburgh, Cleveland,

Cincinnati, Baltimore

 

Pittsburgh

Ben looks good, but don’t know if I would count on the passing numbers from last year. I think they run the ball a little more this year. Willie is being undervalued in my opinion; he will still get the lions share of the carries. Put me in the group that thinks Holmes is in for a breakout year. Ward is still a nice player and would be a good WR3. Not sold on Miller as a TE1. Defense should be a solid DEF1 this year. The Steelers have the best combination of offense/defense in the conference, and that’s why they win the conference. If they get ahead, they can grind it out, and play good defense for the win. If they get behind, they are explosive enough on offense to get back in the game.

 

Cleveland

Not sold on

Anderson repeating last year’s performance. If he gets off to a slow start, watch out for Quinn. Lewis is the last of the marginal RB1’s. He will have some mediocre games, but will get all the goal-line and majority of the carries in general. Edwards’ production depends on good QB play. He is very talented, but they have to get him the ball. Winslow will get his, even with a poor QB. They will be dumping it off to him. He is one of the Top 3 TE’s. They improved themselves on the defensive side of the ball, just not enough to win the division. Offense will carry them, but if the offense stalls, they lose games.

 

Cincinnati

Palmer will be good, but they better start blocking better for him. The RB situation is up in the air. I think Perry is the most talented and wins out. He could be a steal late in the draft. TJ and CJ will be ready when the season starts. TJ will be more consistent, because

Carson likes him and always looks his way. CJ will be more explosive. Both will be good WR1’s, but I like CJ better as a WR2. If you absolutely lose out on any value at TE, pick up Utecht late and you should be happy.

Cincinnati still does not play good defense, so give all the offensive players a bump fantasy-wise because they are usually playing from behind. I think this is where Perry also helps, as he is the best pass catching RB.

 

Baltimore

The QB situation is a mess. Smith is the best leader. Boller probably gives the best chance to win now, but is injured. Flacco probably has the most talent, but lacks any experience. I did not like how he looked the in the pocket. McGahee is being taken too high in drafts for a guy that is coming of recent knee problems. He will be the man when he is totally healthy. Rice has looked very good as his replacement. He is a must draft if you get Willis. I don’t like any of the WR crew because of the QB situation. Mason and Clayton hold the most value. Mason is a marginal WR3 in my book. Heap is a boom or bust pick. He hasn’t played, but has been good in the past. If you take him, make sure you get another solid TE to go with him. The Ravens defense is aging but still solid. It will keep them in most games, and that will help any young QB. I still consider them a DEF1 in most leagues.

 

Bust: Derek Anderson doesn’t finish the season as a QB1 (Top 12)

Breakout: If McGahee can’t get healthy, Ray Rice will be the man.

 

AFC EAST

New England,

NY Jets,

Buffalo,

Miami

 

New England

Brady will not have a year as good as last year, but is still the No. 1 fantasy QB. The RB situation is up in the air. Maroney has the talent, but just won’t be given the opportunities. Moss is still the top WR, Welker will be solid again in PPR. They will come out throwing just like always. They have a history of staying on the gas pedal even when they are up a lot. Watson may end up picking up some of the slack of losing Stallworth, so he is a nice late-round TE. The Pats defense is getting old, and they have lost a few people. They seem to always plug in someone and keep producing … still a good fantasy defense.

 

New York

Jets

Favre has a chip on his shoulder and will be a QB1 at the end of the year. T. Jones has been getting a lot of pimping, but

Washington is a game breaker. Cotchery and Coles will both benefit from having Favre. Both finish as decent WR2’s, and great WR3’s. Keller is being used a lot like a WR, so watch out for him to have an impact. The Jets defense is underrated; they are going to be in a lot of close games this year. If they play well, they will make a push for the playoffs.

 

Buffalo

Not sold on Edwards yet; I think he can manage the game fine, but just not going to win games for you if they get behind. Lynch will be the man; he will be on the field a lot. Evans needs someone to step up across from him. Hardy might be that guy. Evans, right now, is too inconsistent for me to count on as a WR2, good WR3. Robert Royal has played well in the preseason. They seem committed in getting the TE involved. Might be a nice late-round guy or bye week filler. Fantastic special teams with McGee and McKelvin back receiving kicks.

 

Miami

Pennington will be solid, and be a decent QB2. He is good enough to keep them in games, and a coach on the field. Williams is a steal right now; he looks like he is on a mission. He may be older, but still has some mileage left on those legs. He is running hard and fast. Brown is still a question mark to me. He did look quick in the last preseason game. Give me Ricky in the 9th verses Brown in round four. If

Miami can stay in games, these two RB’s are going to produce good numbers. Ginn will surprise at WR.

 

AFC SOUTH

‑Indianapolis,

Jacksonville,

Tennessee,

Houston

 

Indianapolis

Peyton will be fine, but the loss of Saturday is what worries me. I see Peyton getting hit a lot this year, much more than in the past. He will still be good, just not as good as in the past. Brees, Romo, Palmer and McNabb could finish ahead of him. Addai will get lots of work, with more pressure being put on Manning. I see the Wayne/Harrison deal going back to like it was when

Harrison was healthy.

Wayne will be the top guy now though, instead of Marvin.

Wayne will not have the numbers of last year. I see Gonzo taking some of Clark’s catches, so

Clark goes down a little also. He may spend a little more time blocking also. Should be a solid fantasy defense, so I think they just change their team philosophy a little and go ball control a little more.

 

Jacksonville

Garrard is a trendy pick right now for those owners that like to wait on QB. He is the key to the whole team. MJD and Freddie should be solid again; RB2 and RB3 in my book. Someone has got to step up at WR for them to get over the hump. Porter may be the answer if he can get healthy. Their defense and run game keep them in games. If they can get some pressure on Manning, this might be the year they over take them. Ok, maybe not.

 

Tennessee

Young has not looked good in preseason. He will never be your prototypical QB. He is just not an accurate enough passer. He wins games with his legs. I’m backing off on my stance on him being a QB1. He may indeed finish that way, but will be very inconsistent. White looks like a bull when he runs and will be a solid RB2; I also like Chris Johnson in PPR leagues as a RB3. He may be little, but he runs hard and is very fast.

Tennessee is a lot like

Jacksonville all the way around on offense, except I think Garrard is a better passer than Young. I don’t like any of the WR’s, but Gage has the most potential. Crumpler will be solid, but he is going to be doing more sharing with Scaife than I thought, meaning they both will be on the field together a lot. The Titans defense is decent, but just not quite as good as

Jacksonville.

 

Houston

Schaub is going to be the second best fantasy QB in the division. They have a better passing attack than

Jacksonville and

Tennessee. I think he is a marginal QB1. Great for a QBBC situations. They have to get their running game figured out to be a factor. I like Green now that he has his contract redone. He will be motivated to play at the price they are paying each game. Slaton may end up being a surprise. If, and that’s a big if, someone steps up, they can challenge

Jacksonville. Johnson is a stud, but he can’t stay healthy either. I like Walters as the sneaky pick this year. Owen Daniels is also a guy I’m targeting in a lot of drafts. He is a steal in round 10. I don’t think they have as good of a defense as the rest of the conference does, but they do have the second-best offense.

 

Bust: Andre Johnson will not finish Top 12

Breakout: Owen Daniels will finish Top 8.

 

AFC WEST

San Diego,

Denver,

Kansas City,

Oakland

 

San Diego

Rivers is another underrated QB, who would be great in a QBBC. He is a winner and has some weapons to throw the ball too. LT is LT, period. Sproles has been impressive also. I think Chambers and Rivers just get better together. He is a nice pick in round seven. Gates will be fine; Top 3 guy. A solid fantasy defense, even with Merriman’s knee problems.

 

Denver

Cutler is my breakout QB this year. I see him being a Top 8 guy or better. It helps that

Marshall is now only missing one game. Young and Hall will share the load early. Torain may be a factor when he returns.

Marshall finishes as a Top 5 WR this year. Royal may surprise also. Not sold on Scheffler just yet; he doesn’t even start.

 

Kansas City

Hate the QB situation in KC. Don’t think Croyle has it. LJ will be solid and is slightly undervalued in my mind. Don’t like Bowe to have the same year as last year, especially with Croyle throwing the ball. Same for Gonzo; he will be solid, but Croyle brings him down also. Young aggressive defense has potential, but the loss of defensive end Allen hurts.

 

Oakland

Russell will have some big games, but be very inconsistent. I love McFadden; he just has it in my book. He runs hard and is fast. Could put up RB1 numbers in a PPR league. I have been down on

Walker, but he will surprise. They will be behind a lot and throwing the rock. Z. Miller is the best value of all the TE’s this year. He can be had after round 13, and will put up Top 12 numbers.

 

Bust: Bowe won’t repeat last year’s performance

Breakout: McFadden will be all that

 

Playoff Teams:

Pittsburgh, New England,

Indianapolis,

San Diego,

Denver,

NY Jets

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