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One Fantasy Target & Avoid For Each AFC East Team

As the dust settles from the festivities of the NFL draft, team rosters are starting to come into focus as we head into the longest part of the offseason. It’s never too early to take a look at some players to target and avoid in fantasy football for 2023 – I do just that in the first part of an eight-part series covering one player to target and one player to avoid in redraft for the upcoming season.

Buffalo Bills

One player to target: TE Dalton Kincaid

Target him as your: Speculative TE2

Bills tight ends haven’t been fantasy relevant for a long time, but Kincaid gets the benefit of the doubt having not played a snap yet in Buffalo. If you’re going to be tethered to any quarterback in the NFL, Josh Allen is a great one to be tethered to, and that gives me hope that Kincaid can cash in on a few high weekly finishes this season given his receiver-like skillset. He shouldn’t have any trouble outshining teammate Dawson Knox, and he just might be the second-most dynamic receiver on the Bills offense behind Stefon Diggs. It also helps that the Bills traded up into the first round to take him, which tells me that they’re interested in having him featured on day one. He could quickly join fantasy football’s best at the TE position if the usage is there.

One player to avoid: TE Dawson Knox

Knox hasn’t been a pushover in real life or for fantasy purposes, but he’s now a Toyota Camry parked next to a new McLaren. I would be holding out hope for him if Buffalo didn’t move up in the draft for Kincaid… but they did. That tells me they want Kincaid catching passes from Josh Allen ASAP, and those snaps and targets are going to come at the expense of Knox. He wasn’t ever a consistent producer in his career even as the top player at the position on the depth chart – with added competition, I don’t see a scenario where he’s worth using a pick on in your fantasy draft.


Miami Dolphins

One player to target: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Target him as your: Boom-Bust QB1

We know the obvious health concerns surrounding Tua, but let’s just pretend those don’t exist for a minute. He started 12 games in 2022 and finished with:

  • As many passing touchdowns (25) as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert, who both started 17 games in 2022

  • More 300-yard games passing than Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers, who both started 17 games

  • As many 300-yard games passing as Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, and Geno Smith

  • The most touchdowns of 40+ and 50+ yards in the NFL (8 and 5, respectively)

The only thing keeping Tua from breaking out as a top-5 fantasy quarterback is his health. While that’s obviously a big question mark, if he can stay healthy, the Dolphins’ supporting cast might be the most fantasy conducive of any in the NFL.

One player to avoid: RB Devon Achane

The Dolphins just keep pouring speed onto Mike McDaniel’s offense. Unfortunately for Achane, he’s entering an RB room that’s already got 1) plenty of speed already and 2) speed in much larger frames. Achane stands at just 5’9 and the analytics behind backs of his size aren’t favorable for career-long production, let alone a rookie year breakout. There’s a chance we’ll circle back here in a year and there will be less competition, but until then, I’m keeping my hands off the presumably 2nd/3rd string running back in a pass first offense.


New England Patriots

One player to target: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Target him as your: RB1

I am fully prepared for the reality of Rhamondre Stevenson being the only thing that works in the Patriots offense. He’s proven he can handle a full workload, and that’s good news since he’ll be carrying the offense on his back even more in 2023 than he did in 2022. There’s no reason to have any faith in the Patriots passing attack, even with lipstick-on-a-pig additions in Juju Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki; if the ball is moving downfield, it will be on the shoulders of Stevenson. Wheels up for him in 2023.

One player to avoid: Mac Jones

Not only should we be avoiding Jones, but also the wide receivers that he’ll make obsolete. It’s clear that the Patriots coaching staff is over any grace period they might have afforded Mac Jones, and I’m not confident that he’ll be their starting quarterback by the end of the year. At best, he was a floor quarterback for fantasy teams last season, and the upside remains painfully low in a New England offense short on weapons. Without difference-making players to inflate Jones’s numbers after the catch, Jones is squarely off my radar in 2023.


New York Jets

One player to target: QB Aaron Rodgers

Target him as your: Safe Floor QB1

Rodgers will have a young and talented supporting cast around him in 2023, as well as a fantastic defense that will score him additional drives each and every week. While it remains to be seen how he integrates into the Jets offense, it’s hard to imagine the former 4x MVP struggling: last year’s OROY Garrett Wilson and potential 2023 CPOY candidate Breece Hall headline what will likely be the Jets most dynamic set of skill players in recent memory. Despite a down year last year, Rodgers has plenty left in the tank that should translate to comfortable fantasy QB1 numbers in 2023. He lacks the upside that other premium fantasy quarterbacks have via their rushing ability, but Rodgers fits right into the Kirk Cousins / Dak Prescott tier.

One player to avoid: Mecole Hardman

He’s buried on the depth chart behind Rodgers’ buddies Allen Lazard and even Randall Cobb. That’s enough for me to consider him an avoid in this offense, but he also hasn’t ever been a target earner in the Chiefs’ offense, either. Granted, he was competing with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill for most of his career, but the situation isn’t much better in terms of less competition in New York. He’s been a boom/bust player throughout his career so far, and while I can see Hardman being a spot contributor in a few games, the production will never be consistent enough to classify him as anything more than a risky week-to-week play off the bench.


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