Football is back! With the preseason underway fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy owners want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential. For my fantasy readers, this is part one of eight installments where I will go division-by-division giving you two players with great ADP value, two players with high bust potential and two sleepers that could help put your team over the top. Today is the AFC East. Player’s ADP and rankings is based off standard scoring according to the fantasy football calculator. So let’s begin and as always, happy hunting fantasy friends!

New England Patriots
*Photo Credit – Alex Kroll40 via Flickr

ADP Values

Rob Gronkowski TE Patriots (2.08)- Despite the extended injury history and all the additions to the offense over the last two seasons, Gronkowski is a tier of his own. After the past couple of years when Gronkowski was over drafted, his current draft spot at number 20 overall is an ideal spot for him. When healthy, Gronkowski is a difference maker for the Patriots and your fantasy team. Touchdown production is key for tight ends and in seven seasons, Gronkowski has five double-digit touchdown seasons. As the focal point of the Patriots high powered offense, Gronkowski is worth the late second round pick and will give you the leg up at the tight end spot every week.

LeSean McCoy RB Bills (1.06)- With the Ezekiel Elliot suspension and the Sammy Watkins trade, McCoy should be considered the clear-cut first pick after the five elite players. McCoy finished as the RB3 last season and could be in store for an even bigger season this year. With Watkins gone, the Bills offense will feature a heavy dose of McCoy, both in the running and passing game. With the expected high volume of touches that should mitigate any risks you might have about McCoy. The Bills very easily could give McCoy 25+ plus touches a game.


Brandin Cooks WR Patriots (3.04)- The Patriots made a great trade in acquiring Cooks this offseason, but his fantasy value is about to take a hit. Last season in New Orleans, Cooks finished as the WR8 posting 78 catches for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns. However, last season the Patriots finished 23rd in the league in pass attempts while the Saints finished second; the Saints threw the ball 124 more times than the Patriots. Cooks now has to fight for targets in an offense where he is no longer the top receiving threat. Cooks will have a big impact for the Patriots, but currently being drafted as the WR12, he doesn’t have the same upside as some of the receivers drafted behind him to finish as a WR1 this year.

Julius Thomas TE Dolphins (13.11)- Many fantasy owners believe Thomas will have a bounce back season in Miami under former offensive coordinator Adam Gase; whom he played for in Denver. However, Peyton Manning isn’t playing for the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill is out for the season with an ACL injury and is replaced by Jay Cutler. Thomas struggled with injuries while in Jacksonville and now lacks the upside as a late round tight end. After two seasons in Denver with 12 touchdowns each year, Thomas had nine combined touchdowns in two years in Jacksonville. Expect Thomas to only score three or four this season in Miami. Fantasy owners are better investing a late round pick in a tight end with more upside like Evan Engram or Austin Hooper.


James White RB Patriots (12.06)- Breaking out during Superbowl 51, White showed his importance to the Patriots. In the offseason the Patriots gave White a three year, $12 million dollar contract extension. White’s new contract cements him as the team’s pass catching back. Last season White had 60 catches for 551 yards and five receiving touchdowns. White’s five touchdowns were tied for most among running backs. In PPR leagues, White is a weekly FLEX play for your fantasy team and even in standard leagues White is just an injury or a poor performance by Mike Gillislee away from being the team’s starter. Last season White was the RB26 in PPR scoring and has a chance this year to improve on that ranking. Currently White is being drafted as the RB45 in PPR leagues with guys like Jamaal Charles and Jacquizz Rodgers going ahead of him. White can be that sneaky player you can grab late and start weekly.

DeVante Parker WR Dolphins (8.11)- Currently Parker is being drafted as the WR39 and that is too low considering his upside. Every offseason we hear how this is the year Parker breaks out, but this year I believe it’s true. Ryan Tannehill is out for the season with an ACL injury and newly signed Jay Cutler is expected to be the starter. In Chicago, Cutler enjoyed throwing to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery; two big, tall receivers who can work the boundary. Parker has the same body type as those two and Cutler likes to throw the ball deep which also helps Parker. I also believe in the “third year receiver” theory and Parker should have a career year this season. He could be a weekly low-end WR2 or high-end FLEX with a chance to break off a big play every game.

About The Author Mike Fanelli

Mike is a former journalism major who spent all four years in high school working for the school newspaper. At 26 years old, he is happy to write for Breaking Football as it gives him a platform to get his fantasy football takes and sports opinions out there.