Last season the Bills finished the year 4-12. With Head Coach Chan Gailey having zero time with his players in the off season, I do not expect the Bills to make much progress this season. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be behind center, and to his credit the guy is a fierce competitor. However, with the departure of Lee Evans, Fitzpatrick has #1 and #2 targets with Stevie Johnson and Roscoe Parrish. Johnson came alive last year and could be a valuable pickup in fantasy leagues this year, but how much can you depend on the Bills to produce. With CJ Spiller missing valuable time in OTA's, he will likely split carries with Fred Jackson. Jackson has better hands than spiller, but Spiller is absolutely dynamic in open space. The Bills drafted DT Marcell Dareus #3 overall, and really hope that he can bolster their D-line to help stop the run game. With Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence on the corners, it would be huge for the Bills if Leodis McKelvin can step up in the nickel role and give them a much needed bump on coverage on 3rd downs.
4-12 last season, with some competitive games, and their defense could (fingers crossed) be better this season if Merriman and Nick Barnett have Pro Bowl caliber years, I consider the Bills to be similar to the Lions of last season. They will lose a few games by double digits, but for the most part they will be in all of their games for the first 52 minutes, but how do they close them out will be the questions.
Fantasy Sleeper: Buster Davis WR
Last season: 7-9
With Tony Sparano still holding down the fort, and Chad Henne (feelings hurt and all) behind center, the Dolphins are hoping for a big season in Miami. The departures of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown led to the arrival of Reggie Bush from the New Orleans Saints. Bush will get a bulk of carries, so it will be interesting to see how he holds up throughout the year, while Daniel Thomas (rookie from KSU) will likely get some carries as well. Chad Henne must have a good season. It seemed like the Dolphins would take a run at McNabb or Orton, but they stayed quiet and only brought in Matt Moore. So Henne is the guy Dolphin fans, the guy that has thrown more INTs than TD in both of his seasons as starting QB. Brandon Marshall, a man of two minds, could go for 100+ receptions this season as the Dolphins are going to have to throw a lot more now that their two ball carriers are gone. Marshall is a star in this league, but he also will get some help from up-and-comer Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.
Looking at the defense in Miami, they were good last year which is why their record is a little misleading. 7th against the run and 8th against the pass, the Dolphins defense was stout. Forcing turnovers will be critical this season and you can bet that Vontae Davis and Chris Clemons have a small wager on INTs for this season. I would like to see something out of Jared Odrick, 2nd year DE out of Penn State, as he has a tremendous upside as a pass rusher and run stopper.
Fantasy Sleeper: Daniel Thomas - how long will Bush be healthy...
NEW YORK JETS
Last Season: 11-5
Two straight years with Mark Sanchez behind center and two straight years of falling one game short of the Super Bowl. While I am not a big fan of Sanchez, that is a crazy-good start to a career. But could this be the year that Rex and the Sanchize get it done? Keeping Santonio Holmes was huge for the Jets as he and Sanchez has great chemistry. Losing Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith will be interesting to see how the offense adapts, but the late addition of Derrick Mason was a nice move by the Jets front office.
Defensively we all know the Jets are terriffic Revis island and Cromartie are two dominant corners, but look for Brodney Pool (FS) to step up and have a better season this year. Looking at the Jets schedule, it gets hard right away with a tough three week road trip against Oakland, Baltimore, and New England beginning week 3. The Jets cannot have any let down games this season as the AFC is too competitive to make the playoffs without 10 or 11 wins. Sanchez will be the leader once again, but can the Jets man-up for all the talking that their coach does. Could be a fun ride in New York this year.
Fantasy Sleeper: Joe McKnight
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Last Year: 14-2
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are a dynamic duo having one more games in the past 10 years than any other quarterback/coach tandem. (Manning/Dungy and McNabb/Reid right behind them) The Patriots offense will always be good with Brady behind center. It got some upgrades with Ochocinco and draft pick Shane Vereen. So expect the Pats to put up points and Brady to have another MVP-caliber season.
The main focus for New England is their defense. Horrible against the pass (30th), they spent the off-season trying to upgrade their d-line to get more pressure on the quarterback. Albert Haynesworth, yeah, he can help a little bit. With Haynesworth's presence on the line, he will attract double teams, Tight Ends staying in to help protection, and it will open up outside blitzes from corners, safeties, and the line backers. Great move by the Patriots with Haynesworth, especially if he plays anything close to a few years ago with the Titans.
With out of division games against the Steelers and Eagles on the road, and a home contest against Peyton Manning, I think the Patriots will have a few tough games, but for the most part be double digit wins.
Fantasy Sleeper: Aaron Hernandez TE