Fantasy Football Fan's Take: Four Questions About the AFC East

Yahoo Contributor Network

As you prepare for your 2012 fantasy football draft, there are many situations to keep an eye on. Keeping up with position battles, rookie progress and preseason performances will help you make key decisions when selecting your team. Below are four questions concerning AFC East teams and their fantasy scenarios that I hope to know more about before draft time comes around.

1. Who will play quarterback for the Miami Dolphins?

It seems that Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill and David Garrard have equal chances of winning the Dolphins' quarterback job. While Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush are not considered elite fantasy players, whoever is passing the ball will have decent targets available and could become a starting fantasy option in deep leagues. There is also a chance of establishing a connection with Chad Ochocinco as well. Tannehill will be drafted in keeper and dynasty leagues, but veterans Moore or Garrard will likely begin the year under center.

2. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick as good or as bad as he looked last year?

In his first three games in 2011, Fitzpatrick averaged 24 completions, 280 yards, three touchdowns and one interception per game, managing to look like the early steal of drafts and free agency. Then he had eight games with one or zero touchdowns, averaging 230 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions each game over the rest of the season. I do expect him to play better this season, and he is going extremely late in mock drafts. He should be a valuable backup with some upside in late rounds.

3. Will Brandon Lloyd affect Wes Welker's production?

Welker caught 122 passes last season, the second time in the last three years that he topped 120 receptions. But how much impact will Lloyd have on the offense and Tom Brady's pass distribution? Lloyd has averaged 73 catches, 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns over the past two seasons. Brady will look his way often, and while it may not have any effect on Welker at all, I think it is unreasonable to draft Welker expecting another 120 receptions in 2012.

4. Will Joe McKnight get a chance to steal carries from Shonn Greene?

Greene became a starter last year and had his first 1,000-yard season. He did not provide much fantasy value, though, with only 1,054 yards and six touchdowns in 15 starts. McKnight may be able to get some playing time this season and could be a decent passing option for the Jets. Last year, against the Denver Broncos, McKnight carried 16 times for 59 yards and caught six passes for another 62 yards. I am not drafting him, but if the Jets give McKnight a shot, he could have fantasy value at some point this season.


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Mike Patton is a co-host on the Deep Sleeper Fantasy Football Podcast. He has been a fantasy enthusiast since 1997 and has won championships in baseball, football, basketball, hockey and pick 'em leagues.

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