NFC/AFC East Hidden Values

Conlin Postma


If there were one word to describe both of these divisions, it would be mediocre. The constant running joke about the NFC East is that the Dallas Cowboys always finish 8-8, and the first-place team is 9-7. The Philadelphia Eagles are no different as they are almost a consistent 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 team. Now that the Patriots’ dynasty is at the end of their road, that division is wide open. Some would say that the Buffalo Bills are the front runners to win the East, but I beg to differ. New England still has a strong defense, Miami has made significant moves, and New York upgraded their offensive line to help Sam Darnold and Le’ Veon Bell.

A few notes about the NFC East: the Cowboys have added another weapon for Dak Prescott with selecting CeeDee Lamb in the draft. Philadelphia Eagles drafted three receivers and traded for 49ers’ wideout Marquise Goodwin. The Washington Redskins are in a total rebuild. Lastly, the Giants will cater their whole offense around Daniel Jones, which will only help him.

About the AFC East, it’s starting to form into a more competitive division without Tom Brady in the mix. Tom Brady is down in Tampa Bay looking to dethrone the Saints, and that leaves second-year quarterback, Jarrett Stidham, to take the helm. Miami was able to draft Tua Tagovailoa without having to trade up in this year’s draft. The Jets are slowly building a competitive roster with a lot of big-name signings. Finally, we have the Bills who finally have their true number one receiver, Stefon Diggs, and are a contender to make it deep in the playoffs.

As you will notice, our NFC/AFC East Hidden Values are not only essential for your Fantasy teams but crucial weapons for their respective teams.

 

NFC East

New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB

Daniel Jones was the QB1 or QB2 last season more times than every player in the league not named Lamar Jackson. Let that sink in. In a season that saw the Giants offense shift quarterbacks, watch running backs and wide receivers battle serious health issues, and work with a coaching staff that ended up being holistically cleaned out, Daniel Jones flashed an upside that was almost second to none. Drafted as a mid-tier QB2, you can rest easy knowing that in strong matchups Jones will go punch for punch with any signal-caller in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB

I must begin this paragraph saying that I have been beating the overrated drum surrounding Carson Wentz for multiple seasons. I think after his rookie season, the hype train culminated during his second year, and unfortunately, it far surpassed his actual performance on the field. He has had flashes of brilliance, but he has also disappointed regularly. But the time has come. Wentz’s value is much more appropriately priced (QB12-14) this season, and that offense has shown the potential to be incredibly high scoring. Pairing Wentz with a high-floor veteran like Roethlisberger or Stafford ensures that your team is going to end the season with a top 10 quarterback (but Wentz’s specifically gives you a chance to crack the top five if things break right).

Washington Football Team: Derrius Guice, RB

Derrius Guice is one of the most likable players in the entire NFL, and like it or not, being able to root for your players is sometimes a drafting tiebreaker. But, this offense and his injury issues have prevented him from really popping as a fantasy option. But the talent is there, the opportunity is there, and an offense that is devoid of any other real game-breaking talents should give Guice to flourish as he heads into his second full season (missed the first season due to injury).

Being drafted outside of the top 30 RBs, he is a gamble, but he is a gamble that could land you a RB1 with a plate of mediocre defenses on deck. Guice is the exact type of player I like to gamble on. Injuries like his are rarely predictive, and his talent is on par with most of the players at the bottom of the RB1 tier.

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Pollard, RB

Could I interest you in a backup running back that is behind a player in Zeke Elliot Tony Pollard caught 75% of the targets thrown his way last season and saw a large amount of work on 3rd downs? Both are things that jump off the page for a rookie RB. He also reached a hundred total yards in 2/3 of the games that saw him get at least ten touches (for comparison Christian McCaffery did it in just over 80% of his game). Translation, he is effective when the ball is put in his hands. Heading into his second year, he should be a target for everyone that goes WR early and often, and the Dallas offense is again poised to be one of the most potent fantasy producers in the NFL.

 

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB

At the end of last season, Josh Allen shockingly finished as the QB6. Now, it seems like everyone is passing him over. People want to get Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson in rounds five and six, but just wait. You’ll be able to take Josh Allen multiple rounds later. What separates Allen from most other quarterbacks is his rushing ability. In his first two seasons, he combined for 1,141 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Now factor in Stefon Diggs; with all respect to John Brown, he’s just not a number one receiver, but a nice complementary number two. Having Diggs in the mix will push Allen to the next level and make him into a next level threat. Don’t underestimate his ability to finish inside the top four quarterbacks or as the best Fantasy QB of 2020.

New England Patriots: James White, RB

Some might see Tom Brady’s departure as a curse for James White, but I see it as a blessing. You’re talking about a running back who is the second-best receiver on his team. Last season, White had the most total touches for the Patriots, second-most receptions, and second-most carries. Even in a “down year,” White was able to catch 72 passes along with five receiving touchdowns. His potential lies solely on his receiving abilities. He does have slight usage in the running attack with over 65 carries and 260 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons. Now with Jarrett Stidham in, he may look to White as a safety blanket due to lack of weapons and as an easy check-down option. In Half-PPR, James White was the RB22 last season, and in 2018 he was the RB8. This is telling for a back who is considered a “backup” and is a safe top 20 or higher option.

New York Jets: Le’ Veon Bell, RB

It was by far the worst season Bell has ever had. There wasn’t a single “good” Fantasy game throughout the season. You could say that his best game was Week Nine against Miami. In week nine, he secured 25 total touches for 121 yards but failed to score. He was the RB17 in Half-PPR, and that is not what you want from a player you took in the first round. Bell is being looked at as a RB2. That’s a great value. He could be a steal in your drafts. Not only did they sign five offensive linemen, but they drafted two other linemen as well. These acquisitions will do nothing but help the former Pittsburgh Steeler have a bounce-back season.

Miami Dolphins: Preston Williams, WR

Before Preston Williams was sidelined with a knee injury, he was the WR39. That might say a lot, but he was just behind Tyreek Hill and in front of players such as Golden Tate, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, and many others. In those eight games, Williams secured 32 of 60 targets for 428 yards and three touchdowns. That averages out to four catches on 7.5 targets for 53.5 yards and .4 touchdowns per game. All of this occurred before the Dolphins had their surge at the end of the season. Fast forward to 2020, and Williams is returning healthy and will play opposite of DeVante Parker. The undrafted free agent has a tremendous ceiling and could be a late-round hidden value in every draft.




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