Now that we have had our first set of “Bold Predictions” that saw the outlook of the NFC East, I will transition over to the AFC East where a Potential Tom Brady suspension looms over the division. With his newest appeal, I expect him to get out of his suspension again until the matter can be finalized, we can hope. There are some interesting young players in the AFC East and I expect a couple of teams to have some breakouts at the wide receiver position. For that reason, I will stick to the receiver position for all four teams in this week’s Edition of “Bold Predictions.”
Buffalo Bills- Now we all know the talent that Sammy Watkins has and the upside he brings on every play, but this will be the year he absolutely kills it. He has averaged only 62.5 receptions in his first two seasons, but has still averaged 1,014.5 yards per-season. This year he is going to be making you kick yourself for missing out on him. Look for 1,600+ yards with 14 or more touchdowns. He did have the foot surgery, but I fully expect him back and ready by the time the season rolls around.
Miami Dolphins- As everyone is so high on Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker is the guy that you will want in Miami. When he was coming out of college, I had him as my No. 1, even over Amari Cooper. I really like his talent and the way that he carried himself. His sophomore season will see him making a name for himself among the receivers in the league. Look for him to put up 1,300 yards with 12 touchdowns. The only way I don’t see this happening is if Ryan Tannehill takes a total nose dive, but with Adam Gase in Town, I expect him to get the ball in Parkers hands. I will add that Jay Ajayi will likely get hosed when the Dolphins sign another back or use one on their roster to steal carries or receptions from him. Buyer beware with the running game here.
New England Patriots- the Patriots’ receiving corps is always a crapshoot and even touching on this is bold. I’m putting my attention on a rookie out of Georgia who is known for his precise route running and route savviness. Malcom Mitchell will set a Bill Belichick-led Patriots rookie record for receptions. The current record for rookies under his reign is 43 receptions by Deion Branch in 2002. Mitchell will have over 50 receptions and take those for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. Another Malcolm I expect big things from is Malcolm Butler. He will be next off-season’s Josh Norman, where he puts up some very impressive numbers and people act like they didn’t know who he was before. He is going to get paid next year and the Patriots will have a tough off-season with Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower also set to hit free agency next year.
New York Jets- Full disclosure here, I expect Ryan Fitzpatrick back with the team for the 2016 season and it will greatly increase the effectiveness of the receiving corps. I expect both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall to hit the 1,000 yard mark again, but I’m looking at another receiver to step up and add to that duo. If not for the late 2015 ACL tear, I’d be looking at Devin Smith, but it’s likely that he is on the PUP list to start the year. This should make way for Charon Peake to earn a spot on the roster and become another Clemson receiver to dominate in the league. The large 6’2”, 209 lb. receiver ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine and has all the tools to play in the NFL. Though he lacked film, it was a surprise that he didn’t go until the seventh round. If he can carve out a role this season, he should see 40 catches for 730 yards and six touchdowns. This will be a team that surprises with its elite passing game and don’t forget that Matt Forte was added to the mix.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised is all but the Dolphins were fighting to win this division, especially if Brady were to be suspended for the first four games. At this point though, how can you go against the Patriots? I will. This is the year that the Jets take over the AFC East and fight for home-field advantage through the playoffs. However, if they can’t figure this out with Fitzpatrick, I turn right back to the Patriots to take this division once again. As always, I hope these provide entertainment and fun for all and if you ever want to tell me how much you like or hate my thoughts, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FantasyBold.