28 Jul AFC East: Wins Total Futures
The football season is less than two months away. This means fantasy drafts are starting, and it is time to make some money!
This series will look at each division to see what teams we should, and should not, bet on based on the Las Vegas numbers for Over/Under Futures. You will also notice, there is not a ton of talk about numbers from last season. This is for good reason. Not only was last season an anomaly, but we also turn the page on a new chapter of NFL football in 2021. One which sees us with a 17-game schedule. We will be using the numbers from FanDuel Sportsbook for this exercise, and as we know, these numbers can change depending on what happens before the season.
Last Season AFC East Wins Total Futures Record (O/U): 2-2
AFC East: Wins Total Futures
Buffalo Bills | Over/Under 11 Wins
Unless you are a member of Bills Mafia, 2020 far exceeded your expectations for Buffalo. After a season of success, Josh Allen and company will be pressured to perform yet again if they want to prove it was not a fluke. The team is set up very well to do just that.
With Allen coming off what may have been an MVP season (if not for Aaron Rodgers), he will come into the season once again with new best friend Stefon Diggs alongside him. Last season’s WR 1 for fantasy, Diggs will look to continue his dominance of AFC East defenses, while also trying to lead the Bills further into the playoffs than last year. Perhaps a Super Bowl.
The run game with Zack Moss and Devin Singletary is still mediocre at best, but if Allen can continue the trend of ascension he started in 2020, this may not matter as much as people want it to.
On the other side of the ball, the defense will again be one of the tops in the NFL. Ed Oliver is a year older, and Trey White is one of the true elite corners in the league. These stalwarts on the defensive side will allow the Bills to stay in most, if not all games this season.
The number of 11 seems a bit intriguing, but we also have to remember that there are 17 games this year. 11 may not be as big as it seems. Although a little bit high for my taste, if I were going to make a play on this, it would still be to take the Over.
Miami Dolphins | Over/Under 9.5 Wins
What did we see from Tua Tagovailoa to make us think the Dolphins should be a 10 Win team in 2021? Despite the extra game, they will find it difficult to get back to the same record as last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is gone, and Xavian Howard wants out unless he gets, yet another, new contract.
Miami has done everything they can to get Tua weapons. This includes spending the number six pick on former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle to add more speed to the wide receiver group. They also brought in speedy but oft-injured Will Fuller hoping that, once he returns from suspension, he can add another weapon. Of course, he needs to show an ability to stay healthy first.
The run game with Miles Gaskin could be solid but there are still large concerns about an offensive line which was one of the worst in the NFL in a strange 2020 season. If players like last seasons rookie Austin Jackson can take a step forward, they could get better. But the Bills are still there, and the Patriots should also be better this season.
If they are going to hit this Over, it will be by the skin of their teeth. A chance I am not willing to take, especially in this division. I will take the Under here.
New England Patriots | Over/Under 9 Wins
New England had a disaster of a season in 2020. Many blame the departure of Tom Brady, while others think it was just a hiccup. I am not so sure it was either.
The Patriots dealt with more attrition from COVID than any other team in the NFL. Especially on defense. Alongside of this, Stefon Gilmore also had a down season after his Defensive Player of the Year award in 2019. These factors together led to a bad time for Bill Belichick, and a great time for opposing offenses. As for their own offense? It was terrible. Cam Newton had a miserable season which was only compounded by getting COVID. A process which left him weakened for most of the season.
As we turn to 2021, we hope Newton is completely healthy. With new receivers in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne and new tight end duo Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, the Patriots have reloaded. James White is still there as a great third-down back, while it looks as though Damien Harris will take over the backfield from Sony Michel. All of these moves can make the Patriots dangerous, not just in the division, but also possibly in the AFC itself.
In all honesty, the Patriots and Dolphins number needs to be switched. Either way, as long as we do not see any more attrition this season, I like the Patriots to hit this Over number.
New York Jets | Over/Under 6 Wins
Adam Gase is finally gone, which can only mean great things for the New York Jets. On top of his departure, the team also jettisoned Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, and have installed rookie QB Zach Wilson as the new franchise quarterback.
The Le’Veon Bell experiment was a complete disaster from the start. Something many of us did see coming and all of us should have seen coming. They corrected course last season by releasing him. To replace him, the team signed Tevin Coleman from the San Francisco 49ers and drafted Michael Carter from North Carolina in the NFL draft. With an improving offensive line which includes Mekhi Beckton and rookie Elijah Barrett-Tucker, the run game could be Zach Wilson’s best friend this season.
Bringing in Corey Davis from Tennessee was also a good move for New York. Although he has never lived up to the number five draft pick he was, he has shown major improvements in the past two seasons with the Titans. Alongside Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder, they are not the worst wide receivers in the NFL. And this is saying a lot.
The defense has many holes they need to fix, and it will be the job of new head coach Robert Sala to do just that. If he can make strides, the team could surprise. If not, they could be worse than expected.
This team will likely finish last in the division for yet another season. The number of 6 is a good one, especially with the 17 games being figured in. I likely see a push here. But to give a definitive answer, I will say bet the Under.
Dominick is a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area. Playing fantasy football for more than 20 years and writing for more than five, he has a vast knowledge of both the NFL and fantasy football. Despite his being blind, Dominick is a consistent ranker amongst FantasyPros experts, and always strives to be better than last season. Follow him on Twitter @EnvisionFF and read his weekly Best Bets articles during the season.