2014 Fantasy Football Season in Review- AFC East
The Buffalo Bills’ season started off with a bang that fizzled mid-season due to injuries. The team was loaded with possible sleepers such rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins and running back C.J. Spiller. The Bills looked like the surprise team of the season, but it was just not meant to be.
C.J. Spiller may not have looked like he was going to re-emerge as a first running back, but he definitely was a capable starter for the first few weeks of the season due to his spectacular special teams play. Sammy Watkins was everything we expected him to be. Even Robert Woods looked like he may have some potential to develop into a quality bench player for fantasy owners.
Then the bottom fell out. Fred Jackson was lost for a number of weeks. Then Spiller went down for the season. The Bills ended up switching quarterbacks. Though Kyle Orton performed well at first, the continuous stream of offensive injuries ended up vastly limiting his value. Finally, Watkins got banged up and it was all over for this team’s fantasy value.
There was, however, one bright spot that stayed throughout the season. The defense was always a capable starter. This was nice to see, but with it simply did not do enough to generate a ton of interest in this.
The Miami Dolphins shined at one position this season. They were a top tier fantasy football defense. At one point during mid-season they recorded three straight weeks as the highest scoring fantasy football defense in the NFL. They are going to be one of the first defenses off the boards in 2015 fantasy drafts.
Offensively one key piece is still in question. Fantasy owners are still wondering if Ryan Tannehill will ever develop into a top notch quarterback worthy of becoming a week in and week out starter. At this point in his career, Tannehill is worth a roster spot in fantasy football, but he cannot be relied upon as a full time starter. Unfortunately he generated so much excitement in 2014 drafts. Tannehill was being trumped up as “the sleeper” at quarterback this season. He simply did not live up to those expectations.
New England Patriots
The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots were a pretty uninteresting bunch in fantasy football this season. Yes, they are a great team. Unfortunately, that really does not mean too much in the fantasy football world. The Patriots just simply did not have any players that shined through other than Tom Brady.
The good thing was the Patriots did not disappoint anyone. No Patriots’ player was highly targeted in drafts. Tom Brady was seen as a low end starting quarterback. He ended up shattering those expectations and was once again the Tom Brady we all know and love. Julian Edleman was good in PPR leagues, but his value was limited in standard scoring formats. Again, exactly what everyone expected. The defense did not let anyone down. Even Stephen Goshtowski was just as good as advertised. Of course, we all knew Rob Gronkowski was a stud.
To sum up the Patriots’ 2014 season from a fantasy football perspective is pretty easy. Though they were just as good as we thought they were going to be, they were not anything special.
New York Jets
Though we may have already known this, the 2014 season proved one thing: the New York Jets are where fantasy stars go to die. The Jets began this season by acquiring two big name players: Chris Johnson and Michael Vick. Both were good in 2013 and had been great in the past. In New York that definitely changed.
Chris Johnson ended up sharing time with Chris Ivory. This time sharing format did not pay off well for the former 2,000 yard rusher. Instead, by the end of the season Johnson was limited to a change of pace role.
Vick did not even start until the Jets finally gave up on Geno Smith. During the offseason, many thought the Jets would end up starting Michael Vick right out of the gate. The Jets never really committed one way or the other until right before the preseason. The result was horrible. Smith struggled and Vick eventually took over. By this point the season was lost. Once Smith recovered, he was back out on the field.
And finally there is Percy Harvin. Harvin was the 2014 season’s biggest mid-season trade. He began the season with the Seahawks and was amazing. He was looking like he was going to end up being one of the most valuable wide receivers in all of fantasy football. Then a last second trade before the deadline sent him to New York. From there on out, Harvin was no longer a stud.