Four Fantasy Notes: AFC East
With training camps opening around the NFL, it’s time to take one more offseason spin around the league. Below are some interesting stats from 2014 that will be relevant as we head into the new season. It will help get us through the “I’m excited for the second year in this scheme” soundbites, until the real news starts flying in. Let’s head over to the AFC East.
Bruce Miller played 475 snaps for the 49ers last year, the most among fullbacks. In 2013, it was 534, and second only to Mike Tolbert. In 2012, Miller played 460 snaps. Vonta Leach was the only blocking fullback to have more (465). Greg Roman, Miller’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco and Buffalo’s new play-caller, loves his fullbacks.
Rex Ryan has less of a fullback fetish, but made ex-New York Jets battering ram John Conner a Bill anyway. Jerome Felton, PFF’s sixth-best blocking fullback last year (+2.9), was signed in March. One of them is going to play significant snaps, and – considering that the Bills just made Charles Clay a rich man – it will reduce opportunities for receivers to get on the field. That’s a problem for a wideout who needed extra route-running instruction this offseason.
For some reason, Percy Harvin is still being drafted as if he’s going to make a fantasy impact. That’s despite the fact that none of the Bills’ quarterbacks can throw straight; the offense will be a low-volume, run-based tractor pull; and he won’t get significant playing time without an injury to Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods. Unless you play in an IDP league, it’s past time to stop wasting picks on Percy.
Pat Thorman is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy and was named 2013 Newcomer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @Pat_Thorman