2009 Fantasy Football Breakout Players: AFC East

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IMay 5, 2009

DENVER - DECEMBER 21:  Quarterback Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills rolls out and looks for a receiver against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 21, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Bills defeated the Broncos 30-23.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Every year there are multiple players at each position that have breakout seasons and put their name on the fantasy football map.

In 2008, we saw players like Matt Cassel, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Turner, Derrick Ward, Antonio Bryant and Dwayne Bowe put together what is considered breakout season and because of this they will be highly targeted in 2009 fantasy football drafts.

With it never being to early to start planning for your fantasy football draft, the Bruno Boys offer you their opinion on what players will flourish in 2009 and have a breakout season. In this installment of 2009 Fantasy Football Breakout Players we bring to you the AFC East division.


Buffalo Bills: When the Bills signed free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens to a one-year deal this off season know one could have been happier than quarterback Trent Edwards.

In his first full season as a starter, Edwards showed signs of being a solid quarterback at this level but he never put together back-to-back big games from a fantasy footballstandpoint.

A large part of this had to with the lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position, as they relied heavily on running back Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evansto carry the offense. With Owens now in the mix, Edwards' go-to receiver will be a future Hall-of-Famer who has 139 career touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons.

This will allow the inconsistent Evans to thrive as a WR2 and it should open up the field for Edwards to significantly build on his 18 passing TD's over his first 24 games.

Already known as an accurate quarterback (65.5% completion rate in 2008), the increase in weapons should lead to the third-year quarterback having no problem reaching 20+ passing touchdowns this season. All fantasy football owners should target him as a middle of the road QB2 heading into the 2009 season.

Also Consider: RB Fred Jackson (will benefit from Lynch' suspension)


Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphinstook a lot of flack when they drafted wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, but after two seasons under his belt Ginn Jr. is ready to make a splash in the league.

His general manager Jeff Ireland and the rest of the Dolphins brass told a local paper in Miami that this is a make or break season for Ginn Jr. so you better believe the speedy wide-out will bring his A-game this season.

In 2008, Ginn Jr. had had 56 receptions for 790 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, but what was most impressive about his statistics was that he averaged 14.1 yards per reception. Another step in the right direction for the third year wide-out is his year to year progression.

From 2007 to 2008 Ginn Jr. saw an 65 percent increase in receptions and an 88% increase in receiving yards and there is no doubt in the Bruno Boys mind he hasn't reached his ceiling.

With Miami expected to make him a more dynamic part of the offense you should see a steady increase in Ginn. Jr's overall numbers. Expect around 70 receptions for 900-950 receiving yards and 5-7 total TD's making Ginn Jr. a low-end WR3 heading into '09.  

Also Consider: WR Davone Bess, WR Greg Camarillo (knee injury is a concern)


New England Patriots: There isn't a single players on the Patriots roster that jumps out at you as being a "breakout" candidates in 2009. Tom Brady is coming off a torn ACL, but he is just a year removed from 50 touchdown passes and has nothing more to prove to his fantasy football owners.

Randy Moss and Wes Welker are veteran wideouts and true WR1 options so we can cross them off our list. As for the running back circus in New England it's not even worth predicting who escapes as the primary running back in Week One because there probably will be a different starter by week five.

You can expect Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk and even BenJarvus Green-Ellis to get some touches throughout the season without any of the options being a week-in and week-out option.

Overall, the Patriots will win football games by riding the hands of Brady, Moss, Welker and whichever running back rises to the occasion that week. Other than that you can't expect any Matt Cassel like stories coming out of Bean Town this season.

Also Consider: WR Greg Lewis, WR Alex Smith (TD-Only leagues)


New York Jets: No pun intended to all you New York Jets fans out there but this squad won't be full of fantasy football stall-warts in 2009. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchezhas the moxie of being a solid signal caller in the NFL but his supporting cast leads us to believe he is a few years away from being a true impact player.

Behind an improved offensive line Thomas Jones ran wild in 2008 but he is threatening to miss camp and has some stiff competition with newly drafted Shonn Greene and veteran Leon Washington in the mix.

Speaking of Washington, the play-maker had 113 fantasy points and ranked as the 31st best RB last season despite having just 123 touches. However, with the addition of Greene, a lack of touches might prevent us fantasy football owners from seeing just how high his ceiling is.

Looking at the wide receiver you have Jerricho Cotcheryand that's about it. Cotchery is proven and will play as a WR2/WR3 the majority of the season, but the other options are Brad Smith, Chansi Stuckey and David Clowney.

The trio fighting for the WR2 spot in New York has a combined 86 receptions in 64 total games and none of them are projected to make an major impact in a Jets offense that will struggle at times.

Also Consider: RB Shonn Greene (will see action right away), WR Brad Smith (WR2 by default), TE Dustin Keller






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