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Fantasy Redraft Sleepers: AFC East

Written by: Austin Thomas

A new week, a new divisional article on fantasy football sleepers! If you haven't been a weekly follower, we've gone over both the AFC and NFC North so far. Today we'll head over to the East Coast and cover the AFC East division. We've been focusing on players outside the top 100 in average draft position (ADP), which you can find that information here. Some of these players will play pivotal roles on your squad, whether it's a weekly flex player or a bye-week filler. Either way, your voyage to title town starts soon, and grabbing these players can assist you in getting there!

Buffalo Bills

Damien Harris (ADP 119.8; RB41)

Some of my favorite free-agent signings year after year are the ones going to divisional rivals. Whether they just want to stick it to their former teams or think it's a better scheme fit for their skill set, it interests me. This particular signing in my eyes was a perfect match. The Buffalo Bills claim they want Josh Allen to run less to hopefully prevent another injury, so bringing in Damien Harris to the running back room is a step in the right direction. He's a downhill, between-the-tackles runner that will pick up those short-yardage carries or goal-line touches. It might not seem like much, but preserving Josh Allen's body from not getting beat up on those short-yard QB sneaks along with other short-yard situations will be better in the long run. I believe the Bills have a nice RB duo that compliment each nicely with James Cook as the 1A option and Damien Harris as the 1B. Harris as the Thunder and Cook as the lightning. Both players should see north of 100 rush attempts and Harris has the potential to lead the team in rush touchdowns. Chasing touchdowns can be a risky and dangerous game, but going off the board at RB41, Harris is worth the risk with the upside to finish as a top-24 running back. After a certain point, the running back position gets really thin, and taking a player that should see 100+ touches is a great value this late in the draft.

Miami Dolphins

Jeff Wilson (ADP 152.2; RB52)

This is somewhat of a high-risk, high-reward selection. If Dalvin Cook ends up signing with Miami Dolphins, then Jeff Wilson is a little less appealing, yet would still make for an elite handcuff. However, if the former Minnesota Viking running back signing in Miami, then Jeff Wilson is likely looking like the top option in the backfield. Aside from the Dalvin Cooks rumors, we have rookie fever pushing down Jeff Wilson's value. Call me skeptical about rookie Devon Achane. I'm not buying the hype he'll be the main workhorse. Maybe it's been the players he's had to work or just his play-calling philosophy, but Mike McDaniel hasn't featured a single running back as a play caller. This is going to be a running back-by-committee approach and I think Jeff Wilson leads the way. In games where both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson played at or over 49% of the snaps, Wilson averaged 13 carries per game compared to Mostert's 11 per game. Jeff Wilson also bested his teammate Mostert 13.62 PPG to 11.31 PPG as well. The Dolphins have a lethal offense and will be among the best in scoring opportunities, so adding the presumed top option is a great addition at his current ADP price.

New England Patriots

Mike Gesicki (ADP 174.0; TE23)

Another divisional player switch-up. The former Miami Dolphins tight end swapped his aqua and orange colors for a New England Patriots jersey. The griddy champ profiles more of a pass-catching tight end and looking at the state of the New England Patriots wide receiver room, Mike Gesicki has the potential to lead his team in reception touchdowns and be a top-three target earner. When looking for a sleeper tight end with upside, those are the type of qualities you should look for. Mac Jones and the Patriot's offense haven't exactly inspired confidence the last couple of years, but with the addition of offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, things should look a little different in 2023. Having a competent play caller can make a world of difference and should give all the fantasy-relevant players a boost. If you roster more than one tight end, you could do much worse than Mike Gesicki as your TE2. Perfect low-risk, high-reward target.

New York Jets

Israel Abanikanda (ADP 224.4; RB66)

I'll be honest, there weren't a whole lot of New York Jets players I really liked after the main guys. Tyler Conklin is another name to watch, but he might not even be the starter, which is why I lean toward Israel Abanikanda here. With Breece Hall coming off an ACL injury from last season, the Jets would be smart to not rush him back so quickly and "save" him for the home stretch. After trading for Aaron Rodgers this offseason, the Jets' playoff hopes are as high as they've been in a long time. Abanikanda has Breece Hall-like traits and could fill in nicely while he recovers and gets up to 100%. In the six fully healthy games Hall played last season, the Jets' then RB2 Michael Carter, averaged 8.83 rush attempts per game. I would imagine that number will jump for this season's RB2 to preserve Breece Hall and because the Aaron Rodgers-led Jets won't play from behind as much giving more rushing volume to other rushers. If you're all in on Breece Hall this season, Abanikanda is a solid addition with your final pick until the training wheels come off for Hall.

Sleepers can come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be top-notch handcuffs, others have weekly flex appeal. Whichever route you decide to take, I'm sure you'll need them at some point in your fantasy season. Unfortunately, injuries happen and depth can be tested during your campaign, but making sure you have good bench options can be the difference between a failed season and a playoff appearance. Don't let your league mates have the upper hand over you and draft these players! Good luck.

Enjoy the article? Give me a follow on Twitter @Austin_Thomas18 for more Fantasy Football content - Appreciate you!

Miss a week? Check out the posted divisions down below!

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