AOL.com's Countdown to Kickoff: AFC East preview

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AFC EAST PREVIEW
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AOL.com's Countdown to Kickoff: AFC East preview

4. NEW YORK JETS

2014 record: 4-12

Projected 2015 record: 7-9

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Cleveland

Week 2: at Indianapolis

Week 3: vs. Philadelphia

Week 4: at Miami

Week 5: BYE

Week 6: vs. Washington

Week 7: at New England

Week 8: at Oakland

Week 9: vs. Jacksonville

Week 10: vs. Buffalo

Week 11: at Houston

Week 12: vs. Miami

Week 13: at NY Giants

Week 14: vs. Tennessee

Week 15: at Dallas

Week 16: vs. New England

Week 17: at Buffalo

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Rex Ryan might be gone, but the circus most definitely is still in town at New York Jets camp.

Geno Smith (broken jaw) is reportedly out 6-10 weeks, per Brian Costello of The New York Post, after a locker room “sucker punch” just extends the team’s quarterback misery that has lasted for years, if not decades. Not only does it thrust Ryan Fitzpatrick into a potential starting job again, but it further complicates any potentially hidden one-week fantasy value we might have tried to salvage with the Jets.

Fitzpatrick, who did orchestrate a monster six-touchdown performance with the Houston Texans last season, is now the man entrusted to make something out of offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall and erstwhile Peyton Manning-made fantasy star Eric Decker.

Player to Watch: Jace Amaro. Chan Gailey’s offensive system loves to get tight ends involved in the passing game, and that’s good news for Amaro. He was a dominant pass-catcher in college, and he’s a breakout candidate in his second year.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

3. BUFFALO BILLS

2014 record: 10-6

Projected 2015 record: 9-7

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Indianapolis

Week 2: vs. New England

Week 3: at Miami

Week 4: vs. NY Giants

Week 5: at Tennessee

Week 6: vs. Cincinnati

Week 7: at Jacksonville

Week 8: BYE

Week 9: vs. Miami

Week 10: at NY Jets

Week 11: at New England

Week 12: at Kansas City

Week 13: vs. Houston

Week 14: at Philadelphia

Week 15: at Washington

Week 16: vs. Dallas

Week 17: vs. NY Jets

 (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Rex Ryan had to hate where the New York Jets were at the end of his time there. He has to love the talent he gets to work with in Buffalo with the Bills, though.

The Bills finished fourth in the NFL in total defense last year, so as much as things have changed in Buffalo, expect more of the same under Ryan. The Bills will run and stop the run, playing low-scoring defensive ballgames that won’t necessarily light up lineups for one-week fantasy footballers.

Buffalo did add a former rushing champion in LeSean McCoy, a breakaway threat in Percy Harvin and a tight end in Charles Clay, but a whole bunch of questions remain at quarterback.

Player to Watch: LeSean McCoy. Shady had arguably his worst year in 2014 during his last season with the Eagles. He’s a talented running back, but with a questionable Bills offensive line, there’s a lot of uncertainty about his status as a starting FanDuel running back.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

2. MIAMI DOLPHINS

2014 record: 8-8

Projected 2015 record: 10-6

Schedule:

Week 1: at Washington

Week 2: at Jacksonville

Week 3: vs. Buffalo

Week 4: vs. NY Jets

Week 5: BYE

Week 6: at Tennessee

Week 7: vs. Houston

Week 8: at New England

Week 9: at Buffalo

Week 10: at Philadelphia

Week 11: vs. Dallas

Week 12: at NY Jets

Week 13: vs. Baltimore

Week 14: vs. NY Giants

Week 15: at San Diego

Week 16: vs. Indianapolis

Week 17: vs. New England

 (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Free agency is easily one of the most overrated things in football, right next to those promises of instant rookie success out of the NFL Draft. There is no such thing as a guarantee in either respect. The Miami Dolphins have seemingly much improved this year, though.


 

They drafted some potential impact players, signed some productive receiving veterans to prop up their emerging, young quarterback and scored the biggest coup in free agency with the addition of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. We have a feeling these changes are going to look great right away, especially when you consider the schedule is in their favor for the first half of the season.

The Dolphins might not be the team at the top of your daily fantasy mind…yet. The draft and free-agent hype might not necessarily price these pieces out of being bargains, but the whole looks to be greater than the sum of the parts.

Player to Watch: Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins have a brand new receiving corps with Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and DeVante Parker to go along with Jarvis Landry. Will Miami’s new weapons help Tannehill take that next step?

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

2014 record: 12-4

Projected 2015 record: 12-4

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Pittsburgh

Week 2: at Buffalo

Week 3: vs. Jacksonville

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: at Dallas

Week 6: at Indianapolis

Week 7: vs. NY Jets

Week 8: vs. Miami

Week 9: vs. Washington

Week 10: at NY Giants

Week 11: vs. Buffalo

Week 12: at Denver

Week 13: vs. Philadelphia

Week 14: at Houston

Week 15: vs. Tennessee

Week 16: at NY Jets

Week 17: at Miami

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Love or hate the NFL’s treatment of DeflateGate, along with their heavy-handed punishment of Tom Brady—and subsequent denial of his appeal—know this: There will be opportunities in FanDuel fantasy football contests in the early going.

Key figures in a Brady-less Pats offense (through four weeks) cannot possibly demand high prices in daily play. Garoppolo, sight unseen, is in the lower tier of quarterbacks going in. And, here is the juiciest of scenarios of all: Brady’s current projected return date from the four-game suspension is a Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at the Indianapolis Colts. (Pats on are bye in Week 4.)

How is that for drama? This might be the most watched Sunday Night Football game in history, if not the most watched regular-season game ever. Wowser.

Player to Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo. Tom Brady’s four-game suspension is up in the air, but if it sticks, it will be up to Garoppolo to lead the Patriots offense. Don’t expect him to light up the scoreboard, but he could hold his own.

-Tyler Brook and Eric Mack

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Welcome to the 2015 NFL season!

Every weekday for the next few weeks we will release predictions for a different division and the overall season, and today we begin with the AFC East. Last season, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots finished atop the pack and is poised to shine again this year despite some, um, distractions.

Scroll through the gallery above to check out each team's schedule and our projected records.

SEE ALSO:
AFC North preview
AFC South preview

CLICK HERE FOR AOL.COM'S FANTASY FOOTBALL PREVIEW PACKAGE

Turn your fantasy football knowledge into cash! We're hosting a one-week $1 million league on FanDuel in Week 1. It's only $5 to enter and first place walks away with $100,000. Enter now and change your lineup anytime until 9/13 at 1:00pm (ET).

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