Start: Danny Amendola
Whether or not you’re in a PPR league, Amendola is a must-start on Sunday. In the Patriots’ second preseason game, Amendola recorded five receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown in just two drives. He hasn’t played since due to a minor injury, but projects to be 100% Sunday. With Rob Gronkowski out for the Patriots, Amendola figures to be Brady’s #1 target. The two have already developed excellent chemistry. It could easily be a ten-catch, 100 yard receiving day in Amendola’s Patriots debut.
Sit: Shane Vereen
Vereen has been drafted in the middle rounds in a lot of leagues this year, but shouldn’t be more than a flex in deep leagues or RB3. Overall, he will be a very integral piece for the Patriots, but I don’t think he will get enough touches to be a reliable fantasy option. In the preseason, he was used primarily as a 3rd down back/receiver, with LeGarrette Blount being the primary “traditional” back-up to starter Stevan Ridley.
Start: Patriots D/ST
The Patriots defense has typically produced a lot of turnovers against the Bills, with their fair share of defensive touchdowns (oh Sterling Moore, how we hardly knew ye). While a lot of those turnovers were committed by ex-Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo is still starting a rookie in E.J. Manuel, and the Patriots remain one of the most opportunistic units in the league.
Sit: Zach Sudfeld, TE
Call it a hunch, but I don’t think Sudfeld will have the break-out performance that a lot of people are expecting week one. Here’s the thing: Michael Hoomanawanui projects as the top blocking tight end, and I expect the Patriots to run more 3-receiver sets than 2-tight end sets. Sudfeld will play, but many not see more than 25-35 snaps and a few targets. I believe that rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce will see more playing time.