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The New England Patriots were expected to have a big day against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Julian Edelman was supposed to carry the team across the finish line. With the game such a blow out, the depth players on the roster got to play the majority of the 4th quarter as they vultured potential fantasy points from the starters. With the Patriots heading towards their bye week, we can think about our lessons learned.
Quarterback Tom Brady was content to let LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis score four touchdowns on the ground. Brady threw for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns and ranked 5th on the week, behind Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, and Tyrod Taylor. All of those quarterbacks benefit from additional touchdowns. Rodgers threw for five on Monday Night Football, Dalton passed and rushed for a combined four, and Newton and Taylor were responsible for three.
Running back Dion Lewis was my pick at running back and he posted RB2 numbers. LeGarrette Blount and three touchdowns vaulted him into the 5th running back spot. If the game were closer, Lewis might not have conceded time to James White off the bench. If Lewis picked up the same impact that White had at the end of the game, both Blount and Lewis would have been RB1s.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski picked up 101 yards on 4 catches as he was the 5th ranked tight end on the week (are you seeing a trend?). Gronk didn't post a touchdown, which limited his impact, but he remains an every-week play. He's going to score multiple touchdowns more than he'll score zero touchdowns this season. Scott Chandler isn't a viable option and you'll find better options if you stream every week.
Both wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola ranked were solid WR3 options, and that was without Edelman playing in the fourth quarter. Edelman collected 8 catches for 85 yards in the first three quarters. Amendola's picked up 20 yards and his touchdown before Edelman sat for the final quarter. Amendola won't be an every-week WR3, but don't expect Edelman to fall below his WR2 production that often this year.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski led the league with three field goals and six extra points. He's a must play every week.
The Patriots were greatly affected by the game being a blow out. Lewis likely would've posted better numbers if it weren't a blow out, while Edelman and Gronkowski weren't really playing the 4th quarter. Amendola's stats are slightly inflated by his fourth quarter playing time with Edelman on the sideline.
In my view, Brady's performance wasn't greatly affected by the score. Maybe they would've moved at a faster pace in the fourth quarter if they needed to score, but the Patriots were scoring at every chance. Brady doesn't care about passing the ball. If Blount can run in for a score every time, that's the offensive call that Brady will be happy to enact.
Through three weeks, Brady is tied with Rodgers for the top quarterback spot in the league.
Running back Dion Lewis is tied in 6th with 49ers running back Carlos Hyde. Blount is tied for 20th with Bills running back LeSean McCoy, Jets running back Chris Ivory, and Colts running back Frank Gore.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski is far and away the #1 tight end, with 50% more points than #2 Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman ranks 13th, just ahead of Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Edelman is a WR1 in any league where receptions are worth any amount of points. No other Patriots receiver is worth playing.
The Patriots defense and special teams aren't worth playing every week and should be a part of the streaming population, based upon their opponent.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski is the #1 kicker in the league and is an every week play. Kickers are people, too.