The New England Patriots are a dominant force in fantasy football on an annual basis, and 2016 will be no exception. Rotoworld has announced their Top 150 Fantasy Players for 2016 and the Patriots are well represented.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski comes in at 13th overall as the #1 tight end. Evan Silva of Rotoworld notes that Gronkowski has been the #1 tight end in fantasy football in his last three healthy seasons. With the Patriots receivers all battling injuries, Gronkowski will certainly see a high volume of targets.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman is 34th overall as the #20 wide receiver. Silva notes that while Edelman was the 6th best receiver in 2015 before his injury, the questions around Edelman's foot should raise some flags. Edelman trails similar players in Randall Cobb (#17 WR) and Jarvis Landry (#18 WR).
Running back Dion Lewis appears a 42nd overall, as the #16 running back. Like Edelman, Lewis was in the top 10 of his position prior to his injury. The big concern remains with the Patriots carousel at the position: Will Lewis be healthy in week 1? Will Bill Belichick ride the hot hand? Will the Patriots add another back to the roster?
Quarterback Tom Brady comes in at 101st overall, as the #8 quarterback. Silva adds that Brady would have been the #3 quarterback if he were not suspended. Quarterbacks are fairly fungible in fantasy football since many players rarely have multiple stars- and there are usually enough good starters to go around. This availability reduces the need to draft a quarterback early.
Running back LeGarrette Blount ranks just behind Brady at 103rd overall, as the #36 running back. Blount has high touchdown value and Pro Football Focus' Pat Thorman wisely notes that if Brady doesn't throw for a bunch of touchdowns, it's because Blount pounded them in on the ground.
And finally, tight end Martellus Bennett comes in at 133rd overall, as the #17 tight end. There's a chance that Bennett could rank as a top five tight end if the Patriots integrate him into their offense on an every-snap basis. There's also a chance that he could Scott Chandler and not produce up to expectations.
Wide receivers Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan fall outside of the top 150 due to uncertain roles. It's possible that Hogan will rise up over the offseason as more is known about how the Patriots envision him in their offense. Does he take over for Brandon LaFell? Or does he steal snaps from the recovering Amendola?
We'll find out.