As an avid fantasy football participant, I plan to start a weekly analysis of the New England Patriots and their current matchup in terms of fantasy football. This is my analysis and estimations of stats heading into week 5. Good luck with all of your match-ups!
Ahhhh, everyone can take a deep breath now. Patriots fans can go back to listening to sports radio, back to wearing throwback Tom Brady jerseys, and revived those Super Bowl dreams! Better yet, we play against a struggling Indianapolis Colts tonight. Now, I am one of those fans who enjoys Thursday night football games, unless it is the Patriots. I hate the injury risk and the potential to see anything less than 100% different than what we might see if the game was played on Sunday instead. However, it is a nice mid-week exposure to football and always fun to watch for fantasy football purposes, so let’s dive in!
Does it seem possible that the last time the Patriots played the Colts was in 2015? It seems like just about every year we battle them early in the playoffs or have a post bye week matchup. However, in the past couple battles between Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, one quarterback has generally been more successful. You guessed it Pats fans, Tom Brady! Postseason Luck sucks eggs, where regular season Luck has been decent. Looking ahead to tonight, Brady is a must start with Edelman coming back. The robin to his batman. I haven’t been this excited for a player to return since potentially Gronk back in the day. Luck should have minimal luck tonight, so I would leave him on the bench.
Tom Brady: 333 yards, 3 touchdowns
Andrew Luck: 270 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interception
Early reports show that Gronkowski is going to play through his ankle injury and suit up tonight, exactly how many snaps is a question though. Either way, start Gronk. This offense is getting up to full speed, and when that happens, every offensive player is elevated. On the blue and white side of the ball, Eric Ebron has been benefitting from a Jack Doyle injury and with TY Hilton sitting out tonight, should have a pretty good game. Ebron has scored in 3 out of the 4 games so far this year and has been targeted double digits these past two games.
Rob Gronkowski: 4 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdown
Eric Ebron: 7 receptions, 76 yards, 1 touchdown
One of the bright spots in a perfect bounce back game last week was the running backs for the Patriots. Sony Michel and James White dominated at their specialty and proved this backfield can work. Fair warning, we’ve seen this before *cough, Jonas Gray, cough*, where one week the backfield rules and the next game, they are non-existent. While I can guarantee neither of these RBs will have a Gray-like disappearance, I just cautious those fantasy owners wanting to trade the Kings ransom for one of these RBs. With the return of Edelman, James White will suffer the most as Julz will take a good chunk of his receiving targets. Both RBs can be started this week. As far as the Colts RBs, it is a gamble between Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkes. My vote would be on Hines in the flex since he gets more of the receiving targets
James White: 22 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 47 receiving yards
Sony Michel: 72 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
Nyheim Hines: 22 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Queue up Public Service Announcement by Jay Z and watch the goosebumps rise as Tom Brady and his main man, Julian Edelman run out together tonight. This will be a special moment all around, not just because Edelman is back, but because he is playing with Gronk for the first time since 2016! Now throw into the mix Josh Gordon, my goodness, this offense could potentially be one of the best the Patriots ever had. I liked what I saw last week out of Josh Gordon and from all the praise we have heard out of Patriots camp, I am very optimistic about Gordon fitting in. Start Edelman and Gordon this week. Consider Dorsett in the flex and leave Chris Hogan on the bench. You can also feel comfortable starting Colts Ryan Grant since T.Y. Hilton will be out, Luck will not have many options to go to tonight.
Julian Edelman: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Josh Gordon: 3 receptions, 42 receiving yards
Phillip Dorsett: 3 receptions, 37 yards
Ryan Grant: 8 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Ok, I gave the Patriots defense another chance last week, and they did not disappoint. We will roll with them again this week and see if true adjustments have been made. I’ve said before, the talent is there, they just need to execute, and they will be fine. Besides, Andrew Luck is almost always good for an INT or two.
Waiver wire hunting this week brings me to San Francisco playing at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are a mess on offense and can implode at any time. Just have to hope David Johnson doesn’t take over.