While the NFL’s 2018 regular season is still more than three months away, projections about the upcoming year are already en vogue. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva is the latest to preview the season as he released the first version of his yearly Fantasy Top 150, a ranking of the most attractive fantasy football options — and one that includes seven members of the New England Patriots.
Let’s take a look at them:
18. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) – Gronkowski has finished as top-2 fantasy TE in 5 of the last 7 years.
Unsurprisingly, Silva sees Gronkowski as the NFL’s top tight end for fantasy purposes and the 18th best overall option. The 29-year old has been a productive player ever since he entered the league, and in 2017 led the Patriots in every significant receiving category. Drafting him early should be a good move.
41. Sony Michel (RB21) – Rookie upgrades on Dion Lewis, who logged 212 touches last season.
New England invested a first-round draft pick in Georgia running back Sony Michel last month — and Silva believes he will be a productive fantasy player this year. It certainly would not be a surprise if Michel sees regular playing time this season, but his role in the Patriots’ offense is up in the air at this point in time and should only become more clear later this summer.
54. Julian Edelman (WR24) – All signs positive on ACL rehab.
Once fully recovered from the injury that cost him all of 2017, Edelman is projected to resume his role as the Patriots’ number one wide receiver — especially with Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola no longer on the team. If all goes according to plan, the veteran should see north of 100 targets yet again and break 1,000 receiving yards.
60. Tom Brady (QB2) – Still showing no signs of slowdown. 505 yards, 3 TDs in Super Bowl loss.
Brady ranks only behind the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, who is more dangerous as a ball carrier, when it comes to fantasy football quarterbacks. Despite turning 41 in August, Brady is projected to be among the best and most productive passers in the NFL yet again. Investing in him should therefore be a safe move.
63. Rex Burkhead (RB30) – 8 TDs in 10 games last year. Favorite for goal-line work in Foxboro.
Even though he struggled with injuries last season, Burkhead’s first year in New England was an encouraging one. When healthy, he should see plenty of action in 2018 and — depending on Sony Michel — might even become the team’s best fantasy option at the running back position due to his versatility and projected red zone work.
67. Chris Hogan (WR27) – Quietly top-10 fantasy WR before ‘17 shoulder injury. 6/128/1 in SB52.
Hogan, just like Burkhead, was limited in 2017 due to injury. However, it woul not be a surprise to see him return to his 2016 form this year and again serve as the Patriots’ number one deep-threat wide receiver. As such, he might not lead the team in receptions but could produce significant yardage two years after leading the NFL in yards per catch.
124. James White (RB47) – 55+ catches back-to-back years. Low ceiling behind Michel & Burkhead.
White will again serve as the Patriots’ top third down and no-huddle running back in 2018. And while he will therefore not lead the team in snap numbers or running game stats, the veteran is expected to again be a productive player as a pass catcher.