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 2. Good luck with all of your match-ups!
When I say names like Tom Brady and Blake Bortles, it should be obvious who the number one option should be for fantasy football. But if you compare that stats strictly from the AFC Championship Game last postseason, the choice isn’t so obvious.
Brady: 26/38, 290 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Bortles: 23/36, 293 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Just like we all predicted…
However, fast forward to present day, the Patriots will be facing a pretty stout Jaguars defense that for the most part, remains unchanged from last year, anchored by Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Calais Campbell. Facing tough defenses is nothing new for Tom Brady, but this young Jags defense should be hungry for revenge and we should expect them to come out swinging. As mentioned previous by many on PatsPulpit.com, this New England defense is full of new faces, and after posting a strong week 1 performance, should provide a much tougher matchup for Bortles regardless on the location. Start Brady and bench Bortles.
Tom Brady: 250 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Blake Bortles: 200 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
Like expected, Rob Gronkowski balled out last week and I was very close in predicting his exact stat line. This week should be no different. The Patriots has made some moves at wide receiver, bringing in Bennie Fowler and Corey Coleman, but the expectations for Gronk remain unchanged and regardless of who is covering him, I expect another big week. My true wish is Gronk has the opportunity to take Ramsey and “Throw him out the club”, Sergio Brown needs the company. As far as the Jaguars go, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is really the only option for tight end, and should only be started if in a pinch. He won’t dominate the points column but could be a reliable 4-8 points.
Rob Gronkowski: 5 receptions, 77 yards, 1 touchdown
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 4 receptions, 35 yards
Unfortunately for Patriots fans, it looks like Jeremy Hill is going be out for the year after sustaining an ACL injury. While this is extremely unfortunately for Mr. Hill and the Patriots, it does help narrow the options of what Patriots running back to start. Both James White and Rex Burkhead looked great and had an equal share of snaps at 11. At this point, I would have no hesitation starting either back in the flex position. If you are in a PPR league, I would lean towards James White based on how he is used in the passing game corralling a team high of 9 targets in week 1. Currently, Jaguars Leonard Fournette is day to day with a hamstring injury and has not been cleared yet to play Sunday. If T.J. Yeldon is available on your waiver wire, you need to pick him up now. He is a great, cheap option that if Fournette sits again, will be a solid contributor to your squad as a RB2. However, if Fournette plays, you can leave him on the bench.
James White: 30 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards
Rex Burkhead: 47 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards, 1 rushing touchdown
T.J. Yeldon: 47 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 37 yards
Despite being widely thin on paper at the receiver position, it was not evident on the field week 1 for the Patriots. Everyone on offense stepped up, and surprisingly, it was Phillip Dorsett who stepped up for the receivers, registering 7 receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Chris Hogan had 1 reception on 5 targets, just for 11 yards. Like Hogan, Patterson was a non-factor at the position for fantasy. While it is easy to jump the gun and bench Hogan in favor for Dorsett, I think it is important to remember that this stat line could easily be flipped between Hogan and Dorsett. If anything, Dorsett just throws his name in being a playable option. Despite playing a much better defense this week, I expect more of the same from these two receivers. Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook look like the favorite receiving targets for Bortles and can also be used for the flex position if needed. They wouldn’t be my first option as I believe this Patriots defense is going to get after Bortles, but if you play in a 12/14-team league and have 2 flex positions, they are end of the line options.
Chris Hogan: 4 receptions, 62 yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Phillip Dorsett: 6 receptions, 57 yards
Keelan Cole: 5 receptions, 63 yards
Dede Westbrook: 4 receptions, 54 yards, 1 receiving touchdown
After watching the Patriots defense put up a strong performance against the Houston Texans last week, I believe we all can take a deep breath and know they are going to be ok. We got pressure on the quarterback, limited the big plays, contained the run for the most part, and stopped what could have been a big day for the Watson/Hopkins duo. For week 2, I am all in for starting the Patriots defense against the Jaguars. If Fournette is out, I would start them twice (I know, this is impossible, but I am trying to emphasize my point).
If you are part of the group that likes to stream defenses and are scourging the waiver wire for a pick up, I would be looking at the Baltimore Ravens, playing the Bengals this week or the Washington Redskins playing the Colts.