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Patriots Fantasy Football Match-ups: Week 3 vs Detroit Lions

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A look at New England’s upcoming game from a fantasy perspective.

NFL: Houston Texans at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

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 3. Good luck with all of your match-ups!

Quarterbacks

I think it is obvious that the Patriots, myself, and just about any other Pats fan who made a prediction about last week vs the Jaguars, had an off day. It happens and for the Patriots, can almost be expected. It seems like each year, we have 1-2 embarrassing games that jump-starts Patriots nation into panic mode. Fortunately for us, they always bounce back and play like the New England Patriots we know and love. Let’s hope we bounce back in a big way vs the Lions on a national stage on Sunday Night Football.

Both Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have very limited amount of playing time against the opposing team. Brady has only played the Lions twice over the past 10 years, Stafford just once. Looking more closely to 2018, the Lions defense have faced both Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo, which both posted a QB rating of 116.8 and 118.4, respectively. While I rather not discuss what happened to the Patriots defense last week, it has to be said they did not play up to expectations. It also seems that Patrick Chung and Trey Flowers are not going play this week due to concussions, which could definitely be favorable to Stafford. I believe we will see a back and forth shootout with the Patriots edging out the Lions to get the win. Both QBs can be started on your fantasy football team.

Final Prediction:

Tom Brady: 322 yards, 3 touchdowns

Matthew Stafford: 298 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

Tight Ends

Hind sight is always 20-20, so to look back and say “Yep, not surprised Gronkowski had a bad game” is a given. Looking ahead, I feel like this one stat says everything you need to know about the Lions defense. “Lions 17, Jets 48” Yes, I know, this was week 1 and every team adjusts, but these are the New York Jets!!! If Gronk doesn’t come out and post a decent stat line, I will be very, very surprised. Start Gronk like always, but do not touch any Lions tight ends. On an additional note, I believe once Josh Gordon starts to get more playing time, Gronk will be the biggest benefactor since Gordon will probably draw more safety help, leaving slower linebackers on Gronk. It should be a fun situation to watch pan out.

Final Prediction:

Rob Gronkowski: 5 receptions, 56 yards, 1 touchdown

Running Backs

Here we go, let the headaches begin! As a fantasy football owner, this is the situation we all dread. Who to play at running back for the Patriots? Last week, James White lead the RBs in receiving targets at 8 (also was team high for the second week in a row), Sony Michel lead the RBs in rushes at 10 attempts, and Burkhead was smack dab in the middle with 6 rush attempts and no passing targets. ARRGGGHH! My best advice going into this week is really looking at your team and assessing your needs. I would honestly avoid all Patriots running back if YOU ARE NOT in a PPR league. If you are, I believe James White and Sony Michel are playable flex options. Burkhead has the possibility to see more carries this week, especially since we shouldn’t be playing from behind like week, but I still consider him a risk. As for the Lions, they are in a very similar situation between the rookie Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick, and LeGarrette Blount, in which I feel exactly the same. If you are in a PPR league, I feel comfortable starting Johnson or Riddick at the flex but stay away from Blount. He is a touchdown dependent player.

Final Predictions:

James White: 27 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 41 receiving yards

Sony Michel: 45 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Rex Burkhead: 52 rushing yards

Kerryon Johnson: 51 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards

Theo Riddick: 10 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards

Wide Receivers

Here we go. (Part 2) This part is a little more interesting with the recent acquisition of Josh Gordon. Classic “High risk, high reward” type situation here, where if he does play this week, his snaps are probably going be limited. However, when he does get into the game, hopefully the play calling will be in his favor, which are stretching the field, big play threat. With the Patriots definitely hurting at the WR position, I think they will push Gordon to play as much as possible. Hogan is a touchdown dependent player moving forward, and Dorsett is a volume player until Julian Edelman comes back. I would consider all these guys as flex players but wouldn’t rely on them to be consistent. As far the Lions WRs go, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are start-able WR2’s and Kenny Golladay has emerged as a WR2/flex player. He has posted an impressive 13 receptions, 203 yards, and 1 TD in the first 2 games of the regular season. Might want to check if this guy is still on waivers!

Final Prediction:

Chris Hogan: 3 receptions, 55 yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Phillip Dorsett: 5 receptions, 68 yards

Josh Gordon: 1 reception, 37 yards

Golden Tate: 5 receptions, 73 yards

Marvin Jones: 6 receptions, 81 yards

Kenny Golladay: 4 receptions, 53 yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Defense

Yikes, last week was… yikes. I’ll give my props to Blake Bortles, who once again shined against the Patriots defense, even without Leonard Fournette. However, the Patriots are great at making adjustment and I believe they will have a bounce back week. You can go ahead and start the Patriots defense, but do not expect a huge game. Stafford can be INT heavy at times, so hopefully we can catch him at his worse.

If you are waiver wire hunting for a defense, Seattle could be a good call, they are playing Dallas at home. Good luck!