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 4. Good luck with all of your match-ups!
As much as I would like to worry and find all the faults in these past three weeks, I do want to take a step back and laugh a bit about this season. If somebody would have told me that heading into week 4, the Patriots would be 1-2 and the Dolphins would be 3-0, I probably would have laughed for 20 minutes straight. Well, here we are, and I can guarantee you no Patriots fan is laughing. Now, I haven’t hit the panic button yet, and even if they somehow were to lose to the Dolphins, I would be close but not committed yet. It is obvious that the offense is one of the biggest problems, and until Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon are in the mix, I am not going worry about the lack of production.
While I have may have been overly optimistic about Tom Brady’s production during the first three weeks, he has a long history of carving up the Dolphins, no matter who was on the field. The Dolphins have also given up more than 330 yards in each of their games this year. Only downfall is that have registered eight turnovers on defense. Now, I would try to pick and pull the stats that make Ryan Tannehill vulnerable this week, however he has actually been decent. Tannehill has a passer rating of 89.9, 123.1, and 155.3 respectively for first three weeks. Truthfully, any quarterback going against the Patriots defense has potential of blowing up. Both QBs can be started this week.
Tom Brady: 253 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Ryan Tannehill: 246 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Like every week, Rob Gronkowski is a must start. The potential for a big game is always there and especially with the struggles the Patriots have been having on offense. Gronk also has five touchdowns, in the past five games vs the Dolphins. However, we have seeing Gronk questionable with an ankle injury these past two weeks. This is something definitely to monitor and keep an eye out for. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a game time decision to keep Gronk out to help save him for the rest of the year. Much like last week, I wouldn’t touch any Dolphin tight end for fantasy purposes.
Rob Gronkowski: 4 receptions, 62 yards, 1 touchdown
It is extremely unfortunate to see Rex Burkhead going on the IR. He was a weapon on this struggling offense that added another wrinkle. On the “bright” side, it clears up the running back picture in terms of fantasy. We can bet on James White getting at least five receptions and a handful of carries. As far as Sony Michel, it was comforting to see the Patriots commit to him in the running game. While I have been seeing a lot of hate and criticism on Sony, we have to remember that he is only two games into his NFL career – we need to cut him some slack. It also needs to be said our offense line hasn’t been doing him any favors. After re-watching some film, it was obvious there is room for improvement. James White is a solid RB2 where Sony can be played at the flex based on the volume alone. On the Miami side of the ball, both running backs are touchdown dependent, which is unfortunate for those who fell into the Kenyan Drake hype train and drafted him early in their draft. Based on volume and reception potential, I would consider Drake in the flex position.
James White: 30 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Sony Michel: 51 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
Kenyan Drake: 37 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 22 receiving yards
Can we fast forward to week 5 already? Tom Brady will have Julian Edelman back, Josh Gordon should be playing and be more involved, and we will host the Indianapolis Colts, who ever since Peyton Manning left, have been a breeze to get by. However, looking at the past game vs the Lions, and looking ahead to this week, all the receivers make me extremely nervous. Phillip Dorsett was apparently left in New England, Chris Hogan still hasn’t emerged, and until Josh Gordon is a sure game participant, the risk is too high. If you wanted to take a chance and start Dorsett in a PPR league at the flex, he could have a nice volume bounce back game. Belichick is playing his classic mind games, stating he is “undecided” if Gordon will play this week. The one receiver I would safely start in the flex is the Dolphins’ Albert Wilson. He is used all over the field and that is the greatest asset for fantasy players.
Chris Hogan: 3 receptions, 37 receiving yards
Phillip Dorsett: 5 receptions, 42 receiving yards
Albert Wilson: 4 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 25 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
The hits keep on coming for this New England defense, and not in a good way. First were the injuries to Flowers and Chung, and now one of the only bright spots on this defense, Ja’Whaun Bentley is heading to the IR. Hightower is struggling and our pass rush has greatly slowed down. I truly believe we have the talent on this team, but it is getting harder and harder to start this defense on a weekly basis. I’ll give them one more week at the automatic start before I drop them and play the streaming defense game.
If you are waiver wire hunting for a defense, Tennessee could be a worth rolling the dice. They are playing the Eagles at home and though Philly has the potential to put up points, the turnovers could also be there too. Tennessee’s defense has put up at least 7 points in each game this year.