Philip Tor | Pats Militia
Its just about that time of year. Friends gather across the country to compete in the most pointless yet entertaining competition in the sports world today. Fantasy Football. If you are a hardcore fantasy player you know that the Patriots are the most frustrating players to draft because of the unpredictability of the Belichick/McDaniels offense. Im going to run through the Patriots players and give you my veteran predictions for the Patriots fantasy players this season. Just for the record (not to brag) i’ve been in the top 4 in my fantasy league for the past 3 seasons so take that as you will.
Tom Brady (No. 8 ESPN) –
Despite being suspended for the first quarter of the season, Brady is still ranked in the top 10 QB’s as he should. Brady has a pretty touch schedule especially down the stretch and during playoffs. Weeks 14, 15, and 16 the Pats play the Ravens, Broncos, and Jets who are all tough opponents that will likely be terrible fantasy match-ups. Personally I would hold off on Brady because of the fact that to draft him you are going to have to reach up into the earlier rounds (3-5 most likely) to draft him. Wasting a top 5 pick on a guy that is suspended 4 games does not seem like a good idea to me. Unless Brady drops to you late in the draft, hold off. (Sorry Touchdown Tommy I still love you)
Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 33 ESPN) –
Jimmy G is also a big question mark. Your obviously not going to take Jimmy G until the later rounds maybe even wait to pick him up as a free agent after the draft. Jimmy G’s 4 game as the starter are interesting. He plays the Cardinals to open up, a tough matchup for any QB let alone a guy making his first start, then follows up with the Dolphins, Texans, and Bills. The last 3 games could be big points for Jimmy G. Im going to keep him on my socut team just in case my QB runs into a tough matchup and I think Garoppolo will score some serious points.
Dion Lewis (No. 18 ESPN) –
IF Lewis is healthy he is a great pickup for any fantasy team with a PPR format, as Lewis specializes as a receiver out of the backfield. If Lewis is not healthy than he is a big question mark. If his ability to jump cut and juke out defenders is hindered, than that cuts back his game and he will likely lose snaps to James White or LeGarrette Blount. If Lewis is pronounced healthy by you draft, I would consider Dion as early as the 5th or 6th round because he is a proven, solid 2RB. Garoppolo will likely dump the ball off to Lewis in the flat when he under pressure and we all saw the magic he made happen last season before he went down with the injury. I’m keeping a close eye on Dion Lewis in my draft and you should too.
LeGarrette Blount (No. 38 ESPN) –
Blount has to earn my trust back. in 2013-14 LeGarrette Blount was a solid starting RB who put up consistent double digit performances, but last year his production dropped ridiculously. If he can put up a good 60 yards and a touchdown every week he is worth a late round draft pick, and use in the flex depending on the matchup. I wouldn’t look for Blount until the 1oth round or later.
James White (FA Pickup if Lewis in unhealthy)
Donald Brown (I honestly have no idea how they will use Brown, most likely like Steven Jackson last year, FA pickup if Blount craps the bed)
Julian Edelman (No. 19 ESPN) –
Some say Edelman is the most important piece to the Patriots offense, and that is correct to an extent. The Patriots are simply a better team with him on the field as he averages about 9 catches a game. Edelman is a solid 2-3 round pick in any PPR league, and a 3-4 round pick in regular fantasy formats. The wildcard is his foot injury that hasn’t seemed to hold him back so far. I hope that Edelman will be on the field week 1 and if he is than he is a valuable fantasy player to have as he puts ups consistent points in the double digits.
Chris Hogan (No. 56 ESPN)
Danny Amendola (No. 101 ESPN)
Malcolm Mitchell (No. 88 ESPN)
All 3 of these guys should be on a watch list, mostly the rookie Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell looks as if he will take the role of deep threat in the Pats offense, so once Brady comes back Mitchell should get some big targets down the field. Hogan is an interesting late round pick, especially if Edelman’s injury flares up during the season at all.
Rob Gronkowski (No. 1 ESPN) –
Gronk is easily the best tight end in the game, and one of the top 10 fantasy players for 2016. Gronk is consistently putting up games with 7 or 8 catches, 100 yards, and one or more TD’s. Even with Brady sidelined, Gronk will get his fair share of touched from Jimmy G. Gronk is an easy first round selection. If you are one of those people that wont draft Gronk with the 5th or 6th pick just because he is a tight end, your the worst type of person. Don’t wait to draft Gronkowski get him early and you wont regret it.
Martellus Bennett (No. 13 ESPN) –
Big Bennett is a great value for a backup TE/Flex position guy. Bennett is a big target at 6″6, and will be a great asset to a young quarterback who loves to work with his tight ends. Martellus will be most effectively used in red zones situations, which also adds value to his fantasy stock. Bennett will get a ton of red zone targets, which means fantasy points. Still I would not look to draft Bennett until the later rounds.
Like I mentioned before, this year the patriots offense looks to be a juggernaut in the league thanks to all the highly talented weapons Belichick acquired for Tom Brady. This is the exact reason why Patriots players are not the best players to have on your fantasy team. With all these weapons, every week someone new will step up and get the majority of the reps for that position. One week Blount might get 20 carries then the next weeks he will get 5. That is just the way Belichick operates. Stick to the big names in New England and you will be fine
Good Luck in all your leagues this year and Go Pats!