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The fantasy value of many players on the Patriots is incredibly high, and all of that starts with one man: Tom Brady. Love him or hate him, he has cemented his place among the Mount Rushmore of QBs, and the 15-year vet has guided his players – and their fantasy owners – to championship berths for years.
The largest impact to the Patriots’ season is, of course, the four-game suspension for allegedly being aware of allegedly deflated balls. With that iron-clad, completely reasonable excuse, the NFL has benched Brady until Week 5, and the Patriots are now preparing for the first quarter of the season with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB.
Garoppolo’s fantasy value is relatively non-existent, and considering the Patriots play the Cardinals and Bills in those first four games, it’s safe to look elsewhere for QB play until Brady returns. However, tw0 weapons are still extremely relevant, and those are WR Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski.
Edelman’s value is tied to the amount of targets he receives – it is already considerable in standard fantasy leagues, and it increases if you were to join a PPR (Point-Per-Reception) league as well. He is shifty in open space, shows a knack for getting away from defenders, has sure hands, and can take hits/bounce back from them with relative ease. He doesn’t have top-end speed, but the other factors – along with the usual accuracy that Brady delivers – make him very useful in fantasy.
There isn’t much else to say that hasn’t already been said about Gronk. He is far and away the best tight end in the NFL, and when his career is all said and done, he has a legit shot (even now, just six years after he was drafted) at being the best TE ever.
Those two are the primary factors other than Brady himself who will do the most good for your team, but here are some other fantasy relevant names on the Patriots:
WR Danny Amendola: Doubly important if Edelman goes down and misses any time.
WR Malcolm Mitchell: A rookie who might not see much playing time, but look out for him to fill that WR3 role on the team.
RB Dion Lewis: Dynamically filled the gap left by RB Shane Vereen’s departure to the New York Giants after the 2014 Super Bowl win, but tore his ACL midway through the 2015 season. If he can recapture his form, he will definitely be worth a draft pick.
RB LeGarrette Blount: Blount is used a lot in short-and-goal situations, and is successful more often than not. He isn’t an RB1, but perhaps is a good complement/bench piece if you are in dire straits.
K Stephen Gostkowski: One of the best kickers in the league, Gostkowski is probably the only kicker who is worth a reach (that is to say, still the 11th round or later).
Patriots D/ST: Not a unit to draft for the season, but definitely worth a look if you are streaming defences and need a good fill-in.
QB Tom Brady; QB Jimmy Garoppolo; WR Julian Edelman; WR Danny Amendola; WR Malcolm Mitchell; TE Rob Gronkowski; TE Martellus Bennett; RB Dion Lewis; RB LeGarrette Blount; K Stephen Gostkowski; Patriots D/ST