New England Patriots Helmet

Fantasy Football Projections: New England Patriots

I’m going to climb really high on top of “Hot Take Mountain” and give you some way out there fantasy advice. Are you ready? Here it comes draft Tom Brady.

Yeah, this is not a tough call to make. Brady is still a guy who makes you a fantasy playoff team, so draft him accordingly.

The tough call on the Patriots comes when we try to figure out who Brady will be handing the ball to. Sony Michel comes in as the rare rookie running back that Bill Belichick deemed worthy of a first-round pick. Obviously, this means Michel will be the bell cow back in New England this year, right?!?! If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you… Belichick loves to buck the obvious. Last season the Patriots traded a 1st and 3rd round pick for Brandin Cooks and, with Julian Edelman sidelined, it was a lock that Cooks would be in for a career year as the clear cut #1 receiver in New England. Cooks had his least successful season since his rookie year, he is now a member of the LA Rams.

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Michel joins a crowded backfield despite the departure of Dion Lewis. Rex Burkhead and James White still remain as does the corpse of Mike Gillislee trying to fight off free-agent addition Jeremy Hill for short yardage work. If you are looking for one back in this mess to hitch your fantasy wagon to, it’s Burkhead. Rex is the epitome of a Belichick player with his ability to handle early-down work, short yardage situations and thrive as a pass catcher. Burkhead racked up 94 touches for 518 yards and 8 TD’s in 10 games last year including 30 catches and he might be first in line to take on the Edelman role after the wide receivers four-game suspension. Michel is going to get carries, White is going to get targets, but Burkhead is going to get both. Michel and Burkhead need to be owned in all formats, White needs to be owned in PPR formats and this is likely the last time you’ll hear anyone say the names Hill and Gillislee in a fantasy sentence this year.

Edelman’s suspension opens the door for someone to pick up a lot of early-season targets and while Burkhead will probably eat up a lot, Chris Hogan is likely going to get his fair share. Hogan has been a revelation the past two seasons in New England as he followed up his 2016 breakout performance with a solid start to 2017 before missing the second half of the season. Hogan is primed to act as Brady’s safety blanket going into 2018 and he’ll be joined by newcomers Kenny Britt and Jordan Matthews. Both Matthews and Britt have flashed big upside in their careers but both have failed to show consistency. Matthews has enjoyed success in the slot in the past and may get a chance to work there while Edelman is out while Britt will lineup outside across from Hogan. I’m taking Hogan as a WR2, keeping an eye on Britt and Matthews as late-round fliers and scooping up Edelman in mid-rounds to stash on my bench as a low-end WR1 after Week 4.

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Now we come to Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is “healthy” coming into 2018 which means… well, I have no idea. The bruising monster of a man hasn’t played 16 games since 2011. The simple fact for fantasy owners is that even 14 games of Gronk is better than 16 games of almost any other tight end. Gronk is the #1 TE overall going into the season but you better have a solid backup, just in case.

2018 Projections

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Tom Brady QB 400 624 4450 30 7 20

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Rex Burkhead RB 100 425 6 45 390 3 1
James White RB 60 275 2 30 280 3 1
Sony Michel RB 120 550 6 5 45 1
Jeremy Hill RB 45 180 2 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Chris Hogan WR 75 950 7
Julian Edelman WR 65 690 4
Kenny Britt WR 30 415 3
Jordan Mathews WR 15 200 2
Roib Gronkowski TE 65 1025 10

 

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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
Ben Stecker