2010 NFL Preview: New England Patriots
The Patriots should continue to be one of the better teams both in fantasy and reality, but they aren’t quite what they once were. Perhaps playing more of an underdog role is what they need.
Fantasy Playoffs Schedule: Somewhat difficult
If the Patriots play like they are capable of, their opponent doesn’t really matter. However, facing the Bears in Chicago (Week 14), the Packers at home (15), and the Bills in Buffalo (16) means they could have three bad weather games in the fantasy playoffs. You should keep that in mind when deciding between Patriot players and someone you consider of equal value.
Five Star Fantasy Options
Tom Brady – Brady had a great season (65.7 completion percentage, 4398 yards, 28 TDs, 13 INTs, 96.2 passer rating), especially when you consider he was coming off a serious knee injury. Don’t look for another 50 TD season, but he remains one of the elite QBs in the league.
Randy Moss – He’s playing for one last big contract. He can disappear a bit when teams get physical, but you know what you’re getting with Moss. 1000+ yards and 10+ TDs.
Four Star Fantasy Options
Three Star Fantasy Options
Wes Welker – He can move up to four star option if he proves that his knee will be OK. He could also slide down to a two or one star option. It’s a matter of how he recovers, and you won’t know until down the road.
Patriots Defense/Special Teams – They always seem to be an opportunistic unit. They have some solid match-ups against the Bills twice (Weeks 3 & 16), the Browns (9), and the Lions (12).
Two Star Fantasy Options
Laurence Maroney – I don’t love Maroney, but he’s probably the best option the Patriots have. Draft him for RB depth and ride him if he gets hot.
Julian Edelman & Torry Holt – If Welker is slow to recover, Edelman can be used to fill the void. Once Welker is back, Edelman will catch the ball, but consistency will be an issue. I don’t think Holt has anything left in the tank, but Belichick somehow squeezes the last bit of production our of veterans.
One Star Fantasy Options
Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, and Fred Taylor – Each of them will probably show some value at different points of the season, but you can’t rely on any of them.
Taylor Price and Brandon Tate – Keep these guys on your radar, but don’t bother drafting them until they have defined roles.
Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez – The Patriots have little to offer at TE. Look elsewhere.