Martellus Bennett
.
Tom Brady got a new toy. Martellus Bennett was brought in to pair with Rob Gronkowski to give Brady two big, athletic red zone targets. He’ll also give defensive coordinator fits.
.
Bennett caught 53 passes for 439 last year as he dealt with injuries, but in 2014 he had 90 catches for 916 yards. Bennett has averaged 65.8 catches over the past four seasons.
.
Gronk had 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.
.
The last time the Patriots had an embarrassment of riches at tight end was 2012 when Gronk had 790 yards and 11 touchdowns and Aaron Hernandez had 483 yards and five touchdowns. In 2011 Gronk had 1,3327 yards and 17 touchdowns while Hernandez had 910 yards and seven touchdowns. The addition shouldn’t hurt Julian Edelman. In 2011 Wes Welker had 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns despite the monster season by Gronk and Hernandez. Brady shined that year with 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns.
.
Gronkowski should remain the premier tight end in the league and Bennett is a high-end TE1. The Patriots offense should be as deadly as ever.

Matt Forte
.
With news circulating that Matt Forte’s days are over with the Chicago Bears are over, the natural thought progression is to consider a landing place.
.
The Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Green bay Packers come to mind, but the team that makes the most sense is the New England Patriots.
.
The Patriots look for reclamation projects so much they should be on HGTV. If they can make a re-tread like Steven Jackson work, imagine what they could do with a player of Forte’s ability?
.
Besides, his skill set fits perfectly with Tom Brady. Forte’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as move the chains in a more traditional way makes perfect sense for New England.
.
The price will have to be right for Forte and New England to come to a deal, but from a fantasy perspective this makes perfect sense.


.
There is some speculation that Chad Ochocinco could land with the Patriots when the lockout comes to a close. The Patriots have had success taking talented players with less than perfect pasts. Does he make sense for New England though?
.
At 33 he is no longer the threat that he once was. Ocho has just one 1000 yard season in the past three year, and at 1047 yards it was well off the 1374 he averaged from 2003-2007. 43 (8.6 TDs per season) of his 66 career touchdowns came from that stretch giving him an average of. The past three years he averaged 806  yards and 5.7 touchdowns. He averaged 92.4 receptions from 03-07 and just 64 over the past three years.
.
Everything depends on Ochocinco’s mental state. If he commits himself to the game, like he did in 2009, Ocho can put up solid numbers once again. He would have to limit some of the sideshow activities and focus on football.
.
The thing the Patriots have going for them is they are not afraid to step on toes. Randy Moss was abruptly shown the door when he started to create tension in New England’s locker room. When players’ worth on the field no longer justifies their paychecks, the Patriots aren’t afraid to move on. With a strong-minded coach and quarterback, the Patriots simply wouldn’t put up with Ocho’s ways.
.
Most of the drama is usually occurs when his team isn’t winning. When things were going good in Cincinnati, Ocho’s antics were cute and funny. When they were losing it was looked at as a distraction. If the Patriots were to continue their success, which is a strong possibility, then it should be less of an issue for Ochocinco to walk the line.
.
While he would’t replace Randy Moss as a deep threat, Ocho would help. Deion Branch did an admirable job for the Patriots following his trade from Seattle, but he would likely have a hard time holding off Ocho for snaps.
.
Ocho’s days of being a WR1 are long over. Mostly he would be a WR3 that could potentially produce like a WR2. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see where he lands.
.
.

Also check out:

Tom Brady throwing
.
I know it’s blasphemy for a Patriots fan like myself to not rank Tom Brady in the top five in fantasy quarterback rankings, but that’s how I roll. I try to look at things with an unbiased eye to give my most honest evaluations.
.
In an actual game there aren’t many quarterbacks in the league, if any, that I would hand the ball to over Brady in a crucial spot, but you can’t play favorites when assembling your fantasy team.
.
Brady is coming off a remarkable season that saw him toss 36 touchdowns to just four interceptions to lead all quarterbacks with a 111.0 passer rating. Oh, and he threw for 3900 yards to boot. Those numbers are sick.
.
After averaging 38 touchdown passes over his past three full seasons I must be off my rocker to rank Brady sixth. Hear me out.
.
The Patriots drafted a pair of running backs in the 2011 NFL Draft leading me to believe that Bill Belichick is looking to pound the ball on the ground more to take some of the pressure off of his defense.
.
I know it didn’t affect him last year, but without Randy Moss, Brady does not have the means to stretch the field. Wes Welker and his young tight ends are nearly impossible to cover, but they aren’t deep threats. I think Brady has a hard time reaching 30 touchdown passes again.
.
Brady owners also have to be concerned with Bill Belichick’s schemes. The only thing that matters to Belichick and Brady is the win. There were three games that Brady threw fewer than 250 yards with just one touchdown. There were five more games in which he threw for less than 250 yards and two touchdowns. In half of Brady’s games he was average or better. Three of his three touchdown games saw him pass for 258 yards or fewer.
.
We all know he’s capable of putting up a huge game, but more often than not he’s not putting up the monster game.
.
In my estimation there are six elite fantasy quarterbacks this year. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, and Brady.  Tony Romo and Matt Schaub are right on the cusp, but a notch below. Ranking Brady sixth is less a knock on him than a testament to the number of top tier quarterbacks.
.
What are your thoughts on Tom Brady heading into the 2011 season?
.
.
Also check out:

 


.

The AFC East is a division without a dominant running back.
.
Tthe class of the division is Shonn Greene, but isn’t that what we expected last year? LaDainian Tomlinson is still in the picture, but he seems to be a peace with not being the featured back anymore. Greene is a powerful runner that should have a solid season. He’s better suited to be an RB2, but if you went WR or QB with your first pick or two, he is capable of putting up RB1 numbers. Heck, he’s capable of putting up top ten numbers. LT should still be owned, but don’t reach because of his name. He’s best suited for PPR leagues. Joe McKnight also could work his way into the mix, but the lockout will probably lead to more of a veteran presence early. Rookie Bilal Powell is best suited for dynasty leagues.
.
In New England you have a fantasy mess. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was voted Running Back Most Likely to Regress by his classmates. With Danny Woodhead and rookies Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley the Pats’ running back pool is to murky to rely on. At some point it could sort itself out, but Bill Belichick is not concerned with fantasy numbers. Winning is the name of the game, and he’ll mix and match his RBs as he sees fit.
.
Buffalo is a full-blown RBBC. Fred Jackson remains the starter and without OTAs will keep a foot up on second-year back C.J. Spiller. We’ve seen more committees lately that have allowed for two effective fantasy players to coexist so don’t be scared off. Jackson makes a solid RB3 and Spiller a solid RB4. If one of the backs goes down, the other’s value will jump dramatically. Once again Jackson will likely be undervalued on draft day.
.
Then we have Miami. We still don’t know what will happen with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Assuming only one returns, that back will have the advantage on rookie Daniel Thomas thanks to the lockout. Both veterans have excelled in a RBBC so they will be willing to share the carries. Thomas will have to get up to speed quickly picking up blitzes to stay on the field. He very well could end up the top rookie runner this  year and has a bright future in keeper leagues.
.
Now that you’ve strolled through the muddy AFC East running back terrain, be sure to wipe your feet.
.
Also check out:

 


.
This week’s topic:
Which rookie’s fantasy stock fell the furthest due to the draft?
.
My response:
While his long-term value may be solid, the immediate value of Ryan Mallett took a big time hit. Unless Tom Brady decides to stay home to spend time with Gisele, which would be as understandable as it is unlikely, Mallett isn’t seeing the field for years.
.
Brady will turn 34 in August, so the waiting won’t last forever, but it will seem like an eternity for those who use a dynasty league pick on him. In redraft leagues you can forget about calling his name.
.
There were a number of franchises looking for a quarterback in the draft. Miami, Seattle, and Arizona still don’t have their QB situation figured out. Mallett could have been a starter in a number of locations, but he gets clipboard duty in New England. It could be the best thing for his career, but that does little for fantasy owners.

Tom Brady throwing
.
The AFC East is truly a case of the “haves” and the “have nots”.
.
The quarterback position is the most glamorous one in the league, and the Patriots have the most glamorous one at that position. Not only does Tom Brady have the model wife and movie star looks, but he puts up video game numbers. Most quarterbacks would struggle after losing a talent like Randy Moss, but Brady got better. He finished with 3900 yards and 36 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions. Jay Cutler did that in one game last year. Look for Brady to be the class of the division and among the best in the league again.
.
Mark Sanchez doesn’t put up the monster numbers like Brady as he three for just 3291 yards and 17 TDs (13 INTs) last year, but he’s also a winner having been to two consecutive AFC Championships. With their rushing attack Sanchez doesn’t have to carry the team, but he is more than a caretaker. Look for Sanchez to improve once again for the Jets, assuming he gets Santonio Holmes and/or Braylon Edwards back.
.
While Ryan Fiztpatrick is a far cry from Tom Brady, he actually was fairly effective for the Buffalo Bills. He threw for 3000 yards and 23 TDs (15 INT) despite playing just 13 games. There were thoughts that the Bills would grab Blaine Gabbert in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Buffalo opted to stick with the Harvard quarterback. He developed a nice rapport with Stevie Johnson, which should continue going forward. Questions remain as to whether or not the Bills will pick up Lee Evans option. If he leaves, it will be a blow to Fitzpatrick. If he stays, Fitzpatrick makes a solid QB2.
.
Then there’s Miami. Chad Henne isn’t the answer. There is some talk that the fins will deal for Kyle Orton. He was be a quality QB2 if  he’s reunited with Brandon Marshall. We’ll have to see who ends up getting the nod before we can rate their quarterback situation.

Randy Moss
.
In a very candid interview with Erin Henderson on KFAN 1130 (Minneapolis) Randy Moss expressed his desire to return to the Patriots. Why wouldn’t he want to go back? They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, one of the best coaches in the league, and a young defense that should improve in the possible upcoming season. That’s not the million dollar question though. Should the Patriots bring Randy Moss back?
.
He was a disruptive force to say the least last year. He was bitter that the Patriots did not want to extend his contract. He pretty much forced his way out of New England. Going from Bill Belichick’s Patriots to Brad Childress’ Vikings had to be a culture shock. Brad Childress, who seemed to always think he was the smartest guy in the room, was rigid to say the least. If he was going to try to tell the gunslinger Brett Favre what to do, you know Randy wouldn’t be an exception. Well, that backfired on old Chilly. Both Moss and Childress were sent packing.
.
Moss caught on with the Titans, but they were in about as much turmoil as the Vikings were. It’s unclear why they even brought him in. He wasn’t even used as a decoy.
.
Like his exile to Oakland in 2005 and 2006, Moss has seen the other side of the mountain, and it ain’t pretty. At this stage in his career it seems that only a few situations fit Randy. The Patriots being one of them.
.
Sure the Pats moved on without Randy Moss, going 11-1 after cutting ties. Their season ended with a bitter defeat at the hands of the New York Jets. Would Randy have made a difference in that game? Nobody will ever know. I’m really torn as to whether a reunion makes sense. If Randy comes in with the right attitude, I think there is still something left in the tank. Unfortunately, you can never quite tell. Plus, his mood can change on a dime. If he does sign with the Patriots it will be pennies on the dollar. Give him a deal with lots of incentives. I know he’s been given umpteen chances already in this league, but those with the most talent get cut the most slack.
.
The last time he escaped to New England he and Tom Brady rewrote the record books. I don’t think that will happen this time around should he sign, but I think there’s still magic there.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: New England Patriots, NFL, Randy Moss |


.
Tom Brady is on fire. The past three weeks he’s thrown for 341, 326, and 369 yards against the Lions, Bears, and Packers oh my. He’s averaging 261.4 yards per game on the season.
.
Once again SMW Clothing is offering up a free t-shirt. All you have to do is guess Brady’s passing yards. Whoever comes the closest without going over takes home the awesome prize.
.

Be original. If somebody guessed a total you want, you’ll have to come up with another one. Just leave a comment with your best guess and be sure to check out SMW Clothing.


.
There’s no place like home. Vikings fans (and Randy Moss owners) are hoping that is the case. He had a brilliant start to his career with the Vikings catching 17 TD passes as the Vikings took the league by storm going 15-1 until seeing their dreams dashed by the Dirty Birds aka Atlanta Falcons.
.
Moss had 574 catches for 9142 yards and 90 TDs in seven years with the Vikings. He had one decent year and one dud with the Raiders before resurrecting his career with the Patriots. He caught 98 passes for 1493 yards and 23 TD in his first season with the Pats as they went 16-0 before being upset by the New York Giants. He followed that historic season with two more 1000+ yard, 10+ TD seasons. Currently he has nine catches for 139 yards and 3 TDs.
.
Brett Favre has long expressed his desire to play with Moss and he finally gets his wish. Both Favre and Moss see their values increase. Percy Harvin will draw less attention and should see his numbers spike as well. Visanthe Shiancoe could see less red zone targets, but he remains a solid low-end TE1. Bernard Berrian becomes an afterthought…not that his play didn’t already make him one.
.
For the Patriots, Tom Brady’s numbers take a hit. They’ll get by, but I expect them their offense to look more like the pre-Moss years. Wes Welker will draw the shutdown corners now and will also lose some value. Tight Ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will be used in more two tight end sets and should see an increase in targets, especially in the red zone for Gronkowsi. Brandon Tate will slide into the starting lineup and becomes a borderline WR3. Julian Edelman should get more looks and become a bye week option in PPR leagues.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties