New England Patriots

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2016-17 14-2 13-3 6-10 3,806 1,417 54.36% 45.64% 46%
2015-16 12-4 7-7-2 9-7 4,587 1,404 63.52% 36.48% 41%
2014-15 12-4 9-7 9-7 4,121 1,727 59.59% 40.41% 44%
2013-14 12-4 8-8 9-7 4,087 2,065 57.98% 42.02% 37%
2012-13 12-4 9-7 11-5 4,662 2,184 57.03% 42.97% 49%

Season Outlook

What isn't there to love about the Patriots offense? They are as close to a true dynasty the NFL has seen, winning five super bowls in 15 seasons led by future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady. Though Brady is entering his 16th season, there is no reason to believe he can't produce elite QB1 fantasy numbers. He missed the first four games due to a suspension yet posted his second-best completion percentage in a season with 67.4 percent while throwing 28 touchdowns to two interceptions. The main beneficiaries are WR Julian Edelman and, when healthy, TE Rob Gronkowski. Edelman's 1,106 receiving yards was the 13th best mark last season but only registered three touchdowns. Edelman was a WR1 last year, however, with the addition of speedy Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints, expect Edelman's targets and receptions to decrease. Cooks had an astonishing 1,173 yards on 78 receptions and also posted WR1 numbers. It's uncertain if Gronkowski will be able to return for a full season. Nevertheless, he's too good not to have on your fantasy team. Prior to his injury riddled 2016 season, Gronkowski has posted phenomenal numbers playing in 30 games while racking up 2,300 yards on 154 receptions. Last season, he averaged 21.6 yards per reception in six games started. He's an elite receiving option and if deemed healthy, a top-10 fantasy producer. If he can't play, then second-string TE Dwayne Allen will be available in later rounds. The Patriots offense won't change at all, with head coach Bill Belichick entering his 16th season and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coaching in his ninth as a Patriot, their spread offense and usage of two TEs will continue to be a common occurrence. Their rushing game is just as good as their passing game, ranking 7th among NFL teams averaging 117 yards per game. It didn't matter who lined up at the tailback position for the Patriots last season, they were going to succeed. Either James White and Dion Lewis will likely split starting duties and are intriguing RB2 options in a star studded offense.

Player Outlooks & Draft Analysis

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady

As long as Brady is still putting on a uniform, he's an elite fantasy quarterback week in and week out. The problem is trying to figure out how much longer he's going to be able to do what he's doing. Fresh in our minds is the Super Bowl comeback that all but solidified him as the greatest quarterback of all time. That said, he's entering his age 40 season, which leaves us little in the way of historical context. By now nearly every great quarterback had shown a noticeable drop off, both in their statistical performance and by any measure of the eye test. At this point Brady has seemingly been headed in the opposite direction for the past three seasons. It sort of defies logic, but then again that's essentially what we've come to expect from Tom. It seems somewhat counterintuitive, but if he played four or five more years at a high level before calling it a career, would any of us even be surprised?

Brian Hoyer

Entering his age 32 season, Hoyer continues to find starting quarterback gigs in the NFL. He's basically a serviceable enough caretaker at the position and a good locker room presence so he makes a lot of sense for quarterback needy teams in rebuild mode. And that's where he finds himself is San Francisco. He'll help Kyle Shannan teach and run the new offense while the 49ers continue to rebuild and hunt for their future franchise signal caller. Expect Hoyer to hover in the early-mid twenties as far as 2017 fantasy quarterback values go, with maybe a season or two of relevance left in deeper or 2-QB dynasty formats. It's worth noting that while he has played well when given the chance at his last three stops, San Francisco has arguably the worst supporting cast he's played with in some time.

Running Backs

Dion Lewis

There's no denying that Lewis is a dynamic runner and receiver, but injuries have taken their toll throughout the course of his NFL career. Predicting New England back usage is the stuff of fantasy nightmares, but the offseason additions of Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee, all but ensure Lewis's snap count will be held in check going forward. He probably needs an injury to James White to make a run at serious fantasy value for the Patriots.

Rex Burkhead

Burkhead profiles as exactly the kind of versatile player the Patriots covet for the running back position. And his special teams ability may actually spell the end for Brandon Bolden in New England. He was a lot more exciting from a fantasy standpoint prior to the addition of Mike Gillislee, but he's still got a chance to bring some value in the passing game if James White or Dion Lewis miss extended time.

James White

The Patriots Super Bowl hero got a contract extension this offseason that will keep him in New England through the 2020 season. And while the job security is nice for White, it means absolutely nothing from a fantasy standpoint. A far more effective receiver than runner, White figures to once again man the pass catching back role in the New England offense. But the offseason additions of Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee, along with a now healthier Dion Lewis make for an insanely crowded backfield. White has far more PPR appeal, but even then, it's going to be difficult to predict production week to week.

Mike Gillislee Breakout Candidate

After two years in Buffalo, Gillislee enters his age 27 season with a chance to play a big role in the New England offense. In two seasons playing behind LeSean McCoy, Gillislee averaged 5.7 yards per carry and showed some ability in the passing game. When New England moved on from LeGarrette Blount this offseason, many expected the goal was to find a younger and cheaper big back with a little more upside. Instead the Pats signed Rex Burkhead and Gillislee. Subsequently, we learned that one of the team's frustrations with Blount was his lack of ability as a receiver. Essentially New England decided the player in the backfield was too telling to defenses about what might be coming their way. The Pats don't believe that's the case with Gillislee. That said, predicting New England's running back situation is a fool's errand. We should not expect Blount's crazy touchdown numbers here, and we know there are too many talented backs in the mix for Gillislee's role to get too big. But we also know when Belichick finds something that works he tends to roll with it. Gillislee is one of the more intriguing running backs to watch this season.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Britt

Britt's big Cleveland deal was a bit of a head scratcher for many, as the Browns let last year's leading receiver, Terrelle Pryor, walk in free agency and replaced him with a player heading into his age 29 season. Britt is coming off his first 1,000 yard season since coming into the league in 2009, and is a veteran receiver with good size and speed who should help anchor a young and inexperienced Browns receiving corps. Britt has had his off the field struggles, particularly early in his career in Tennessee, but he's been a steady if unspectacular pro for the past few seasons. At this point he should be viewed as a stop gap option that can provide consistent production on a rebuilding Browns squad. His fantasy value is obviously linked to Cleveland's quarterback play, but he should be the top target in the offense and already managed to survive a season of Case Keenum and Jared Goff with some value intact so there's hope he can be a fantasy asset for at least a couple more seasons.

Brandin Cooks Bust

The emergence of Michael Thomas as a rookie made Cooks expendable this offseason, and New England was ready and willing to pay the steep New Orleans asking price. Despite being somewhat miscast in the Saints offense, Cooks managed to be a productive, albeit inconsistent fantasy asset. Cooks will turn just 24 years old in September and joins a Patriots team that is in win now mode with a 40 year old Tom Brady under center. As is always the case in New England, the game plan will change each week and there may be times that Cooks simply isn t heavily involved in the offense. But even with that in mind, it s important to remember that New England gave up first and third round picks to acquire Cooks, and they aren t inclined to be shy about using him. He s hands down the most versatile receiver on the roster, and should post some big numbers as a member of the Patriots.

Julian Edelman Injury Update

A torn ACL ended Edelman's 2017 campaign before it started. As beloved a player as he is in New England, he'll turn 32 years old this offseason and Bill Belichick has never been shy about moving on from a player. The timing of the injury works to his advantage. And much like Jordy Nelson did last season he could return healthy and a full go for next year's training camp, picking up right where he left off. He has no 2017 value, but dynasty owners should wait this one out.

Tight Ends

Martellus Bennett Injury Update Sleepers

Bennett has never been able to elevate his game to a consistent level and supply a feasible amount of fantasy points, but the 30 year-old is given another opportunity to shine with the Green Bay Packers and hopes to make an immediate impact and become an additional threat to an already impressive passing offense. Head coach Mike McCarthy's offense revolves around QB Aaron Rodgers and a handful of other weapons headlined by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who will more than likely account for the majority of Rodgers' looks in 2017. The two wideouts saw 47 percent of Rodgers' targets last year, a number that isn't expected to deflate. Nevertheless, given the Packers will boast a pass-heavy offense, Bennett has the opportunity to break his previous career-high of 976 receiving yards he set back in 2014 with the Chicago Bears.

Rob Gronkowski

When 'Gronk' is healthy, he is one of the elite pass catchers in the game, let alone the best at the tight end position. There are many factors that have helped Gronkowski become one of the most dominant aerial threats in the NFL, such as Patriots QB and future hall of famer Tom Brady as well as Gronkowski's 6-foot-6 265 lbs stature and out-of-this-world athleticism. Gronkowski only started six games last season and still racked up 540 yards and three touchdowns. In year's past, Gronkowski has run over opposing team's secondary's and no matter who their division opponents add defensively, they still can't figure out a way to slow him down. The only asterisk beside his name is his injury history, as he has played seven seasons in the NFL, starting 75 games. Even with his durability issues, Gronkowski is far and away the best TE available.

Dwayne Allen

A red zone weapon with the Colts since coming into the league, Allen was unceremoniously dealt to New England this offseason when the emergence of Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope's continued development made him expendable. On first blush, playing with Tom Brady might appear to be an upgrade from a fantasy standpoint, especially given Allen's red zone chops. But New England is a team with an endless supply of pass catching weapons, and Allen will be limited to playing in two tight end sets with Gronk to open the season. It would not be surprising to see him excel in the red zone, but it's difficult to see him topping 35-40 catches if New England can stay relatively healthy.

Kickers

Stephen Gostkowski

Gostkowski has come through in the clutch more often than not and is one of the most reliable place kickers in the league. He's lead the league in field goals made thrice, most recently in 2014 with 35 but has failed to surpass that mark over the last two seasons. He appeared in all 16 games for the Pats last season, tallying 27 field goals for an 84.4 percent success rate; the lowest of his career since the 2012 season. He also missed his first point after attempt in nine years last season, so fantasy owners shouldn't be too worried about his underwhelming 2016 campaign. The Patriots will score a pile of points as per usual, which will lead to plenty of point after attempts and with him owning a sparkling career field goal percentage of 87.1 percent, owners shouldn't overthink drafting him if he's there once the top-5 kickers are off the draft board.

Defenses

New England Defense

No matter who Bill Belichick and the Patriots add to their defense, they remain competitive and extremely difficult to solve. Though they haven't ranked among the leagues best in takeaways the past three seasons, they don't allow teams to score many points against them, holding opposing offenses to a remarkable 18.2 points per game. They're loaded with defensive playmakers and have added more depth to the defensive unit, headlined by LBs Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich clogging up the running lanes and forcing fumbles. DB's Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Malcolm Butler accounted for six of the 13 interceptions by New England last season. The team has added another lockdown defender in former Buffalo Bills CB Stephon Gilmore, who immediately bolsters the Patriots value on defense. Fantasy owners should see an uptick in fantasy points with the addition of ball-hawk Gilmore and are favorites to win the AFC East for an absurd 14th time in 15 years. Their unspectacular but productive special team's unit has ranked top-10 in punt return yards over the past two seasons, adding value to an already star studded defense.

Player Updates

Injury Update James White, RB - James White (ankle) likely to sit out Week 17
31 Dec 2017 - 11:32am

James White (questionable, ankle) is not expected to play Week 17 against the Jets. - From Rotoworld.

Player Update Chris Hogan, WR - Chris Hogan not expected to play Week 17
31 Dec 2017 - 11:32am

Chris Hogan (questionable, shoulder) is not expected to play Week 17 against the Jets. - From Rotoworld.

Injury Update Martellus Bennett, TE - Pats place Martellus Bennett on IR
27 Nov 2017 - 5:53pm

Patriots placed TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder, hamstring) on injured reserve, ending his season. - From Rotoworld.

Injury Update Martellus Bennett, TE - Martellus Bennett expected to sit out Week 12
24 Nov 2017 - 6:27pm

Martellus Bennett (shoulder, hamstring) is doubtful for Week 12 against Miami. - From Rotoworld.

Injury Update Chris Hogan, WR - Chris Hogan (shoulder) won't play Sunday
17 Nov 2017 - 5:43pm

Chris Hogan (shoulder) is out for Week 11 against the Raiders. - From Rotoworld.

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