2018 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview

by John LaPresto
2021 Fantasy Football Targets & Touches Week 7

Next up in our team previews is the New England Patriots. Enjoy!

There seem to be two narratives for this 2018 New England Patriots team. The first, after losing the Super Bowl to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, the team has unfinished business and the focus remains on winning yet another championship. The second narrative is that the dynasty is over. Tom Brady's age, the departures along the offensive line, Julian Edelman's suspension and Bill Belichick's questionable decision to bench Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. These issues are simply too much to overcome.

2018 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview

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Love him or hate him, Tom Brady is a fantasy stud. He finished among the top six quarterbacks in fantasy points per game in each of the last three seasons. 2018 may be a different story, however. The offensive line is typically a strength in New England, but serious questions are suddenly emerging about the fat guys in front of Brady.

The Patriots lost two tackles in the offseason. They drafted a guard in the first round and plan on playing Trent Brown at left tackle. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of offensive line schemes, this is not ideal. The Patriots also drafted a running back in the first round - something they typically never do. Is this the changing of the guard on offense? Not likely. It’s freaking Tom Brady.

Running Backs

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Perhaps in an attempt to prevent defenses from firing at will at Old Man Brady, the Patriots drafted Sony Michel in round one. Michel comes from a program at Georgia that produces quality NFL backs, and statistically, he's one of the best they’ve had. Averaging nearly 6.0 yards per carry and hauling in 60 receptions, Michel may be a star in the making. The one negative against Michel when it comes to predicting his success in Fantasy Football is that the Patriots drafted him.

Bill Belichick has a history of driving not only the local media into a frustrated frenzy, but Fantasy owners as well. Past owners of Jonas Gray, Dion Lewis, Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount will wish you the best of luck picking and choosing which Patriot to start at running back week in and week out.

While we can’t predict what Belichick will do, we do know they invested heavily in Michel. We also know they re-signed Rex Burkhead after a productive season. If you didn’t own Burkhead last season, you may not realize just how relevant he was when it comes to Fantasy production. In both standard scoring and PPR, Burkhead ranked among the top 20 in Fantasy points per game last season and should once again be a sneaky play as a RB3 or Flex option.

Wide Receivers

At first glance, the receivers for New England seem to rank somewhere between pedestrian to slightly above average. Like my ex girlfriend always said, whether it’s pedestrian to slightly above average or not, if you know how to use what you have, you’ll be successful.

Edelman missed all of 2017, but fortunately for Patriots fans and 2018 Fantasy owners, his injury occurred early enough last season to heal fully in time for Week 1. Unfortunately, Edelman peed some funny stuff into a cup in the offseason and got himself a suspension for the first four weeks of 2018. It’s been a year, but remember, the last time we saw Edelman on the field he finished 17th in points per game in PPR scoring.

Filling in for Edelman and playing second fiddle at the receiver position are a number of players you’ve no doubt had on your team at one point or another. Players like Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews and Chris Hogan. Before you roll your eyes at this crew of cast offs, remember that Hogan finished 27th in points per game last season, Britt finished 26th in 2016 and Jordan Matthews … well, he hasn’t been very good lately.

The book on Matthews coming out of college was that of a hard worker, studies the game and athletic enough, but not elite and may be more suitable for the slot. In other words, perfect for Bill Belichick.

Tight Ends

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Rob Gronkowski is amazing and Dwayne Allen is literally the worst.

Final Verdict

Tom Brady is the greatest living American and until he stops playing professional football the New England Patriots will be incredible.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

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