Patriots Fantasy News

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 8. Brady will be fine to face the Bears.

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Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm

Patriots RB Shane Vereen (illness, questionable) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Week 8. We’re not worried about Vereen’s status, though it will be something to monitor on Sunday morning when inactives are released. If he can’t play (not likely), then Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden and James White would divvy up the touches in the Patriot backfield. It wouldn’t be an attractive situation, though it would likely be Gray leading the team in carries in that scenario since he ran ahead of Bolden and White last week. Anything can happen with HC Bill Belichick calling the shots. If Vereen is active, he’s locked in as a high-end RB2 in a mediocre matchup against the Bears.

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm

Bears TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 8. Bennett is ready to go for a nice matchup with the Patriots.

Patriots have 'no worry' about RB Shane Vereen (illness) missing practice

Friday, October 24, 2014, 2:11pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Running back Shane Vereen was not present for today's practice due to an illness, according to a source. It's the first time he missed a practice since the start of training camp, but there's no worry from Gillette Stadium because he was sick and not injured.

Fantasy Impact:

Vereen was surprisingly absent from Friday's practice, but it sounds as if he came down with the flu. He should be fine to face the Bears in Week 8.

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle) took full practice reps again Thursday. Brady should be fine to face the Bears.

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm

Bears TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. The hamstring injury wasn’t apparent on Sunday, so we’re assuming Bennett will play in Week 8 against the Patriots. He returned to practice, which is a great sign.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. Brady should be fine to face the Bears.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Bears TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. The hamstring injury wasn’t apparent on Sunday, so we’re assuming Bennett will play in Week 8 against the Patriots.

Patriots using more multiple TE formations

Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:50pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

As Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's playing time has increased upon his return from a torn right ACL, the Patriots have trended more toward multiple-tight-end groupings, which makes sense. Specifically, the Patriots seem to have found something that works for them -- going empty with the 2-WR/2-TE/1-RB grouping with Gronkowski and Tim Wright at tight end, which in a lot of ways could be viewed as a 3-WR package of sorts because of Wright's presence as more of a pass-catching tight end.

With a lower percentage of three-receiver packages, it has reduced the playing-time totals for pure slot receiver Danny Amendola. But as we saw Thursday, he's still contributing in that niche role (as well as a kickoff returner).

One could also draw the conclusion that inconsistent play along the offensive line has contributed to fewer three-receiver packages. By playing with a second or third tight end instead of a second or third receiver, the Patriots are devoting more resources to the line of scrimmage. Everything starts up front.

Fantasy Impact:

The story goes on to say that every offense needs something to hang its hat on and perhaps the Pats found it. Gronk's health has been key to this and multiple TE sets are allowing QB Tom Brady to takes shots down field while at the same time bolstering things up front. The Pats are used multiple TEs 57-percent of the time this season.

Patriots RB Jonas Gray called up from practice squad, serves as RB2 vs. Jets

Friday, October 17, 2014, 12:14am

Mass Live - [Full Article]

What you have to know about Jonas Gray, the Patriots' new running back:

*He's 5-foot-10, 230 pounds, the biggest tailback on the New England roster.

*Gray had a sensational senior season at Notre Dame in 2011, rushing for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 114 carries before tearing his ACL on Senior Day. He took the starting job from running back Cierre Wood when the Irish were 4-3. When he injured his knee, Notre Dame was 8-3.

*Gray earned his spot on the Patriots roster after a strong preseason, which included a 12-carry, 98-yard performance against Philadelphia.

*Gray rushed for over 2,600 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior at Detroit Country Day School. It's also the same high school that produced NBA players Chris Webber, Shane Battier and JaVale McGee.

*There were 18 running backs drafted in 2012. Gray was not among them. He signed futures contracts with Miami and then Baltimore, and hasn't carried the ball in a regular season game since his final game at Notre Dame in November, 2011.

Fantasy Impact:

It's telling that the Patriots elected to play Gray ahead of veteran Brandon Bolden on a short week. Shane Vereen led the running backs in touches with 16, while Gray saw three carries and Bolden had one catch. We would expect Gray's role to increase as he has more time to run with the first team in practice. Perhaps a role of 6-8 carries per game is in his future. Vereen's role expanded significantly in Week 7, but again, it was a short week of preparation.

Patriots RB Jonas Gray IN, WR Aaron Dobson OUT for TNF

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7:14pm

Patriots Inactives
Malcolm Butler DB
Dan Connolly C
Aaron Dobson WR
Nate Ebner DB
Cameron Fleming G
Bryan Stork C
James White RB

Fantasy Impact:

Freshly signed off the practice squad, RB Jonas Gray is active. He could receive some of the touches left by injured RB Stevan Ridley. Brandon Bolden will also be in the mix behind Shane Vereen. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch.

Patriots plan to promote Jonas Gray from the practice squad

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 4:32pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Patriots plan to promote RB Jonas Gray from their practice squad today to replace injured RB Stevan Ridley. He's a power back from Notre Dame.

Fantasy Impact:

This means that Gray is likely to be active for tonight's game against the Jets. It doesn't mean he's going to see significant snaps, but he may be in the mix. We're expecting Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden (career 4.5 YPC) to get most of Ridley's carries. Gray is a name to remember, however.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:35pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle, probable) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Brady only managed 413 passing yards and one touchdown in two meetings with the Jets last season. The good news is that Rob Gronkowski only played in one of those games.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:35pm

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (knee, out) was ruled out for Week 7. He’s out for the year. We’re expecting Brandon Bolden to pick up most of the slack, though James White and practice squader Jonas Gray could be in the mix as well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:35pm

Jets TE Jace Amaro (knee, probable) practiced fully Wednesday. Amaro should be fine for an increased role against the Patriots.