Patriots Fantasy News

49ers hire Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 10:48pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

49ers gave Eric Mangini a 3-year deal to be their defensive coordinator.

Fantasy Impact:

Mangini was the DC for the Patriots in 2005, and they finished 25th in yards and 17th in points allowed. He spent the next five years as the head coach of the Jets and the Browns, and his defenses averaged a rank of 21.8 in yards and 15.4 in points allowed over that span. He spent the last two seasons as the 49ers' tight ends coach.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015, 5:12pm

Patriots Inactives
C Bryan Stork
RB James White
WR Brian Tyms
WR Josh Boyce
DL Chris Jones
DE Zach Moore
OT Jordan Devey

Fantasy Impact:

RB Jonas Gray is active.

Friday, January 16, 2015, 5:45pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 20. No worries here. Brady will continue to play through the ankle injury.

Friday, January 16, 2015, 5:45pm

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder, toe, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 20. The probable tag means that LaFell is going to play against Indianapolis.

Patriots RB Jonas Gray INACTIVE vs. Baltimore

Saturday, January 10, 2015, 3:44pm

Patriots Inactives

RB James White
RB Jonas Gray
OL Jordan Devey
OL Cameron Fleming
WR Josh Boyce
TE Steve Maneri
DE Zach Moore

Fantasy Impact:

Jonas Gray is a surprise inactive. It's an indicator that the Patriots are likely to go pass-heavy and use LeGarrette Blount as their primary between-the-tackles running back. Baltimore is a bad matchup, so Blount is not an especially attractive play in daily formats, though his 12-14 carry workload should be safe.

Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. No worries here. Brady has a nice matchup against Baltimore (#24 in QB aFPA).

Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (illness) was removed from the injury report Friday. Blount has averaged 12.8 touches in the last five games he’s played, but may not see a big workload with New England likely to take a pass-heavy approach against a shaky Baltimore secondary.

Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm

Patriots RB Jonas Gray (ankle, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. Gray has taken a backseat to LeGarrette Blount after missing practice on the heels of his huge Week 11 (38 carries for 199 yards and four touchdowns). Expect a handful of carries against a tough Baltimore rush defense.

Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. The probable tag means that Edelman will suit up in a nice matchup against Baltimore. He was the #13 WR in PPR formats (17 in standard) through 15 weeks, prior to his concussion. He should be a nice start in daily formats.

Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder, toe, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. LaFell was a nice surprise this season. He finished as the #22 WR in both standard and PPR formats, and he has a nice matchup against a shaky Baltimore secondary.

Ravens can slow Rob Gronkowski, but it will come at a cost

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:44pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Ravens have only allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the regular season, and they held Jimmy Graham to 47 yards receiving. Do the Ravens have a chance of slowing down Rob Gronkowski, or do you throw out those numbers because he is on a different level?

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss: They can definitely slow Gronkowski, but it will come at a cost. One of the most impressive things about Gronkowski’s season to me is how his 82 catches for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns hardly tell the whole story. It’s plays like touchdown catches by Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen against the Broncos on Nov. 2 that highlight his true value because there were three to four defenders swarming around Gronkowski in the end zone, creating those one-on-one opportunities for Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen. That was pretty commonplace this season with Gronkowski, who is a pure combination tight end in the sense that he can also dominate as a blocker when he wants; it's not just catching the ball. So I’d be surprised if the Ravens can slow Gronkowski consistently with just one player like safety Will Hill. But if they want to devote extra resources to it, they can probably dictate the ball going elsewhere, and the Patriots have shown the ability to capitalize when that happens.

Fantasy Impact:

The Ravens are #19 in TE aFPA in the last 10 games, so we're not too concerned about their chances to shutting down Gronkowski. The Patriots have enough weapons in the passing game to make Baltimore pay if they consistently double- or triple-team Gronkowski.

There's a good chance that Torrey Smith draws an interference penalty this week

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:21pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

One the NFL’s most-penalized defenders, New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, could cross paths Saturday with the league’s most prolific receiver in terms of drawing pass interference penalties, Torrey Smith.

Smith led the NFL with 11 defensive pass interference penalties drawn for 229 yards during the regular season, according to Football Outsiders, and added a 12th for 29 yards against the Steelers in the wild-card game. The next closest receiver, Green Bay Packers star Jordy Nelson, drew six flags for 129 yards.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but again, it’s part of the game,” Smith said this week. “I don’t want to be known for a guy that’s just getting held all the time, but it just happens. If I knew why it kept happening … I guess most times it’s because I’m moving pretty good, and it kind of surprises them a little bit, so they grab you.”

Browner, a physical corner signed from the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, has played just nine games for the Patriots. He was called for five defensive pass interference penalties this season, and 15 penalties overall.

Fantasy Impact:

Unfortunately, pass interference penalties don't count in fantasy football.

Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) may not fully heal until the offseason

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 5:21pm

Denver Post - [Full Article]

Mark Kizla of the Denver Post: I'm not certain Thomas will be 100 percent healthy until given the offseason to heal.

"We don't always get the opportunity to let things recover the way a doctor would want you to," he said. "When you know you're this close to our goal and you've worked all year to be in this place, you tell yourself: 'Man, we have three games left. Can you get through it for three games? Can you do whatever you can?' "

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas was tied in standard fantasy points with Rob Gronkowski through 10 weeks. From Week 11 on, he managed just five catches for 66 yards while appearing in four of his team's seven games.

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman 'working overtime' to re-establish their connection

Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 2:14pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

When New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman takes the field in Saturday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, it will mark his first game in almost a month. No one is more excited about that than Edelman, although quarterback Tom Brady probably isn’t far behind.

The two are working overtime to re-establish and fine-tune the connection that helped Edelman produce a team-high 92 receptions before he was shut down during the final games of the season with a concussion.

“We’ve been practicing the last week and a half or something; I know Tom a little bit here now, these last few years. He knows me. There’s a foundation,” Edelman relayed in his first remarks to the press since Dec. 14 following a victory over the Dolphins. "But even if whatever happened didn’t happen, we still have to continue to try to get better. That’s what we’re trying to do -- staying after, throwing a couple extra routes, bouncing ideas off each other. Like any other week, I guess, but the stakes are a little higher.”

Fantasy Impact:

Edelman should hit the ground the running against a shaky Baltimore secondary. He was the #13 WR in PPR formats before missing the final two games with a concussion.

Ravens WR Torrey Smith expects to see Brandon Browner more than Darrelle Revis

Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 10:54pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

When Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith breaks the huddle Saturday against the New England Patriots, he anticipates having cornerback Brandon Browner frequently matching up against him.

Browner is one of the biggest and most physical corners in the NFL at 6-feet-4, 221 pounds. His style is based on roughing up wide receivers.

And Torrey Smith expects to see plenty of Browner during an AFC divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium instead of Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis is expected to line up against Steve L Smith most of the time.

Fantasy Impact:

Revis has been significantly better in coverage than Browner this season, so this is good news for those owners hoping to use him this week. He has been the #13 WR since Week 6, and has scored 11 touchdowns in his last 12 games.