Patriots Fantasy News

Fears: LeGarrette Blount can be 'dominant'

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 5:13pm

MassLive.com - [Full Article]

Patriots RB coach Ivan Fears is looking for LeGarrette Blount to return to his "dominant" self.

"I want to see the LeGarrette that I know can be a dominant player when he's playing up his stuff," Fears said. "I want to see him get back to that. He's been hurt, he's been away from us. There's a lot of opportunity there for him. Let's see what he can do. There's got to be some consistency in his play, there's got to be production. Of course with his size we expect to see some physicality."

When Fears says there is "a lot of opportunity" for Blount, he's not lying.

Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, the Patriots did not draft a bigger back, or any back, in April. They signed undrafted rookie D.J. Foster, a pure pass-catching back, and they signed veteran Donald Brown, who can play all three downs but has never been a 15-20 carry-per-game guy.

Fantasy Impact:

In theory, Blount should be in fine position to secure a roster spot and earn carries, the story said. He did not participate in the spring and is returning from a season-ending hip injury, so it'll be important that his conditioning is up to par. Either way, Dion Lewis is going to figure into this offense as well at the RB position, whether or not Blount is part of that 1-2 punch remains to be seen, but it sounds like the team wants him to.

Pats Beat: Julian Edelman should be ready soon

Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 6:55pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman (offseason foot surgery) should be removed from the physically unable to perform list very soon. Doctors uncovered a small break over the spring, and sources indicated all along it should be a quick recovery.

Fantasy Impact:

The story pointed out Edelman looked good while fielding ground balls and taking batting practice last week at Fenway Park.

LeGarrette Blount passes initial medical test

Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 10:15am

ESPN - [Full Article]

In listing some of the initial things to watch for with the New England Patriots' offense on Monday, the status of running back LeGarrette Blount was highlighted.

Blount had a season-ending hip injury last December.

With quarterbacks, rehabbing players and rookies already reporting to training camp, we now have more clarity on the status of Blount. Thanks to a training camp preview video from Patriots.com, which showed parts of Monday's practice, it is confirmed that Blount passed his initial medical tests at training camp and is cleared to practice.

Fantasy Impact:

We had a good idea of this yesterday as well, when the Pats announced who was starting camp on the PUP list and Blount's name wasn't listed. Blount will probably be the "2" in a 1-2 punch with Dion Lewis. In the six games in which they both played, Lewis averaged 11.0 touches (5.3 rec) for 84 yards and 0.66 TD, which extrapolates to high-end RB1 numbers both PPR and standard formats. Meanwhile, Blount averaged 16.3 touches for 80 yards (4.74 YPC) and 1.0 TD in the six games that Lewis also played. Blount slipped down the stretch, averaging 13.4 carries for 51 yards (3.61 YPC) and 0.20 TD in his final five games with Lewis sidelined. James White, Donald Brown and Brandon Bolden figure to compete, but this is shaping up to be a Lewis/Blount backfield.

Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman start out on PUP list

Monday, July 25, 2016, 7:25pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis, who is recovering from a torn ACL from last November, is one of seven players the club placed on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list on Monday.

Lewis had returned to practice for the final day of June’s mandatory minicamp and said that things were progressing nicely in his recovery.

“The trainers wouldn’t have put me out there if they didn’t think I was ready,” he said at the time.

The Patriots could be taking a more cautious approach with Lewis for the start of training camp, which unlike spring practices includes full pads and contact.

In addition to Lewis, wide receivers Julian Edelman (left foot) and Danny Amendola (knee/ankle) were other notable offensive players.

Fantasy Impact:

We've been hearing Lewis' recovery was ahead of schedule so this is a bit of a surprise. However the Pats may just be a little extra cautious at this point. Lewis was New England’s best fantasy back through the first eight weeks of the season before tearing his ACL in Week 9. In six healthy games in that span, Lewis averaged 12.8 touches for 95 yards and 0.67 TD. On a per game basis, he was #10 in standard and #5 in PPR at the time of his injury. Edelman is coming off foot surgery.

Roster spot of Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) 'isn't a given'

Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 1:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Running back LeGarrette Blount's return from a season-ending hip injury, suffered in December, Bears watching as it relates to his roster status. Blount, who signed a modest one-year deal as a free agent to return in 2016, didn't practice in the spring. If he returns to full health and runs hard like he did at times in 2015, there shouldn't be any issues. But that isn't a given based on the present snapshot.

Fantasy Impact:

The Patriots' lack of urgency at the running back position indicates that they believe that Blount will be ready for camp, though they could go another direction once camp cuts start to occur. The most likely scenario is that Blount is the "2" in a 1-2 punch with Dion Lewis. In the six games in which they both played, Lewis averaged 11.0 touches (5.3 rec) for 84 yards and 0.66 TD, which extrapolates to high-end RB1 numbers both PPR and standard formats. Meanwhile, Blount averaged 16.3 touches for 80 yards (4.74 YPC) and 1.0 TD in the six games that Lewis also played. Blount slipped down the stretch, averaging 13.4 carries for 51 yards (3.61 YPC) and 0.20 TD in his final five games with Lewis sidelined.

Patriots QB Tom Brady ends his Deflategate legal battle

Friday, July 15, 2016, 1:20pm

CNBC.com - [Full Article]

Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady end his legal battle with National Football League to get a new hearing on his "Deflategate" suspension, he wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

"It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process," Brady wrote, thanking his supporters. "I'm going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall."

Fantasy Impact:

If Brady's ADP drops into the 8th-10th round, savvy drafters can use the Angry Tom Strategy again and draft Brady along with a late-round quarterback to "get by" for the first four weeks. Last year, we were targeting Carson Palmer, but it turned out to be a non-issue since Brady was able to play in the first month of the season. This year it looks like Tyrod Taylor is the best value in the 12th-14th rounds. Jimmy Garoppolo would be a solid option as well. Our projections have assumed he'd miss four games for months, so they will remain relatively unchanged. We're not too worried about Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, since Garoppolo has a tendency to check down to the shorter pass. Rob Gronkowski should be fine as well, since he can make so many plays after the catch.

Appeals court denies Tom Brady's request for rehearing, remains suspended

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 9:50am

Albert Breer - [Full Article]

The second circuit court of appeals has denied Tom Brady's request for a rehearing. His recourse now: Appeal to the supreme court.

Fantasy Impact:

Given his ADP, the fantasy community has mostly ignored Brady's suspension, probably assuming that he would get it overturned again and play in the first month of the season. But for that to happen, he'll have to come to some settlement with the league (unlikely) or appeal the Supreme Court, who may or may not elect to hear his case. There isn't much time for that process to play out, though the court could stay his suspension if they elect to hear his case. For now, it does look like Brady will miss the first four games of the season. If his ADP drops in to the 9th or 10th round, he'll once again be a candidate for the Angry Tom Strategy, which worked beyond expectations last year. Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center for the first quarter of the season, and Brady's absence will have a negative impact on all of the Patriots' skill position players. Our rankings have assumed that Brady would miss four games since news of the reinstatement of his suspension broke.

Sunday, July 3, 2016, 6:53pm

Chiefs.com - [Full Article]

The Kansas City Chiefs defense finished No. 3 in the NFL last season by allowing just 17.9 points per game, and heading into 2016, they’re still earning respect.

Former NFL linebacker Willie McGinest, who played 15 years in the league and won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, is now an analyst for NFL Network. He believes the Chiefs defense will thrive again next season.

He ranks them No. 3 in the league heading into 2016.

Fantasy Impact:

It's just one opinion, and fantasy rankings are, of course, different, but the point is the Chiefs D is getting a lot of attention in the offseason. In our rankings, we have the Chiefs fourth. Their early bye of Week 5 means you may have to use a second roster spot for a defense early in your fantasy season if you want to keep them.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot) spotted without walking boot

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 6:08pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

Patriots WR Julian Edelman missed minicamp and every OTA open to the media. He was in a bulky walking boot for Tom Brady's annual Best Buddies flag football game on June 3. He did not play in the game.

According to one photo from Patriots.com, though, it appears Edelman did not wear the boot to the MGH event Wednesday.

This would be a sign of progress for Edelman, who, according to a May 12 report from ESPN's Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter, was "on track" to return for training camp.

The Jones fracture suffered by Edelman can be a tricky injury. Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who also underwent a second surgery following his Jones fracture, needed five months to gain clearance for running and cutting. As CSNNE's Tom Curran pointed out, Edelman wouldn't be back until November if he followed the same timeline.

Fantasy Impact:

In 28 games over the past two seasons (including the playoffs), Edelman has averaged 7.0 catches for 75 yards and 0.43 TD on 10.3 targets per game. That works out to low-end WR1 numbers in PPR formats, so as long as he's healthy, he should provide good value in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts.

Patriots Beat: WR Aaron Dobson first in line to start at "X" receiver

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 10:41am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Will this be the year that 2013 second-round pick Aaron Dobson breaks through? He had a solid series of spring practices, but it's understandable why many are waiting to see more based on his struggles to stay healthy the past two seasons and the fact the pads have yet to come on. Dobson, rookie Malcolm Mitchell and first-year player Chris Harper are the top "X" options. If the season started today, Dobson would probably get the nod, but there's a long way to go.

Related players: Chris Hogan

Fantasy Impact:

It's interesting that Reiss didn't mention Chris Hogan, who at 6'1" has the size to play outside. We reached out to Reiss and asked about Hogan in the X, and he replied: "Has inside-outside flexibility but wouldn't view him as pure X."

Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis return to Patriots practice

Monday, June 13, 2016, 12:06pm

Jeff Howe - [Full Article]

Rob Gronkowski and Dion Lewis returned to Patriots practice on Monday, per beat writer Jeff Howe.

Fantasy Impact:

Lewis tore his ACL in November, so he'll be 10 months removed from surgery in September. He's expected to play in Week 1 but may not be completely comfortable in his surgically repaired knee. In six healthy games, Lewis averaged 12.8 touches for 95 yards and 0.67 TD. On a per game basis, he was #10 in standard and #5 in PPR at the time of his injury. As for Gronkowski, the team is being very careful in the hopes that he'll stay healthy in 2016.

Patriots WR Chris Hogan is 'constantly getting open' and is 'catching everything'

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 12:20pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Watching the Patriots offense during the first few open practices, Chris Hogan has been one of the central figures. He’s catching everything being delivered his way by either Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, and he’s constantly getting open.

That 7-Eleven nickname is on the money. He does always seem to be open.

What Bill Belichick got was a perfect fit for his offense. Hogan works very well in the Patriots horizontal style of play. At 27, he’s a few years younger than the 30-year-old Edelman and Amendola, and with the duo sitting out organized team activities and minicamp, Hogan has been running those similar routes, the quick hitters that are staples to Brady and the offense. There’s little doubt, at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Hogan could move into Brandon LaFell’s old “X” receiver role as well.

Fantasy Impact:

Hogan has more size (6'1") than it seems, but his skill set isn't much different from that of Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola. It sounds as if he'll take over the outside role in the offense, which means he could potentially have a 2014 Brandon LaFell-type season. LaFell was the #22 receiver in standard formats two seasons ago. He'll need to see more snaps than Amendola if he's going to be fantasy relevant in 2016.

Patriots RB Dion Lewis (ACL) 'looking good' for Week 1

Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 12:55pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The New England Patriots will continue to take a patient and conservative approach with running back Dion Lewis' recovery from a torn left ACL, but things are going well.

Some close to Lewis feel that he's about one month away from being able to play in a game, which naturally means that his availability for the season opener Sept. 11 in Arizona is looking good at this point (assuming no unexpected setbacks).

Lewis tore his ACL in a Nov. 8 game against the Washington Redskins and underwent surgery on Nov. 18. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery.

While Lewis' progress is encouraging, the team is bringing him along slowly because there is little urgency at this time of year, which is consistent with their approach for most players coming back from surgery. So while Lewis' recovery has been on a promising track, his level of participation in OTAs might still be limited (if he participates at all) and there is a possibility that approach could also extend into the start of training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

Lewis was New England’s best fantasy back through the first eight weeks of the season before tearing his ACL in Week 9. In six healthy games in that span, Lewis averaged 12.8 touches for 95 yards and 0.67 TD. On a per game basis, he was #10 in standard and #5 in PPR at the time of his injury. According to ESPN Boston, Lewis’s recovery is ahead of schedule and “there’s no reason to think Lewis won’t be available for when the games count.” If he’s good to go for Week 1, we believe he’ll be the team’s RB1 heading to the season, barring the addition of Arian Foster.

Patriots WR Danny Amendola questionable for Week 1 after multiple surgeries

Monday, May 16, 2016, 5:28pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is recovering from a pair of offseason surgeries that may impact the start of his 2016 season.

Amendola underwent surgery to repair the left knee that gave him considerable trouble late last season, and he also had to remove a bone spur in his ankle, according to a source. Both surgeries occurred early this offseason.

The timeline is still a concern because it’s far too early to know when Amendola will return at full strength, and the Patriots will not rush him back to the field until he is ready. There is hope Amendola will be ready in time for training camp, which begins July 27, but there’s no guarantee the 30-year-old will even be good to go for Week 1.

Fantasy Impact:

Once healthy, Amendola will vie for snaps behind Julian Edelman and likely outside starter Chris Hogan.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman underwent foot surgery

Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 4:20pm

Patriots.com - [Full Article]

According to ESPN, citing a source, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman recently had surgery on his left foot. This relates to the injury that sidelined the slot receiver for seven games to close out last regular season before he returned to play in each of New England’s playoff games.

Though he’s going to reportedly “return for training camp,” it will be interesting to see what Edelman’s participation is as the OTA program transitions to mini-camp and then the start of training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

In 28 games over the past two seasons (including the playoffs), Edelman has averaged 7.0 catches for 75 yards and 0.43 TD on 10.3 targets per game. That works out to low-end WR1 numbers in PPR formats, so as long as he's healthy, he should provide good value in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts.

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