New England Patriots
Coach: Bill Belichick
OC: Josh McDaniels
QB: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Danny Etling, Jarrett Stidham
RBs: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden, Nick Brossette
FBs: James Develin
WRs: Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas, Dontrelle Inman, Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers, Maurice Harris, Ryan Davis, Matthew Slater, Damoun Patterson, Gunner Olszewski, Josh Gordon
TEs: Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Andrew Beck, Ryan Izzo, Jakob Johnson
2019 Draft (offense only):
Round 1, Pick 32 – WR – N’Keal Harry – Arizona State
Round 3, Pick 87 – RB – Damien Harris – Alabama
Round 3, Pick 101 – OL – Yodney Cajuste – West Virginia
Round 4, Pick 118 – OL – Hjalte Froholdt – Arkansas
Round 4, Pick 133 – QB – Jarrett Stidham – Auburn
2019 Undrafted Free Agents (fantasy offense only):
RB – Nick Brossette – LSU
WR – Jakobi Meyers – NCST
WR – Ryan Davis – Auburn
WR – Gunner Olszewski – Bimidji State
TE – Andrew Beck – Texas
Key Offseason Additions (fantasy offense):
WR – Maurice Harris
WR – Demaryius Thomas
WR – Dontrelle Inman
TE – Ben Watson
TE – Matt LaCosse
Training Camp Preview: Rookies 7/21, Veterans 7/24
The Patriots enter the 2019 season with Tom Brady turning 42 in August and a Gronk sized hole in the tight end unit. They lost their Linebackers coach and WRs coach to Miami but retain OC Josh McDaniels under Bill Belichick. New England ranked 5th in total offense last year and also ranked 5th in rushing attempts and rushing yards. As Brady gets older, they will continue to be one of the run heaviest teams in the league. They also ranked 8th in pass attempts and passing yards per game so they remain an elite and balanced offense.
Not much needs to be said about the quarterback situation here. Brady turns 42 this year and is showing no signs of slowing down just yet. The Patriots drafted QB Jarrett Stidham in the 4th round out of Alabama so we’ll monitor his status in training camp and more importantly the preseason. Brian Hoyer will be the main backup to Brady but I’m most excited about watching Stidham to see if he could be the potential heir here. Brady is being slept on in drafts and is valued as a QB2 even though he was a low QB1 last year. He’ll be an ideal late round QB target if you plan to wait.
The running backs in New England will be the juiciest asset for fantasy owners this year. The best fantasy option will be James White, RB7 last year in PPR leagues. He remains as the clear passing back in this offense and will be targeted heavily again as Brady continues to work the horizontal passing game. You can get him in the 4th and sometimes 5th round in redraft leagues. The big question in this running game will revolve around the health of Sony Michel. He recently had his knee scoped and missed all offseason activity. The Patriots also spent a 3rd round draft pick on Damien Harris out of Alabama. It’s interesting to me that they decided to spend a 3rd round pick after taking Michel in the 1st round last year. Harris would be the replacement for Michel and get plenty of 1st and 2nd down work while White maintains his pass catching role. Michel is currently being drafted in the 4th and 5th round range while Harris is creeping up in ADP as early as the 8th round. Be sure to monitor Michel’s training camp activity and do not forget about Rex Burkhead, although I feel as if Burkhead is more of a handcuff for James White but he could also be in the mix for work if Michel misses time. This is a top 5 running offense and will have multiple RBs be useful for us this year.
The receiver group in New England will also provide us with some fantasy assets this year. Behind Julian Edelman though, the rest are a bit of a toss up. They drafted N’Keal Harry out of Arizona State with their first round pick this year and have many drafters excited for his future. He’s a hot dynasty commodity but I am skeptical about his redraft value for this year. He struggled with getting separation in college and reports out of early camps echoed this analysis. He’s one of the bigger names to keep an eye on in training camp this year. Edelman remains the #1 here though and should be targeted as early as a late 3rd, early 4th round pick in PPR leagues. He has 100 catch upside and is always in sync with Tom Brady in the short passing game. Philip Dorsett will be on the field often and will likely be #2 on the depth chart. He’s more of a best ball play but could have some redraft value for us. The Patriots signed veterans Demaryius Thomas and Dontrelle Inman. Thomas is recovering from an Achilles injury and might not even make the team, most likely a PUP list candidate if he does. Early camp reports were that Inman was behind some of the guys I’ll talk about next, but his roster spot is up in the air. Two guys who turned heads in early camp were Braxton Berrios and Maurice Harris. Harris ran often with the 1s and was very efficient in catching passes from Brady. Special teams ace Matthew Slater should also be a good bet to make the team. The biggest question mark here will be Josh Gordon. A suspension is coming but remains unknown. If/when he can play, Gordon should be rostered in all formats. He remains one of my favorite late round darts. So to recap, outside of Edelman, we really need to watch this group in preseason to see how the pecking order shakes out.
Rob Gronkowski has retired, leaving the Patriots with a lot of questions at TE. They signed Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse, but Watson will serve a four game suspension to start the year. I’d expect Watson to step in as the starter when he returns, but we’ll have to monitor the training camp battle between LaCosse and Stephen Anderson to see who gets the top spot to start the year. Anderson is an athletic pass catching TE and was on the practice squad last year, so he should have more comfortability and knowledge of the offense then the other two new TEs.
2017-2018 Stats Below: