ECFF Projected Record: 12-4
Let’s kick off the first team dossier with the team everyone loves to hate, The New England Patriots. You can hate The New England Patriots because of the controversy surrounding questionable acts such as Spygate, Deflategate, and the highly debated “tuck rule”. You can hate them because you don’t like Tom Brady’s perfectly quaffed hair or the fact that you get beard envy over Julian Edelman’s playoff beard. You can hate them for any reason you can come up with but for now let’s put the hate aside and look at some facts.
This Team knows how to win. Whether it’s Tom Brady’s audibles at the line or Bill Belichick’s clock management. Season to season they manage to pull out the win. Case and point: 2019 NFL Conference Championships against Kansas City. The time of possession was more than 2:1 with the Patriots having the ball for 43:59 and the Chiefs only having 20:53 to work with. The patriots were playing smart football. As a fan I absolutely hate watching these games but I get it. They need to play smart football to win. I respect that.
2019 Offensive Players to Draft:
Julian Edelman (WR):
Julian Edelman is a top consideration for PPR and an every week WR2/Flex in standard formats. Brady and Edelman have a very good QB/QR connection. Edelman is not always a season to season touchdown machine but every year he is Brady’s go to guy. In only 12 games last season Edelman was thrown to 108 times and had 74 receptions and had an excellent 6 touchdown receptions. His current ADP hovers around the 4th round in both standard and PPR leagues. He’s worth his current ADP and maybe even a 3rd round reach this season with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. A 3rd round reach is dependent on league scoring format, league size and draft position.
James White (RB):
This is the first season in a very long time that I feel confident in using a draft pick to pick up a Patriots running back. He was surprisingly consistent last season and seems to have become a go to guy at the goal line. He seems to have become the go to guy at the goal line. With 5 rushing touchdowns and 7 touchdown receptions he has proven his worth in both a standard league and a PPR league. His current ADP is round 5 in PPR leagues and rounds 6 and 7 in half PPR and standard. He was the 11th ranked back last season. He could be a steal!
N’keal Harry (WR):
Bill Belichick and his coaching staff can take a no name player and make him into a star. They find out what the player is good at and use that to their advantage. Belichick can make a ham sandwich a top slot receiver in the league if you give him an off season. N’keal Harry is more than a ham sandwich. Harry is a rookie out of Arizona State with two extraordinary seasons under his belt. 2017 he had 82 receptions for 1142 yards and 8 touchdowns and in 2018 he saw 73 receptions for 1088 yards and 9 touchdowns. Not to mention he’s 6’2”, 228lbs ran a 4.53 40 yard dash and a 38.5 inch vertical jump. It’s looking like all signs point to a starting position for this wide receiver. His ADP is on the rise and has moved up to the 8th round in all formats. I’m anticipating his ADP to keep rising but not by much due to his rookie status. Keep an eye out in rounds 7 and 8 for this player. Harry is also a top candidate for dynasty formats.
Stephen Gostkowski (K):
Ranked 5th overall last season with 27/32 Field Goals and 49/50 PATs. If he falls to you in the last round pick him up.
2019 Offensive Players to Avoid:
Tom Brady (QB):
Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback in the game right now. However, he finished 11th last season out of all quarterbacks in fantasy. The reason I’m saying to avoid him this season is because I’m projecting him to have the same fantasy impact as last season. His ADP is currently following the downward trend as well. Avoid reaching for him. If hes available in the later rounds, go ahead pick him up if you want but keep your eyes to the wavers.
Josh Gordon (WR):
Hes still technically on the team and working with Tom Brady in this off season but don’t risk a draft pick here. There is no denying his big play ability and talent however, Gordon is volatile and inconsistent. He could leave the league or the game at any point. If he’s not picked up in the draft keep an eye on him in the wavers. I could be wrong here when I tell you to avoid him. If he starts trending upwards pick him up but only if you have someone on your bench you can do without.
Phillip Dorsett (WR):
In his best game last season he had 7 receptions for 66 yards and 1 touchdown reception. He’s a guy you let fall to the wavers. In the unfortunate event of injury to either Edelman or Harry, pick him up but don’t waste a draft pick here.
Matt Lacosse (TE):
If you’re expecting him to fill Rob Gronkowski’s shoes… I’m sorry to disappoint you but it’s not going to happen. Lacosse is coming from the broncos where he had 24 receptions for 250 yards and 1 touchdown reception. I’m sure Bill Belichick will find interesting ways to use him but I need to see more of him to make a decision and i’m not willing to risk a draft pick here. There are other tight ends with proven track records I will draft before Lacosse.
Let’s Talk Defense:
The patriots defense was ranked 11th overall in fantasy points. They ranked 12th in passing yards against per game and 22nd in rush yards against per game. They lost Malcom Brown (DT), Trey Flowers (DE) and Eric Rowe (CB) but have also made up for those losses with signing Jamie Collins (LB) and trading for Michael Bennett (DL). They also drafted CB Joejuan Williams who is likely to make an impact throughout this season. This defense is worth a draft pick. They will be top defenses in division match ups against the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. I still expect them to end up around 10th overall in the 2019 season.