by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (9/21/14) Though they were short on big plays against a Raiders team that had a conservative game plan, the Patriots had another strong defensive showing in Week 3. They limited the Raiders to nine points on 297 yards.
They didn't have a sack after recording six at Minnesota last week, but they did have an interception to secure the victory late in the fourth quarter. Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork made a diving grab on a twice-deflected pass with about a minute left to go.
The Patriots DST could be in for another strong showing Week 4 at Kansas City. It remains a top Fantasy option.
Vance Wilfork has game-clinching interception
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (9/21/14) Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was in the right place at not only the right time, but also the best possible time Week 3 against Oakland. With the Raiders on the verge of scoring a game-tying touchdown with about a minute to play in the fourth quarter, a pass intended for Denarius Moore was deflected off two Patriots defenders and into a diving Wilfork's arms for a game-clinching interception.
It was the third interception of Wilfork's career. The other two came in 2011. He finished Week 3 with three tackles, including one solo.
Jerod Mayo big on tackles, as usual
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (9/21/14) Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo led the team with 11 tackles, including three solo, Week 3 against Oakland. It was his second game in three this season with double-digit tackles.
Mayo played only six games last season, but he recorded 55 tackles, averaging 9.2 per game.
Patriots standouts don't stand out
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (9/21/14) Patriots defensive linemen Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, who are normally among their top performers defensively, didn't do much statistically Week 3 against Oakland. Jones had two tackles, including one solo, and Ninkovich had six tackles, including two solo.
Ninkovich's six tackles were actually a season high, but he still has only one sack this season. Jones has two.
Sealver Siliga leaves with foot injury
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (9/21/14) Patriots defensive lineman Sealver Siliga injured his foot in the first quarter Week 3 against Oakland and didn't return. He came into the game with a hand injury.
Siliga had one solo tackle before leaving.
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The Patriots DST has the potential to be great in 2014, and the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner could give them a dominant secondary. New England lost Aqib Talib to the Broncos this offseason, but getting Revis and Browner is a huge upgrade. The Patriots also get Jerod Mayo (pectoral), Vince Wilfork (Achilles) and Tommy Kelly (ACL) back from injury, along with drafting defensive tackle Dominique Easley in the first round, and they should be able to improve on their No. 12 finish in Fantasy points from 2013. The Patriots had 17 interceptions, 48 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns last year, which was the third time in the past four seasons that they were a Top 12 Fantasy unit. Go into the season with the Patriots as a Top 10 Fantasy option, and they are worth drafting with a late-round pick. They could emerge as a Top 5 option, especially with a great secondary in a division against erratic quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill, Michael Vick/Geno Smith and EJ Manuel.