Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Offseason Primers: New England Patriots

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Patriots were once again an offensive juggernaut in 2012, and they came within one game of another Super Bowl appearance before losing to the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. They also helped a lot of Fantasy owners along the way.

Tom Brady had another stellar season and was a Top 3 Fantasy quarterback for the third year in a row. He had more than 4,800 passing yards for the second year in a row, more than 37 total touchdowns for the third year in a row and for the second time in his past three years, he had fewer than 10 interceptions. At a time when running quarterbacks are all the rage, Brady continues to dominate.

2012 Touches Leaders
1,164 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Stevan Ridley 296 (290 car., 6 rec.) 25.4%
Wes Welker 120 (2 car., 118 rec.) 10.3%
Danny Woodhead 116 (76 car., 40 rec.) 9.9%
Brandon Lloyd 74 rec. 6.4%
Shane Vereen 70 (62 car., 8 rec.) 10.6%
All Others 478 41.0%

Stevan Ridley stepped in for the departed BenJarvus Green-Ellis and had a breakout campaign. For all the talk about Bill Belichick going with a committee backfield, Ridley dominated carries compared to Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead. In fact, if you combine the touches for Woodhead (116) and Vereen (70) they still fall well short of the workload for Ridley (296).

The receiving corps for the Patriots was again stellar as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez played well despite battling injuries, with Gronkowski the No. 2 Fantasy tight end behind Jimmy Graham. Wes Welker had his fifth season with more than 100 catches, and Brandon Lloyd was probably the lone disappointment on offense with a down year. Even Stephen Gostkowski was the No. 1 Fantasy kicker.

Now, the Patriots have to deal with the loss of Welker, who signed with the Broncos, and Brandon Lloyd, who was released. Brady's receiving corps will have a different look, but we expect him to still shine. Danny Amendola will replace Welker, and Brady should love relying on his new weapon.

Shane Vereen -- Sleeper

2012 Target Leaders
641 pass attempts
Wes Welker 175 27.3%
Brandon Lloyd 131 20.4%
Aaron Hernandez 83 12.9%
Rob Gronkowski 79 12.3%
Danny Woodhead 55 8.5%
All Others 118 18.4%

Vereen got off to a slow start in 2012, but he closed the season on a high note and should be in line for a bigger role this year, especially with Woodhead gone to the Chargers. Last year, Vereen was inactive for the first three games of the season, but he finished the year with 73 carries for 308 yards and four touchdowns and 15 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns, including the playoffs. With Woodhead gone, Vereen's value will rise, especially in PPR leagues where he could complement Ridley. Woodhead had 76 carries for 301 yards and four touchdowns and 40 catches for 446 yards and three touchdowns with one lost fumble last year, and Vereen should pick up the majority of that production even in a shared role with Leon Washington. He should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back in standard leagues and a potential No. 2 option in deep PPR formats. He's worth a mid-round pick, and Vereen has sleeper written all over him.

Brandon Lloyd -- Player on the move

Lloyd is looking for a new team this offseason after he was released by the Patriots in March. He entered 2012 with a lot of optimism. He was playing with the first elite quarterback of his career in Brady, he was teaming up again with the offensive coordinator who made him a star in Josh McDaniels and he was coming off the two best years of his career. It seemed like he was destined for greatness. Instead, Lloyd struggled with the Patriots with 74 catches for 911 yards and four touchdowns. He managed just five games with double digits in Fantasy points despite getting 131 targets, which made him among the Top 20 most-targets receivers. We can only see Lloyd going down from here. Keep an eye on where he ends up, but Lloyd should still be a Fantasy reserve. Depending on his quarterback and his role, Lloyd will be worth a late-round flier in most leagues.

Rob Gronkowski -- Draft Day target

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Tom Brady 18-26 overall
Stevan Ridley 11-15 overall
Shane Vereen 45-52 overall
Danny Amendola 38-44 overall
Donald Jones Undrafted
Brandon Lloyd 144-152 overall
Julian Edelman Undrafted
Rob Gronkowski 11-15 overall
Aaron Hernandez 44-51 overall

A popular debate for Fantasy owners is when to draft Gronkowski. The traditionalist will say wait on tight end and look for sleepers like Kyle Rudolph, Dennis Pitta or Brandon Myers. But the modern owner will look at Gronkowski's body of work and realize he's a difference maker and should be drafted in the first 15 overall picks. Despite missing five games last year with a broken left forearm he still finished second in Fantasy points behind Graham. He has scored double digits in touchdowns in each of the first three years of his career with 39 scores in 43 games -- a 90.6 percent clip. With 187 career catches he's averaging a touchdown every 4.9 catches. Calvin Johnson is considered the No. 1 Fantasy receiver and a first-round pick, and he finished with 214 Fantasy points last year. If you project Gronkowski's stats over 16 games when he got hurt in Week 11 he would have finished with 85 catches for 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns, which is 215 Fantasy points in a standard league. He's right there with Johnson and should be drafted in the same range. That is, if you want to win.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Buccaneers waive/injured KR Trindon Holliday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:56 pm ET) The Buccaneers have waived/injured kick returner Trindon Holliday, who has been plagued by a hamstring problem.

Tampa Bay signed Holliday on Oct. 20, two weeks after his release from the Giants.


Wait and see with RG3's return
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) Fantasy owners who took a chance and stashed Robert Griffin III might see that move pay dividends down the road. But in his first game back from a dislocated ankle, it might be best to remain patient and see what he does Week 9 against the Vikings.

Griffin can undoubtedly be a solid Fantasy option when healthy, and Washington's offense badly needs the added dimension he can bring. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Redskins try to limit Griffin's running in his first game back, which severely diminishes his Fantasy potential.

Griffin might just show that he is past the injury and worth riding down the stretch, but it makes more sense to take a wait-and-see approach against a Vikings defense that is allowing the fourth-fewest Fantasy points in the league to opposing quarterbacks this season. Unless you are desperate, keep Griffin in reserve for at least one more week. 


Chargers list 11 players on final injury report for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:51 pm ET) The Chargers listed 11 players on their final injury report for Week 9 against Miami. Ryan Mathews (knee), Manti Te'o (foot) and Jason Verrett (shoulder) were the only players on the list ruled out for Sunday. Jahleel Addae could be out as well because of a concussion. He has not received medical clearance and was officially labeled doubtful.

Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was ruled questionable. Meanwhile, the following players were deemed probable: Donald Brown (concussion), Brandon Flowers (concussion), Dwight Freeney (knee), Rich Ohrnberger (back), Reggie Walker (ankle) and Steve Williams (groin).


Vikings healthy as they await battle against Redskins
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:43 pm ET) Aside from ruled-out tight end Kyle Rudolph (abdomen/groin), the Vikings are in fine shape as they await their Sunday game against Washington.

Listed as questionable is cornerback Jabari Price (hamstring). The probables are defensive end Brian Robison (glute), cornerback Josh Robinson (ankle), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (ankle/knee), linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring), safety Antone Exum (ankle/shoulder) and tight end Chase Ford (foot).


14 of 15 Jets players on injury report ruled probable for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:39 pm ET) The Jets enter Week 9 against the Chiefs relatively healthy. Out of 15 players listed on the injury report, Darrin Walls (calf, knee) was the only one ruled doubtful for Sunday.

The other 14 players were deemed probable: Oday Aboushi (shoulder), Phillip Adams (groin), Antwan Barnes (knee), Willie Colon (knee), Jeff Cumberland (shoulder, finger), Demario Davis (finger), Eric Decker (hamstring), David Harris (shoulder), Chris Johnson (ankle), Jeremy Kerley (illness), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Trevor Reilly (knee), Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) and Geno Smith (shoulder).


Cowboys QB Tony Romo questionable for Sunday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:35 pm ET) Considering he's been deemed a game-time decision, it comes as no surprise that the Cowboys list quarterback Tony Romo as questionable for Sunday against Arizona.

Romo took a knee to the back Monday night and has been ailing since. He did not practice Friday.

His absence would force backup Brandon Weeden into action.


Ravens unveil injury report for Week 9 clash vs. Steelers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:34 pm ET) Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and cornerback  Jimmy Smith (foot) were both officially ruled out for Week 9 against the Steelers, the team announced. Owen Daniels (knee), Chris Canty (wrist) and Yanda Marshal (knee) were deemed questionable.

Meanwhile, Justin Forsett (ankle), Haloti Ngata (shin), Terrell Suggs (neck) and Lardarius Webb (rest) were each labeled probable for Sunday.


Pierre Garcon hoping return of RG3 proves helpful
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) The Redskins are likely to turn the reins of the offense back over to Robert Griffin III in Week 9 against the Vikings, and that should be a good thing for Pierre Garcon's Fantasy value moving forward.

Garcon averaged 78.2 yards per game in Griffin's 13 starts last season, 63.3 in Griffin's rookie year and had 77 yards on 10 receptions in Griffin's lone full game this season. In comparison, Garcon has averaged just 52.3 yards per game in seven games without Griffin this season, and was targeted just 10 times in two games with Colt McCoy at the helm, including just four times last week.

Griffin's return should not be viewed as a panacea for Garcon's flagging Fantasy value, but his return should settle things down for Washington's passing game. Griffin is, at the very least, a better passer than McCoy and his presence should open things up for the passing game. This isn't a great matchup for Garcon, but we should at least get to see the Redskins' passing game at full strength for the first time since Week 2. Keep an eye on the rapport between the duo to see if Garcon might be in line for a big second half.


Bengals list lengthy injury report for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:25 pm ET) The Bengals listed a lengthy injury report for Week 9 against the Jaguars. Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) were the only two players on the list ruled out for the game. The team labeled Kevin Zeitler (calf) doubtful, while A.J. Green (toe) and Brandon Thompson (knee) were each labeled questionable.

Meanwhile, the following players were officially ruled probable: Jayson DiManche (shoulder), Carlos Dunlap (illness), Terence Newman (back), Domata Peko (toe), Mike Pollak (knee) and Andre Smith (knee).


Redskins QB Robert Griffin III probable for Week 9
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:20 pm ET) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has officially been designated as probable for the Sunday game against host Minnesota.

Griffin has been out since sustaining an ankle injury in Week 2.


 
 
 
Rankings