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Fantasy Focus: New England Patriots

With the start of the NFL Season quickly approaching with teams heading to Training Camp, we will begin to look at teams from a Fantasy Football standpoint.

Coming off a 12-4 season and a trip to the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots headed into the off-season with a huge question.  Will they resign Wes Welker and if they don’t how do they replace him?  Well back in March the first question was answered and they didn’t. The second part of the question was answered with the signing of Danny Amendola and seemingly moving Aaron Hernandez to the slot, with a hopefully healthy Jake Ballard into his spot on the line.

Rob Gronkowski‘s broken forearm didn’t heal as the Patriots and he would hope, after having multiple surgeries to clear up infections, and then stunning people with a precautionary trip back under the knife to clean up his back.

The biggest shock of the off-season happened in mid June when Aaron Hernandez was being investigated in relation to a homicide and then a week later charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd.

The Patriots have done a good job since in distancing themselves from the former TE that wore #81, and the players are trying to remove the the distraction.  But let’s look at the depth chart and try to help you with your fantasy drafts.

POS FIRST SECOND THIRD OTHER
WR Danny Amendola Michael Jenkins Matthew Slater Kenbrell Thompkins
Quentin Sims
LT Nate Solder Will Svitek Kevin Haslam Elvis Fisher
LG Logan Mankins Nick McDonald Tyronne Green Josh Kline
C Ryan Wendell Nick McDonald
RG Dan Connolly Marcus Cannon Chris McDonald
RT Sebastian Vollmer Marcus Cannon Markus Zusevics R.J. Mattes
TE Rob Gronkowski Michael Hoomanawanui Daniel Fells Jake Ballard
Zach Sudfeld
Brandon Ford
WR Julian Edelman Aaron Dobson Josh Boyce Lavelle Hawkins
Kamar Aiken
Mark Harrison
Perez Ashford
QB Tom Brady Ryan Mallett Tim Tebow
RB Stevan Ridley Brandon Bolden LeGarrette Blount George Winn
RB Shane Vereen Leon Washington James Develin Ben Bartholomew

 courtesy patriots.com

Tom Brady is still a top 3 NFL QB, brain wise.  This season will most likely not prove to be the past 3 years of Brady, fantasy wise.  I believe you can still pencil him in for 3500+ yards, 30 TD’s and less than 8 interceptions. but in saying that most of those will come post October 1st.  Getting Gronkowski healthy hopefully by then, acclimating Amendola to the offense to fill the Welker role.  The questions in the passing game, may be relieved by the emergence of the running game last season.

Stevan Ridley isn’t a 350+ carry back, but he is a guy who should be able to carry rock 250-300 times and score you 10 TD’s and gain you over 1100 yards.  A good 2nd back or 1st in a deeper league.  Shane Vereen proved he could catch the ball on swing routes and you saw that in two memorable catches against the New York Jets in the now infamous “Buttfumble” game and against Houston in the Divisional Round.  If he shows the durability to carry the ball 150+ times and catch 50 passes, the Patriots offense should be fine and in position to win a sort of strengthened AFC East, and make a run into the Playoffs.

When it comes to Rob Gronkowski’s fantasy outlook, it all depends on when he makes his way back onto the field.  With the Patriots first two games coming within 5 days of each other against the Bills and Jets, expect Gronk to be back onto the field anytime after week 3.  If he plays in 12+ games, you can pencil in #87 for 800+ yards and 10+ TD’s.  The Patriots TE’s won’t have the same dynamic effect as it has had since 2010, but with Gronk, Ballard, Hooman, and Daniel Fells. expect the Patriots TE’s as a whole to have 100+ receptions, 1500+ yards and 15 TD’s.

Patriots WR’s since Randy Moss haven’t been down the field threats. The biggest question there is, Can they find a way to replace Wes Welker’s sure hands on 3rd and medium.  If Amendola can produce at 75% of Welker’s production, that’s good for nearly 90 catches and 900 yards.  A healthy Julian Edelman can be counted on for 50 catches and 600 yards.  the Patriots have waited a long time to see if drafting Edelman can prove to be a productive WR.  With the acquisition of Leon Washington, Edelman will not have to handle the kick return duties.  Aaron Dobson and Michael Jenkins are tough to call fantasy wise, because of as you’ve seen in the past, if #12 doesn’t trust throwing them the ball, they won’t see it too often.

Where should you draft the Patriots?

Tom Brady 4th or 5th Round

Stevan Ridley 8th-12th Round

Shane Vereen 16th-20th Round

Rob Gronkowski 10th-14th round

Danny Amendola after the 15th Round

Julian Edelman free agent pickup

Stephen Gostkowski top 5 K

Gronklash, Does Rob Gronkowski need to grow up?

New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who’s play warranted a 6 year, 53 million dollar contract extension last June from the team.  But after his latest no shirt wearing dance party in Las Vegas on Sunday night, the question is now coming up, “Does Rob Gronkowski need to grow up?”  The short answer is yes!  The long answer is off the field yes, on the field the Patriots need Gronk to be Gronk.  The timeline of Rob Gronkowski’s off the field transgressions now include a picture with porn star Bibi Jones with her wearing a Patriots jersey, partying like a crazy college kid at a Patriots post Super Bowl XLVI party, beer bongs during spring break and now this.  Look, I am not trying to deny the kid a good time, BUT with the investment the Patriots made to him, the fact that when the time comes in post Tom Brady New England, Rob Gronkowski is the Patriots biggest star.  He has to show an ability to “Just Say No!”  As a New England Patriots fan, I love the guy, I love what he brings you on the football field, BUT once again, he needs to learn that the Patriots have made an investment on him, and he needs to be ready to be the Superstar, that the Patriots and their fans need him to be.

Now the question is who sits him down and says, Look Rob, we get it you are a big kid and we love that about you, but you need to make better decisions.  Is that guy Robert Kraft? Hell he is signing the checks, Bill Belichick? Tom Brady?  Ding, ding, ding we have a winner.  Brady is one of a small handful of guys on the Patriots that have a Super Bowl Ring.  Brady, in his earlier days owned Boston and still does, needs to sit Gronk down and say, it’s great to go out and have a good time, but giving your boy on stage a DDT, is just not cool.  The Gronk family from their dad Gordie on down to the 5 brothers are a group of over sized kids, but at this point, they need to take a back seat in Rob’s life and let Gronk become the greatest Tight End to ever play the game.

What could help Rob?  Go to California to work with Tom Brady, the same way Julian Edelman did last off-season, and Aaron Hernandez is going this year.  Doing this may help his off the field and come September the Patriots on the field.

12/12/12

Well since this is 12/12/12, I have decided to pay homage and kiss the ass some more of the Greatest # 12 in NFL History, no not Gus Frerotte, Tom Brady.

Some of these moments are no brainers, some you may scratch your head at.  The Super Bowl Wins, The Big Regular Season games, and the defining moments.  The Super Bowl losses also make it because they are what make the man that wears # 12 for the New England Patriots, The MAN.

Top 12 Tom Brady Moments

12. The First Start

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11. Brady breaks Urlacher’s ankles

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10. The Catch

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TOM BRADY CATCHES PASS

9. Super Bowl XXXVIII

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8. Super Bowl 42 & 46

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7. Welcome Back

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6. Super Bowl 39

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5.  Giselle

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4.  Patriot Games

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3. 16-0, 2007

Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, Russ Hochstein

2. Super Bowl XXXVI

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1. Snow Bowl, January 2002

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25 Days of Christmas, Dec 12

On the 12th day of Brewmas we offer up our version of a 12,12,12 deal and with that we feature the greatest # 12 in NFL History. Tom Brady.

BradyTripleThreatPanoFrame BradySpotlight8x10Photo

TomBradySignedMichiganMiniHelmetTomBradyPlushToy14TomBradyFatheadTeammateImgDyn (1)

 

What makes an Elite QB, Ranking the NFL Quarterbacks

What makes a Quarterback “Elite”?  Ask Eli Manning and Giants fans they will tell you that 2 Super Bowl Wins and MVP Awards do it, ask fans of other teams they’ll give you another answer.  In judging and naming who is “Elite” it really is up to what you treasure and value in a QB and it’s all opinions.

Well here is my opinion and definition of “What makes an “Elite” QB.  To me there can only be one “Elite” QB, the creme de la creme, the best and right now in the NFL that player wears # 12.  No, not Aaron Rodgers, it’s Tom Brady.

Elite QB

brady-throw

 

Why is it Tom Brady, 3 Super Bowl wins, 5 trips to the big game, 6 AFC Championship Games (5 wins), 10 Division Championships (most in NFL History).  Stats alone are not what gives Brady the edge in my opinion, they don’t hurt his case but the teams that Brady has played on are what put him in this position.  The New England Patriots team first attitude and Bill Belichick’s mantra of “Do Your Job” and ” next man stops up” has always kept New England in the playoff hunt and perennial Super Bowl hopes.  When you look at the weapons around Brady short of Randy Moss and now Rob Gronkowski, Brady has never had a Hall of Fame cast of weapons around him.  He has the ability to make players better, from Troy Brown to Danny Woodhead.  It’s hard to imagine where the Patriots would be today without the scrawny 6th round pick that was waiting in the wings after Drew Bledsoe’s Patriot career ending injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season.  An even stronger case for Brady is made in Sean Glennon’s book, “Tom Brady vs. The NFL”.

Great QB’s

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Excellent QB’s

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Ben Roethlisberger*, Pittsburgh Steelers

Very Good QB’s

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Andy Dalton, Cincinatti Bengals

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Good QB’s and too early to fully tell

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Average QB’s

Alex Smith*, San Francisco 49ers

Michael Vick*, Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Runaway, Runaway if you want to survive it’s time to break free

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals

Remember rating QB’s in the NFL is opinion based and these are my opinions. What’s your list

 

*Currently Injured and not starting

When I became a fan

The biggest question a sports fan gets asked is why are you a fan of your favorite team. Or at least this should be. Sports fans usually have favorite teams in all the major professional sports and college, and for some there is European Soccer. But who is your favorite team? The team that if they were in the Playoffs your life stops? The team who every time this is the slightest alteration in a hat or jersey, you are at your favorite sporting goods store to buy it. That is what we are asking and telling you, our favorite teams and the answers may surprise you.

George Brew

I became a fan of the New England Patriots early in the 1994 NFL Season.  I was raised a New York Giants fan and to this day my Dad is a Giants season ticket holder and I was a huge fan of Phil Simms ( I still love Phil Simms).  After the 1993 New York Giants season, the Giants parted ways with Phil Simms and as every 11 year old kid does, I didn’t understand the business of the NFL, all I knew was that the Giants had released my favorite player.  At this point, I told my father that I no longer wanted to be a Giants fan, and his words to me were ok, but remember you can’t take it back and please don’t root for the Jets, Eagles or Cowboys and if the Giants play in the Super Bowl or you go to a game with me root for the Giants unless they are playing whatever team you choose.  OK so who do you root for is my thought.  I had heard a lot about Drew Bledsoe, he wore #11, the team wore red, white, and blue, ( which meant I didn’t have to go out and buy a new quarter back hand warmer for when I played touch or tackle football with my friends.  You know the things you think about when you are a kid.  So at this point I decided that I would root for the New England Patriots and it might have been my finest decision as a fan.  The 1994 season saw the Patriots make the playoffs behind Drew Bledsoe and Ben Coates, but ultimately fall to the Cleveland Browns.  The 95 season saw me purchase my first Patriots jersey a Wilson Drew Bledsoe jersey, which I still own to this day.  For Christmas that year, I received a Ben Coates jersey, one of the starter ones, that looked like it could have been an authentic jersey but had screened on numbers and letters, which I wore to the point of the jersey’s numbers fading off.  1996, was the first time that I saw the Patriots play in person a December game against the New York Giants, with the win coming on a late touchdown aided by former Giant David Megget,  I got a home Curtis Martin jersey and an away Drew Bledsoe jersey, as well as a trip to the Super Bowl to take on the Green Bay Packers, the first time in my life a team I rooted for lost the NFL’s biggest prize.  97-2000 were lean years for the Patriots a playoff trip and loss to the Steelers in 97, and then the Parcells purge came and we lost Curtis Martin to the Jets.

The 2000 season, brought promise.  Belichick.  A teacher in grammar school once told me that to really be a fan of a team, you have to go to a home game.  So in 2004, me and my best friend made the pilgrimage on a cold and rainy afternoon in October to see the Patriots take on the New York Jets, the Patriots won that day.  At that point I knew that I was officially a member of  Patriots Nation.  A year later I met Mr. Robert Kraft outside of Giants Stadium before the team took on the New York Jets and he even allowed me the opportunity to try on his Super Bowl ring, which is one of the greatest feelings of my life.  I have made the pilgrimage back to Gillette, a couple more times for games in the past couple of years as well as trips to the Hall at Patriot Place, which have helped me learn more about the team that I love and the region that the team plays in.  The last 12 years have been football nirvana for me.  3 Super Bowl victories, 5 Super Bowl trips, 11 trips to the playoffs, a 16-0 regular season( I was at win number 16)  the coming of age of Tom Brady, I can honestly say, that the New England Patriots have given me more joy as a sports fan that any team that I root for and I want to thank Mr Robert Kraft and Mrs. Myra Hiatt Kraft for purchasing a team in southeastern Massachusetts and guiding them to being the best sports organization in sports, but keeping the team a family.  You can’t pick your family, but can your friends, but in this case the Patriots are a family and at Thanksgiving, I won’t fight it, if I’m asked to sit at the kids table.

The What’s Brewin Top 15 Quarterbacks of 2011

The What’s Brewin Top 15 QB’s

George Brew

Brian Sanborn

1

Tom Brady

Aaron Rodgers

2

Aaron Rodgers

Tom Brady

3

Drew Brees

Phillip Rivers

4

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

5

Phillip Rivers

Drew Brees

6

Michael Vick

Ben Roethlisberger

7

Ben Roethlisberger

Sam Bradford

8

Matt Ryan

Michael Vick

9

Joe Flacco

Tony Romo

10

Mark Sanchez

Eli Manning

11

Jay Cutler

Matt Schaub

12

Tony Romo

Joe Flacco

13

Josh Freeman

Matt Ryan

14

Matt Schaub

Jay Cutler

15

Matt Cassel

Matthew Stafford

Sports Guy Mike

Chris Wassel

1

Drew Brees

Tom Brady

2

Tom Brady

Aaron Rodgers

3

Aaron Rodgers

Drew Brees

4

Ben Roethlisberger

Michael Vick

5

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

6

Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers

7

Matt Ryan

Ben Roethlisberger

8

Matt Schaub

Tony Romo

9

Michael Vick

Matt Ryan

10

Mark Sanchez

Josh Freeman

11

Tony Romo

Mark Sanchez

12

Jay Cutler

Joe Flacco

13

Josh Freeman

Ryan Fitzpatrick

14

Joe Flacco

Eli Manning

15

Eli Manning

Matt Schaub

  Katie Summers

1

Jay Cutler

2

Tom Brady

3

Matt Ryan

4

Drew Brees

5

Peyton Manning

6

Philip Rivers

7

Michael Vick

8

Aaron Rodgers

9

Ben Roethlisberger

10

Eli Manning

11

Mark Sanchez

12

Matt Shaub

13

Donovan McNabb

14

Matt Cassel

15

Tim Tebow

The rest of the staff’s pick will be added later in the week.

  Katie Summers

1

Jay Cutler

2

Tom Brady

3

Matt Ryan

4

Drew Brees

5

Peyton Manning

6

Philip Rivers

7

Michael Vick

8

Aaron Rodgers

9

Ben Roethlisberger

10

Eli Manning

11

Mark Sanchez

12

Matt Shaub

13

Donovan McNabb

14

Matt Cassel

15

Tim Tebow