It was without question a rough Week 1 for the defending champion New England Patriots. In what seemed like another typical Patriots home win, the game turned ugly fast in the fourth quarter. The Patriots offense stalled, and the Kansas City Chiefs started clicking on all cylinders. The Chiefs won the fourth quarter 21-0 and came away with a shocking 42-27 victory in Foxboro.
But a new week brings a new beginning. The Pats will travel to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the 0-1 New Orleans Saints. With the highest O/U of the week at 56 points, Vegas is expecting a whole lot of scoring. Not only do the Patriots rarely, if ever in the Brady era drop two straight dud performances, but they’ll have the advantage of nine days between games, while the Saints only have five. Combine this with the fact that New Orleans allowed the Vikings to gain 470 yards Week 1…expect huge fantasy days from your Patriot’s starters.
Who to start
Tom Brady: An angry Brady in the Superdome against arguably the worst secondary in the league. YIKES. He has my vote for QB1 in Week 2.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronk didn’t look quite like his usual self last week. Still, he was matched up against one of the leagues best defenders in Eric Berry and would have scored if his touchdown hadn’t been called back in the first quarter. The Saints allowed Kyle Rudolph to score last week, I’d be surprised if Gronk doesn’t find the endzone in this one. Gronk is easily the TE1 this week.
Brandin Cooks: Your classic #revengegame. Cooks returns to New Orleans with something to prove just months after being traded to New England. The explosive wide receiver was able to haul in a 54 yard catch last week. And could have had a bigger game if not for drawing multiple defensive holdings calls down field. New Orleans allowed Minnesota’s two wide receivers to combine for 16 catches for 250 yards. Cooks surpassing the 100 yard mark is a safe bet and don’t be surprised if he erupts for even more. I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t a top ten wide receiver this week.
Chris Hogan: Hogan should be able to bounce back in this one. He faced Marcus Peters, an elite young cornerback alot last week. This week he goes up against a secondary starting two rookies. He also should see a target pump due to the Danny Amendola injury alone. There should be plenty of yards to go around for everyone in this game. Both Hogan and Cooks could easily go off much like the Minnesota’s two receivers did a week ago. I love Hogan this week. Hogan is a WR2 versus the Saints.
Mike Gillislee: It was quite the debut fantasy wise for the new Patriots running back. He scored all three of the Patriots touchdowns in Week 1. He also lead the team with 15 carries. He wasn’t all that effective outside the goaline, and likely will be touchdown dependent week to week. Despite that, things look to favor him again this week. With the over under at 56, its safe to say he’ll have a great chance to score at least once again this week. Fire up Gillislee as a high upside RB2.
Stephen Gostkowski: A very good kicker on a team that should put up over 30 points. He’s also playing in a dome. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Who to Sit
Rex Burkhead: The former Bengals running back was featured early on versus the Chiefs but oddly didn’t see the field at all after. Until we see more snaps for Burkhead he shouldn’t be in anyone’s lineup. White and Gillislee are the two Patriot running backs you can trust as of today.
Patriots D/ST: The Patriots got torched in Week 1 at home by Alex Smith. This week they’re on the road versus Drew Brees. Until we see improvement they’re a tough start. This week especially.
Under the radar option
James White: The running back set a career high in carries last week with 10 for 38 yards. He also caught three balls for 30 yards. The Patriots should be looking to throw all game, meaning plenty of snaps for White. On paper, this is one of the best opportunities he’ll have all year, thus giving him a high floor. White is the safest Patriots running back this week. I have him as an RB2.
Phillip Dorsett: He’s probably not even owned in your league. Many probably don’t even know he’s on the Patriots now. But with Amendola very unlikely to play there are snaps to be had here for Dorsett. He even played a limited amount last week after Amendola went out despite it being just days since he was traded. He’s only an option in very deep leagues. And potential a very cheap DFS option. With how poor the New Orleans secondary is, even Phillip Dorsett making a big play isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Danny Amendola: He’s almost certain to miss this game due to a concussion suffered in Week 1. But he was having a fantastic game before the injury and is still worth holding on to in season leagues.
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