The Patriots improved to 4-2 with a win against division rival New York Jets in Week 6. It wasn’t pretty, but divisional games usually aren’t. That said, coming in it seemed like New England was in a good spot for their first statement game in 2017. But the defense struggled from the start once again, and New York did a solid job containing Tom Brady and the passing game. In the end, the Patriots were able to survive with a 24-17 win. They still amassed 375 yards despite not playing their best football. The offensive-line and run game looked its best all year thanks to a great showing from Dion Lewis.
This week the Pats host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night in the Superbowl rematch. It should be an awesome match-up. Not too much has changed personnel wise for the Falcons. But there are two big difference on New England’s side. One is the Patriots having Rob Gronkowski on the field. Gronk obviously missed the Superbowl, and could make for a big mismatch this time around. The second change is Patriot’s wide receiver Brandin Cooks. He gives the Pats the much-needed speed they lacked in the Superbowl. His speed should significantly open up the field for Tom Brady and the offense. The Pats put up over 500 yards in the Superbowl. With Gronk and Cooks around this time, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have success moving the ball again in the rematch.
Who to start
Tom Brady: He was a little off last week, but still put up good numbers by the end. With Rodgers done, Brady is clearly the best quarterback ever single week going forward. He easily could blow up like he did in the Superbowl. QB1
Rob Gronkowski: Gronk was a monster last week versus the Jets and I think he’ll be the x-factor for the offense this week. Like Brady, he’s easily the best at his position, not just in the NFL, but fantasy as well. TE1
Brandin Cooks: Cooks has only scored in one game this season. But he’s had at least 85 yards in four out of six games. He due to find the end zone soon. There’s a good chance its this week. He’s still a top 12 wide-receiver.
Chris Hogan: Mr Consistency’s streak came to an end last week. He only caught one ball for 19 yards and it looked like he got banged up on a big hit. Still, he’s been great this season, and there’s no reason he can’t bounce back this week. I’d call Hogan a high-end WR2 against the Falcons.
Stephen Gostkowski: He missed his first field goal of the year last week. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s an elite fantasy kicker.
Who to Sit
Mike Gillislee: Outside the fumble Gillislee played pretty well against the Jets. He’s now been over four yards per carry in each of the last three weeks. But he hasn’t gotten over 12 carries or found the end zone since Week 2. Combine that with recent emergence of Dion Lewis and potential return of Rex Burkhead, and there’s not much to love right now. He needs the goal-line carries to be fantasy relevant and it was Lewis who got them last week. You have to leave Gillislee on your bench right now.
Patriots D/ST: Last in yards, 30th in points, and 408 yards allowed to the Jets. No thank you.
Under the radar option
Dion Lewis: He’s baaackkk! Lewis has 18 carries for 105 yards in the past two weeks combined. He’s looked like the best Patriots running back for about three weeks now and he’s finally getting the workload to back it up. It’s still a hard backfield to trust with potentially all four backs active this week. But Lewis has the hot hand right now, and for that reason he’s worth starting. He’s an RB2 for the time being.
James White: The Superbowl hero is set to take on the Falcons once again. Who can forget his legendary performance. White had 14 catches, totaled 139 yards and 3 total touchdowns, including the game winner. With Gronkowski and Cooks around this time, the game-plan should be different for the Patriots. He also was quiet last week with only four catches for 22 yards. But he did have seven targets. And based on his Superbowl performance its hard not to play him this week. Maybe he still has some of that Superbowl magic left. He’s a risky Rb2 in PPR leagues and RB3 in standard formats.
Danny Amendola: He’s a better NFL wide-receiver than fantasy receiver. Amendola had three catches for 40 yards in Week 6 on five targets. With Gronk back it’s hard to trust Amendola’s target share. Still, he’ll produce enough for you to keep him on your roster and Brady should throw for a lot of yards this week. But it’ll be be hard to trust him week to week. In PPR formats I still like him as a low-end WR3 this week. He’s a WR4 in standard leagues.
Chris Hogan: (Ribs) He’s been limited this week in practice. But he should still be out there for Sunday night. Just make sure to keep an eye on any updates.
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