Now, we all know how big fantasy football is. Sometimes we even treat our fantasy teams better than our favorite NFL teams. Sometimes when we draft, though, we let our fandom get in the way. For example, DeAndre Hopkins may be the best available at pick number 15, but a Patriots fan wants Julian Edelman. Edelman is ranked lower, but he plays for our team.
Last year for my Fantasy team I fell into the fandom trap. I drafted Brady and Garroppolo, than added Brissett for two weeks when Jimmy G went down. Than I drafted Martellus Bennett a month before he said he is not a fantasy football tight end in an E60 with his brother: Seahawks DE Michael Bennett. I did end up making the championship round, but eventually fell short.
2007 = 2017?
With additions like Brandin Cooks, Mike Gillislee, and Dwayne Allen, the Patriots have somehow made their offense even better. With the re-signing of Dont’a Hightower and the addition of Stephon Gilmore, the defense got stronger too. The 2017 Patriots have fans and experts talking about 16-0 and comparing them to the 2007 Patriots. We all know how that ended. This offense is loaded and Tom Brady should be on the field for all 16 games this season. Do I think 16-0 will happen? Maybe. But if the Pats are indeed 15-0 heading into Week 17, I can already guarantee that Jimmy G will be starting that game. They will probably still win.
Fantasy Football Patriots
So what if you had a fantasy football team that consisted of ONLY Pats players? What would that look like? Well, here is my roster:
QB- Tom Brady — Fantasy QB Rank: 2 – Can’t go wrong with this guy. last two seasons his TD/INT ratio is 62/9. He is clutch, he throws a lot too. With more weapons and a deep ball threat, the yards and TDs will pile up.
RB1 – Mike Gillislee — Fantasy RB Rank: 22 – He will be a TD Machine. Dubbed LeGarrette Blount’s replacement, he will be able to pound it in from the goal line. He may not rack up the yards, but touchdowns are the difference maker in Fantasy Football.
RB2- James White — Fantasy RB Rank: 45 – I feel this is a low rank for the Super Bowl 51 hero. Yes, I am biased, but he is a threat out of the backfield. When a linebacker goes out on him, it is unfair. He may not get as many TDs as Gillislee, but he will get the receptions and the yards.
WR1 – Brandin Cooks — Fantasy WR Rank: 14 – Cooks and Brees were a great combo down in New Orleans, but they didn’t win many games. Brady and Cooks have had a strong connection during training camp, and that will ride throughout the season. Cooks will benefit from other playmaking wideouts on the field with him. He will surely grab some 100+ yard games in 2017.
WR2 – Julian Edelman — Fantasy WR Rank: 28 – Can’t go wrong with the IronMan. He just makes plays. He too will benefit with Cooks on the field. As the number 1 option last year when Gronk went down, JE11 saw a lot of double teams. Now, things will open up.
WR3 – Chris Hogan — Fantasy WR Rank: 79 – Malcolm Mitchell ranks higher in Wide Receivers, but he will just go as my FLEX guy. Hogan makes plays. Brady has more confidence in him than ever. And guess what? Things will open up for him too. Brady knows he has a lot of weapons and is not afraid to use them. Hogie’s AFC title performance certainly turned some heads.
TE – Rob Gronkowski — Fantasy TE Rank: 1 – Gronk is back and healthy. For Fantasy and Patriots purposes, I hope he stays on the field this season. He still grabbed the number 1 ranking because he is clearly the best. Look for him to own the RedZone this season and definitely get more than the 3 TDs he had last year.
FLEX – Malcolm Mitchell — Fantasy WR Rank: 67 – The Flex position is tricky. But I am going to put Mitchell here over Dion Lewis because the Patriots are a pass-first team. Lewis was the 3rd RB option last year and will likely stay in that role again in 2017. Mitchell is looking to build off a strong rookie campaign as he as earned Brady’s, McDaniels, and Belichick’s trust in big-games.
K- Stephen Gostowski — Fantasy K Rank: 1 – After a lackluster 2016 season, I have zero clue how this guy is ranked number 1. He missed 5 field goals last season. Including 2 from 30-39 yards. He also missed 5 extra points, including 2 in the playoffs. But, obviously, he is the only option. Hopefully he can turn it around in 2017.
D/ST – New England Patriots — Fantasy D/ST Rank: 7 – What a load of crap. This defense is unreal. They have two shutdown corners in Butler and Gilmore, their anchor Hightower is back, and Devin McCourty is still around captaining their secondary. The one question mark on this defense is a pass rusher off the edge with rookie Derek Rivers suffering a torn ACL. Cyrus Jones is crucial to the special teams unit after a lackluster 2016 season. However, a strong returning performance last week vs. Houston may give Belichick hope that he will be better this year.
QB – Jimmy Garroppolo — Fantasy QB Rank: 35 – Jimmy G is now entering his fourth season and the Patriots have no clue if they want to trade him or tag him. Either way, in the two games he started last year, he looked REALLY GOOD. He was 42-59 for 496 yds, 4 TD, and 0 INT in six quarters before his injury vs. the Dolphins.
RB – Dion Lewis — Fantasy RB Rank: 58 – D Lew had some big moments last season, but saw himself in James White’s shadow as he was still trying to get back in full swing after a knee injury. He will be in on a lot of third down plays this year. Like White, he is a threat in the passing game. Can make a viable FLEX option if a WR goes down.
WR- Danny Amendola — Fantasy WR Rank: 128 – Amendola is clutch. In Super Bowls 49 and 51, he had a 4th quarter touchdown. He also helped the Pats convert a crucial 4th and 3 in Super Bowl 51. He is a guy Tom Brady trusts as a late game option, and he always delivers. Unlike Wes Welker.
TE – Dwayne Allen — Fantasy TE Rank:28 – Allen caught 35 passes last season for 406 yds and 6 TDs. More of a blocking Tight End, he will certainly be a nice Red Zone target while Gronk is used as a decoy. Hopefully Gronk stays healthy this year. But if he does not, Allen will get more looks.
How would this Fantasy Football team do?
Projected Record: 10-4
Playoff Finish: Runner-Up
The Patriots are off Week 9, so the opponent of this team that week will have the rare Fantasy Football shutout. Other losses could come from a game where New England wins a defensive battle. Or a game against a stacked team. Let’s face it, if you leave only Pats players on one team, there will more talent around for opponents. I still think this team would be pretty impressive. Because I am sure the New England Patriots offense will lead the NFL in most categories this season. I am sure somebody out there in the New England area is thinking about doing this in their Fantasy Football league. And to be completely honest, I don’t blame them.