Aside from Tom Brady missing for four games, the Patriots have never been this stacked, not even in 2007 when they ruled the NFL in the regular season. They are healthy and deep across the board, with three serviceable RBs and WRs, two pass catching TEs that can stay home and block, and who will be great in the red zone. The O-line is healthy and bountiful, and we’ll even get a look at Jimmy Garropolo for four straight games barring further disaster.
The Patriots had a horrible draft full of question marks, but all of this will be forgotten because of the outstanding free agents they were able to bring in especially on the defensive side of the ball. Chris Long, Terrance Knighton and Shea McClellin will all be impact players right away for the Pats. They already have all of their core players returning, and the biggest concern will be health because of unproven backups. This unit is a perfect blend of experience and athleticism.
Don’t Forget About:
Dion Lewis is coming back, and may even be ready for the start of the season, but if he’s not, have no fear. He was the biggest offensive playmaker for New England before his injury and should return to form. Lewis will be part of a crazy deep backfield including Brandon Bolden, LeGarette Blount, James White, and Donald Brown with one of the last two likely not making the roster. Either way, this backfield should be able to stay fresh all season long, with Lewis being the most productive out of all of them.
If Buffalo Bills fans weren’t sad to see Chris Hogan leave in the off season for a division rival, they certainly will when they see how he is going to be used in this offense. Tom Brady has made a living feeding the ball to undersized quick wide outs, and Hogan may the best of the bunch. Nick named 7/11 because he’s always open Hogan recently caught seven passes on seven targets in a scrimmage in which Tom Brady went 25/25 with no Gronk. He won’t put up video game numbers every week, but he will be huge on third down, and the casual fan will wonder what the hell Buffalo was doing by letting Hogan Go.
I can’t imagine anyone will pick up Tom Brady as their QB1, so look for him at a discount that you can stash and trade away later for fill a hole in your line up. If you play daily fantasy sports – every tournament lineup you play should have at least one patriot, because someone will go off every week. Don’t be shocked if Belichick runs the ball more in the red zone as well.
An opening season matchup at Arizona is a tough way to start the season if with Tom Brady, so expectations should be lowered. The Jets are playoff good, so going 2-0 against them is a tall order as well. Aside from a trip to Pittsburgh and a visit from Seattle, every other game should be an easy win. 12-4 should be enough to lock up a #1 seed for their playoff run.
The New England Patriots are a -3.0 point Home Favorite vs. the New Orleans Saints with the total set at 39.0. NFL odds for Week 1 are now live in our PST odds section.