Saints at Patriots = fantasy gold? Not so fast.
No jive talk here, Tom Brady is not performing well this year and while Pats fans may be fine with it as long as they win games fantasy owners are definitely not fine: after five weeks he has 68.14 fantasy points, the same amount of points that Oakland QB Terrel Pryor (68.70) and Texans QB Matt Schaub (69.14) have. This may change this week if he has Gronkowski back (as of now, he still hasn’t been cleared by the doctors). If not, Amendola will be heavily targeted and he may be available (owned in 92.2% of leagues at NFL.com) and worth a shot. I mean, if you don’t play him while he’s healthy…
Bottom line is, start Tom Brady only if you have to. Philip Rivers is a good substitute, if you are looking for one.
Brady’s projected points
On the other side of the ball things look better: Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham are tearing opposing defenses apart. The young TE has four consecutive 100-yards games and last week hasn’t scored a touchdown for the first time this season. As far as running backs, the situation is cool: Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas are great backfield combo and they are really good Flex options, both with RB2 potential value if bye weeks are harming your lineup.
Darren Sproles Pierre Thomas
Nfl.com: 19.50 Nfl.com: 5.60
Espn.com: 7 Espn.com: 6
Yahoo.com: 8.92 Yahoo.com: 9.74
The only concern is with wide receivers. Other than Marques Colston (37.30 fp) Brees isn’t targeting them very much, aided by the fact that Lance Moore has been out for two weeks with a hand injury and Sean Payton loves to spread the ball around. As a fantasy GM you can’t trust them.
Finally, let’s talk some D/ST. Both teams have improved a lot on defense and while Pats D is owned in 89.7% of leagues, it’s time to think about adding Saints D, available in 82.1% of leagues. The unit has multiple sacks and at least one INT in all but one game so far and has never allowed more than 18 points to opposing teams. If you don’t feel like risking it this week, consider that (after the week 7 bye) the Saints will face the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets – not exactly two offensive juggernauts. Special Teams have been solid but don’t expect many points from them.
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(All stats are from NFL.com, if not specified otherwise)