Authored by Kristina Bravo
It’s hard to imagine with the Patriots firmly positioned to enter the playoffs as a one or two seed, but Tom Brady is having a rough year. This year Brady has been hurting in everything from Fantasy QB performance to his Quarterback rating. In fact, with an overall rating of 95.9 this year you would have to go all the way back to 2008 to find a lower rating. That would also be the year he was out with an injury all season.
It’s not unreasonable to imagine with mostly freshmen receivers he’s passing to and Wes Welker moving to Denver, however the real cause for concern with Brady is Rob Gronkowski. In his 7 games this season, Gronk was targeted for nearly 25% of Brady’s passes, scored 4 touchdowns and averaged over 15 yards per carry.
His presence, both for the team and for Brady fantasy owners, will be missed. Gronk-less for the rest of the season, however, means someone else will need to pick up that 25% and score those touchdowns. Last week against Miami and the first few games of the year might provide some insight for who might score some bonus points in New England with Gronkowski out for the season.
The biggest beneficiary against Miami was Julian Edelman. One of the few players coming back this season that has a rapport with Brady, Edelman scored 139 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions. In the previous week against Cleveland, he scored another touchdown and 64 receiving yards as well. In the first game of the year against Buffalo, he also picked up a lot of extra catches hauling in two touchdowns and 79 yards receiving in the season opener.
Another player who’s fantasy numbers have improved is Danny Amendola. Amendola caught 10 catches for 131 yards Sunday and was targeted 14 times. The last time he was targeted that much was again in the season opener against Buffalo where he went 10 for 14 and 104 yards. Though injuries have plagued him, Amendola’s targets drastically go up from single digit targets to double digits when Gronkowski is not playing.
It’s hard to find a silver lining with Gronkowski’s injury impacting so much of the Patriot’s aerial attack, but there is solace to be found for owners of Edelman or Amendola. Expect both players to get a lot more attention from Brady when they face the Ravens and the Bills to close out the regular season.
- Esiason: Gronk Would’ve Made The Difference In Patriots Loss To Dolphins (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola Shine in Patriots’ 24-20 Loss to Dolphins (nesn.com)
Categories: Fantasy Football