- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
It's true that some fantasy owners had concerns about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being able to produce his normally excellent statistics with his top five receivers from the 2012 season not at his disposal Sunday. However, the No. 6 receiving option certainly was; while brittle-but-terrific Danny Amendola and several rookies got all the fantasy attention this preseason, veteran Julian Edelman caught both Brady touchdown passes in the team's comeback victory at Buffalo on Sunday and figures to be a popular free-agent addition in fantasy this week.
Storylines abound on offense for these Patriots after just one game. Brady is fine, and proved it again Sunday, but look around. Amendola is an exceptional talent, perhaps on par or better than former Patriots star Wes Welker, except for the health issues. He left Sunday's game briefly after reinjuring his groin, prompting fantasy owners to say, "Here we go again!" But he returned and finished with 10 catches -- several circus-like -- for 104 yards. Then, there are the rookies; wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins saw 14 targets but looked inexperienced and fell on several routes. He made only four receptions. Aaron Dobson didn't dress, and we're still waiting for the first reception by perceived mercurial tight end Zach Sudfeld, who was started in nearly a third of ESPN leagues. As for the running game, Stevan Ridley fumbled in the second quarter; it was returned for a touchdown, and he was subsequently benched for Shane Vereen, though I'd stop short of calling the change permanent.
It's true that some fantasy owners had concerns about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being able to produce his normally excellent statistics with his top five receivers from the 2012 season not at his disposal Sunday.