Friday fantasy checkdown: Start your Pats
November, 22, 2013
By Tom Carpenter | ESPN.com
Welcome to our new installment, the "Friday Fantasy Checkdown." In this weekly piece, I will take a look at some of the more intriguing fantasy-related Rumor Central notes from the week and touch on some topics of interest as we near the weekend games and beyond.
Obviously there is plenty of buzz about the Sunday evening tilt between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning square off once again. What about the fantasy buzz, though?
In games like the player eliminator version of the Gridiron Challenge, it's the perfect week to use Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. The Broncos remain one of the worst teams at stopping opposing passing attacks, and Brady is beginning to hit his stride. Plus, the Pats face a tougher group of secondaries in the coming weeks, so this could be the last good week to roll them out there. Plus, I have to believe Pats coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will force-feed Amendola the ball to prove that their own existing little slot receiver can be as effective as their former little slot receiver (the Broncos' Wes Welker).
As for the Broncos, I noted Thursday that they likely will lean more heavily on their rushing attack going forward since Manning is nursing his sore ankle and the weather is turning colder (and maybe sloppier). That means that we could see more touches for Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball in the coming weeks. Plus, in the short term, the Pats are allowing 125.7 yards per game on the ground, so both rushers could make a mark in Week 12.
Here are some other fantasy-relevant notes and thoughts:
- Anyone who drafted Michael Vick should have handcuffed him with Nick Foles. Now the tables have turned. Foles owners should handcuff him with Vick. The Philadelphia Eagles have a tasty playoff schedule, so whoever is quarterbacking the team should be primed for big stats.
- Could Alex Smith and Dwayne Bowe be sleepers for the fantasy playoffs? A favorable schedule makes each of them worth a flier in deeper leagues.