The New England Patriots have once again gone to a two tight end set with Tom Brady back at quarterback. So what does this actually mean? Well it means that Martellus Bennett has taken over the role of the jailed Aaron Hernandez and that Bennett and Rob Gronkowski have significant more fantasy value than the Patriots’ running backs at the moment because you never know when head coach Bill Belicheck will use LeGarrette Blount or James White.
The Patriots seem like a sure pick to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend at Heinz Field. The Steelers will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is out with a knee injury. The Steelers have decided to go with Landry Jones in the meantime. Jones completed 32 of 55 passes last season for 513 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.
The fact that the Steelers are showing faith in Jones is an interesting case. The Steelers used Michael Vick as their backup last year when Roethlisberger went down, and could have re-signed him with Roethlisberger’s injury. However there were some concerns last season about the lack of chemistry between Vick, and the Steelers’ top wide receiver Antonio Brown. Don’t be surprised if Steelers’ management considers making a move however if Jones is ineffective against New England. My advice is to hold off on picking up Jones in fantasy at the moment.
There are two other very intriguing matchups this weekend—Minnesota at Philadelphia as well as Houston at Denver. In Philadelphia, the Eagles will try and stop the undefeated Vikings. Philadelphia’s defense has been excellent at home to date as they have only surrendered 13 total points in two games. They looked great in their last home game—a 34-3 win over Pittsburgh.
Also, expect a low scoring matchup in Denver between the Broncos and Texans. The Broncos will try to bounce back after back-to-back losses to Atlanta and San Diego. The Broncos should benefit from the long layoff however as they would have had 11 days off between games. Houston meanwhile seems to struggle offensively on the road in prime time. On September 22, they were shutout in a 27-0 loss to the Patriots against a New England team that was using their third string quarterback.
I also like three upsets this weekend. The Ravens look much better as of late than the New York Jets. The Jets will be playing on a short week with a lot of travel, as they just played in Arizona on Monday. The Ravens meanwhile have no travel at all as their last game was also in New York against the Giants. I also like Indianapolis over Tennessee. The Titans only beat the winless Cleveland Browns by two points last week and now face a much better team in the Colts. Finally, I am confused why Jacksonville is favoured to beat Oakland when the Raiders have such a strong passing attack. Oakland looks like the better team here.
My three fantasy stars of the week are Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Buffalo Bills’ running back LeSean McCoy. In Atlanta, expect a shootout between the Falcons and San Diego Chargers with a lot of points each way. In Miami meanwhile expect huge things from McCoy, who has had a combined 290 rushing yards and three touchdowns over the last two weeks.