FANTASY TEAM PREVIEW-BY RICK SERRITELLA
- View Source2004 FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM PREVIEW: N.E. PATRIOTS
BY RICK SERRITELLA 7/10/04
Quarterback: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has catapulted himself
into the top echelon of players in the league after guiding New
England to two Super Bowls in the past three seasons. He is also a
pretty solid fantasy producer as well. While he doesn't put up
fascinating numbers like some of the other glitz and glamour
quarterbacks available, he rarely makes mistakes. One thing you can
bank on is his touchdowns will more than likely double his
interceptions. The past two seasons he has thrown 51 touchdowns and
just 26 interceptions. Don't expect Brady to lead the league in
passing yardage but you can pencil him in for 3,500 plus.
Running Back: After using a committee approach last season
alternating between Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk, the Patriots went
out and acquired the contentious Corey Dillon from the Bengals to
focus on as their feature back and released Smith. Faulk had a solid
season collecting 1,351 all-purpose yards but didn't see the end zone
once. You can expect him to return as a third down back and not be
much of a fantasy value. Dillon on the other hand should excel as
the feature back and is definitely worth consideration.
Wide Receiver: I encourage all fantasy owners to shy away from New
England receivers. Not because they are not talented, but for the
simple fact that Brady is the type of quarterback who likes to spread
the ball around. The Patriots leading receiver last season was Deion
Branch with 803 yards nearly doubling his rookie output. The other
cast of receivers include former seventh round pick David Givens and
former 1,000 yard wide out Troy Brown who missed four games last
season due to injury.
Tight End: With the 1-2 punch of Daniel Graham and Christian Fauria
the Patriots enjoyed last season the selection of University of
Georgia's Ben Watson seemed like a puzzling pick in the second round
of this year's draft. All three are reliable pass catching threats
and figure to be part of a tight end rotation. You can be sure that
head coach Bill Bellicheck will find a way to maximize the depth on
his roster but there just aren't enough balls to go around and that
is not in any interest to fantasy owners.
Fantasy Stud: Tom Brady Arguably the best quarterback in the
league and also a top ten fantasy quarterback as well.
Fantasy Dud: Daniel Graham After posting gaudy numbers last season
don't expect a repeat performance with the drafting of Watson and
Fauria still in the mix
Fantasy Sleeper: David Givens Of the receivers of the bunch Givens
is most likely to have a breakout year. Brady looked to him often
towards the latter part of the season and into the playoffs.