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Patriots Def/Spec Team | Team

Team: New England Patriots

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The New England defense will face Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy in Week 11, who has tallied over 100 total yards in three-straight games.
McCoy racked up 116 total yards against the Patriots in Week 2 and is the focal point of the Buffalo offense that is second among NFL teams in rushing. "He might be the best back in the NFL in open space. When you’re coming to him, you’ve really got to read him, read his body language. He’s a hard person to get down on the ground, so it will be a big challenge," said New England LB Jonathan Freeny. The Patriots D/ST will be a top-10 fantasy option at home in Week 11. Nov 22 - 2:38 AM

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The New England Patriots are focused on stopping New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham in Week 10.

"I think Beckham has all those things, but I also think he is just a good football player," said New England S McCourty. "Throw the ball up to him when he’s covered and he makes the catch." The Patriots have a history of attempting to take away the opposing team's top offensive weapon, which would put Beckham in New England's plans for Week 10. Despite the road matchup, the Patriots D/ST will be a back-end top-12 option when they take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Nov 13 - 2:52 AM

The Boston Globe noted the safety play of the New England Patriots as a key to their Week 9 matchup with Washington.

The Globe highlighted the solid play of the New England safety group and said, "Pat Chung has been more of a coverage linebacker, racking up tackles, and Duron Harmon has been a centerfielder in coverage. Devin McCourty does it all." The Patriots have allowed just 74.6 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks, with contributions from the back end of the New England defense. The Patriots D/ST will be a top-10 fantasy option against Washington in Week 9.
Nov 7 - 4:16 AM

New England LB Dont'a Hightower recorded 10 tackles in Week 7 after returning from a rib injury.

Hightower played briefly in Week 5 and missed Week 6 before returning last Sunday to face the Jets, and made a huge impact for the New England defense. "His role in run defense was a big reason that the Patriots were able to hold the Jets to just 89 rushing yards on 29 carries (3.1 yards per carry)," said the Boston Globe. The Patriots D/ST and Hightower will host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday this week where they will be a more than a touchdown favorite and a solid fantasy option at home.
Oct 29 - 1:25 AM

The New England run defense will face a stiff test in Week 7 as they host the New York Jets, who lead the NFL with 146.0 rushing yards per game.

The Patriots haven't been successful in corralling opposing rushers this season and are allowing 4.9 yards per rushing attempt through five games, the third-worst mark among NFL defenses. New York's Chris Ivory is the NFL's leading rusher in terms of yards per game, racking up an average of 115.0 yards each week. The potential for the New England offense to force the Jets to abandon the run early keeps the Patriots D/ST a borderline startable group this week despite the threat from Ivory and the Jets running game.
Oct 22 - 4:41 AM

The New England Patriots are allowing 5.86 yards per carry on first down this season.

This nugget is courtesy of the Boston Herald and is one of the drivers of New England's struggles against the run this season. The Patriots are last in the NFL in yards per carry by opposing rushers at 4.9 yards per attempt, and understand the significance of this issue as they prepare to face Dallas this week. "Dallas does a great job in the run game. This is a huge challenge for us this week to be able to stop their run game," DC Matt Patricia said. Despite the issues in run defense, the Patriots D/ST will be a top-five fantasy play this week while facing Dallas quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Oct 8 - 6:40 PM

The New England Patriots head into their Week 4 bye tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 13.

An eight sack performance in Week 2 at Buffalo boosted New England's sack total, but they have registered multiple sacks in their other two games as well. The Patriots defense is also tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions through three games. A Week 5 trip to Dallas to face Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys is up for New England after the bye, where the Patriots D/ST will look to continue their opportunistic ways.
Oct 2 - 11:03 PM

The New England defense is first in the NFL in the sack department, recording 11 sacks through two games.

The early-season success of the New England pass rush sets up well for the Patriots in Week 3 with the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting Gillette Stadium. The Jaguars were the most sacked NFL team in 2014 and allowed five sacks in their season opener before surprisingly keeping Blake Bortles clean in Week 2. New England will be looking to jump out to an early lead in this one and unleash their pass rush on Bortles and Jacksonville offense, which will lead to solid results for owners of the New England D/ST. The Patriots defense is a locked-in top Week 3 option in fantasy leagues.
Sep 26 - 2:49 AM

The Boston Globe listed "limiting the Buffalo rushing offense" as a key to success for the New England defense.

This will be the case more often than not when facing a Rex Ryan-led team, but it holds true this week as New England travels to Buffalo. The Globe offered this thought on the Patriots' run defense, "In their opener, the Patriots’ 'bend don’t break' defense looked as willowy as ever while Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams shredded them. The Patriots should be terrified of the creative ways Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman highlights his runners’ strengths." The New England D/ST is a borderline starting unit in fantasy leagues this week.
Sep 20 - 1:42 AM

The New England defense sacked Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger three times in the NFL season opener.

The Patriots D/ST also recorded one interception, but coughed up 464 total yards to the Steelers offense. DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown did most of the damage, combining for 265 total yards on the evening. New England will get a much easier matchup in Week 2 against Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills.
Sep 11 - 3:39 AM

The Boston Globe notes the absence of Tarell Brown from New England's final preseason game as evidence that he may be starting at cornerback opposite Malcolm Butler.

The Patriots have plenty of options at cornerback, but are attempting to narrow down their competition as the regular season is just days away. Brown should get the first crack at starting for the Patriots after an offseason of departures in the New England secondary. The New England D/ST is a fine option in fantasy leagues this season but gets a tough Week 1 matchup against Pittsburgh.
Sep 5 - 5:24 PM

The Patriots defense held the Carolina Panthers offense to just 129 yards of total offense on Saturday.

The New England defense also allowed Carolina to convert just three of nine third-down attempts in the game. The Boston Globe noted the defense of the Patriots as one of their five post-game takeaways and the performance is encouraging for fantasy owners who are eyeballing the New England D/ST as the ninth defense selected in drafts.
Aug 30 - 2:10 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Tom Brady
2Jimmy Garoppolo
RB1LeGarrette Blount
2James White
3Brandon Bolden
GLB1LeGarrette Blount
2Brandon Bolden
3RB1James White
2Brandon Bolden
WR11Julian Edelman
2Danny Amendola
3Keshawn Martin
4Chris Harper
WR21Brandon LaFell
2Aaron Dobson
3Matt Slater
WR31Danny Amendola
TE1Rob Gronkowski
2Scott Chandler
3Michael Williams
4Asante Cleveland
LT1Marcus Cannon
LG1Josh Kline
2Shaq Mason
C1David Andrews
RG1Tre' Jackson
RT1Sebastian Vollmer
2Michael Williams
K1Stephen Gostkowski