Just in time for tonight’s match up against the Jets, Dr. Mike provides us with another pulitzer-prize worthy write-up.
As avid haters of all things Boston (Sam Adams and Harpoon notable exceptions), the injury bug that is plaguing the Patriots makes The Machine wicked happy (note: anyone over the age of 25 that uses “wicked” in their daily vernacular should be shot on site). However, what do all of these injuries mean for our fantasy teams, and, what do they mean for those of you (like Ginger King) that picked New England in this weeks’ Survivor Pool? Dr. Mike explains.
First, let’s talk about the RB position. Shane Vereen played almost the entire game on Sunday with a fractured wrist bone (for that Dr. Mike gives him the Bad Ass of the Week Award), but was placed on IR with designation to return after it was decided he would undergo surgical stabilization of the fractured bone (which may or may not have displaced because he played the whole game). This means he is ineligible to practice for 6 weeks and cannot play in a game for 8. The Pats are off Week 10, so the earliest he can return is Week 11. I am going to assume (since the Pats organization does not release any information that they are not required) that the fractured bone is his scaphoid. This small peanut shaped bone on the thumb side of your wrist is the most common fractured carpal (wrist) bone (and fractures are commonly misdiagnosed as sprains). The issue with the scaphoid is the lack of blood supply to half of the bone when fractured. Surgical fixation should correct this problem (up to 10% of fixated scaphoids fail). The time off will be plenty of time for his wrist to heal, but he will have to undergo rehab to get back his motion and strength. Bottom line is unless you have an IR spot on your roster; it is safe to release Vereen, and maybe snag him off the wire after Week 9.
The Pats are not short on RB options. In theory Stevan Ridley should see a significant amount of action on Thursday night, but since his fumblitis (a/k/a David Wilson Disorder) has recently flared up again, he will probably be on a short leash. After Ridley that leaves Leon Washington, LaGarrette Blount, and Brandon Boldon. Out of these 3 guys only Washington is a viable weapon in the passing game (though he is listed a questionable because the Pats put everyone on the injury report). Unless you are short on RB’s in an extremely deep league, you should avoid all 3 of these guys like a four-toothed hooker.
Now on to the WR/TE position. Oft-injured Danny Amendola is at it again, this time with a flared-up groin injury. He is currently listed as “doubtful”, but he is almost a guarantee not to play Week 2. These injuries tend to nag and, with Amendola’s history of injuries, I would not be surprised if he is out until Week 4 or 5. It’s not time to panic, and I would not release Amendola, but you better find a good backup. This groin injury could be an ongoing theme this year, especially if the Pats try to bring him back too soon.
With Gronk still out for at least another week and Zach Sudfeld’s hamstring issue, the Pats are thin at TE. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to flare-up and nag, especially if proper healing time is not given. Sudfeld only saw 1 target in Week 1 and is now banged up, so his upside is limited and is unplayable in all fantasy leagues this week.
So who on the Pats is startable this week? As always, Tom Brady is a must start, but I would downgrade expectations as many of his weapons are out. Even if the receiving corps was made up of Gisele and a bunch of her super model friends (supermodels in football pants…you’re welcome for the visual) Brady would still complete passes, but we saw how out of sync he was with Kenbrell Thompkins last week (14 targets only 4 receptions). Julian Edelman is a start this week, and is the only real weapon Brady has in the passing game. Stevan Ridley is a flex start in deeper leagues, but be ready for him to get pulled the first time the football even shimmies in his arm.
Turning to the actual game itself, even with all these injuries, the Pats should have enough to outlast the Jets at home. Unless, of course, this happens: