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New England Patriots Players To Own in Fantasy 2013

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New England Patriots Players To Own In Fantasy 2013

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

With the New England Patriots season set to kick off this weekend, most fantasy teams are set or being drafted as we speak. Like most NFL teams, the Patriots have a number of players that can help lead your team to victory this 2013 Fantasy season. The Patriots always have some top players in Fantasy leagues year in and year out, but with many changes coming on the offensive side of the ball this year. This will help you target the new players that are going to fill roles of players who have moved on from their Patriot career like Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.

Depending on the number of teams, roster spots and scoring system, the Patriots have some guys that you are going to want to target early in the draft. For those who have already drafted, these are some players you may want to explore putting a trade together for. These rankings are in no particular order for the scoring system in a given league will change how valuable a player will be and what round he will end up going. New England is full of players that will help in any fantasy format. They have players that people will want to target in quarterback heavy leagues, and a much improved running game that has made their running backs valuable in not only standard, but point per reception leagues as well. With Wes Welker moving onto Denver, there will be plenty of targets to go around for all the skill positions. Here are six players that should be considered in your starting lineup this year.

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6. Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tom Brady is a pretty obvious choice in any kind of format for Fantasy leagues. Many people think he is going to take a step back this year after losing four of his top-five receivers and with Rob Gronkowski missing time to begin the season. But Brady has looked great in preseason with his new targets and is still an elite QB not only in Fantasy Football, but the NFL as well. In standard leagues, he should fall until the fourth or fifth round. If he’s available in the fifth or later, it would be smart to grab him. If your team is already set and you need to upgrade at QB, he would be a smart player to target. I project him to be the sixth or seventh best QB this year with top-five potential.

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5. Stevan Ridley

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Stevan Ridley is an interesting RB to target this year, but his value could be very different depending on the format of a given league. In standard leagues, Ridley is an underrated back who could have an even better year than last year when he put up 1,263 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. The Patriots are deep at RB this year, but Ridley still looks to be in line to get over 300 carries in 2013. He is a solid No. 2 RB with upside to make him a potential No. 1. However, in PPR leagues, his value is not as high since he does not get many receptions. But with the amount of carries and touchdowns he gets, he is still a solid No. 2.

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4. Rob Gronkowski

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Many people are afraid to draft Rob Gronkowski earlier this year, which is understandable. Gronk was plagued by injuries in 2012 while on pace for a monster year. But after seeing the numbers he has put up when healthy in his first three years in the league, he is still at worst the second best TE in any format. He is said to only be out until week three or four, which means he may drop a bit in the draft. If he is there in the fourth round, it would be crazy to not grab him. With changes on offense and Gronk being the one target Brady has history with, he will be getting a lot of looks. Plus being 6-foot-7 makes him a pretty unstoppable target in the red zone. If you have already drafted, this is a guy to try to trade for in the first few weeks while he is out, because once he comes back, his value is going to go way up.

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3. Danny Amendola

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Danny Amendola has had a history of injury problems, but many of them have been fluky injuries. Amendola comes in and has big shoes to replace in Wes Welker. After seeing him and Brady in the preseason, it looks like he is ready to fill those shoes. Amendola has questions around his health but if plays 14 or more games this season, he is in line for a monster year. He is a solid No. 2 WR in standard leagues. In PPR leagues, he has No. 1 potential. He is a guy that Brady will target at least 120 times this year and he could easily get 100 catches. If you can draft him in the mid rounds or trade for him, it would be a good move. He looks to be in line for a career year with one of the best QB’s in the league throwing to him.

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2. Patriots Defense

Pats D
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A little bit of a surprise here considering the bad wrap that the Patriots defense has taken over the past few years. Yes, they have been at best in the middle of the pack in the NFL, but last year they actually finished in the top-five Fantasy defenses in a lot of leagues. They have players like Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower who are entering their second year and look to breakout. Plus with Aqib Talib returning, they have a better secondary than they have in the past. I see them as being a top-10 defense in the NFL and a top five in Fantasy for 2013.

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1. Kenbrell Thomkins

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Here is one of my Fantasy sleepers, especially in deeper leagues. Kenbrall Thomkins kind of came out of nowhere, but after watching him this preseason he seems to be gaining Tom Brady’s trust. Brady has looked to him a lot this preseason and he has been making plays. He is not top guy this year and will not be as valuable as say Danny Amendola, but in a deep league with a lot of teams he will have value. He will take over the position that Brandon Lloyd filled last year, Lloyd did not have a bad year and was solid Fantasy wise. Thomkins seems to understand the playbook and runs nice routes. I see him becoming a Deion Branch like target for Brady in the future.