Kenbrell Thompkins could repeat his stellar production last week. Thompkins is a rookie for the New England Patriots who actually has a fair amount of upside. His hands need work, but he has shown some flashes of talent and with so few other options Tom Brady may have no choice but to throw to him early and often. The other big help to Thompkins is that the Patriots will be playing the Atlanta Falcons, a team with a very weak pass-defense.
Thompkins certainly is not a top receiver, and in most weeks should probably be on the bench, but if Rob Gronkowski is on the bench again he could be worth a flex play this week. Brady has to throw to someone, and Julian Edleman can only catch so many passes. Thompkins will get some looks in what should be a relatively high scoring affair. The key for Thompkins will be catching a touchdown pass. If he can do that he will but worth the start, and many signs suggest he will. Brady trusted him near the endzone last week and the Patriots are missing their best redzone target in Gronk.
On the flip side, if Gronkowski plays then Thompkin’s value is greatly diminished. Gronkowski will not only take away targets, he will take targets near the goal line which are much more valuable. Thompkins’ chance of scoring a touchdown is much less with Gronkowski on the field, so the decision to play Thompkins may be based on Gronkowski’s health more than anything else.