This is a very one-sided game in terms of fantasy options. The New England Patriots travel south to take on the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots have stars at every position, while the Panthers’ only legitimate option is the quarterback. The running back situation is a mess with three players carrying the ball and the receivers are average at best.
The Patriots are 7-2 and have the AFC East all but locked up. The Panthers are on a five-game winning streak and are 1.5 games out of first.
Unlike my other projections, I’m just going to go over the star players. There’s no sense in talking about players like Steve Smith or Brandon LaFell when they are not fantasy relevant. With that being said, here are my projections for Monday night.
The two quarterbacks in this game are heading in opposite directions. Tom Brady, after posting just 13 points in two games, put up 33 points in Week 9. Now, the Patriots are coming off their bye and have a healthy group of players. The Patriots will get Shane Vereen back, another weapon for Brady.
Brady threw four touchdowns in Week 9. He hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns all season. The Panthers defense is one of the best in the league, but haven’t faced a quarterback like Brady. He will succeed and is a top-five quarterback the rest of the year.
Projection: 316 passing yards, three TDs (24 points)
Cam Newton isn’t known for throwing the ball a ton. He has just one 300-yard game this season. Most of his success comes on the run. However, as a quarterback, he must throw the ball in order to win. It sounds simple, but Newton can’t do that with the group of players around him. The defense has done really well, but they won’t help here. The Patriots will most likely run up the score, forcing Newton to play catch up.
The Patriots defense can be thrown on. They’ve allowed 18 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last four weeks. However, the lack of weapons will hurt Newton here.
Projection: 238 passing yards, 30 rushing yards, one TD, one INT (14 points)
The Patriots starting running back Has been on a tear over the last four weeks. Ridley has scored 67 fantasy points, racking up 340 yards and six touchdowns. Even with two other backs getting carries, Ridley is still succeeding. Now that Vereen is coming back, he may see less carries, but will do just fine. After this four-game stretch, Ridley isn’t in danger of losing the starting role.
Projections: 58 yards, one TD (11 points)
Patriots Receiving Corps
As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots look to be fully healthy. With the addition of Vereen, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski are back as well. Amendola had his best game as a Patriot in Week 9, albeit missing multiple games, with 122 yards and a score. Gronk topped that with 143 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers defense have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, but have not played an offense as explosive as the Patriots.
Both of these players will excel on Monday night as Brady’s top two options. Gronk has done well on Monday nights. In two games, he has 182 yards and three touchdowns. Expect big numbers from both of these players.
Projections: Amendola—four receptions, 83 receiving yards and one TD (14 points); Gronkowski—eight receptions, 101 receiving yards and one TD (16 points)