By Will Gellman @Will_Gellman on July 16, 2014
The New England Patriots enter the 2014 season with a stacked roster. They have a nice mix of offensive and defensive studs. In fantasy terms, there are five particular players who can become (or already are) fantasy superstars. So read on, because they might just help you win your league this year.
At first glance, you may not think much of Shane Vereen in terms of fantasy. After all, his rushing workload is minimal and his durability is a concern. However, LeGarrette Blount is gone, and Ridley might not be the lead back right away. With Vereen's versatility catching passes out of the backfield and lining up outside at WR, along with his excellent rushing ability, he is a valuable fantasy commodity, especially in PPR leagues.
Aaron Dobson is one of the few WRs on the Patriots whose job is safe this season. The second-round draft pick out of Marshall had a decent year as a rookie, but he dropped a few balls early on. With another offseason to work with Brady to improve his craft, Dobson could take a major leap in his sophomore year for the Pats. At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds with 4.42 speed in the 40-yard dash, Dobson has big-time upside this season as a No. 1 WR.
Edelman exploded and put up fantastic numbers last season. The main reason for that was the lack of consistent guys around him. However, as it stands now, the Patriots have many more offensive weapons to choose from, most importantly a seemingly healthy Rob Gronkowski. That should help open up Edelman even more this season as defenses may not always look his way. He will have an automatic spot as a slot WR this season.
When healthy, Rob Gronkowski is a fantasy freak at a position that is almost always extremely thin. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been a major problem for Gronk throughout his career. He has missed time with ankle, arm, back, and most recently a knee injury in his short career. Despite playing just 18 games over the past two seasons combined, he is the best fantasy (and real) tight end in the NFL as long as he is on the field.
Tom Brady is No. 1 on this list for obvious reasons. He has been a top-10 fantasy player for much of his NFL career, he has several excellent pass catchers to throw to, and he is arguably the best QB in the history of the NFL. With another offseason to get on the same page with his receivers, Brady should bounce back from his down year in 2013. While his lack of mobility may hurt him a little bit in fantasy, he still has massive upside.
Will Gellman is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.
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