When the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, they’ll do so looking at an opportunity to clinch the number one seed throughout the playoffs. Having already sewn up their ninth consecutive AFC East title with their
gift-wrapped by a terrible rule miraculous 27-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Patriots still have plenty to play for. When the Bills faced off against New England last time, their high scoring player was Rex Burkhead, who scored 23.8 fantasy points. With Burkhead expected to miss the game due to a knee injury, someone else will need to take the mantle. Here are the Patriots’ top fantasy plays of the week.
RB Dion Lewis
Say it with me: until they prove otherwise, if you have a running back on your roster and he’s matched up against the Bills, you start him. Sure, Bill Belichick is notorious for ruining fantasy players’ lives by maddeningly rotating his running backs; however, it appears that Lewis has settled in at the top of the pecking order. Lewis leads the Pats with 647 yards on 130 carries this season, and he ran 15 times for 92 yards against the Bills in Buffalo. He is in line to have another good day, even if former Bill Mike Gillislee pilfers a touchdown from him at some point in the day.
TE Rob Gronkowski
I know...I don’t want to say anything nice about him, either. However, the man is among the best at his position, possibly ever, due to his incredible size, speed, and strength. He torments the Bills in his career, averaging 5 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown per game against them. He’s a good bet to have a solid day.
WR Brandin Cooks
If Buffalo works to take away the middle of the field, it stands to reason that the outsides will be left more vulnerable. Cooks is the man best suited to take advantage of single coverage, as his uncanny speed and soft hands cause matchup nightmares for even the best defenses. Buffalo did a nice job containing him the last time they met, but Gronkowski had a field day instead. It will be interesting to see if the Bills decide to pick the same poison they chose last time.
QB Tom Brady
Even though he’s had three straight subpar games, if he’s your quarterback, you aren’t going to be too cute and bench him. Brady has thrown 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions over his last 3 weeks, averaging 263 yards per game over that same stretch. It’s improbable that he’d go an entire month playing below-Brady football, but Buffalo did hold him to fewer than 10 fantasy points in Week 13. If Buffalo causes Brady to struggle for a fourth straight game, it bodes well for their chances of winning, and even if it hurts your chances at a fantasy football championship, I’m sure that’s a trade-off that any Bills fan would take.