Team Preview: New England Patriots
Continuing our series on Team Previews of all 32 Teams, we move to the 3rd place team in the AFC East from 2020 the New England Patriots.
New England scored the 6th fewest points in 2020 while throwing for the 3rd fewest passing yards. They rushed for the 4th most rushing yards on their way to a 7-9 season. Vegas currently has their Win Total at 9 games (T-7th).
Cam Newton: The drafting of Mac Jones makes Cam an untrustable asset to finish the entire season as the Patriots starter. However, he has a lot going in his favor if he can maintain the starting job all season. His 17.3 points per game ranked middle of the pack for the position, however, he only managed to throw for 2,657 yards and a mere 8 touchdowns. His TD rate of 2.2% ranked 39th. However, his season wasn't a total loss due to 50.7% (2nd) of his points coming via his legs. Just a slight improvement in his passing numbers nearly guarantees a back-end QB1 finish. Assuming he can keep his job for a full season, Cam could be a HUGE value at the position and a player you should be able to add at the very end of your drafts.
Damien Harris / James White: Both running backs could benefit greatly with a change to Mac Jones. Harris would get more goal line work and White more receptions. Regardless of who is under center, Harris's 13.1% TD rate (92nd) should easily improve. Harris could be a decent flex value in the later rounds.
Patriot WRS: It's difficult to get excited about any Patriot WR. This is likely to be a very low-volume passing team and no WR really stands to benefit in this scheme. It's going to be hard for any of them to sniff a WR3 season. I'm staying away.
Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith: Those hoping to resurrect the days of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should think again. Not only was that a once-in-a-decade TE duo, but they also had the greatest QB of all-time throwing to them. The volume and touchdowns just won't likely be there for both. Jonnu's 2020 season was inflated by a 3rd highest TD rate of 34.2%. That's something which is very likely to not be repeated. I don't see either TE finishing as TE1s in 2021.
While I think Cam could have some high-end potential if he starts the entire season, for the most part, this team is a fantasy fade for me.