Patriots vs Broncos
Tom Brady: Brady is coming off a week nine 432 passing yard four touchdown game against the Steelers but it’s his only multiple touchdown game since week four and I actually saw him dropped in one league during a four week stretch which saw him pass for only two touchdowns. Brady will face a Bronco defense that is giving up 274.9 passing yards per game and allowed 19 passing touchdowns which ranks fifth highest in the league. Brady’s numbers will most definitely benefit from the return of running back Shane Vereen and tight end Rob Gronkowski and he should have a very nice outing against the Broncos.
Steven Ridley: In the last five games Ridley has not only scored a touchdown but has two games with multiple scores. The Broncos are a little better against the run game but are allowing 92.7 rushing yards per game and nine rushing touchdowns to this point. The two problems Ridley is facing this week is both Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount are eating away at his carries and he’s been in head coach Bill Belichick’s dog house due to ball security issues.
Shane Vereen: Vereen came back from his wrist injury last week and against a very good Panther defense finished with eight receptions on 11 targets for 65 yards. He wasn’t relevant in the running game and he’ll have to compete with Steven Ridley and LeGarrette Blount for carries each week but he was immediately involved in the passing game being targeted by quarterback Tom Brady 11 times. Vereen is an important component of this offense and the Patriots could find themselves playing catch up to a very potent Bronco offense so he should have a nice bottom line.
Danny Amendola/Aaron Dobson: Honestly with the addition of receiving running back Shane Vereen and tight end Rob Gronkowski being so involved in the passing game it’s hard to make a guess at which one of these two will have the better game. Vereen will cut into the short and medium range targets Amendola has been getting but that won’t affect Dobson who will be counted on to stretch the field and get open deep. Dobson is getting about seven targets per game and in my humble opinion has the most chance of the two to score a touchdown this week but both are a bit risky.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski is a must start regardless of what defense the Patriots are playing so there is really nothing I can enlighten you with where he’s concerned. He has scored in his last two games and in one of two games he didn’t score in he totaled 114 yards on eight receptions. He will be targeted early and often against the Broncos and if quarterback Tom Brady can hold his end up, which is highly likely, Gronkowski could have his first multiple touchdown game of the season.
Jets @ Ravens
Chris Ivory: I personally wouldn’t be doing back flips to start any Jets player this week but if you own Chris Ivory at least he has been playing well and has a chance at some fantasy relevant production. In week nine he rushed for 139 yards and one touchdown and last week he just missed 100 yards and scored again. The bad news is the Ravens are pretty darn good against the run allowing on average 102.7 rushing yards per game and have allowed only one rushing touchdown this season. The good news for Ivory is the Ravens run stuffing defensive lineman Hiloti Ngata is injured and most probably will not be available this week. Ivory will get close to 20 carries and let’s hope he can do something with them.
Santonio Holmes: In his first game back after missing five games due to injury Holmes had two receptions for 71 yards against the Bills which isn’t bad for his first outing. The Jets receivers are hard to rely on but with Stephen Hill non-existent and most likely losing his starting job, David Nelson being unreliable and Jeremy Kerley nursing a severe elbow injury and most likely unavailable this week, Holmes should at the least see a nice amount of targets. If quarterback Geno Smith can get the ball to him which at this point is highly debatable he could have a somewhat productive day but it’s very risky to count on it.
Dolphins vs Panthers
Ryan Tanney-hill: Tannehill will have his hands full this week against a very good Panthers defense so I wouldn’t put much hope for big numbers from him. In week 11 Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came close to passing for 300 yards but could only manage one passing touchdown against the Panthers and I think we can all agree the Patriot’s offense is much better than what the Dolphins have to bring to the table. Bottom line here is Tannehill is a very risky start this week however you slice it.
Lamar Miller/Daniel Thomas: If you’re happy with 30 to 40 rushing yards with no touchdowns then you’re in luck.
Brian Hartline/Rishard Matthews/Mike Wallace: If you’re happy with four or five receptions for 40 to 45 yards then you’re in luck. Based on his last two games Matthews is the most likely to produce anything worth anything of these three receivers but they’re all risky in my humble opinion.
Charles Clay: Clay has become the most productive and reliable receiver for the Dolphins this season scoring a touchdown in four of ten games. He almost has more touchdowns than receivers Mike Wallace (1), Brian Hartline (2) and Rishard Matthews (2) put together. Last week against the Chargers Clay finished with six receptions on seven targets for 90 yards and one touchdown and has been averaging six targets a game. He isn’t reliable by any definition of the word but at least there’s some hope that he will be targeted in the red zone on occasion and could come up with a touchdown. Like all the Dolphins this week they’re risky starts at best.