Kickoff: Sunday, October 1 at 4:25 PM ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Betting Odds: NE -8 via Oddsshark
Drew Lock (Sit if he plays), Brett Rypien/Jeff Driskel (Sit)
Drew Lock has been out with a shoulder injury and has a chance to play, but even if he does he is not a streaming option against the Patriots. With a hobbled receiving group and coming off an injury, Lock is a definite sit this week. If Lock does end up sitting out this week, Brett Rypien or Jeff Driskel are also sure-sits this week. The only place that any of these would be considered in any case would be in 2QB or Super Flex leagues and even then it would be a stretch.
Melvin Gordon (Start, RB2), Phillip Lindsay (Sit)
To the sadness of Melvin Gordon owners everywhere, Phillip Lindsay is expected to return this week and eat into Gordon’s dominating workload this week. Coming off a week where Gordon rushed 23 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns, albeit one being a busted play that he turned into a long score at the end of the game, Gordon is sure to see a drop in volume this week. Even so, he should still be serviceable as an RB2 as Lindsay is eased back into action. Gordon has been less involved in the passing game, but that could see an uptick with Noah Fant expected to miss this week. Lindsay will have Flex appeal most weeks dependent on what we see over the next couple of games, but he is not a suggested play this week due to his time off and the probability of being eased back into his first game post-injury. Still available in half of the fantasy leagues, he is a worthwhile add while he is at his cheapest to see if he finds a groove as a passing-down back.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Jerry Jeudy (Start, Flex), Tim Patrick (Start, Flex)
This is what it has come to in Denver. With Noah Fant out for the week, KJ Hamler out, and Courtland Sutton on IR there are reasons why the QB spot is a sit regardless of who is the starter. Jerry Jeudy put up 14 PPR points, but when you look deeper into the numbers and where the points came from, he was a good defensive play away from having two points in Week 4. I do think he will see a rise from the four targets he saw last week, but don’t expect WR2 numbers, especially against the Patriots. Tim Patrick burst onto the scene with 6/113/1 last week and is as much a Flex play as Jeudy in my mind. With such a lack at the position, you could do much worse than taking a flyer on Patrick this week, which I suggest you do if you need help at the Flex position.
New England Patriots
Bryan Hoyer (Sit)
Brian Hoyer was filling in for Cam Newton last week who was, and still is, on the COVID List after testing positive. With news coming that Newton is still not cleared, Hoyer is set to fill in for Week 5 again. Coming off a game where he threw for 130 yards and one interception, Hoyer is a hard sit. The Patriots really need Newton back in the lineup.
Damien Harris (Start, Flex), James White (Start, RB2), Rex Burkhead (Sit)
Offseason standout Damien Harris was talked up as the early-down back coming into the season. Unfortunately, he started the year injured but finally made his debut at the right time with Sony Michel being put on IR. He rumbled off 17 carries for 100 yards against the Chiefs and will be leaned on again with Cam Newton out this week. Treat him as a Flex play with a chance to fall into the end zone. Speaking of returns, James White made his return to the lineup last week and immediately caught 7 dump-offs for 38 yards. Not big yardage totals, but a sign of things to come with Cam out. In PPR, James White has RB2 appeal with his passing game involvement.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Julian Edelman (Start, WR2), N’Keal Harry (Start, Flex), Damiere Byrd (Sit), Ryan Izzo (Sit)
Denver has a bad secondary. They are banged up and can’t really stop anyone. Enter Julian Edelman who is coming off a down week, but should see a better chance at getting open against Denver. After posting solid numbers in Week 1 & 2, Edelman has seen consistent targets, but not production. I expect a more vintage Edelman this week as he looks to get on the same page with Hoyer. N’Keal Harry put up 3/21/1 last week and has alternated good and bad weeks. With at least 6 targets in three out of four games this year, Harry should see enough volume to put up decent Flex numbers this week. The surprise last week was Damiere Byrd who had ten targets, turning them into 5/80. If you need to fill a spot out of desperation, Byrd could be that guy, but I would suggest looking elsewhere as this should be a blip on the radar for Byrd this year. Ryan Izzo is just a blocker in this offense for the time being.
-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)