What We Saw: Patriots vs Giants

Ryan Comeau shares what he saw in Thursday's Patriots vs Giants game.

New England Patriots vs New York Giants


New England Patriots




  • Tom Brady: 31/41, 334 yards, 1 interception | 7 carries, 6 yards, 2 touchdowns


Tom Brady continues to be a mystery for fantasy owners. He’s a must-start almost every week, but his real-life play has been inconsistent. Tonight this trend continued. He did more than enough to gain the win, but he also had two turnovers. He made some truly brilliant and accurate throws but was also off on several. Due to the Patriots’ schedule and propensity to throw, Brady should continue to be a safe option at the position. The running game did not look particularly effective tonight, and I think that the volume and obviously talent are there. He lost starting receiver Josh Gordon early on in the game, and this may impact him going forward. Brady’s two touchdowns tonight were also rushing, which was a surprise. He seemed determined to get them too, especially his second one. In 4-point passing TD leagues, I’ll take that.

The offensive line is not good. The kicking game is not good. The running game is lackluster. The defense showed tonight that it can be susceptible to big plays. In shootouts, Brady has a high ceiling, and in games like these, he has a safe floor. Continue to start him with confidence, although this Patriots offense will be very frustrating to watch at times.


Running Backs


  • Sony Michel: 22 carries, 86 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
  • James White: 2 carries, -1 yards | 9 targets, 9 receptions, 46 yards
  • Brandon Bolden: 3 carries, 23 yards, 1 touchdown | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards


The Patriots’ offensive line woes have been well documented. Key injuries and a general lack of cohesion have made this unit unbearable to watch at times. The Giants have an awful defense, but they were able to stop the Patriots on more than several occasions. Sony Michel was heavily involved, but Brandon Bolden, of course, showed up to vulture his weekly touchdown. It was encouraging to see Michel get involved in the passing game for the second week in a row, and he was in for most of the game, but the Patriots backfield will continue to be a headache for owners. If you are willing to endure that headache, I would keep Michel, because he will get opportunities. He just hasn’t done much with them this year. Additionally, Rex Burkhead did not play in this game. Rex has shown to be on par with Michel and James White when healthy in regards to opportunities. Personally, I would rather own White or stash Burkhead on the bench. Michel would give me too much anxiety. Even if he has big games, his floor has been frightening, not to mention lingering injury concerns. If I had him, I would sell him, but I could also see an owner not wanting the weekly headache and being desperate to get rid of him. As is every year, it is very difficult to predict the Patriots backfield week-to-week.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends


  • Julian Edelman: 15 targets, 9 receptions, 113 yards
  • Josh Gordon: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards
  • Jakobi Meyers: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 54 yards
  • Gunner Olszewski: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards
  • Ryan Izzo: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards


The biggest story of this receiving group that came out of tonight was the injury to Josh Gordon. With other starter Philip Dorsett out, the Patriots were forced to turn to a 3-wide set consisting of Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski. Yes, you’re reading that right. Despite these setbacks, Edelman got his usual volume, and the others were able to chip in here and there. Edelman is a must-start, set-it-and-forget-it play every week. He has the safest floor perhaps of anyone in the NFL not named Cooper Kupp.

If Gordon is injured for a sustained period, Meyers could be a desperation play, but he is not worth it in my opinion. The Patriots offense has been too inconsistent to be trusted, and Brady spreads it out too much to allow for someone like Meyers to be anything other than a deep league flyer. For what it’s worth, Ryan Izzo continued to be the tight end involved in the passing game. With the desolate landscape that is the tight end position, he is worth an add if you need someone to stream.


New York Giants




  • Daniel Jones: 15/31, 161 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception | 2 carries, 8 yards


Daniel Jones didn’t look his best, but he could’ve done a lot worse going against the Patriots defense. He predictably turned the ball over several times and was not given much time to make his reads, but he also had a few beautiful throws that showed off his potential. Jones is a streamable quarterback in plus matchups, but don’t expect too much from him, at least in his rookie season. Once Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard return to the lineup, there will be better outings ahead for Jones, but he is still not someone to be trusted on a consistent basis.


Running Backs


  • Jonathan Hilliman: 11 carries, 38 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, -3 yards
  • Elijhaa Penny: 3 carries, 6 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 0 yards


There’s not much to take away from the performances from the Giants’ running backs. Jonathan Hilliman drew the start after Barkley and Wayne Gallman were both injured. He didn’t look particularly good or bad, and if Barkley and/or Gallman return this week, Hilliman can safely return to the waiver wire. Something worth noting is that the Giants’ offensive line looked decent in the running game. This obviously bodes well for Barkley when he returns, although no one was going to sit him anyways.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends


  • Golden Tate: 9 targets, 6 targets, 102 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Rhett Ellison: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 30 yards
  • Darius Slayton: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards


Similar to the running backs, the top 2 passing options for the Giants were out this week. When Engram and Shepard return, they will be starting-caliber every week. Golden Tate proved he still has something in the tank and seemed to be far and away Jones’ favorite target. Tate is a good option in PPR formats, but he isn’t an every-week starter like Shepard and Engram. When those 2 and Barkley return, Tate is likely the third or fourth option in the passing game. Rhett Ellison and Darius Slayton were the only other pass-catchers that made any sort of impact on this game, and they did not do much at all. Any offensive skill players this game besides Tate can be safely dropped.

-Ryan Comeau


(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

One response to “What We Saw: Patriots vs Giants”

  1. Kyle Brooks says:

    Hold Michel? But then you say you should sell him?…

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