The New England Patriots reminded NFL fans why they are the defending champions with a 34-27 road victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday night clash and rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.
The offense put up 34 points and dictated the tempo for most of the contest, and LeGarrette Blount, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman gave fantasy owners the late boosts they needed with impressive numbers Sunday night.
Here is a look at the final tallies from the playmakers as well as some reactions for each.
Blount was suspended for the first game of the season and had only two carries in the second game as coach Bill Belichick made the running back pay his dues before he became a major factor in the offense.
Since then, Blount has received consistent carries and provided fantasy owners with consistent results. He tallied three touchdown runs on 18 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars and 104 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries as well as one catch Sunday against the Colts.
Blount’s 16 carries answered any concerns about Dion Lewis eating into his touches, while Lewis carried the pigskin only four times. A healthy Lewis will be part of the New England offense, but he is more of a factor in the passing attack with shiftiness in the open field. In fact, the only game in which Lewis finished with more than eight carries was the one Blount missed during his suspension.
Here’s one word of warning about Blount’s Sunday performance: Don’t trust the receiving touchdown as a sign of things to come in the passing game, because it was his first career touchdown catch.
The powerful Patriots offense put up at least 30 points in four of the first five games and at least 40 twice. There will be plenty of opportunities for the bruising Blount to score near the goal line this season, and opposing defenses cannot afford to stack the box, because Tom Brady will pick them apart.
Blount is always going to have running lanes and opportunities to put up monster fantasy numbers this season. He will continue to take advantage of them.
Amendola was New England’s best receiver statistically in Sunday’s contest with a team high in yards. He was also second behind only Edelman in targets.
Still, the inconsistent production makes it impossible to trust Edelman moving forward for fantasy purposes. Sunday was the first game this season in which he tallied more than 39 receiving yards, and he has only one touchdown catch in 2015.
What’s more, he tallied only 200 receiving yards as a member of the Patriots in the entire 2014 season even though he appeared in all 16 games. In his career, Amendola has never topped three touchdown catches or 700 receiving yards in a single season.
The track record is not in place to consistently start Amendola in your lineup despite the impressive showing against the Colts.
Rob Gronkowski is the top option for Brady in the aerial attack, but Edelman has a rapport with the superstar quarterback.
The receiver boasts four touchdowns in his last four games and double-digit target numbers in four of the team’s five contests this season. He still managed to put up 120 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the one game in which he didn’t reach double-digit targets.
In all, Edelman is averaging 89.8 receiving yards per game this season and is on pace to tally a third straight campaign with at least 972 receiving yards.
Brady trusts Edelman as a consistent difference-maker in this unstoppable offense. That alone means the receiver will continue to put up impact fantasy numbers for your lineup.
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