Another year, another Patriots Superbowl victory, despite being written off by pretty much every in the early part of the season…. Sound familiar? The Patriots dominance over the past 18 years has actually become a little absurd and in fact quite ridiculous when you consider how many times they have reloaded their roster. This season they have lost Gronk, and whilst for most teams that would be a huge loss, for the Patriots they simply sign multiple players to fill Gronk’s shoes in both the passing and blocking elements of the offence. Of course they don’t have anywhere near the talent of Gronk, but it’s more a case of “do your job” as certain Bill Belichick once said.
Now speaking of Gronk, he is in fact the only Patriots player I’ve backed to score a touchdown in the last 2 seasons, and be brutally honest that hasn’t gone very well as he failed to find the end-zone on the last 6 occasions I backed him.
So I will keep the ‘where’s the value’ for the Patriots fairly short, as they are the most difficult team in the NFL to find any value, as you simply don’t know from one week to the next who Belichick is going to have involved in the offence. Sony Michel had a nice rookie campaign scoring 6 times, but he was often pushed out of the offence by James White, who ended up with a surprising 12 scores on the season, so I’m keen to see his odds entering week 1.
Julian Edelman is clearly Brady’s go to guy, and has scored 26 times in 67 games since being thrust into the starting line-up, however, with his odds usually floating around 2.00 to 2.50 he doesn’t offer any value, and with the rest of the receivers being bit part players it’s hard to make a case for placing any hard earned money on them. The only real unknown is first round pick N’Keal Harry, who could be in for some serious playing time if he can grasp the offence throughout the pre-season.
Benjamin Watson will assume Gronk’s role at tight-end once he serves a four game suspension, but given that he has only scored 44 times in 195 games you will need to see some fairly sizeable odds to make selecting him worthwhile.