The third preseason game normally is a dress rehearsal for Week 1 of the regular season, and most of the starters for the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers played the entire first half in Friday night’s matchup at Bank of America Stadium.
Here’s a fantasy football recap from Patriots-Panthers.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Brady and the Patriots offense didn’t do much of anything for most of the first half, but the veteran quarterback closed the second quarter on a high note with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Scott Chandler.
It was Brady’s first touchdown pass of the preseason. He played the entire first half before backup Jimmy Garoppolo replaced him to begin the third quarter. Brady finished 7 of 13 for 84 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. It should be noted that Brady’s top two targets in the passing game, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, didn’t play.
Brady is 10 of 22 for 106 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions through three preseason games.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Patriots
Garoppolo finished 13 of 17 for 126 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. It was another good performance from the second-year QB, who now has a pair of comeback wins this preseason.
Scott Chandler, TE, Patriots
Chandler caught three passes on four targets for 40 yards and a touchdown.
The 30-year-old veteran could have some fantasy value in deep leagues this season if he wins the No. 2 tight end job. The Patriots use a lot of two tight end sets, and we saw Tim Wright find the end zone a few times last season in that role. Chandler is a tremendous red-zone target at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds.
Patriots Running Game
The Patriots totaled 100 yards on 26 carries (3.8 yards per carry). LeGarrette Blount led the way with 29 yards on seven carries. Interestingly, the next most productive rushers were Brady and Garoppolo with 18 yards apiece.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Newton completed 17 of 28 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in the first half before being replaced by backup Derek Anderson to start the third quarter. The Patriots did a pretty good job keeping Newton in the pocket.
Newton lost his No. 1 target Kelvin Benjamin to an ACL injury last week, but he’s still a reliable QB2 for fantasy owners.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panters
Benjamin’s injury should lead to even more targets for Olsen, who already was a top five tight end entering the 2015 season. Olsen caught six passes for 51 yards on nine targets.
Replacing Benjamin won’t be easy, but the three receivers who will try to fill the void likely will be Jarrett Boykin, Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr.
Here’s how they fared against the Patriots.
Cotchery: 4 receptions, 38 yards
Ginn: 3 receptions, 30 yards
Boykin: 2 receptions, 24 yards
Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images
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