From a purely fantasy football perspective, the Patriots season opener was a tough nut to crack.
There were encouraging Patriots performances against the Miami Dolphins, along with others that we don’t quite know what to make of. But this is a different week, and New England’s matchup with the New York Jets creates a new set of interesting fantasy debates.
Ahead of the Week 2 contest, we came up with players you should start, and those you should sit, on your fantasy teams.
Nelson Agholor, WR
The veteran wideout erased concerns about training camp injuries and preseason usage by catching five balls on seven targets for 72 yards and a touchdown in his Patriots debut. Agholor showed toughness, strong route running and, most importantly, a strong chemistry with Jones.
The best part? Agholor didn’t need one of his big, 50-yard-TD-type plays to post a fantasy-worthy performance. Don’t go overboard, though. Start as him as a WR2 but nothing more.
There was plenty to not like about this defense’s Week 1 performance. The run defense and secondary were a bit leaky, especially in big moments.
Still, New England’s defense has a ton of talent, and the pass rush should feast on an iffy Jets offensive line. By now, you know how rookie quarterbacks typically fare against Bill Belichick-coached Patriots teams.
We wouldn’t say the Patriots D/ST is a top-five play, but top 10 feels safe.
Nick Folk, K
Folk converted all three of his field goal opportunities, as well as his lone extra-point try, in the season opener. It was a steady, serviceable performance.
He doesn’t have a “boot,” by any means, but Folk should benefit from kicking for a Patriots offense that still has issues with stalling in the red zone. Plus, rookie Quinn Nordin just went on injured reserve.
Folk definitely is worth rostering as your fantasy kicker.
Mac Jones, QB
Again, Jones was great in his debut. He looked like the real deal. His numbers — 29-of-39, 281 yards, one TD — are nothing to sneeze at.
But let’s not get stupid. We’re still talking about a rookie who didn’t even throw the ball past the goal line last week. The Patriots offense is going to take a while to get up to full speed with all its new parts.
Jones might be a fantasy-worthy QB at some point this season but, for now, keep him on your bench.
Both tight ends
Jonnu Smith dealt with a hip injury during the week and was just OK in his Patriots debut. Hunter Henry nursed a shoulder issue for much of training camp and was similarly meh against the Dolphins. Plus, both players affect the other’s target share.
Smith and Henry both are good players, and both should have big roles in New England’s offense as the season progresses. The former should be a dynamic, athletic threat in the passing game, while the latter should be a force in the red zone.
But we need to see their respective roles develop a bit more before starting either.
Jakobi Meyers, WR
Meyers is a good receiver, but he really gets overrated by Patriots fans, especially those who play fantasy football.
A possession receiver operating mostly in the slot, Meyers rarely will post higher than FLEX-worthy numbers, especially in an offense that features multiple superior pass-catchers. That’s just the reality.
Start him as a FLEX if you really want to, but also don’t feel guilty about dropping Meyers for another option.