The Patriots remain a work in progress on both sides of the ball and still are leaving fantasy football managers with difficult decisions to make on a weekly basis.
New England seemingly was set to feast this weekend on a terrible Houston Texans team, but the possibility of four Patriots offensive linemen missing the game has made things much more complicated. The Patriots and Texans will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Ahead of the Week 5 contest, we came up with the Patriots players you should start, and those you should sit, on your fantasy teams.
Mac Jones, QB
There definitely are better quarterback options this week. But if Jones can stay upright behind his line — a big if — he could post QB1 numbers against a bad Texans defense.
The rookie signal-caller had his best game as a pro last weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most importantly, he and his assortment of weapons looked closer to in-sync than they have at any point this season. One area Jones must address before being fantasy start-worthy: turnovers. He’s thrown four interceptions this season.
Kendrick Bourne, WR
Bourne is coming off back-to-back strong games and appears on the verge of a breakout.
The most athletic receiver on the Patriots roster, Bourne caught six balls for 96 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 before catching five for 58 against the Bucs. Jones clearly likes targeting Bourne, who will enter the WR2 conversation with another good game. For now, he’s a solid FLEX play.
New England’s defense certainly could stand to rack up more turnovers and sacks — maybe Jamie Collins will help. But fantasy defenses are all about matchups, and just about any defense going up against the Texans is worth consideration.
This initially felt like a great opportunity to roll with a player like Damien Harris. Houston boasts a terrible run defense.
But the patchwork offensive line, along with New England’s recent struggles on the ground — minus-one yards rushing last weekend — have us fading Harris and anyone else in the Patriots backfield until further notice.
Preseason fears of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith cutting into each other’s target shares have come to fruition.
At some point this season, one of them — if not both — will be worthy fantasy starters. But for now, both really are TE2s that together add up to TE1 production. Stay away until either emerges as a go-to weapon.
Nelson Agholor, WR
Agholor caught five balls for 72 yards and score in New England’s season opener. Since then, the veteran wideout has posted yardage totals of 21, 17 and 55 yards. He still is finding his way in this offense.
Agholor was a solid fantasy wideout last season and has the potential to be one in 2021. Until he fulfills that promise, he’s a fringe FLEX play.