The Patriots and Titans will square off Sunday in a game not just with major playoff ramifications, but also with multiple fantasy football matchups worth exploiting.
New England has emerged as a fantasy-relevant team — on both sides of the ball — after an iffy start to the season. Bill Belichick’s team is getting Tennessee at a perfect time, as Mike Vrabel’s group is banged up and not playing its best football
Ahead of the Week 12 contest, we came up with three Patriots players you should start in your fantasy football lineups, and three you should sit.
Mac Jones, QB
The rookie is coming off arguably the two best games of his young career and is set to face one of the NFL’s most susceptible pass defenses. The TItans are stout against the run, which could force the normally balanced Patriots to throw the ball a lot. Jones makes for a fine fantasy play Sunday.
Damien Harris, RB
Harris saw his five-game touchdown streak end in the Patriots’ win over the Falcons but still had an excellent game. He might not run wild agains the Titans, but Harris has a great chance of getting back into the end zone. He’s a solid RB2 this weekend, despite dealing with a neck injury during the week.
The Patriots defense has established itself as the best unit in fantasy, and won’t need to face Derrick Henry, Julio Jones or A.J. Brown on Sunday. Is Ryan Tannehill going to carve up this defense? We doubt it.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB
Stevenson looks like a stud, but it’s hard to imagine both Patriots running backs having good days against Tennessee’s run defense. Plus, the rookie dealt with a knee injury during practice this week. Start Stevenson as a FLEX if you want, but don’t be surprised if he puts up a dud.
We believe at least one of New England’s wideouts will have a big game — probably Kendrick Bourne — but Jones spreads the ball around too much for us to have any confidence in starting a Patriots receiver. They simply are too inconsistent.
Jonnu Smith, TE
Many are predicting Smith, who is facing his old team, to finally deliever a breakout performance. And that might happen, as his speed could be a problem for the Titans’ slow linebackers. But Smith has done nothing this season to warrant a spot in your lineups. Stay away until further notice.