In the words of the legendary Bruce Buffer, “IT’S TIME!” At least in regards to preseason football anyways. The Hall of Fame Game kicked things off Thursday night, so the 2017 season has finally popped its proverbial cherry. As for the New England Patriots, they get things going next Thursday against the Jaguars. This should be the first look at the Jags shiny new toy in top running back prospect, Leonard Fournette, who looks to set the table and run against one of the top defensive lines in the league in the Patriots. The Jaguars just lost starting left tackle, Branden Albert, to retirement on Monday so they will look to Cam Robinson to shift from guard to the tackle position. The Patriots will clearly not be sending out their top guns this early in the preseason. However, they will be looking to warm up for their week 1 matchup against the Chiefs.
One of the things to look forward to is how new addition of Brandin Cooks gets utilized in Bill Belichick’s top ranked offense. The former first round pick is positioned for a large number of targets taking over as the number one receiver in a new offense behind quarterback Tom Brady. In terms of fantasy, Cooks’ ADP (average draft position) is around 3.04 in a 12 team PPR league. His value is a little rich for my blood and I am therefore targeting Julian Edelman in the 5th round in a redraft PPR. Edelman is definitely the higher value play if you are drafting for upside early. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with more points in a PPR league than Cooks, especially if Gronkowski isn’t able to handle a full 16 game schedule.
“USA TODAY” is predicting the Patriots going 19-0 and as bold of a prediction as it is, I do think this is a real possibility. They were as close as a team has come in 2007, excluding the ’72 Dolphins, to a perfect season. With the amount of talent on both sides of the ball, nothing short of another Super Bowl appearance would be considered a failure. Talent doesn’t mean everything though, but if there is one man I would trust in utilizing said talent to its best ability, it is Coach Belichick. We have yet to have a team in this league go 19-0, but once again in the words of Bruce Buffer, “IT’S TIME!”