Over the past three seasons, the Patriots had an average rank of 1.7 in scoring offense. Obviously, with production like that, fantasy owners should be champing at the bit to try and unearth which players will be hitting paydirt.
The running back situation has become clear with Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen locked in as fantasy assets, but as for wide receiver, it's still a bit of a guessing game. However, now that were a few weeks in to training camp, we can make some educated guesses.
Danny Amendola's role is the safest and he'll be the slot man for Tom Brady on short routes. Consequently, his ADP (average draft position) will be the highest among Patriot receivers by a country mile. Amendola has a legitimate shot to catch 100 balls and become a WR1 in PPR leagues. The much-chronicled downside of Amendola is his propensity to wind up on the inactive list. The former Ram broke his collarbone last year and played in just one game in 2011. If you're going to draft him, be sure there is some depth on your bench at receiver.
Even if DA catches 100, that leaves a lot of balls to go around considering Tom Brady had 401 completions last season. With one preseason game down, it looks like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have stepped up as the two guys to target in fantasy. Thompkins caught six balls on Friday in a preseason game and looks to be further along as a 25-year-old rookie. Dobson, on the other hand, hasn't quite come on yet. He does have more physical tools and his size and athleticism translate to a better red-zone target.
Thompkins should be drafted in all leagues as a late-round pick while Dobson should get that same designation for his higher upside. To be clear, Thompkins figures to be safer.