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Patriots fantasy football recap: Tom Brady is back; the running game isn't

Rumors of the New England offense's demise were greatly exaggerated. We break down the fantasy implications.

Remember when the New England Patriots' offense was done, and was going to cost the team dearly for the season? After getting embarrassed in that Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots have now responded with convincing back-to-back wins, including Sunday's 37-22 win over the Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots have now put up 80 points the last two weeks, quieting many of the doom-and-gloom criticism around the team. With all those points, let's look at the fantasy performances:

Tom Brady

Brady had 35 fantasy points through four weeks. He has 50 in the last two alone, including 30 Sunday. Brady threw for 361 yards on 27-of-37 passing in the game, with four touchdowns through the air. Brady, who looked done a couple of weeks ago, suddenly looks like a viable quarterback, and with games against the Jets, Bears and Broncos before New England's Week 10 bye, this is a nice time to have him.

Stevan Ridley

Ridley led the Patriots in rushing Sunday, but it was only 23 yards on 10 carries, with 6 receiving yards on one catch. Unfortunately for Ridley, he suffered a knee injury in the game. We'll find out more about the severity Monday, but the early reports aren't great, with "torn ACL" rumors circulating. Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden took over the carries with Ridley out, though neither offered much effectiveness. Vereen had 4 yards on five carries and 3 yards on a catch, while Bolden ran the ball six times for 10 yards. The Patriots didn't run well Sunday.

Brandon LaFell

That's two huge games in the last three for LaFell, who caught four passes for 97 yards and two scores Sunday. For the season, he now has four games of four or fewer fantasy points, and two with 17-plus. It would be nice if he could put together some consistency, but LaFell is putting himself in at least maybe-flex territory. Meanwhile, Julian Edelman had his first good game in a few weeks, catching nine passes for 91 yards, and adding a rush for 10 more. Edelman's stock had fallen the last couple of weeks, but he's still a reasonable low-end starting receiver, with higher stock in PPR leagues.

Rob Gronkowski

The tight end's value has been really touchdown dependent so far this season, so seeing him put up numbers without a score is a nice sight. Gronkowski had 94 yards on seven catches in Sunday's game, the fifth game of nine or more fantasy points in six tries this season. He remains one of the top tight ends in the game. Meanwhile, No. 2 tight end Tim Wright, who had a big game a week ago, had a touchdown in Sunday's game, but it was for 1 yard, and it was his only catch -- and only target -- of the game. Wright remains a guy who could pop and offer production, but he's not someone you can count on.