Fantasy Football 2013: Patriots at Panthers Week 11 Preview
New England Patriots (7-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-3)
Monday, November 18, 2013: 8:40 PM (ET)
Coming up on the Week 11 edition of “Monday Night Football” is a very good-looking matchup between two upward-trending NFL teams. The New England Patriots (7-2) will head south to take on the Carolina Panthers (6-3) in what should be a great game. The Patriots will be coming into this one fresh off a bye, while the Panthers are riding high off a big defensive effort in a win against the 49ers.
As you’d expect, there are significant fantasy players all over this one, so let’s take a closer look at the noteworthy names on both sides so we can see what we should be expecting from our rosters this week.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: After a bad four-week stretch during which he could only muster a pair of touchdowns and four interceptions, Brady came back to life with an awesome line in his last outing. He managed four touchdowns against the Steelers, posting 432 yards on 23-of-33 passing. It’s pretty safe to say that he’s finally syncing up with his new receivers, so Brady should be able to ride that wave into a nice game on Monday.
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Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: As most of us expected, Newton had a rough game against San Francisco. He went 16-of-32 passing, resulting in 169 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. It was an off-game in an otherwise solid run during the Panthers’ five-game win streak. If Newton can get some space by finding early passing success against the Patriots, he may be able to exploit New England’s front by out-running them. We expect better rushing numbers than he’s had in the past couple of weeks.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: Ridley has been the Patriots’ go-to back for most of the year. He’s coming off a big day against the Steelers--26 rushes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. That gives him six scores in the last four weeks. There’s a potential hang-up in Ridley’s fantasy value this week, however. Fellow RB Shane Vereen is expected to be making his return to the field, and though he probably won’t jump right in with a huge workload, you should see a noticeable drop in Ridley’s production.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers: Speaking of sharing the workload, Williams has been experiencing the same thing in Carolina thanks to Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. He got a meager eight carries against the Niners, but was able to turn those touches into 46 rush yards and a score--his second in three weeks. There’s no telling what kind of carry distribution the Panthers have in mind for Monday, so that makes Williams a lower-end start in fantasy this week.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: After up-and-down performances in his first two outings of the year, Gronkowski returned to form in a big way against the Steelers. He posted 143 yards on nine receptions and managed his first score of the year. Brady is undoubtedly happy to have his favorite target back, so expect him to be targeted early and often against the Panthers. Gronkowski will likely end up being one of the best draft bargains in fantasy this year.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers: Though Newton has formed chemistry with several receivers (Olsen, LaFell, Ginn, etc.), but Smith is the one with the most fantasy upside. He was shut out in the first half of the 49ers game, but came back later with six grabs for 63 yards. Smith hasn’t scored in his past three outings, but we expect that to change soon. Keep rolling with him.
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