As an avid fantasy football participant New England Patriots Hats , I plan to start a weekly analysis of the New England Patriots and their current matchup in terms of fantasy football. This is my analysis and estimations of stats heading into week 5. Good luck with all of your match-ups!Quarterbacks Ahhhh, everyone can take a deep breath now. Patriots fans can go back to listening to sports radio, back to wearing throwback Tom Brady jerseys, and revived those Super Bowl dreams! Better yet, we play against a struggling Indianapolis Colts tonight. Now, I am one of those fans who enjoys Thursday night football games, unless it is the Patriots. I hate the injury risk and the potential to see anything less than 100% different than what we might see if the game was played on Sunday instead. However, it is a nice mid-week exposure to football and always fun to watch for fantasy football purposes, so let’s dive in! Does it seem possible that the last time the Patriots played the Colts was in 2015? It seems like just about every year we battle them early in the playoffs or have a post bye week matchup. However, in the past couple battles between Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, one quarterback has generally been more successful. You guessed it Pats fans, Tom Brady! Postseason Luck sucks eggs, where regular season Luck has been decent. Looking ahead to tonight, Brady is a must start with Edelman coming back. The robin to his batman. I haven’t been this excited for a player to return since potentially Gronk back in the day. Luck should have minimal luck tonight, so I would leave him on the bench. Final Prediction: Tom Brady: 333 yards, 3 touchdownsAndrew Luck: 270 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interception Tight Ends Early reports show that Gronkowski is going to play through his ankle injury and suit up tonight, exactly how many snaps is a question though. Either way, start Gronk. This offense is getting up to full speed, and when that happens, every offensive player is elevated. On the blue and white side of the ball, Eric Ebron has been benefitting from a Jack Doyle injury and with TY Hilton sitting out tonight, should have a pretty good game. Ebron has scored in 3 out of the 4 games so far this year and has been targeted double digits these past two games. Final Prediction: Rob Gronkowski: 4 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdownEric Ebron: 7 receptions, 76 yards, 1 touchdown Running Backs One of the bright spots in a perfect bounce back game last week was the running backs for the Patriots. Sony Michel and James White dominated at their specialty and proved this backfield can work. Fair warning, we’ve seen this before *cough, Jonas Gray, cough*, where one week the backfield rules and the next game New England Patriots Hoodie , they are non-existent. While I can guarantee neither of these RBs will have a Gray-like disappearance, I just cautious those fantasy owners wanting to trade the Kings ransom for one of these RBs. With the return of Edelman, James White will suffer the most as Julz will take a good chunk of his receiving targets. Both RBs can be started this week. As far as the Colts RBs, it is a gamble between Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkes. My vote would be on Hines in the flex since he gets more of the receiving targets Final Predictions:James White: 22 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 47 receiving yardsSony Michel: 72 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown Nyheim Hines: 22 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown Wide Receivers Queue up Public Service Announcement by Jay Z and watch the goosebumps rise as Tom Brady and his main man, Julian Edelman run out together tonight. This will be a special moment all around, not just because Edelman is back, but because he is playing with Gronk for the first time since 2016! Now throw into the mix Josh Gordon, my goodness, this offense could potentially be one of the best the Patriots ever had. I liked what I saw last week out of Josh Gordon and from all the praise we have heard out of Patriots camp, I am very optimistic about Gordon fitting in. Start Edelman and Gordon this week. Consider Dorsett in the flex and leave Chris Hogan on the bench. You can also feel comfortable starting Colts Ryan Grant since T.Y. Hilton will be out, Luck will not have many options to go to tonight. Final Prediction:Julian Edelman: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns Josh Gordon: 3 receptions, 42 receiving yardsPhillip Dorsett: 3 receptions, 37 yardsRyan Grant: 8 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown Defense Ok, I gave the Patriots defense another chance last week, and they did not disappoint. We will roll with them again this week and see if true adjustments have been made. I’ve said before, the talent is there, they just need to execute, and they will be fine. Besides, Andrew Luck is almost always good for an INT or two. Waiver wire hunting this week brings me to San Francisco playing at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are a mess on offense and can implode at any time. Just have to hope David Johnson doesn’t take over.The Patriots keep playing running back roulette With the many mind games that Bill Belichick and the Patriots play with opponents and fans, one of the most common and confusing is the running back situation. Each week it is a mystery who gets the start, the third down plays, and the red zone touches. The most recent certainty we’ve had when it came to the running back situation was knowing LeGarrette Blount was getting the goal line touches. Blount hasn’t been on the team since the 2016 season Customized New England Patriots Jerseys , where he led the league in rushing touchdowns with 18 scores. That also was a franchise record for the Pats.Most fans assumed the signing of Mike Gillislee, would take over that role in 2017, however that wasn’t the case. Only registering 5 rushing touchdowns the entire season, 3 coming in the very first game of the season which caused many fantasy football owners to panic and scurry to pick up and trade for someone who ended up being a bust. Coming into the 2018 season, Dion Lewis is gone, Sony Michel and Jeremy Hill are due to compete for snaps, and undrafted free agent signing Ralph Webb came booming into the preseason scoring 2 touchdowns in the first game vs the Redskins. Yes, it was during garbage time, but a man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? (Mr. Webb, you are not trash, just the saying)Coming into the 2018 season, we can expect to see the following running backs be on the roster or at least fight for a position.Technically, Brandon Bolden is a running back too, but his specialty lays with special teams (which is deeply underrated IMO) and we can forget about the fullback, James Develin, fullbacks are people too. However, with all these running backs on the team, how likely is it that they all will play? Very likely. Historically the Patriots have used a healthy rotation of running back throughout the game and the season. Last year the Patriots were tied in second place for the most amount of running back used during the season with 5 (6 with Develin) among teams ranking top 10 in rushing yards. The only team to use more running backs? The Philadelphia Eagles. This is important for a couple of reasons. Mainly because it helps keeps opposing teams guessing on personal and strategy, which every fan knows is the Patriots biggest strength.Another interesting stat comes with the Patriots running backs and the passing game. In 2017, the Patriots had 3 players in the top 20 in catch percentage, basically how many receptions per target. Remember, this included everyone in the NFL. You guessed it, they were all running backs. Dion Lewis was number one OVERALL with a 91.4%, Rex Burkhead came in number five with an 83.3%, and James White posted a 77.8% catch rate at number 17 overall. Pretty insane if you think about all the great receivers we have the league today. Names like Jarvis Landry (69.6%), Odell Beckham Jr. (61%), and Julio Jones (59.5%) were all less than these running backs.While it will be fun to see some new faces in a new offense, it should be no surprises the Patriots will continue to have the rest of the world guessing on who will get the next rushing attempt. My only request is that Tom Brady sticks to throwing and not running.