FOXBORO — Tom Brady has been down this road before.

He’s lost his favorite tight end target to injury in 2012, 2013, last season and even one time already this season. So when the news that Rob Gronkowski would be lost for the rest of the regular season and likely until the Super Bowl, Brady tried to keep a philosophical “next-man-up” attitude.

“That was tough news to hear for everybody because he’s such a big part of our team and what we do and his enthusiasm and energy for the game and what he means to us on the field because he’s such a great player and the kind of leader he is off the field and in the locker room,” Brady said Friday. “It’s a tough loss but we’ve still got a big challenge ahead and we’re going to try to do the best we can do. We’ve got a lot of good players and we’ll be focused on what our job is, which this week is a big test playing the Rams, their defense and what they can do. Everyone is going to have to step their game up.”

Brady admitted that seeing Gronkowski need a third back surgery hits him as a person first and then a teammate.

“He’s been through a lot over the years and he always comes back strong with a great attitude and a great mindset,” Brady said. “I think that’s what everybody expects from him. He’s a great guy. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great friend. He’s a tough guy. He always battles back. And we’ll keep battling without him. We’ve got a lot of tough guys in the locker room, still. See if we can make it a season. We’re off to a good start. We’ve got to keep it going. This is the time of year where we have to play our best football.”

Now Brady must turn to the likes of Martellus Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and running backs Dion Lewis and James White to pick up the slack in the passing game.

“It doesn’t stop for anybody,” Brady said. “The games keep being played and they keep going. I’ve learned that lesson a few times in my career. When you’re out there, you’ve got to appreciate it. When you’re not, you do everything you can to get back. For the guys who have the opportunity to go out there and play this week and are fortunate to play the game, you do it with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm because you don’t know what next week is going to bring. We’ve got to go out there and play a great game. It’s a good time of year to start playing our best football.

“He’s a tough player. There are no guys like Rob, just on the street. It’s hard to sub one guy for one guy but other guys will just have to play. When he comes out of the lineup, someone else has to step in and fill that spot. It may not be a tight end spot, maybe another receiver, another running back, could be tight end. You’ve just got to be determined on what the play is. We still have to go out and execute the plays well. There’s 70 of them in the game and you have to execute all 70 as well as you possibly can. The better players you have, the more consistent players you have, the more you can do that on a consistent basis. There’s going to be a lot of guys trying to do that.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and he discussed the team needing to come together after losing Gronk, and the turnovers in the Jets game can propel them to create more turnovers.
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and he discussed the team needing to come together after losing Gronk, and the turnovers in the Jets game can propel them to create more turnovers.

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FOXBORO — What’s the very latest on the Rob Gronkowski injury? How are the Patriots responding? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable have the very latest inside Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Now that the bruising election is over, President-elect Donald Trump is taking a victory tour through some of the states that handed him the presidency.

Speaking Thursday in Cincinnati, Trump made what might just be an accurate claim: that NFL ratings dove precipitously because of his domination of the election news cycle.

Now that the bruising election is over, President-elect Donald Trump is taking a victory tour through some of the states that handed him the presidency.

Speaking Thursday in Cincinnati, Trump made what might just be an accurate claim: that NFL ratings dove precipitously because of his domination of the election news cycle.

Per USA Today’s For The Win blog:

“One of the announcers from ESPN … Now, they cover football and boxing and everything, right? And he went out and he said, ‘I gotta tell you, that event, last night’ — meaning the election results — ‘was better than any fight, any baseball game, any football game.’

He said, ‘That was the most exciting event I’ve ever seen!’ and it was politics. And then you look at the NFL. Well now they should start recovering. But their ratings were so far down. And you know what the reason was? This. Because this business is tougher than the NFL. The people liked it. Their ratings were down 20 or 21 percent. And it was because of us.”

The numbers support Trump’s claim. Thursday Night Football, for instance, averaged an 8.8 rating during the election cycle, but shot to 14.1 this week when the Cowboys outlasted the Vikings.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

FOXBORO — With one Gronkowski likely done for the season, another was brought back.

The Patriots appear to have re-signed Glenn Gronkowski to the practice squad as he was at practice Friday afternoon. He replaces tight end Kennard Backman, who was missing Thursday and Friday.

FOXBORO — With one Gronkowski likely done for the season, another was brought back.

The Patriots appear to have re-signed Glenn Gronkowski to the practice squad as he was at practice Friday afternoon. He replaces tight end Kennard Backman, who was missing Thursday and Friday.

This will be Glenn’s fourth stint on the Patriots practice squad this season. Most recently he was released on Nov. 30.

The rookie out of Kansas State made the Bills’ opening day roster, but was released on Sept. 12 and signed to the Patriots’ practice squad on Oct. 1.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

rotobahn-logoWelcome to the Week 13 starts and sits. I have plenty of recommendations for both seasonal leagues and for DraftKings. As always, if you are looking for recommendations on players not listed in this space, consult my free lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They will be fully updated by Saturday night, after final injury reports come out, and they are comprehensive.

I hope you all join Jim Hackett and me for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be live at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, and you can listen on WEEI.com if you are a late riser. It’s usually posted on the home page by mid-morning. I’ll also tweet a link to the show once it is up.

Follow @rotobahn on Twitter if you want to keep up with all of our fantasy stuff.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, Lions at Saints, $7,600 and $7,000, respectively

This is about the game itself to some degree, so I am putting these two together. Obviously, these guys both are strong plays in seasonal leagues. You should feel good if you are starting either one of them. The decision regarding their DraftKings viability is just a tick more complex because of cost. Having said that, I will absolutely be constructing several lineups for both of these quarterbacks and I can sum up my reasoning very easily. The Superdome. The Saints score points at home almost without exception. And the Lions are a team that can play shootout football without much trouble. It’s in Stafford’s DNA. So I want plenty of Superdome action this weekend.

Andrew Luck, Colts at Jets, $7,300

Once again, the reasoning here is easy to sum up. The Jets. They just don’t do enough to stop the pass. Will they hit Andrew Luck? Definitely, but unless they knock him out of the game, he will dust himself off and continue to torch New York’s woeful secondary. Playing Luck is good business in Week 13. He’s an obvious strong play in all seasonal formats and he has a big ceiling on DraftKings.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Bears, $6,100

This is getting boring. I put him here every week as a nice low-cost option and he keeps getting it done. Once again, it’s about his style of play (a running quarterback) and the fact that Chip Kelly’s offense runs more plays than other offenses. Kaepernick will get plenty of carries and passing attempts as well. It’s all about the volume.

Sit

Trevor Siemian, Broncos at Jaguars, $5,100

It’s a tough week for sits at quarterback. I really don’t hate any of the passers this week. That said, Denver is a team to avoid. If Siemian starts, he’s a hit away from getting knocked out, and it’s impossible to trust Paxton Lynch if he starts. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cop-out, but avoid Denver’s quarterback this week.

RUNNING BACKS

Start

David Johnson, Cardinals vs. Washington, $9,500
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers vs. Giants, $9,200

I’m combining these two because the rationale is the same. You play the best players as much as you can. These two backs fit the format perfectly because they can amass big reception totals and because both handle consistently large workloads. Oh yeah, they also are elite talents. Of the backs left on the main Sunday slate, I want to play these two as much as possible. Cost will limit my exposure for sure, but I am jamming them in when I can.

Jordan Howard, Bears vs. 49ers, $7,200

He was a regular on our waiver wire back in September and early October. Look how far our guy has come? He’s now playable — even at a premium price. Why do I like Howard this week? Beyond the fact that he’s good at football, we are back to the Chip Kelly thing. This is going to be a game with a lot of snaps. More snaps lead to more touches, and more touches lead to fantasy production.

Theo Riddick, Lions at Saints, $5,800

He’s in a game that could end up being high scoring, to put it mildly. He plays most of the snaps for the Lions due to Ameer Abdullah’s foot injury. Riddick fits the DraftKings full PPR scoring format perfectly. He has big upside in this game and he’s priced reasonably.

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens vs. Dolphins, $3,700

I’ve been talking up a shift in the Ravens backfield, and I think it’s finally upon us. No disrespect intended to Terrance West, who has run well, but Dixon is this year’s draft pick and he’s now fully healthy — doing the things we saw on his college game film. In Week 12, Dixon finally took the lead in snaps played, and my guess is that he maintains that lead going forward. He should give you RB2 stats this week in PPR leagues and he’s a nice bargain on DraftKings.

Sit

T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars vs. Broncos, $3,700

There will be a temptation here because Yeldon will start and get plenty of action due to Chris Ivory’s injury. The thing is, Yeldon also is banged up, so he will give up plenty of snaps to Denard Robinson. The bigger concern is that Denver’s defense is very good and playing better than it did a few weeks back. Avoid Yeldon unless you are desperate.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Start

T.Y. Hilton, Colts at Jets, $7,600

He will have a great matchup no matter how the Jets choose to defend him. The Colts have speed all over the field and play tons of three-wide sets. They will be a nightmare for the Jets secondary, and Hilton should lead the charge. He is well worth his price tag on Draftkings this week.

Brandin Cooks, Saints vs. Lions, $6,400

First off, you have my apologies and sympathies if you took my advice on Cooks last week. He left a nice dent in my wallet, but this is Week 13, not Week 12. I’m getting back up on the horse and riding, dammit. Cooks has a nice matchup this week, as I see the Lions using shutdown corner Darius Slay more on Michael Thomas.

Willie Snead, Saints vs. Lions, $5,100

This one is a bit more concrete than Cooks because Snead has a more concrete matchup. He ought to be lined up with slot corner Quandre Diggs most of the game, and that is a matchup Snead should dominate with Drew Brees on his side. Snead is a must-start everywhere this week in my book.

Sit

Sammy Watkins, Bills at Raiders, $5,500

Buyer beware here. I love Watkins as a player, but Buffalo is sending hugely confusing signals, and you could end up with nothing if you play Watkins this week. If you want to use him as a contrarian play in DFS, then go for it as long as you understand the risks. In seasonal leagues, you should consider safer choices seriously. It sounds like he may play a small role this week.

TIGHT ENDS

Start

Travis Kelce, Chiefs at Falcons, $4,700

He is, quite simply, mispriced. The tight end position has taken a major hit with both Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed out. Kelce is on fire right now, and he is in a good matchup. The Chiefs will have to open things up in this game. While that almost assuredly will lead to defeat, it also should lead to a very nice day for Kelce.

Eric Ebron, Lions at Saints, $3,900

I love him at this price and in this matchup, which I have already gone on about ad nauseam. Ebron has multi-score potential in this game. A season-high fantasy point total would not come as a surprise. He’s a TE1 in seasonal and a potential steal on DraftKings.

Vance McDonald, 49ers at Bears, $2,900

He’s a bargain, and he is playing on a team that is giving him consistent targets. McDonald now is becoming predictable, and I see TE1 stats this week for him or darn close to it. He’s a nice play in 12-team leagues regardless of scoring.

Sit

Dennis Pitta, Ravens vs. Dolphins, $3,100

There are better options. Pitta is a name and he can play for sure, but he’s been dead weight for weeks now, and I am not looking to bet on him with my season on the line. He also lacks the kind of upside you want in your DraftKings lineups. He’s for desperate situations only. He only played 41 out of 68 offensive snaps last week.

Blog Author: 
Peter Davidson

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their final practice before Sunday’s game against the Rams Friday afternoon on the lower field behind Gillette Stadium.