Despite a 5-0 start, the New England Patriots are one of the more battered teams offensively this season when it comes to injuries. From the offensive line to the backfield, and now at wide receiver, the Patriots’ toughest challenge this season has been the injury bug.
The latest victim of an injury on the Patriots offense is wide receiver Phillip Dorsett who went down in the opening drive of New England’s victory over Washington on Sunday. In the Patriots lone practice of the week, Dorsett did not participate as he continues to deal with his injured hamstring.
With game day approaching fast, Dorsett has already been ruled out against the Giants. Without a key receiver, Tom Brady and the Patriots offense will feel the brunt of that impact, but the team is deep enough to make up for his loss.
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Dorsett’s Snaps Go To…
With no Dorsett in the game, the Patriots could turn to rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers. Undrafted out of NC State, he impressed enough in training camp with his versatility to the point where he made the final roster and has dressed for every game.
But in regular-season play, Meyers has only caught four passes for 66 yards, three of which have come on first down. If Dorsett is out, Meyers is the likely option to step up and take his reps at WR3 and has shown his ability to run routes well.
Another option would be increased production from the tight end position in the receiving game. Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse were at their peak involvement last weekend when it came to running routes and participating in the receiving game. With good hands exhibited by both of them.
Finally, it could be as simple as running the ball with Sony Michel more. The Patriots returned to a power running game in the second half at Washington with both tight ends and full back Jakob Johnson clearing paths for Michel to roam. Plus, Sony showed an inkling of pass-catching prowess in the first half.
Possible Fantasy Replacements
Patriots options are few and far between, but it might be worth taking a chance on Meyers. He has been used, albeit in a limited capacity, and could be poised for a breakout game if his snap count is elevated.
Meyers has shown an ability to get open over the middle throughout his time in New England. A slot receiver in college, his height allows him to be a threat on deep passes as well.
Another option could be Golden Tate, who will be lining up with the New York Giants against the Patriots on Thursday. Tate is only owned in 45 percent of leagues and without many of the Giants attacking weapons healthy, he could see a ton of passes both short and long. In three prior games against the Patriots, Tate has averaged 16 yards per catch and 71 yards per game.