Written by Justin Knight, who goes by @jjknight16 on the Fantasy Life App, as well as @Justin16Knight on Twitter.
Houston Texans (2–0) @ New England Patriots (2–0) 8:25 PM (Est)
On tap for Thursday Night Football this week, we get a battle between two former colleagues. The Texans (Bill O’Brien) will travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots (Bill Belichick). O’Brien, former assistant turned offensive coordinator for the Pats. Will make his first trip back to Gillette stadium since becoming a head coach in 2014. The two sides meet in 2015, where the Patriots dominated with a score of 27–6. Expect this contest to be much closer.
The Texans as a whole, seem much improved from recent years. The defense has been dominant. Posting a league high 9 sacks, and allowing just 26 points against through two weeks. Just as impressive, is the emergence of rookie WR Will Fuller. The speedster posted 100 yards receiving in each if his first two games as a pro (3rd player in NFL history to do so). Couple Fuller and Hopkins with a dangerous run game. You have a sneaky explosive offense.
No Brady, no Garoppolo (most likely), and possibly no Gronk. And still, you can’t count out Bill Belichick. The Master will need to dive deep into his bag of tricks to leave this game with a W. Expect a healthy dose of rushing attempts and short passing plays to try and control the clock. Keeping the Texans offense off the field will be key for the Pats this week.
For me, the offensive weapons the Patriots are missing will be too much to overcome. The Pats might be the best team in the AFC East even without Brady, but they aren't with Brissett at the helm. My Prediction- 23–13 Texans.
The Good: DeAndre Hopkins
Concerns about Osweiler’s play affecting Hopkin’s fantasy value have gone by the wayside. Osweiler has not been great, but he‘s done enough to gain the confidence of Hopkins owners. Hopkins has found the end-zone in each of the first two games of the season. I’m expecting another big game. The Patriots D has allowed the second most receiving yards since the start of last season. Add Will Fuller opening the field through the middle. Hopkins should feast.
The Good: Lamar Miller
This is exactly what fantasy players have been waiting for! Miller is being utilized as a true workhorse. He recording 28 carries in week one and 25 in week two. His 3.6 yards per carry is nothing special, but this usage should continue. Keep him locked in your lineup as a RB1.
The Good: LeGarrette Blount
Normally I wouldn’t have a Patriots RB in the good category. Mostly impossible to predict, it’s a situation I usually avoid. With Brady still suspended and Grappolo most likely out with a shoulder injury that leaves rookie Jacoby Brissett to be under center. Expect a high dose (no pun intended) of Blount this Thursday. RB 2 with RB 1 upside this week.
The Bad: Gronk
If Gronk suits up this week, you have to start him. It’s Grok after-all. Expectations must be tempered. Coming off Injury that has limited him in practice all season, and having Brissett under center. It wouldn't surprise me if Gronk was rolled out as a decoy.
The Ugly: Jacoby Brissett
There is no reason you should be starting Brissett in any leagues, end of story.