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WR Brandon LaFell - New England Patriots

6-3, 211Born: 11-4-1986College: LSUDrafted: Round 3

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Photo: Jeremy Brevard, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 27): It sounded far-fetched at the beginning of the season, but LaFell is the consistent #1 receiver for the Patriots, and he is a consistent fantasy wideout approaching WR2 value as we head into the second half of the season.

General News (Tue Oct 28): played in 61 of the 74 offensive snaps in Week 8 Sunday, Oct. 26. He had 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Week 9: vs Denver Broncos

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning - a renewal of a fiercely competitive NFL rivalry. EXCITING! The Patriots look rejuvenated along with Rob Gronkowski (nine targets for 9/149/3 receiving vs. Chicago last week). Unlikely lead wide receiver Brandon LaFell has learned the joys of playing with Brady (11 targets for 11/124/1), and Tim Wright is becoming the #2 tight end that makes Brady happy (seven targets for 7/61/1 receiving last week). Brady missed out on just five completions out of 35 passes last week (30/35 for 354 yards passing, five TDs and zero interceptions) as he and his compatriots tuned up for this showdown with Manning and the Broncos. Brady has thrown for more than 350 yards in two of his last three games, and has 12 TD throws during that time span. The Patriots' passing attack is as hot as the Broncos' coming into this epic duel. The Broncos' pass D ranks 17th in the NFL averaging 242.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 12 passing scores given out balanced by seven interceptions (tied for 13th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for sixth) generated to date. The Patriots have allowed 15 sacks this season (tied-11th in the NFL) so far. Last week, Denver sacked Philip Rivers twice (for -7 yards) and intercepted him twice while allowing 30/41 for 245 net yards passing and three TDs; two weeks ago Colin Kaepernick was sacked six times for -53 yards on the way to 27/46 for 248 net yards, two TDs and one interception thrown by 49er quarterbacks (Blaine Gabbert played late in that 17-42 blowout win for Denver). Brady is hot while the Broncos' pass D is merely mediocre - advantage, New England. Also, the Patriots' backs have a tough matchup against the top-ranked Denver defensive front, so look for Brady to throw early and often in this one.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumL
5 vs CIN 0 0 0 4 1 20 0 0
6 at BUF 0 0 0 6 4 97 2 0
7 vs NYJ 0 0 0 5 4 55 0 0
8 vs CHI 0 0 0 11 11 124 1 0
9 vs DEN PROJ-Dodds 0 * * 4 * * *
9 vs DEN PROJ-Tremblay 0 * * 4 * * *
9 vs DEN PROJ-Bloom 0 * * 5 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 6 vs BUF (6 / 4 / 97 / 2 rec)

Brandon LaFell was once again involved in the Patriots offensive attack, operating as the third weapon behind Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. His biggest impact plays were his two touchdowns, with the second one icing the game for the Patriots. His first touchdown was an 18 yarder where LaFell found a soft spot in a zone defense, sat down, waited for the ball, then ran into the end zone fairly easily. His second touchdown was a very nice deep throw by Tom Brady, a ball LaFell caught about 25 yards down the field, avoided a tackle, then raced down the sideline for a great score. LaFell's chemistry with Brady is notably improving on a weekly basis, and he displayed a bit more elusiveness today than he had in prior weeks. He may not be consistent on a weekly basis, but LaFell is developing into a competent weapon for the Patriots after some questions early on in the season.

2014 Week 7 vs NYJ (5 / 4 / 55 / 0 rec)

LaFell had a decent day, highlighted by a couple catches and runs and broken tackles. The Patriots' first pass of the day was a 24 yard strike to LaFell, who avoided defenders and picked up some solid yards after catch. LaFell was also called for another offensive pass interference call, and one wonders if they should stop calling pick plays for him, as he's now picked up 3 or 4 penalties on the same play during the course of the season. LaFell also bobbled one of his catches that could have gone for more yardage had he looked the ball into his hands and then run.

2014 Week 8 vs CHI (11 / 11 / 124 / 1 rec)

Operating as the number one wide receiver for the Patriots, Brandon Lafell had himself a day and has clearly gained the trust of Tom Brady, looking like a completely different receiver than he did early in the season. Most of Lafell's completions were intermediate throws, with the majority coming off play action in 1on1 coverage situations. As we've seen in the past, Lafell also displayed good yards after catch on multiple occasions. His most impressive grab was a slightly high throw above his helmet that he snagged with both hands while a defender played tight coverage. His touchdown was a simple juke move at the line of scrimmage from 9 yards out that saw him beat the defender right off the bat, with the play design going to Lafell right from the start. A very solid display of hands and YAC from the wide receiver all around.

More

Latest News

Patriots | Brandon LaFell continues ascension (Mon Oct 27, 09:39 AM) - New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell played in 61 of the 74 offensive snaps in Week 8 Sunday, Oct. 26. He had 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Our View: LaFell has been earning the trust of Tom Brady, and he's getting rewarded with more targets on gameday. Fantasy owners need to keep this in mind when looking at LaFell as a starter. In games the Patriots control, LaFell is worth starting at least as a WR3/flex play with upside.
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New England Patriots Team Links

Depth Chart      Season Stats      Targets      Red Zone      Game Logs

Staff Dynasty Rankings

WR Dynasty - 86, 71, 73

Footballguys Articles

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The Gut Check No.301: Gut Checks Part II
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Preseason Watch List: NFC South
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Schedule

9vs Denver Broncos
10--- BYE WEEK ---
11@ Indianapolis Colts
12vs Detroit Lions
13@ Green Bay Packers
14@ San Diego Chargers
15vs Miami Dolphins
16@ New York Jets
17vs Buffalo Bills