Description: Running back LeGarrette Blount led the team in rushing during Week 12's win against the Lions.
Insight: He had 12 carries for 78 yards, making the backfield even more cloudy. Shane Vereen chipped in eight carries for 12 yards and eight catches for 48 yards, while Jonas Gray did no have a touch, after missing Friday's practice.
Description: Patriots running back Jonas Gray was late to Friday's practice and was not permitted to practice with the team.
Insight: Gray is coming off a great game (201 rushing yards 4 TDs), but coach Bill Belichick's zero-tolerance program could end up costing the youngster a chance in Week 12. Don't forget the team just signed LeGarrette Blount and has Shane Vereen. Gray's fantasy value in Week 12 is now a huge question mark.
Description: Patriots running back Jonas Gray was given a stat correction, giving him a 200-yard rushing game.
Insight: Originally, Gray was credited with 38 carries for 199 yards, but that was changed to 37 rushing attempts for 201 yards. If owners get bonus points for a 200-yard game, those owners will be very happy.
Description: Patriots wideout Julian Edelman saw a team-high eight targets against the Colts, but didn't do much with them.
Insight: He caught five for 50 yards. Part of his poor numbers might have been the Pats use of multiple tight ends as they ran the ball down the Colts throats. He also took a big first quarter hit that may have slowed him down.
Description: Patriots running back Jonas Gray was a monster in Week 11, running around and through the Colts defense for 199 yards on 38 carries and scoring an amazing four times.
Insight: Gray was obviously featured over Shane Vereen, but likely wasn't started in many leagues because of the Patriots inconsistent use of the back over the previous three games. While we can't expect this massive workload every game, a more consistent approach will allow fantasy owners to start him more often.
Description: Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell returned to mediocrity catching six for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: After his 11-catch, 124-yard, one touchdown game against Chicago, fantasy owners were hoping he could repeat the effort, but he came up short. Still, he did post double-digit fantasy points in a game where he was the third or fourth option which is encouraging.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski backed up last weekend's game with another 100-yard effort.
Insight: He caught nine of 10 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. It was his first back-to-back 100-yard games since November 2011. Back then he was the best tight end in football and he may be able to reclaim that title now.
Description: Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones' hip injury he suffered in Week 7 will cost him at least six weeks according to the Boston Herald.
Insight: The Boston Globe originally reported Jones would return in four weeks, but it now appears it will be at least six. It could be the rest of the season. Jones is a huge loss for the Patriots defense. Of New England's 18 sacks, Jones has 4 1/2 of them.
Description: Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis was late for Tuesday's practice, but is not expected to miss any game time over the issue.
Insight: Revis appologized to coach Bill Belichick for oversleeping. I guess when you are the best cover corner in the NFL and your team is facing one of the toughest pair of receivers in the league (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery) a little extra rest isn't a bad thing.
Description: Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (hip) will be be out for about a month, according to The Boston Globe.
Insight: This came out of nowhere, and is a huge blow to New England. Jones has 4.5 sacks on the season, and has consistently created pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Expect the Patriots to update his status on Wednesday.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola has been a non-factor for most of the season and Thursday night was another example.
Insight: Amendola caught one pass for 19 yards and a score. He has just five catches for 42 yards this season and there is no indication that his workload is going to increase so fantasy owners can continue to ignore him unless Julian Edelman is injured.
Description: Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell caught just four balls for 55 yards Thursday night against the Jets.
Insight: The excitement of Week 6's huge game against Buffalo (4-97-2) has quickly faded, but at least he's still involved in the offense. It's just going to be hard to figure out when he's going to go big.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady managed to put up solid numbers despite running just 53 plays to the Jets 80.
Insight: Brady went 20-of-37 for 261 yards and three touchdowns and has now thrown nine touchdowns without an interception over his last three games. He appears to have righted the ship and should be a viable fantasy option from here on out.
Description: New England running back Shane Vereen was the running back to have last night as he posted 43 yards rushing and caught five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
Insight: We weren't sure how things would play out with Stevan Ridley sidelined, but Vereen saw 11 of 14 running back carries and was a force in the passing game. Brandon Bolden and Jonas Gray were non-factors.
Description: Patriots rookie running back James White is healthy scratch for Thursday's game against the Jets.
Insight: Some thought he would be mixed in at running back due to the Stevan Ridley injury. However, with rainy conditions at Foxboro, New England is holding White out. Brandon Bolden is in line for more work, with Jonas Gray mixing in as well. Shane Vereen will have the best opportunity to be a RB2 moving forward.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is on the injury report for his ankle, but there is no chance he misses the Thursday night game with division rival New York.
Insight: He has six touchdowns and 653 yards over his past two games. The only thing that can slow him down is the poor weather expected in Gillette Stadium. There is a 90 percent chance of rain and 10 mph winds.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is officially done for the season.
Insight: He tore both his ACL and MCL, and could have played his final snap with New England, as he will be a free agent after the season. With the uncertainty at running back for the Patriots, owners can target James White and Brandon Bolden on waivers, but need to realize that no tailback is a sure thing. Shane Vereen will see the most increase in playing time, making him a viable RB2, moving forward.
Description: Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell caught four passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills in Week 6.
Insight: Tom Brady is back, so the Patriots recieving game is relevant again, but Brady is spreading the ball around so much, it is hard to predict who will score big when. Rob Gronkowski is the only viable fantasy option in the New England receiving core.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley possibly tore his ACL in New England's Week 6 win.
Insight: An MRI is scheduled for Monday, but reports have not been good. If Ridley is sidelined for the rest of the season, Shane Vereen will see an increased workload, and Brandon Bolden will see an increase in snaps as well.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has overcome the ankle injury from Friday's practice and is active for Sunday.
Insight: Brady was 23-of-35 for 295 yards, two scores and no interceptions and was in complete control in Week 5 and should be a solid option in Week 6 against the Bills who he owns with a 22-2 career record.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been removed from the Week 6 injury report.
Insight: Gronkowski's snaps and statistics have been trending up the entire year, so this news is just further indication that the tight end is getting healthy. Gronkowski is a top-three tight end this Sunday against the Bills.
Description: Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner has been activated from the suspension list.
Insight: Browner missed the first four games of 2014 while serving a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Although they figure to bring him along slowly at first, eventually the combination of Darrelle Revis and Browner could be one of the league's best pair of cover corners.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley dominated with 113 yards and a score on the ground.
Insight: With the Patriots building an early lead, Ridley got to be part of the action for most of the game and rewarded his fantasy owners. He's laways going to be at the mercy of the score because he's not part of the passing packages. Today, with the lead, he was fantasy worthy.
Insight: New England promoted linebacker Ja'Gared Davis from the practice squad, so Thompkins was the player chosen to go. He was a healthy scratch the last two weeks as he fell behind Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. Since Thompkins caught that game-winning touchdown against the Saints last season, he has done virtually nothing in his NFL career.
Description: Another ugly outing from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Insight: Brady and Patriots were never in this one and he finished a short night of work going 14-of-23 for 159 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. At this point there are better options out there.
Description: Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson and fellow wide out Kenbrell Thompkins are inactive for Monday night's game against the Chiefs.
Insight: This is the second straight week Dobson is a healthy scratch. Tom Brady will have Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Brandon LaFell as his wide receiver targets in addition to a healthy Rob Gonkowski.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) told the Boston Herald that he doesn't "feel limited" and is ready for more responsibility.
Insight: Gronkowski saw his snaps increase again in Week 3 up to 57.5 percent of the team's snaps, but he has not caught more than four passes in a game through three weeks. The good news is the knee feels good, and he has not suffered a setback. Keep rolling with Gronkowski, and it will eventually pay off.
Description: Julian Edelman continues to be the Patriots' number one wide receiver.
Insight: Brady clearly trusts him, as he had another nice outing during Week 2 (6 catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown). With Danny Amendola nowhere to be found, Edelman is in line for another monster year. Consider him a WR2, with even more upside in PPR leagues.
Description: New England halfback Shane Vereen was outshined by fellow back Steven Ridley during Week 2.
Insight: Another season, same story for the Patriots. Owners never know which running back is going to get the majority of the reps. Vereen managed only six carries for 40 yards and one catch for no yards on Sunday. Vereen should get back on track at home against Oakland, during Week 3. Consider him a RB2.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was the workhorse running back for the Patriots Sunday, getting 25 rushes for 101 yards to just six carries for Shane Vereen.
Insight: The even better news is he scored a touchdown and didn't fumble the football. It appears the feature back could be different from week to week and neither Ridley or Vereen is going to be an every game RB1.
Description: Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson should be a part of the offense "sooner than later" according to Erik Frenz of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Dobson was a healthy scratch Week 1 after missing a lot of training camp and the preseason with a foot injury. But with Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell combining for just five catches, Dobson should be active in Week 2 and see targets immediately. Dobson has the biggest upside among any of the wideouts for New England.
Description: Tom Brady owners can't be happy with what they saw in Week 1 against Miami.
Insight: The Pats quarterback threw the ball 56 times for just 249 yards and was sacked four times. It's the lack of balance that should concern fantasy owners. The Patriots rushed the ball just 20 times and dropped back to pass 60 times.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) is active and will play Sunday.
Insight: We always expected Gronkowski to start against the Dolphins. He is The Sports Network's No. 3 tight end for Week 1. He might still be on a play limit, but he's going to make the important catches.
Description: Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (foot) is not active for Week 1.
Insight: The second-year receiver had surgery in March to repair a stress fracture in his left foot. He has the size and speed New England's other receivers lack and has a lot of upside if he can stay healthy. Kenbrell Thompkins should see more snaps.
Description: New England QB Tom Brady did not practice on Thursday due to a calf issue according to patriots.com.
Insight: The Patriots did not list Brady on the injury list on Wednesday, so that means this is a new injury. Although it will be hard to find out before Sunday the status on the injury due to Bill Belichick's lack of words, we don't expect Brady to miss Week 1.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) said he won't play every snap in Week 1, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.
Insight: Less than nine months after Gronk tore his ACL and MCL, we're just happy to see him back on the field. He doesn't have to play every snap to be a fantasy factor. As long as he's on the field when New England gets in the red zone he'll be a threat to post top-five tight end numbers.
Description: Patriots tight end Tim Wright caught 4-of-6 targets for 43 yards in Thursday's preseason finale against the Giants.
Insight: Wright worked with the second-team offense and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The new Patriots tight end has enough talent to earn more playing time with the starters, but as of Week 1, he is just one of many potential targets for Tom Brady.
Description: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) remains in a "good spot".
Insight: The Patriots acquired tight end Tim Wright on Tuesday, so many experts have begun to wonder if Gronkowski will actually be completely healthy. Schefter says the purpose of the trade was to provide depth and open up some cap space. It also gives Bill Belichick the option to return to its two tight end sets, which the team really hasn't done since Aaron Hernandez's arrest.
Description: The Patriots have acquired Tim Wright and a 2015 fourth-round pick from the Buccaneers for Logan Mankins.
Insight: The deal clears up cap space for New England and gives its offense more flexibility. Wright is light for a tight end at 220 pounds but he may be able to serve in Aaron Hernandez' old role as the move tight end. He had 54 catches for 571 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. It's unnecessary to target Wright in fantasy right now but he's another guy who will see targets. The Patriots receiving hierarchy is unclear after Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time in training camp on Monday according to NESN's Doug Kyed.
Insight: Gronkowski is returning from a torn ACL and MCL he injuried last year against Cleveland in Week 14. A week ago, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported the All-Pro tight end had a 50/50 chance to start Week 1. Gronkowski being cleared to perform 11-on-11 drills is obviously a good sign for the tight end, Tom Brady owners and any owner with other Patriots offensive players for that matter. Still proceed with caution though as Gronkowski has not played a full season since 2011.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley fumbled during Friday's preseason game and didn't play another snap, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.
Insight: Uh oh. Ridley lost four fumbles last season and was on the bench frequently down the stretch. It's unclear if Ridley not playing after the fumble was planned or because Bill Belichick put him in the doghouse again. It's a shame because he rushed for 45 yards on nine carries (5.0 ypc) in the game. Rookie James White has a good shot to cut into Ridley's carries this season.
Description: Patriots rookie running back James White got some first-team reps along with Shane Vereen during Wednesday's joint practice with the Eagles. SOURCE: csnne.com
Insight: Stevan Ridley got most of his reps with the second-team offense. White has reportedly had an impressive camp and could cut into Ridley's usage, especially if Ridley's fumbling issues resurface.
Description: According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a source with knowledge of the situation said that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is 50-50 to play in Week 1. He tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14.
Insight: Gronkowski hasn't been cleared for contact yet, but when the Patriots kept him off the active/PUP list to start training camp it was thought to be a sign he would be ready for Week 1. Of course, he wasn't placed on the PUP list at the start of last season but he still missed the first six games while recovering from forearm and back surgery. He's an extremely risky pick at his current early third-round ADP.
Description: Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (foot) has been activated from the active/PUP list.
Insight: He did some work in shorts and a helmet Monday. The second-year receiver had surgery in March to repair a stress fracture in his left foot. He has the size and speed New England's other receivers lack and has a lot of upside if he can stay healthy.
Description: According to Tom Curran of csnne.com, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) participated in 7-on-7 workouts at Monday's practice for the first time during training camp.
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14, but he's made an impressive recovery and says he's feeling stronger every day. He hasn't been cleared for contact yet but is still expected to be ready for Week 1. Gronk has missed 14 games the past two seasons and his early third-round ADP makes him a high-risk, high-reward option.
Description: According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) still doesn't have a timetable for his return to contact.
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14, but he's made an impressive recovery and says he's feeling stronger every day. He should be ready to go for Week 1 of the NFL season. Gronk has missed 14 games the past two seasons and his early third-round ADP makes him a high-risk, high-reward option.
Description: Third-year receiver Brian Tyms posted the statistical total of the night, catching five balls for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: Its likely an audition for another team as the Patriots are deep at the wideout position with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce, but the performance did get our attention.
Description: According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski "doesn't look like someone coming off a torn ACL/MCL."He's been "firing off the line, planting hard, cutting and catching passes from (Tom) Brady."
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14, but he's made an impressive recovery. Gronk has missed 14 games the past two seasons and his third-round ADP makes him a high-risk, high-reward option.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for training camp and won't be placed on the active/PUP list.
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14, but he's made an impressive recovery. Fantasy owners won't have to worry about him being placed on the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him the first six games of the regular season, because he's not eligible. Gronk has missed 14 games the past two seasons and his third-round ADP makes him a high-risk, high-reward option.
Description: Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson will begin training camp on the active/PUP list, according to Field Yates of ESPN.
Insight: Dobson had surgery on his foot this offseason and was expected to be back for minicamp, but he's taken much longer than expected. He should be back before the end of the preseason. The 22-year-old has the potential to turn into New England's No. 1 receiver in his second season and he comes with an 11th-round ADP. No other New England receiver has Dobson's combination of size and speed.
Description: New England running Brandon Bolden may not make the Patriots 53-man roster this season, according to a Boston Globe report by Erik Frenz.
Insight: Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen figure to be the workhorses out of the backfield both running and receiving and should eat up most of departed LeGarrette Blount's 153 carries. The reporter believes James White, Roy Finch and James Develin will make the roster.
Description: According to masslive.com, "there is now optimism" that Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (foot surgery) will be ready for the start of training camp.
Insight: Dobson had surgery on his foot this offseason and was expected to be back for minicamp, but he's taken much longer than expected. He would have had the surgery sooner but the team thought he would heal naturally. Dobson first suffered the injury in Week 12 last year, missed three games, aggravated the injury in the last regular season game and sat out until the AFC Championship. The 22-year-old has the potential to turn into New England's No. 1 receiver in his second season and he comes with a 12th-round ADP.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to be ready to play in Week 1 of the NFL season, according to patriots.com.
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14. When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as any tight end in the league, but he's had at least eight surgeries in his career and missed 14 games the past two years.
Description: This could be Danny Amendola's final year in New England if he doesn't get his act together. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: The Patriots are prepared to cut ties with Amendola if he doesn't show significant improvement this season. Amendola was brought in to replace Wes Welker but didn't come anywhere close to Welker's level of production, catching just 54 passes for 633 yards. You won't have to pay top-dollar for him on draft day.
Description: New England tight Rob Gronkowski is making progress, but there is no timetable for the talented tight end's return. SOURCE: Ben Volin, Boston Globe
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL against Cleveland in Week 14. The hope is that he'll be ready for training camp later this summer. When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as any tight end in the league.
Description: The Texans are no longer interested in acquiring New England quarterback Ryan Mallett. SOURCE: John McClain, Houston Chronicle
Insight: Instead, Houston took a flyer on Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage in the fourth round of last week's draft. Until the Pats can find a willing trade partner, Mallett will continue to backup future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
Description: New England halfback Shane Vereen still isn't fully recovered from the broken wrist he suffered early last season. SOURCE: Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston
Insight: Perhaps that's why the team used its fourth-round draft pick on Wisconsin running back James White. Vereen, White, Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley will all be in the mix for carries now that LeGarrette Blount has signed with Pittsburgh.
Description: The New England Patriots may have found Tom Brady's successor in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft Friday night. They took Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo 62nd overall.
Insight: The pick of Garoppolo may also signal that New England will trade backup Ryan Mallett. The Texans were rumored to be close to acquiring Mallett on Thursday but the deal never went down, and New England denied that Mallett is available.
Description: The Texans appear to be working on a deal to acquire Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett. SOURCE: Tom Curran, Comcast Sportsnet New England
Insight: If true, the Texans would almost certainly take South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Mallett, who has thrown just four passes in his NFL career, would likely be Houston's Week 1 starter ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum.
Description: The Patriots have signed DT Vince Wilfork to a new contract that amounts to a one-year, $8 million deal with two option years and $3M guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Insight: Wilfork cleaned out his locker earlier this week because he unhappy that the Patriots approached him about restructuring his contract, but he'll remain in New England because he didn't want to relocate his family. The 32-year-old Wilfork has been one of the top interior linemen in the NFL during his career but played just four games in 2013 due to a torn Achilles.
Description: Julian Edelman's new contract will pay him $17 million over four years. SOURCE: Mike Garafolo, Fox Sports 1
Insight: Edelman (105 receptions, 1,056 yards, 6 TD in 2013) announced on Twitter this past weekend that he was staying with New England, though details of the contract weren't released until today. He'll be under Patriots control until his age-32 season.
Description: Brandon Browner has agreed to a three-year, $17 million deal with New England. SOURCE: Josina Anderson, ESPN
Insight: A few days ago when Aqib Talib bolted for Denver, the Patriots' secondary looked to be in shambles. Now after signing Darrelle Revis and Browner, it may be the team's biggest strength. Just a reminder to fantasy owners, Browner will miss the first four games of 2014 while he serves a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Description: The Patriots and wideout Julian Edelman have reached an agreement on a new contract. SOURCE: Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston
Insight: Edelman posted career-best numbers last season (105 receptions, 1,056 yards, 6 TD in 2013) but couldn't find an offer to his liking on the open market. From a fantasy perspective, New England was always the best place for him.
Description: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, cornerback Darrelle Revis is joining the Patriots on a one-year, $12 million contract.
Insight: That didn't take long. The Buccaneers released Revis Wednesday afternoon. Despite returning from a torn ACL and playing in an ill-fitting scheme, Revis rated as one of the top corners in the NFL last season on Pro Football Focus' rankings.
Description: The Patriots have every intention of re-signing Julian Edelman when free agency begins later this week. SOURCE: Mike Giardi, Comcast Sportsnet New England
Insight: Edelman was the Pats best receiver last season and could be again next season depending on the health of Rob Gronkowski. It would be surprising if Edelman left, though the Pats did low-ball Wes Welker in free agency last offseason. New England would also like to keep Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib. It will be interesting to see if the Pats can afford both of them.
Description: John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans will not be making a trade for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: A few days ago, it sounded like Houston was considering taking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick and then acquiring a quarterback via trade. Now, it sounds like they'll stick to the script and take a QB with the first pick. Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles are all in play at No. 1.
Description: The Patriots have released veteran strong safety Steve Gregory. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Gregory is actually coming off a decent season (fourth on the team in tackles) but the move frees up almost $3 million in cap room. The 31-year-old Syracuse product shouldn't have trouble finding a new team.
Description: Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald doesn't think Brandon Spikes will be back with the Patriots in 2014.
Insight: Spikes was put on injured reserve late in the season after showing up late to a practice. Usually when you find yourself in Bill Belichick's doghouse, it's pretty hard to get out. Even if Spikes hadn't fallen out of Belichick's good graces, his new contract probably wouldn't have been in New England's price range. At age 26, the former University of Florida linebacker still has plenty of good football left to be played.
Description: New England won't use its franchise tag on impending free agent Aqib Talib according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Howe says the Patriots are prepared to offer Talib three years and $21 million, which is pretty fair given that Talib's 2013 salary was only $4.86 million. Talib, a second-team All-Pro selection, missed most of New England's AFC Championship loss to Denver after taking a hit from former Patriot Wes Welker in the first half.
Description: ESPN's Ben Goessling wouldn't be surprised if the Vikings at least "kicked the tires" on Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: Mallett has only completed one pass in his NFL career but that's because he's had a Hall of Famer playing in front of him in Tom Brady. Minnesota's QB situation is dicey at best with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder under center and Mallett might be able to provide the Vikings with some much-needed stability. Mallett will be a free agent after next season so the Patriots would be wise to trade him sooner rather than later.
Description: ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss expects the Texans to make a run at impending free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Insight: Edelman raised his free agent stock by having a career year in 2013 (105 receptions, 1,056 yards, six TDs). The notoriously stingy Patriots aren't likely to keep up with Edelman's increasing contract demands so Houston might be the best fit for him. Edelman's presence would be good news for the likely No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M.
Description: According to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Aqib Talib's knee injury isn't serious. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: Talib, who missed the vast majority of last week's loss to Denver after taking a brutal hit from Wes Welker, probably won't need surgery. He'll be replaced in the Pro Bowl by Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Talib will be a free agent after the season but there's a strong chance New England will use its franchise tag on the stud corner if the two sides can't work out a long-term agreement.
Description: Patriots All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib has gone to the locker room with what appears to be a rib injury.
Insight: Talib got tangled up with Broncos receiver Wes Welker and limped to the sidelines. Talib got injured in the AFC Championship game last year as well. Devin McCourty has come on to take his place with Duron Harmon filling in for McCourty at free safety.
Description: Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has returned to the game after leaving briefly in the first quarter.
Insight: Logan Ryan took over for a few snaps while Dennard had his shoulder looked at on the sidelines. It looks like he's okay to continue. Dennard had one tackle against Denver when he played them earlier this season.
Description: New England punter Ryan Allen is good to go for Sunday's AFC Championship game in Denver. SOURCE: Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Insight: Allen left last week's game with a shoulder injury. With Allen back, Tom Brady won't have to worry about holding the football for Stephen Gostkowski on field goal and extra point attempts. Gostkowski handled the punting duties last week with Allen sidelined.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins won't suit up Sunday against the Broncos. He's out with a concussion.
Insight: Thompkins suffered the injury last Saturday in a win over Indianapolis. Aaron Dobson is back after missing time with a foot injury so the Patriots are essentially swapping one rookie wideout for the other.
Description: New England receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has officially been diagnosed with a concussion. SOURCE: Zuri Berry, Boston Globe
Insight: Thompkins made it through a limited practice session on Wednesday, which gives him some hope for playing in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Broncos. He's caught just nine passes since Week 7.
Description: Punter Ryan Allen left Saturday's game due to a sore shoulder after getting hit on a bad snap which sailed over his head.
Insight: Place kicker Stephen Gostkowski came in and did a great job, averaging 41.8 yards, on five punts. We should know more later in the week but we can't imagine the Pats want Gostkowski to handle both kicking duties in Denver.
Description: Patriots wideout Kenbrell Thompkins left Saturday's game in the third quarter due to a head injury and did not return.
Insight: He had missed the previous three games with a hip injury. Thompkins is questionable for the AFC Championship against Denver. With Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen all healthy, Thompkins only sees a rare target or three and his fantasy value is minimal.
Description: New England tight Rob Gronkowski underwent successful knee surgery on Thursday. SOURCE: Jeff Howe, Boston Herald
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in a game against Cleveland last month. The hope is that he'll be ready for training camp later this summer. When healthy, Gronk is arguably the best tight end in football with 42 touchdown receptions in his first four seasons.
Description: Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Insight: This comes after he competed in all 16 of New England's regular season contests. He's already been placed on injured reserve, which opens up a roster spot for rookie Ja'Gared Davis. According to the Boston Globe, Spikes, who recorded 86 tackles during the regular season, is likely headed for surgery.
Description: New England rookie Aaron Dobson (foot) didn't practice Tuesday and is questionable for Saturday's AFC Divisional Playoff against Indianapolis, according to Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe.
Insight: Dobson hasn't done a thing since Week 9 and won't be a factor even if he is active. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman should to the heavy lifting with help from Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie.
Description: Playing in pouring rain, Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount had the game of his life Sunday in a win over Buffalo.
Insight: Blount was a force of nature on Sunday. He finished the afternoon with 334 all purpose yards including 189 yards from scrimmage. The 250-pound Oregon alum has found the end zone four times in his last two games. He had just three touchdowns in his previous 14 contests. He'll be the Patriots' featured back when New England hosts the winner of next week's wild card matchup between San Diego and Cincinnati.
Description: New England rookie Aaron Dobson is done for the day after aggravating his foot injury in the first half of Sunday's game versus Buffalo.
Insight: Dobson had one catch for six yards before leaving. With the slippery conditions in New England today, head coach Bill Belichick probably would have been better off sitting Dobson this week. Dobson's status for the postseason remains a mystery.
Description: Patriots rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson (foot) traveled to Baltimore for Sunday's game and has a chance to play, according to Mike Reiss of espnboston.com. Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) already has been ruled out.
Insight: Dobson has missed three games with a foot injury. He stepped up as one of Tom Brady's top targets from Weeks 6-11, but he shouldn't be used as a fantasy option if he plays Sunday even with Rob Gronkowski out. His return would make Danny Amendola a riskier option, though.
Description: Patriots rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins were back at practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Nick Underhill, MassLive.com
Insight: Dobson has missed three games with a foot injury while Thompkins has sat out the last two weeks with a hip ailment. New England could have used both players last week when Tom Brady struggled to find an open receiver on the final drive of the game. Look for the rookie duo to return Sunday at Baltimore.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola had his third 100-yard game of the season in Week 15 at Miami. He caught 10 balls for 131 yards on 14 targets.
Insight: That's three more than Wes Welker, for what it's worth. Amendola's first season in New England has been beset by injuries, but he's once again an important piece in this offense with Rob Gronkowski done for the year and rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins also sidelined.
Description: Patriots QB Tom Brady targeted Julian Edelman 19 times and completed 13 for 139 yards and a touchdown Sunday at Miami.
Insight: After disappearing in the middle of the year, Edelman re-emerged as one of Tom Brady's preferred targets several weeks ago and his value was only boosted by Rob Gronkowski's injury last week. He's put up 37 catches, 414 yards and four scores on 51 targets over the last four games and has set career highs with 89 receptions, 914 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Description: The Patriots placed Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Monday with a torn right ACL and MCL.
Insight: Gronkowski suffered the devastating injury Sunday against the Bengals. He's had to undergo five surgeries (four on his arm, one on his back) since last November and missed the first six games of 2013. Fantasy owners should expect the tight end to be questionable for the start of the 2014 season.
Description: According to Fox's Mike Garafolo, the Patriots believe tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL during Sunday's win over Cleveland.
Insight: This is absolutely devastating news for fantasy owners as Gronk has been the best tight end in football since his return from an arm injury in Week 7. We won't know Gronkowski's official diagnosis until he has an MRI on Monday but fantasy owners should be preparing for the worst.
Description: New England halfback Shane Vereen caught 12 passes for 153 yards in Sunday's 27-26 win over Cleveland.
Insight: Vereen hauled in 50 of those yards on one catch. He scored on a six-yard rushing touchdown to make it an eight-point game late in the third quarter. Vereen has been Tom Brady's favorite receiver over the past few weeks and with Rob Gronkowski likely out for the rest of the regular season (if not the whole season), the targets are going to keep coming his way. He should be starting in all formats at this point.
Description: New England QB Tom Brady threw for a season-high 418 yards in Sunday's come-from-behind win over Cleveland.
Insight: And he did it with Rob Gronkowski out of commission for most of the second half. After struggling mightily early in the year, Brady has looked like a totally different player over the past several weeks. Even if Gronk is done for the year, and it looks like he might be, we still have faith in Brady to get the job done. He'll face the Dolphins in Miami in Week 15.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury Sunday against Cleveland and had to be carted off the field.
Insight: If it's as bad as it looked, the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes just took a major hit. Nothing is going right for New England today as they trail 12-0 with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Description: New England rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins won't be active for Sunday's game against the Browns.
Insight: Thompkins is out with a hip injury. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski should see most of the targets with Thompkins and Aaron Dobson both sidelined. Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen should be involved in the passing game also.
Description: New England wideout Aaron Dobson will miss his second straight game Sunday versus Cleveland.
Insight: He's still battling a foot injury. The Patriots are beginning to phase Dobson and rookie Kenbrell Thompkins out of the offense now that Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are healthy again. Julian Edelman's emergence over the last few weeks hasn't helped Dobson either.
Description: New England halfback Stevan Ridley is officially active for Sunday's game versus Cleveland.
Insight: Ridley has lost a fumble in each of his last three games and will probably head to the showers early if he loses one again in Week 14. Ridley has always been a risky fantasy play but this week against a strong Browns' run D, the risks outweigh the rewards by a pretty significant margin.
Description: After being benched last week against Houston, it appears New England running back Stevan Ridley will play at least some role in Sunday's game versus Cleveland. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Ridley probably won't start but he could see a handful of carries against Cleveland's fifth-ranked run defense. Obviously, Shane Vereen will be playing on all passing downs. Ridley had a stretch of five games in a row with a touchdown earlier this year but we wouldn't recommend starting him during the fantasy playoffs.
Description: According to profootballtalk.com, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's ankle is "fine."
Insight: Gronkowski had six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Houston but came up limping at one point after getting his ankle twisted under a defender. He should be good to go in Week 14 against the Browns.
Description: New England running LeGarrette Blount led the team with 12 carries and 44 rushing yards Sunday against Houston. He also scored a seven-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Insight: Stevan Ridley was inactive after losing a fumble in three straight games and Blount took his place in the "big back" role. Brandon Bolden had just four touches. This is a fluid situation, however, so don't read too much into how Blount and Bolden were used this week. Shane Vereen is the only Patriots RB with a steady role at the moment.
Description: With Stevan Ridley inactive for losing a fumble in three straight games, Shane Vereen led Patriots running backs with 15 touches (10 carries, five catches) and 75 yards from scrimmage in Week 13 at Houston.
Insight: Vereen scored his first touchdown of the season on a nine-yard catch in the third quarter. He has averaged 16.5 touches and 83 yards from scrimmage over the last two games and should continue to see that type of workload even when Ridley returns to the lineup.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 29-of-41 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns with one interception Sunday at Houston.
Insight: Brady has completed 70.1 percent of his passes and averaged 360.8 yards per game and 8.80 yards per pass over the last four games after completing under 56 percent his first eight. He's once again a trustworthy QB1.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is officially inactive for Sunday's game against Houston.
Insight: Ridley lost a fumble in three straight games and was benched after his latest gaffe in the first quarter Sunday night against Denver. Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount will split early-down carries while Shane Vereen will handle passing downs. Vereen is the best flex option Sunday, followed by Bolden and then Blount.
Description: If RB Stevan Ridley is active at all for New England Sunday against Houston, he's not expected to receive many carries, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Insight: Ridley lost a fumble in three straight games and was benched after his latest gaffe in the first quarter Sunday night against Denver. Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount will split early-down carries while Shane Vereen will handle passing downs. Vereen is the best flex option Sunday, followed by Bolden and then Blount.
Description: Updating a previous report, New England receiver Aaron Dobson missed practice Wednesday because of a foot injury. SOURCE: Nick Underhill, MassLive.com
Insight: Dobson (35 catches, 492 yards, 4 TD) has put together a solid rookie season but with so many other receiving weapons at Tom Brady's disposal right now, he won't be a fantasy option even if he plays this week.
Description: Patriots wideout Aaron Dobson wasn't able to practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: As usual with New England, we won't know the extent of whatever injury he's dealing with until injury reports are released on Friday. Even then, we may not get a full diagnosis. Then again, if you're really that anxious to hear about Dobson's health status, your fantasy team may have taken a few wrong turns along the way. With all 32 teams in action this week, there are bound to be better options at wide receiver.
Description: Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston expects to see a rotation of Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden in New England's "big-back" role going forward.
Insight: The Patriots went in that direction earlier this season when Ridley struggled with fumbling and ineffectiveness, and they likely will again because he has lost a fumble in three straight games. Ridley didn't play again after Denver returned his fumble for a touchdown with 9:54 remaining in the first quarter Monday night. Shane Vereen has the most stable role of any Patriots running back.