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GM/HC/DC Bill Belichick

OC Bill O’Brien

 

Projected Starting Lineup

QB Mac Jones

RB Rhamondre Stevenson

WR1 DeVante Parker

WR2 JuJu Smith-Schuster

TE1 Hunter Henry

TE2 Mike Gesicki

LT Trent Brown

LG Cole Strange

C David Andrews

RG Mike Onwenu

RT Riley Reiff

 

Passing Game Overview

After finishing runner-up to Ja’Marr Chase for 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Mac Jones’ second season proved forgettable. He missed three games with a high ankle sprain and saw his touchdown rate dip to 3.2% with 14 TDs in 14 starts. Jones’ yards per pass attempt dropped to 6.8, and he threw for just 214.1 yards per game in an offense that called the league’s fifth-fewest plays. Yet replacing former DC-turned-OC Matt Patricia with Bill O’Brien should improve New England’s 2023 offensive results. Reports out of Foxboro have O’Brien and Jones on the same page, and Jones far out in front of 2022 threat Bailey Zappe. Still a pocket sloth with subpar weapons, Jones projects as a low-upside fantasy QB2/3.

Serving as Jones’ downfield specialist on the outside last season, DeVante Parker averaged 17.4 yards per catch, Parker’s best mark since his 2015 rookie year. Yet still seeing just 3.6 targets per game, Parker’s opportunities were few and far between, finishing with 31/539/3 on 47 looks. Instead of signing DeAndre Hopkins, the Patriots invested more into Parker, signing him to a two-year, $10.8 million extension in July. What Parker has going for him is very little competition for X receiver snaps. Tyquan Thornton has fallen off with poor practice play, and sixth-rounder Kayshon Boutte isn’t a lock for the 53.

Signed away from Kansas City on a three-year, $25.5 million deal, JuJu Smith-Schuster is a one-for-one slot replacement for Jakobi Meyers, who paced the Patriots in targets (96), yards (804), and TD catches (6) last season. Smith-Schuster wasn’t a fantasy starter with Patrick Mahomes, so I’m not optimistic he’ll suddenly become one with Jones. JuJu should pace the Patriots in targets but remains a WR4/5 type.

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