If you didn’t know the name Jonas Gray before 8pm Eastern Sunday night, nobody would blame you. If you forget his name when you’re putting in your waiver claims for the week, you’ll never forget it. Gray went off in huge fashion this past week with 199 yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Colts. It took him from fantasy afterthought to fantasy pick-up of the week status, and he certainly is that for us. Gray has managed to supplant Shane Vereen as the top man in the New England backfield and should be getting the majority of the work going forward.
You’ll have to put up with a tough week this week, as Gray and the Patriots take on a stiff Detroit defense. The defense held Arizona running back Andre Ellington to less than 50 rushing yards last week. After Week 12, Gray’s schedule turns much easier with games at Green Bay, at San Diego, Miami, at the Jets, and Buffalo to close out the season. (Keep in mind we put the full 17-game schedule out there when we talk about remaining games, since some leagues go the full distance.) Excluding the Dolphins, you’re looking at four of the top-12 rush defenses in the NFL for Gray. The match-ups are going to be tough, so you could pick him up now, let him go off against Green Bay, and try for a late sell-high deal depending on your league’s trade deadline. (Yes, most deadlines will pass in the near future but it’s still worth mentioning.) These games should be winnable for New England so Gray should get carries to keep the clock and the chains moving. Eventually, he will find the end zone, but don’t expect anything close to his output against Indianapolis.
This is also the final week of byes with Carolina and Pittsburgh sitting out this week. This is key for one reason. It’s time to get rid of the guys on your team who are non-producers and/or have poor match-ups the rest of the way. This is the time of year when you want your decisions on who to start to be incredibly tough since you have to pick from talent, talent or talent.
Please, blog, may I have some more?