1. Not a good time to be a Patriots skill-position player
Entering the twilight of Tom Brady’s career, the goal of Patriots management was to surround him with as many options as possible in the receiving corps. Julian Edelman could beat defenses with agility and precise route-running; Brandin Cooks was there to burn DB’s with straight-line speed; and Rob Gronkowski was a matchup nightmare thanks to his size, speed, and hands. Now, however, the depth chart is a lot thinner. Edelman is out with a preseason knee injury; Danny Amendola has a concussion; Rob Gronkowski hurt his groin after catching his 69th touchdown; and even Chris Hogan was limping around. Tom Brady has always won games by using the broadest range of tools to dismantle defenses, and as he loses those tools to attrition, his numbers could come way down.
Betting tip: Obviously, the remaining guys (looking at you, James White) are going to be a lot more valuable in fantasy. As a team, the Patriots are favored by a huge line (-13) over the Houston Texans at both Bovada and Sports Interaction, a number that might be difficult to surpass with so much attrition on offense.
2. Andrew Luck is still out; are Colts tanking?
The 0-2 Indianapolis Colts are having a terrible season that’s not liable to improve, and they seem to be okay with that. They have a young secondary and a patchwork defensive line, so why waste Andrew Luck’s health on trying to win eight games? The Colt brass may be taking a new tack on the 2017 season: let Jacoby Brissett start every week while they watch a lot of football on Saturdays and figure out who they’re going to take with their top-five pick in the 2018 draft. Luck has been ruled out for the Colts’ Week 3 matchup against the Browns, so that game should be a treat.
Betting tip: The Browns are listed at -1 against the Colts on Betway, and without Andrew Luck on the field, that seems like a steal. Yes, I just called the Brows as a road favorite “a steal.” That’s the reality of this Indianapolis team.