Though his name will force most fantasy owners to swallow back puke, Cordarelle Patterson has some very real Penny Stock upside now in New England. This is especially true after Brandin Cooks’ departure opened up some deep-ball “Opportunity.” Moreover, Bill Belichick hinted at an expanded role for Patterson:
“I don’t know what you’ve been through in the past, but basically, we get the job done here,” Patterson says Belichick told the wide receiver. “We’re gonna make you the player that you should be.”
Now, this doesn’t guarantee a major offensive role quite yet. The player does not mean wide receiver. In fact, it more likely means “Special Teams Ace” and package specialist — perhaps even more RB-mismatch — than WR. But there’s certainly a well of explosive athleticism and open field vision to tap into here, and Belichick doesn’t acquire someone without a specific role in mind. If anyone can unlock his upside and use him properly, it’d be him and Josh McDaniels (who Patterson told: “Just put me on the field. It will take care of itself…That’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, making plays, playmaker.”)
Of course, carving out any consistent usage and thus fantasy value would require Patterson to fully grasp perhaps the most complex playbook in the league. Thus, Patterson seems destined for a part timer role… but part time usage is far better than full-time when it’s the right designs. 8-10 weekly looks would yield some week-swinging booms to flex spots. Patterson’s consistently flashed in the screen and slant game, and a simple package of plays designed to get him in space feels likely. Hell, I would be far from shocked if he lined up in the backfield for at least 4-5 snaps a contest, if not more.
Let’s not forget the Surrounding Talent upgrade: Tom Brady is far and away the most talented signal caller Patterson has ever played with (and ever will). Penny Stocks are all about shooting for the ceilings, and Patterson shockingly drips in upside for those willing to see it. We have a combination of insane raw talent, improved usage, and enormous surrounding talent score boosts.
Will Patterson be a fantasy season changer in 2018? Most likely, no. But he could be an occasional game changer, with the slightest chance to be a true monster, making this a $2 lottery ticket worth scratching.
If nothing else, New England D/ST gains some upside…. oh, just sit back and enjoy the highlights.