Fantasy or Reality: Patriots season expectations

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Fantasy or Reality: Patriots season expectations

Opening day of the Patriots regular season is less than two weeks away, so what better time to make some predictions for key players on this team?

The "Uno Sports Tonight" crew did that Thursday, with Mike Flynn of 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley stopping by to make some predictions on important questions involving Patriots skill positions.

The first question:  Will Stevan Ridley will surpass 1,300 yards rushing this season?

Flynn was not convinced.

"I got fantasy. I think he has the ability to do, the line to do it, but I think Blount is going to make the team and he's going to take away a lot of those  carries, Bolden will take those carries," Flynn said. "Vereen's your third-down back and they run so many different packages, just when you think you can tell who is the running back, they throw somebody else in there."

The next query moved over to the defensive side of the ball, and pondered the impact Chandler Jones could have in year two.

Following an opening six-sack season cut short by injury, can Jones reach double-digit sacks in his sophomore campaign?

Buckley was emphatic with his answer.

"I think it's a slam-dunk reality because I think he is going to be a great, great player and I believe most of those sacks were early in the season." Buckley said. "So, when you factor in a year's experience and a year's health, I think he gets it."

Finally, the issue of Danny Amendola's health came to the table. 

The former St. Louis Ram has been no stranger to injury and if such ailments pop up again, the Patriots receiving corps could be in deep trouble.

Asked if Amendola can remain on the field for at least 14 games, Flynn would not even commit to that.

"I'm going to say fantasy. You know last couple years, has been injured," Flynn said. "You look at a couple of games, especially his big games, stuff over the middle, he may play 13, I think I'm going to go fantasy."

Do you agree with these takes? Any of these suggestions that you feel differently about? Have your say in the comments section below.

Jimmy Garoppolo has 'no nerves' despite trade rumors ahead of draft

Jimmy Garoppolo has 'no nerves' despite trade rumors ahead of draft

The trade rumors surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo have died slightly with ESPN's Adam Schefter insisting more than once that the New England Patriots quarterback will not get traded.

But Bill Belichick has shocked the NFL before. He could do it again on draft day by dealing Garoppolo Thursday.

CSNNE's Mike Giardi asked the 25-year-old quarterback whether he had any nerves heading into the 2017 NFL Draft with the potential for a trade.

"No nerves," Garoppolo said Wednesday at TD Garrden before Game 5 of the Boston Celtics' game against the Chicago Bulls. "I'm just trying to enjoy the game with the guys tonight. It's a special thing coming out here."

Garoppolo was among a strong contingent of Patriots players at the game, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett, receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Garoppolo said he hasn't changed his approach to the offseason with the possiblity looming that he might end up on another team.

"To be honest, I really didn't think about it," he said. "I was just enjoying the offseason. Working out. Grinding it out with the guys out in California. Now we're back at it with the team."

The Patriots commenced their offseason conditioning program on April 17.

Giardi asked whether Garoppolo would be monitoring social media during the draft to keep an eye on whether his name pops up in more trade rumors.

"I'm just going to be looking at your tweets the whole time," he said with a smile.

Curran: Richard Sherman wants to be a New England Patriot

Curran: Richard Sherman wants to be a New England Patriot

Tom E. Curran discusses the most recent news regarding Richard Sherman and whether there is still a chance the New England Patriots could acquire him.