Breaking down the New England Patriots' backfield for fantasy football | Fantasy Football News, Rankings and Projections | PFF

Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Breaking down the New England Patriots' backfield for fantasy football

Every season, the New England Patriots are one of the most difficult backfields to unravel and break down for fantasy football. The unpredictability of head coach Bill Belichick and his running back by committee approach has reached such a degree that the safest move is to just take whichever Patriots running back is being overlooked the most.

Subscribe to

Over the past two seasons, Sony Michel has been the first Patriots running back drafted, but James White has been the superior fantasy asset, averaging RB13 fantasy production over that time. In 2017, Dion Lewis was the fourth Patriots running back drafted and finished as the RB15 overall. In 2016, the forgotten LeGarrette Blount was a late-round darling after scoring a league-high 18 touchdowns.

As I noted in my piece breaking down the Washington backfield, the best way to extract value from the running back position is to target teams with ambiguous backfields. With fantasy owners unsure of whom to target in the Patriots’ backfield, their ADPs present values ready for savvy fantasy owners to jump on.  

James White | ADP: RB32

Pass-catching specialist James White has seen almost no movement in his ADP this summer despite a new, veteran quarterback (Cam Newton) being added to the offense. Newton’s recent history of success with Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is being factored into White's ADP. 

Before the Panthers drafted McCaffrey, Newton had been targeting the running back position on less than 13% of his attempts. Once the dynamic pass-catching back showed up, that rate nearly doubled (25.3%).

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

Tackle Lifes financial Challenges. Western Southern Financial Group.

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

  • Available with

  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr