by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
According to Mik Reiss (via Twitter):
“@MikeReiss: Patriots RB snap counts (out of 80): James White 38, LeGarrette Blount 31, D.J. Foster 12. FB James Develin 22.”
Is this a one-time thing, or are things going to quickly shift for New England now that Tom Brady is back from suspension? We knew the team would go significantly more pass-heavy, which would lead to fewer opportunities for Blount.
Of course, despite the limited snaps he still had 18 carries (37 yards and 1 TD) and he was hampered by a hip injury heading into the game. Regardless, the days of him getting 20+ carries are likely behind him. Last season he had more than 19 carries just once, averaging 13.75 carries per game.
In other words he is likely going to be a TD-dependent RB2/FLEX option the rest of the way, making it nearly impossible to trust him on a weekly basis. Maybe he has a big week here or there, but he isn’t even guaranteed to get a significant number of red zone carries (and they will likely get even rarer as Rob Gronkowski gets healthier).
It was a nice ride over the first three weeks, but fantasy owners would be wise to look elsewhere on a weekly basis.
As for White, in PPR formats there’s going to be value but he too is going to be hit or miss. It’s not like the Patriots are void of options, especially with Martellus Bennett showing what he’s capable of. He too is going to be a hard to trust option over the remainder of the season.
In other words, consider the Patriots backfield a group of low-end/desperation plays, as opposed to players worth trusting.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com