Game day update: ESPN projects James White to lead the way in PPR leagues with 11.7 points, followed by Damien Harris at 7.8 points, and then Rex Burkhead at 6.8 points.
Even with Sony Michel out of the picture, the Patriots backfield remains a crowded one. It’s tough to say who will be featured on a weekly basis, making it difficult to decide if any of these backs should be placed in your starting lineups. We will take a look at past trends and the likely distribution of carries to help tease things out below.
Fantasy Football analysis: Patriots RBs Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, James White
Damien Harris has only played two games so far this season. He received a decent workload in Week 4, and made the most of it by racking up 100 yards on 17 carries. Fantasy managers hoped this would point towards a more permanent role for Harris in the future. However, he received only 6 carries and hauled in one reception in Week 6 following the bye. No matter the match-up, it’s tough to trust a running back with such inconsistent usage in your lineup and Harris should remain on the bench until he establishes a more prominent role. He is only worth flex consideration in deep leagues, in hopes that he regains a workload similar to that of Week 4.
Rex Burkhead’s role seems to have withered away since a monster Week 3 performance in which he scored 34.8 PPR points. Of note, James White was not available for that game. In his last appearance in Week 6, Burkhead received five carries which he turned into 14 yards and he was not targeted in the passing game. Similar to Harris, Burkhead has not established a large enough role to be trusted in fantasy lineups.
James White missed a few weeks of action due to a family tragedy, but he picked up right where he left off and has maintained a prominent role in the passing game over the last two outings. In those games White brought in a total of 15 receptions and managed double digit points both weeks. He is the most consistently used back of this committee and the only one that can seemingly be trusted on a week to week basis. His role in the passing game makes him particularly valuable in PPR leagues and James White can be started as a low end RB2 in Week 7.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit Damien Harris.
Sit Rex Burkhead.
Start James White as an RB2.