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James White: Early waiver wire option in Week 12

James White emerges as a potential early waiver wire option in Week 12 following injury to teammate Rex Burkhead.

James White #28 of the New England Patriots makes a second quarter catch during their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

This season, the New England Patriots’ running back room has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Those downs continued on Sunday as they lost veteran Rex Burkhead to a knee injury. The Patriots reportedly fear that Burkhead has torn ACL, which would mean that his season would be over.

If that’s the case, the Patriots will not be in a panic to replace Burkhead, as they still have veteran James White. Against the Houston Texans on Sunday, White had five carries for 19 yards, which isn’t a huge issue since the Patriots have quarterback Cam Newton to help in the run game.

However, White finished second on the team in receiving yards with six receptions (nine targets) for 64 yards. It is the third time in seven games that the 28-year-old running back received at least eight targets. Last season, he had 72 receptions (95 targets) for 645 yards and nine touchdowns. That being said, we should expect to see White used in the passing game more often without Burkhead. He’s the perfect change of pace option when the Pats take second-year running back Damien Harris off of the field. White is currently rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo! and 37 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Up next — Cardinals, Chargers, Rams, Dolphins