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Fantasy football impact of New England Patriots signing UDFA RB JJ Taylor

The New England Patriots signed UDFA JJ Taylor. Will he be able to make the roster and have fantasy value in his career?

Arizona Wildcats running back JJ Taylor runs the ball against the Southern California Trojans during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are adding more depth to their backfield. They’ve signed unrestricted free agent J.J. Taylor out of Arizona. He’ll join an interesting group of Patriots running backs.

Taylor tallied 148 carries for 721 yards and five scores in 2019 after finishing with 255 carries for 1,434 yards and six scores the previous year. He has a career average of 5.6 yards per carry and notched a career-high 32 receptions in his final season with the Wildcats.

Scouting Report

Taylor is only 5’5” and 185 pounds, but runs with more physicality than almost any other running back in the 2020 draft class. Despite his small frame, he has a ton of pop and powers through would-be tacklers consistently. He doesn’t have the type of sped that’s typical for smaller running backs but could make up for his lack of burst by developing his catching skills.

Short but stout runner whose running style is more power back than water bug. Taylor has been a productive college back who runs decisively both inside and outside, but does not have the burst or wiggle teams are looking for from smaller runners. — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Fantasy football impact

This is an interesting signing to say the least. The Patriots have used a committee of running backs for a while now and haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since 2016. Combining the talents of James White and Sony Michel has worked well for them. Michel is more of a traditional runner while White supplements the passing game. Where does Taylor fit in? He’ll also have to compete with the likes of Rex Burkhead for touches. It’s hard to see him carving out a significant role while New England has so many options, but he could create some big plays with the opportunities he does get. If he’s RB4 on his own team, he’s not worth much from a season-long fantasy perspective.