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Patriots re-sign James White: Fantasy football fallout for 2021

After testing the free-agent market, James White returns to the Patriots for an eighth season with the team.

James White #28 of the New England Patriots rushes with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots garnered most of the headlines during free agency for the huge deals they gave to Hunter Henry, Matt Judon, Jonnu Smith, and others. However, the Patriots have also made moves along the margins to pad out their roster in hopes of avoiding back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in the Bill Belichick era.

RB James White signing: Fantasy football impact

A long-time member of the Patriots, running back James White returns for another run with the only NFL team he has ever known. White has never factored significantly as a runner, but his contributions as a receiver and blocker on passing downs have made him an integral part of the New England machine for years.

A version of that role likely awaits White in 2021. Damien Harris and Sony Michel remain atop the Patriots’ depth chart, but the offense still has a role for a pass catcher of White’s caliber.

Granted, White won’t merit roster consideration certain weeks and the return of Cam Newton could force offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to continue leaning into the run-heavy approach of last year. However, New England can still use White as a weapon when needed, giving him some fantasy value so long as he stays healthy.