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Fantasy football fallout: Impact of James White retirement for Patriots RBs

We break down the fantasy football impact of the pass-catching back calling it quits before the 2022 NFL season.

Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

New England Patriots RB James White announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday morning. This comes before the Patriots were set to take on the New York Giants in their first preseason game of the 2022 NFL season. Now that White is out of the picture, this could impact how we approach drafting the Patriots RB corps in fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at Rhamondre Stevenson and the rest of the New England backfield.

First, let’s go over the depth chart a bit. We mentioned Stevenson, who is expected to lead the backfield and be the early-down back. Damien Harris is behind Stevenson and could split carries or serve as a change-of-pace back. Now that White is retired, Ty Montgomery could step into his role as the pass-catching/third-down RB for New England.

Both Harris and Stevenson are going in the 25-40 range among RBs in PPR formats, per FantasyPros. Neither got much work in the passing game in 2021; Harris had 18 receptions and Stevenson had 14. It’s worth saying Stevenson did this in just 12 games and two starts. The White news shouldn’t really affect either Patriots RB all that much. Chances are neither back would end up being in on third downs or passing situations. If they are, it’s for blocking purposes.

Harris has also popped up in trade rumors early in training camp/preseason. With White retired, chances are that doesn’t happen. If it does, Stevenson should rocket up draft boards. It also means more value for TyMont.

Montgomery is interesting as a deep, deep sleeper in PPR formats. We’re talking nothing less than 12- or 14-team fantasy football leagues. Montgomery is 29 years old and played plenty of meaningful games with the Packers, Ravens and Saints in his career. Montgomery has 139 career receptions in 78 games. TyMont would be strictly a last pick on a deep roster. He makes more sense to use in DFS on DraftKings as a PPR specialist who likely will have a low salary.