Last season, New England Patriots running back Damien Harris had a clear edge in the team’s backfield over teammate Rhamondre Stevenson. One limiting factor for Stevenson was his rookie struggles in pass protection, something head coach Bill Belichick has reportedly been happy with through the preseason so far. So how are things shaping up for New England’s backfield this season? Well, it’s not really clear.
The latest word from Belichick, who rarely has much to say, is that both Stevenson and Harris could be used on all three downs. Traditionally, the Patriots have had an early down back and a passing down back, which makes this latest comment from the coach leaving fantasy football managers tearing their hair out. Harris still has a slight edge, but from here, it’s looking like the two could share more of the workload this season.
Fantasy football implications
To start the season, Harris is the preferred option, but Stevenson’s a very close second. Belichick’s latest statement could point to a bigger role for Stevenson this year, but how they split it up remains to be seen. Both players are worth a spot on fantasy rosters, but their value for now is as flex players or third running backs. If one of the two were injured, the other would likely be in for a hefty workload.
Neither player has seen a ton of action in the preseason. Stevenson has 26 yards on seven carries in two contests. Harris has 18 yards on three totes in just one game. Neither player has been targeted in the passing game.