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RB Rex Burkhead - New England Patriots

5-10, 214Born: 7-2-1990College: NebraskaDrafted: Round 6

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Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers - $6400

All RB vs PIT

FBG says: Neutral matchup. The Patriots' tandem of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead continues to impress. Since shedding Mike Gillislee from their rotation and scaling back snaps for the one-dimensional James White, the Patriots running game has been among the league's most effective. Lewis has averaged a studly 5.34 yards per rush and 62.3 per game since Week 5; he's running fantastically both inside and out and is a perfectly viable fantasy RB2, especially given his touchdown upside. He's spelled nicely by Burkhead, who's versatile and has chimed in 136 ground yards and 4 touchdowns over the past 3 weeks. These two are a bit reliant upon game flow and tired, trailing defenses - there's not quite enough volume here to project 100-yard games. But given the Patriots' play volume and scoring prowess, there's always RB1 upside for both. The Pittsburgh run defense, elite for most of the season, finds itself in moderate trouble at the moment. They've been worked over by their last 2 opponents, with the soft-running Bengals racking up 130 yards in Week 13 and the Alex Collins-led Ravens posting 152 last Sunday night. The Steelers have spent most of 2017 thoroughly neutralizing the run on a per-game basis - they're still allowing just 102.9 yards, ninth-best in the league - but getting generally gashed per run (4.30, eighth-worst). It seems clearer every week that run-focused teams can blow the Steelers' pass-oriented front seven off the ball with relative ease; we've seen them similarly slaughtered by the Bears and Jaguars earlier in the year. And with top linebacker Ryan Shazier sidelined indefinitely, there's little reason to believe much in this unit. The Patriots' isn't a run-dominant offense, but if they're able to establish any kind of early lead, they can blow the doors off this matchup and escort Dion Lewis to another strong day.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLSalPtsFP/$
11 at OAK 19 5 16 0 6 4 21 0 0 3600 7.70 2.14
12 vs MIA 28 13 50 1 2 2 3 1 0 4300 19.30 4.49
13 at BUF 22 12 78 2 4 3 25 0 0 5000 25.30 5.06
14 at MIA 17 5 8 1 5 5 45 0 0 0 16.30
15 at PIT PROJ-Dodds * 9 * * 3 * * * * * *
15 at PIT PROJ-Tremblay * 9 * * 3 * * * * * *
15 at PIT PROJ-Bloom * 9 * * 4 * * * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 14 vs MIA (5 / 8 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec - 16.3 points, $0)

Similarly to Dion Lewis, Burkhead wasn't able to get anything going on the ground, and the Patriots had to abandon the run game in the second half. He was involved in the passing game, but there were no big or spark plays to speak of. Burkhead did score a 1 yard touchdown on the ground after a pass interference call got the Pats to the goal line. He should see more success going forward.

2017 Week 13 vs BUF (12 / 78 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec - 25.3 points, $5000)

Along with Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead helped pave the way for the run game, dominating the Bills on the ground. Burkhead scored two touchdowns, one being of the short 1 yard variety. The other was a nice 14 yard burst up the middle, cutting back and fighting defenders to barely score a touchdown. Burkhead also had a nice 30+ yard gain from the shotgun formation, displaying a one cut and go move with some decent speed to boot. Burkhead has been integrated fully into the offense since coming back from injury in multiple game phases.

2017 Week 12 vs MIA (13 / 50 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 3 / 1 rec - 19.3 points, $4300)

Burkhead wasn't sensational in this one, but he had his number called at the right time. He scored after Dion Lewis got the team on the doorstep on the opening drive, and then finished a drive with a short reception after his end around got the team on the doorstep. He had a drive to himself in the second half that didn't amount to anything, and also got some carries in garbage time. He also failed on a fourth down conversion and most of his touches were modest gains. He's the #2 back in this offense.

2017 Week 11 vs OAK (5 / 16 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 21 / 0 rec - 7.7 points, $3600)

Rex Burkhead worked as the second option behind Dion Lewis. Burkhead fumbled in the first quarter, but luckily, the ball was recovered by Dwayne Allen. Burkhead sat out a series before re-emerging in his normal pass catching role. Burkhead had a few carries between the tackles, but was quickly bottled up. As a receiver, he made two tough grabs--one of which went for 10 yards.

2017 Week 10 vs DEN (10 / 36 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 1 rec - 15.3 points, $3400)

Burkhead played a featured role throughout the game in Week 10, displaying his versatility above all else. He caught a few passes, including one on a slant route for a 14 yard touchdown. He carried the ball with some success. Most importantly, he blocked a punt that set the Patriots up for a score. Now that he's healthy, Burkhead will clearly have a role with the team.

2017 Week 8 vs LAC (4 / 15 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec - 15.3 points, $3600)

Back from injury, Burkhead's primary contributions came in the passing game, as he played entire series at times, highlighting his versatility. He had a big YAC gainer called back due to a penalty, but he displayed nice effort on the play shedding two tacklers. His role may be uncertain on a weekly basis, however.

2017 Week 7 vs ATL (6 / 31 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec - 5.2 points, $3800)

Burkhead saw a handful of carries after being shelved for a few weeks with injury, but with the 4 man backfield rotation, it may be tough for him to carve out a huge role.

2017 Week 2 vs NO (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 41 / 1 rec - 13.4 points, $3900)

Burkhead did score a touchdown on a lob pass from 19 yards out, but perhaps the bigger note from this game was that he left with an injury early in the game. At this time, it's unsure what the injury is, but it's worth monitoring, as Burkhead had 5 touches in the early going. If he is healthy, the touches may be there if Patriots receivers are still dealing with injuries.

2017 Week 1 vs KC (3 / 15 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec - 3.3 points, $4400)

Though he was hyped coming into the game, Burkhead only played 10 of 81 snaps for the Patriots offense. The semi-good news is that he was targeted or touched the ball on 6 of those snaps, including one end zone target. Even though this backfield will likely be fluid, Burkhead's role seems minimal right now.

More

Latest News

Patriots | Rex Burkhead salvages night with TD (Tue Dec 12, 12:58 AM) - New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead had only five carries for eight yards, but did manage a touchdown in the team's Week 14 defeat Monday, Dec. 11, versus the Miami Dolphins. In addition, he recorded five grabs for 45 receiving yards.

link to story   

Patriots | Rex Burkhead punches two TDs in (Sun Dec 3, 04:54 PM) - New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead rushed 12 times for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 13 game against the Buffalo Bills. He also had three receptions for 25 yards on four targets.

Our View: Burkhead is establishing himself as the preferred option at the goal line, which is worth a weekly start in fantasy leagues.
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New England Patriots Team Links

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Schedule

15@ Pittsburgh Steelers
16vs Buffalo Bills
17vs New York Jets