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RB Dion Lewis - New England Patriots

5-7, 193Born: 9-27-1990College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 5

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Photo: Kevin Hoffman, US Presswire

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Week 20: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

All RB vs PIT

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. New England defeated the Steelers 27-16 at Heinz Field back on October 23rd, 2016. However, in that game Ben Roethlisberger sat out due to his torn knee meniscus cartilage that had been surgically repaired just prior to the Week Seven game. LeGarrette Blount trampled the Steeler's defensive front back then, with 24/127/2 rushing and one target for 1/7/0 receiving to his credit. James White didn't carry the football that day, but had five targets for 2/32/1 receiving from Tom Brady. Blount missed two practices last week due to illness, and a side effect of his illness was that the Patriots preferred Dion Lewis (13/41/1 rushing with seven targets for 2/23/1 receiving) over Blount (8/31/0 rushing) vs. Houston on Saturday night. James White also caught a TD pass (one target for 1/19/1) during the 16-34 rout of Houston. At Miami in the season finale, Blount had 14/51/1 rushing, while Lewis handled 11/48/0 (with two targets for 2/4/0 receiving) and White saw 2/9/0 rushing (with four targets for 4/21/0 receiving). This three-headed monster will be employed again against the visiting Steelers on Sunday. Pittsburgh limited the Chiefs to 14/61/0 rushing in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Even so, they needed a holding call on a two-point conversion try to fend off the Chiefs 18-16, but when the final gun went off it was Pittsburgh with a sloppy 'W' (the Steelers kicked six field goals last weekend, never finding the end zone in 60 minutes of play). Pittsburgh gave up just 21/52/0 rushing to Miami in the Wild Card round of the playoffs - from Week 15-17 of regular season (the last three weeks, with no teams on bye), Pittsburgh averaged 17.7 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game (15th-least in the NFL). Their post-season average of 56.5 rushing yards allowed per game is much better than the season average of 100 rushing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL over regular season). This is a tough matchup for the Patriots' committee of backs, as the Steelers' rush defense has clamped down on opposing backs in the post-season.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
16 vs NYJ 27 16 52 0 1 1 5 0 0 5.7
17 at MIA 27 11 48 0 2 2 4 0 0 5.2
19 vs HOU 33 13 41 1 7 2 23 1 1 16.4
20 vs PIT PROJ-Dodds * 13 * * 3 * * * *
20 vs PIT PROJ-Tremblay * 13 * * 2 * * * *
20 vs PIT PROJ-Bloom * 13 * * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 19 vs HOU (13 / 41 / 1 rush, 7 / 2 / 23 / 1 rec)

Dion Lewis stole the show, putting on a record setting performance with a couple blemishes. Lewis scored a rushing, receiving, and return touchdown, showing off his versatility in the process. His first touchdown was a swing pass from Tom Brady. Matched up against a linebacker, Lewis simply sped on by for a score. His return touchdown was a full highlight of his speed, while his rushing touchdown was a short one that typically goes to LeGarrette Blount. On the down side, Lewis fumbled twice on the day, which is inexcusable, especially in the playoffs. He will still have a big role going forward, especially if the Patriots can create speed mismatches against the Steelers.

2016 Week 17 vs MIA (11 / 48 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)

A theme on the year, Lewis did more with his carries than his receptions, and it looks to be a fairly even timeshare with LeGarrette Blount on the touch front. However, Blount does have the goal line totes in his favor, meaning the bulk of Lewis's work has come and will come between the 20s.

2016 Week 16 vs NYJ (16 / 52 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Involved once again, Lewis touched the ball 17 times, with most of his touches being carries. Interestingly, Lewis continues to run well between the tackles, something he didn't do much of last year prior to his injury.

2016 Week 15 vs DEN (18 / 95 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

In a surprise, Dion Lewis led the Patriots offensive attack, running all over the place and handling the ball 20 times in the process. Considering how much he was used in the passing game last year, the rushing success was great gameplanning and good work by Lewis and his o-line, who used speed to their advantage to create mismatches against the Broncos front 7. Lewis's run game role may be dependent on game flow and opposing defense matchups, but this backfield is becoming a big timeshare.

2016 Week 14 vs BAL (3 / 14 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

With only 4 touches and James White playing good football, it's fair to wonder if Lewis will see the touch share of his pre-injury 2015 form. It's looking less and less likely, particularly with LeGarrette Blount's play in the run game. As a result, his contributions were minimal against the Ravens.

2016 Week 13 vs LA (5 / 27 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)

Lewis only saw 9 touches, though he may have seen more had the game been closer. He notably played less as the game got out of hand, as the Patriots were likely managing his reps.

2016 Week 12 vs NYJ (6 / 24 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)

Lewis made his first appearance of the year, shaking off some rust in the process. He was given 10 touches, and as expected, played a role in the passing game. It remains to be seen if he takes over as the lead back, but he can be expected to rise in snap count as the season progresses.

2016 Week 11 vs SF (5 / 23 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)

Dion Lewis made his long-awaited return to the lineup for the Patriots, his 2016 season debut. The diminutive back looked hesitant on his opening touches as he regained feel for full-speed action. However, Lewis found space on three of his eight touches exhibiting a strong cut on one reception of note. Lewis was used in conjunction with James White on the field a handful of times.

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Latest News

Patriots | Dion Lewis does it all (Sat Jan 14, 11:46 PM) - New England Patriots RB Dion Lewis had 13 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown, two catches for 23 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 14, becoming the first player in postseason history to have a rushing, receiving and return touchdown in the same game.

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