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RB James White - New England Patriots

5-9, 204Born: 2-3-1992College: WisconsinDrafted: Round 4

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Photo: David Butler II, US Presswire

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Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers

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

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
11 at OAK 17 5 13 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.3
12 vs MIA 18 3 13 0 2 1 2 0 0 1.5
13 at BUF 28 5 18 0 6 4 32 0 0 5
14 at MIA 35 0 0 0 4 3 11 1 0 7.1
15 at PIT PROJ-Dodds * 2 * * 2 * * * *
15 at PIT PROJ-Tremblay * 3 * * 2 * * * *
15 at PIT PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * 3 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 14 vs MIA (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 1 rec)

As with the last few weeks, White played a bit role on offense, even with the Pats in throw-only mode for much of the second half, which was surprising. White did score the only passing touchdown of the day on a play action flat route.

2017 Week 13 vs BUF (5 / 18 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 32 / 0 rec)

With the run game and defense dominating the Bills, James White wasn't needed much, as the passing game was not the focal point on the day. Given that Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis can play the passing game if needed, White's role looks to be a bit one beyond obvious passing scenarios.

2017 Week 12 vs MIA (3 / 13 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)

White drew a penalty on an early target and had a third-down conversion later, but is only a very minor part of the offense.

2017 Week 11 vs OAK (5 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James White was barely used. He received a few carries late in the game, but was a non-factor against an Oakland defense that has been gashed by pass catching running backs.

2017 Week 10 vs DEN (2 / 7 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 11 / 1 rec)

White didn't need to be involved much in the game, as the Patriots controlled it from the outset. He did score a short touchdown on a beautiful stutter move, but beyond that, wasn't heard from much.

2017 Week 8 vs LAC (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 85 / 0 rec)

Once again squarely involved as a receiver, White actually led the Patriots in receiving yardage. His 27 yard run was a nice juke of a cornerback once he had the ball in space, allowing him to pick up a first down and much more. He also had a great catch as he was being drilled by a defender where he somehow hung onto the ball.

2017 Week 6 vs NYJ (3 / 23 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)

By now, you know the story for James White - limited carries, and a few short backfield catches. There was not much to write home about with his 7 touches, though he did have healthy gains on all 3 of his carries.

2017 Week 5 vs TB (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 57 / 0 rec)

Surprise surprise - James White was often Tom Brady's safety outlet, being used in the passing game more than anything else. He did have a nice 20+ yarder, but other than that, his big play upside remains limited due to the nature of the route he primarily runs. In fact, White does run some of the shorter routes Julian Edelman used to run.

2017 Week 4 vs CAR (1 / 7 / 0 rush, 12 / 10 / 47 / 0 rec)

White was heavily involved as a receiver, but was not able to do much, as the Panthers covered him well. He was a last gasp outlet for Tom Brady on several passes, as Brady was constantly under pressure throughout the day. White will remain involved in the offense if shootouts continue to occur due to poor defense.

2017 Week 3 vs HOU (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

Surprisingly, even though the Patriots were pass heavy, James White was fairly limited on the day. The biggest part of this was the Patriots playing a medium to deep passing game, as well as a combo of Cooks, Gronk and Hogan firing on all cylinders. The running game also got nothing on the ground, but White usually isn't a big factor in that area.

2017 Week 2 vs NO (2 / 11 / 0 rush, 8 / 8 / 85 / 0 rec)

As expected, in this high scoring affair, White was mostly involved in the passing game, catching 8 passes and being Brady's preferred target, particularly when Brady was under pressure. Should the Patriots receiving corps continue to be a skeleton crew, White remains a likely volume target in the passing game.

2017 Week 1 vs KC (10 / 38 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)

Despite having running back competition, White operated as the clear third down and hurry up back, even splitting wide at times. White also ran the ball 10 times, which indicates he'll be involved in the offense going forward. One of his blemishes was a route which wasn't run with proper depth, allowing Kansas City to tackle him just before the first down marker. With injuries to Edelman and Danny Amendola, White may be relied upon even more for third downs, which is critical for his forward outlook.

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Latest News

Patriots | James White finds end zone Monday night (Tue Dec 12, 01:13 AM) - New England Patriots RB James White did not have any rushing stats but he did manage to haul in three of four targets for 11 receiving yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 14 loss Monday, Dec. 11, against the Miami Dolphins.

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Patriots | James White totals 50 scrimmage yards (Sun Dec 3, 04:55 PM) - New England Patriots RB James White rushed five times for 18 yards in Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills and he added 32 yards on four receptions. He was targeted six times.

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New England Patriots Team Links

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Footballguys Articles

eVALUEator: Week 1
  Austin Lee - September 3
Free Agency Roundtable: The New England Backfield
  Phil Alexander - March 27
The Unusual Suspects: 3 Late Round Running Backs to Target
  Phil Alexander - August 24
The Fantasy Football Path of Totality
  Ryan Hester - August 21
Fantasy Football Auction Roundtable
  Alessandro Miglio - August 25
Mock Draft Musings
  Alessandro Miglio - August 30
Dynasty New You Can Use, Preseason Volume 5
  Jeff Tefertiller - July 11
How to Attack Your Large-League PPR Draft
  Jeff Tefertiller - July 17
Too Soon to Overreact or Time To Hit Eject?
  Jeff Tefertiller - June 20
32 Teams, 32 Critical Questions for 2017: AFC Edition
  Chad Parsons - July 25

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Yes, You Should (Still) Be Going Zero RB in 2017
  Joe Holka - July 13
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  Joe Holka - July 13

Schedule

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