RB Countdown: No. 38 James White
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What can you expect from New England Patriots running back James White in 2017? At RotoViz, our motto is Seeing is believing. Our team leverages various internal apps and external resources to make that motto come to fruition This series will provide you a fantasy outlook on our top-40 RBs according to projected points in PPR formats. My intent is to provide you a line of sight on the pros, cons, and projections for these RBs to empower you to make educated decisions on draft day. White finished 2016 as the RB26 last season in PPR formats with 99 touches, 717 yards and five touchdowns. Receptions accounted for 60.6 percent of White’s touches last season. White’s production as a receiver has been steady according to Pro Football Focus’ yards per route run metric (YPRR). He generated 2.07 YPRR in 2015 which ranked seventh in the NFL among RBs and 1.90 YPRR which ranked third in 2016. White’s 60 receptions last season was the most by a RB during Bill Belichick’s tenure as the head coach of the New England Patriots. He set career highs in receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, and games played in a season. White only played 38 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, but touched the football or was targeted on 29 percent of them. He averaged 6.6 touches in 2017 which included a high of 15 Week 6 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and a low of two Week 7 on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
White played a season-high 61 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 6. He also happened to tie Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for the team’s highest target share that week (26 percent). The return of RB Dion Lewis in Week 11 ultimately took the wind out of White’s sails for the rest of the regular season. During the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 through 16) Lewis (41) had more touches than White (15).
However, White did have an amazing performance in the Patriots’ epic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. White caught 14 of 16 targets for 110 receiving yards with a touchdown. He also had six carries for 29 yards with two additional touchdowns and a two-point conversion. I will illustrate below how that momentum should continue into the 2017 regular season.
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