Looking for a player to draft at the flex position for fantasy football this season? James White may be the perfect solution.
The New England Patriots running back is a solid option in both the passing and running games and has been used frequently in check-downs. Despite his size, he has good leg strength to drive forward and gain that extra yard, something that could make a difference during a close week in fantasy.
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White is a big-game performer and is not afraid run at defenders for a first down. He scored 20 points in Super Bowl LI, a record for any player, and has been voted a captain as well.
When you consider who to draft this season, here’s why you should take SweetFeet.
Catch Ya Later
White is among the league leaders in receiving out of the backfield, hauling in 87 catches for 751 yards last season. The Patriots offense has relied on the use of check-downs for a few seasons now, and White has demonstrated his ability to not only get open but get positive yardage after the catch.
He also dropped only one pass last season. Much of what is thrown to White he will catch. He gets a lot of touches per game and usually does enough to put up strong numbers.
In addition to his receiving prowess, White is a good runner in a short-yardage situation. He had a career-high 425 yards on the ground last season on 94 carries, scoring five times.
His run production increased due to New England’s desire to mix things up out of the backfield. But it also may have been because he has never fumbled in his career. Considering he’s only missed four games over the last four seasons, this is impressive.
In the Red
White gets a good amount of his touches in the red zone, averaging a little over two per game. Whether it’s being charged to run it in from one yard-line, used as an extra blocker, or getting open on a screen, he’s a difference-maker in close range.
He finished the year ranked as the 11th best running back in fantasy because of his ability to find the endzone. His 12 touchdowns led all Patriots players last season and we all know more touchdowns means more points.
There have been years when White hasn’t gotten a rushing touchdown – 2016 and 2017 were dry out of the backfield – but the new look of the Patriots offense could allow White some extra carries.
James From the Block
If you draft James White, it might be helpful to take him as a compliment to another Patriots’ running back or Tom Brady.
Why? Having White in the backfield gives Brady another premier blocker. He’s not the biggest or most imposing presence, but his run blocking ability is top-five among NFL running backs. According to PlayerProfiler.com, White’s run-blocking efficiency earned a 90.0 rating.
But White wouldn’t just be a run blocker. He helps his fellow backs gain yards and is good on check-downs working off blocks on play action. His 62.9 receiving grade off play-action ranked fourth on the Patriots, according to Pro Football Focus.