In dire need of a win to preserve a prime playoff position, the New England Patriots could lean on some of their veteran playmakers against a tough Kansas City Chiefs team in Week 14.
The rematch of last year’s AFC Championship could be a high-powered affair with the Patriots seemingly figuring some things out offensively toward the tail-end of last week’s loss to Houston. One of those solutions was feeding their do-it-all running back James White.
Either White just plays well at NRG Stadium in Houston or he and Tom Brady finally figured out a way to free up some space out of the backfield in lieu of throwing to outside. White’s edge speed makes him similar to an outside receiver, allowing him to get to the sidelines and turn the corner quickly to beat his defenders.
Against the Chiefs last year, white combined for nine catches and 102 receiving yards over two games and played 66 total snaps. Though he did not score a touchdown, his involvement was something that has become a trend against the Chiefs throughout his career.
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James White Matchup vs Kansas City
Over both the regular season and postseason, White has faced Kansas City five times in his career. That includes the infamous blowout in 2014, one of three games White played against Kansas City that season.
In his regular-season career against the Chiefs, White has averaged five targets per game against Kansas City, making 11 catches for 98 yards. He has also rushed 19 times for 98 yards and is without a touchdown against the Chiefs.
During those two postseason meetings, he has six additional catches for 78 yards. It’s fair to say the Patriots have looked to get him involved during matchups with the Chiefs, and for good reason.
Kansas City has allowed the highest receiving yards against running backs this season. Opposing backs have caught 71 passes for 763 yards and five touchdowns. With 100 RB targets as well, tied for second-most allowed, the Chiefs are particularly vulnerable to this type of offensive scheme.
Running backs have averaged a total of 24.5 fantasy points per week against the Chiefs this season, second-most behind only Carolina. In DraftKings scoring, the Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points per week (32.6) and second-highest in FanDuels (27.4).
Should You Start White vs Kansas City?
It would be a no-brainer to put White in your starting lineup for the final week of the fantasy season. Regardless of fantasy production, White has rediscovered his role with the Patriots offense after a stretch without any real involvement.
This is huge news for a New England team in search of a spark offensively. He has clearly been a major contributor in the past and when White is playing his best, so is the Patriots offense.
New England will likely see another huge performance from White against the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon in Foxborough. Whether it’s running for short gains or catching passes near the sidelines, White will see a ton of touches, so starting him as a Flex could be a huge boost.