Eagles insider Jimmy Kempski insinuates that RB Wendell Smallwood's roster spot could be in jeopardy. He's currently 4th on the depth chart behind LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey, according to Kempski, and could be passed by Corey Clement. Smallwood was 5th-round pick a year ago and averaged a decent 4.1 yards per carry on 77 rookie-year totes. But the Eagles' additions to the backfield this offseason were a sign that they weren't overly impressed. Smallwood obviously isn't rosterable in redraft leagues.
The Eagles have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB LeGarrette Blount, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Blount toiled on the free-agent market for a while, despite coming off a season that saw him score a whopping 18 TDs. That, of course, was largely fueled by a high-octane Patriots offense. Blount also averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last year and turned 30 this past December. Still, he immediately becomes the best between-the-tackles runner in Philadelphia. And there should be plenty of scoring opportunities on a talented offense. This is a nice landing spot.
The Patriots this week applied a May 9 tender to RB LeGarrette Blount. It's a rarely used tool that doesn't keep Blount from signing with another team or mean that a signing team would have to send a draft pick to New England. Instead, signing Blount would work against his new team's compensatory-pick formula for 2018 and help that of the Patriots. For our purposes, it means that Blount could sign the tender at any stage and further crowd an already unwieldy New England backfield. Also, the tender means that Blount can only play for the Pats this season if he doesn't sign elsewhere by July 22. Count this as another interesting Patriots situation to watch.
The forecast for today's Jets-Patriots game calls for a 95% chance of rain with winds around 10 mph. That wind isn't a major concern, but it looks like this will be a sloppy game. We still don't expect the Pats to have any trouble when they take to the air, but the weather could push them further toward the run if (when?) they get out to a big lead.
Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett (thumb) will get the start today against the Bills, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) will be inactive. Brissett attempted just 19 passes in last week's win over the Texans. The Pats would probably like him at a similar number today. There's some rushing upside here, but Brissett is just a low-end QB2. Expect a heavy dose of RB LeGarrette Blount.
The Patriots released RB Tyler Gaffney. It’s a minor surprise, but the move means LeGarrette Blount remains New England’s “big back.” Receiving RB DJ Foster is expected to stick as a reserve.
Patriots RB Tyler Gaffney -- not LeGarrette Blount -- started and played the first 2 series of Friday night's preseason game. Blount turned in the better performance, averaging 5.2 yards on his 5 totes. Gaffney managed just 35 yards on 9 carries -- 3.9 yards per. Blount has looked good all preseason (4.6 YPC) and remains the favorite to open the season as New England's lead back. We can never be sure with the Patriots, though, so Gaffney is worth keeping on your watch list.
The Patriots on Tuesday released RB Donald Brown. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, Brown had been limited since suffering an injury in the 5th practice of camp. He always looked like a long shot for fantasy relevance after washing out in San Diego. Brown's departure at least takes 1 name out of a crowded backfield that appears ready to hit the season with LeGarrette Blount and James White leading the way.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount avoided the PUP list at the start of training camp. It's good news after he missed all of spring workouts due to a December hip injury. Blount has been bandied about as a summer cut candidate, but if healthy, he's New England's best "big back." There's value in his 13th-round non-PPR ADP.
ESPN's Mike Reiss points to Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount as a "veteran whose job is in jeopardy." Reiss says the hip injury that ended Blount's 2015 bears watching this summer after the veteran back missed all of spring workouts. "If he returns to full health and runs hard like he did at times in 2015, there shouldn't be any issues," Reiss wrote. "But that isn't a given based on the present snapshot." We'll see about Blount's health and conditioning once training camp begins. But unless he looks broken down, someone in the New England backfield will need to surprise to boot Blount from the roster. The Patriots will take Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden, Tyler Gaffney, Donald Brown, Joey Iosefa and undrafted rookie D.J. Foster into camp as the RB corps, in addition to Blount.
The Patriots have re-signed RB LeGarrette Blount to a 1-year deal, according to multiple reports. He missed the final 3 games of the 2015 season with a hip injury but didn't need surgery and was deemed fully healthy in mid-March. Blount averaged a solid 4.3 yards per carry and scored 6 TDs in 12 games before going down. He was sitting 19th among RBs in non-PPR points at that point; 29th in PPR. Blount is the favorite for early-down duties for now, but New England still seems likely to add a RB in the draft. Blount turned 29 in December.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) will miss the rest of the 2015 season. The news was 1st reported by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and has since been confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter. We still don't have any details on Blount's specific injury, but that's irrelevant for redraft leagues. New England's backfield is now down to Brandon Bolden and James White. Bolden figures to handle the majority of the ball-carrying duties. White will continue serving in a pass-catching role and might see a slight uptick in carries. Bolden looks like the better fantasy play in Week 15 against the Titans, while White might be busier vs. the Jets' tough run defense in Week 16.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) was spotted on crutches on Tuesday. We don't have any details about the hip injury that knocked him out of last Sunday night's game, but it sure looks like Blount is a long shot to play against Titans this weekend. That'd leave "big back" duties to Brandon Bolden and could also mean a bigger role for James White.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount left Sunday night's game at Houston with a left hip injury. NBC reports that he headed to the locker room for X-rays after getting checked out on the sideline. Blount had already carried 10 times for 53 yards before leaving. We'll keep an eye on his status. His absence leaves the backfield to James White and Brandon Bolden.
Update: Blount has been ruled out for the rest of the game.
ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Patriots RB Dion Lewis (abdomen) does not expect to play against the Jets today. He'll still go through pregame warmups before a final decision is made. It'd be a major loss in a game in which New England will likely go pass-heavy. James White is the best bet to take over as the passing-down back, but Brandon Bolden could also see increased action. Neither guy is a reliable fantasy play. Lewis' absence should mean a few extra carries for Blount, although he still won't play in the passing game.
Bill Belichick's roulette wheel stopped on RB Dion Lewis for Thursday night's opener against the Steelers. Lewis operated as the Patriots' feature back, carrying 15 times for 69 yards (4.6 YPC) and catching 4 balls for 51 yards. RB Brandon Bolden totaled just 6 touches; James White 0. Lewis was on the field for 46 of New England's 61 offensive snaps (75.4%). He displayed impressive quicks and surprising power on the ground. Pro Football Focus credited Lewis with 5 missed tackles forced and 3.2 yards after contact per carry. He got involved in the passing game from the backfield and split out wide. Lewis' night wasn't perfect -- he fumbled near the goal line and dropped a swing pass -- but Belichick stuck with him. Of course, there weren't any other good options with LeGarrette Blount out. We're still expecting Blount to return in Week 2 as New England's primary ball-carrier. Lewis looks like a good bet to stick in the old "Shane Vereen role," though. That produced 5.8 carries and 4.1 catches per game over the past 2 seasons. Lewis is worth rostering in all PPR leagues and deeper non-PPRs.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (knee) returned to practice on Saturday. He ended up missing just 1 week with the minor knee injury. Blount should see some action in New England's next 2 preseason games. He remains the heavy favorite to serve as the team's lead runner this year -- after he serves his 1-game suspension. Blount is a strong value at his 9th-round price tag.
Zeke's gone for a while (or is he); Sammy Watkins is gone from Buffalo; and we have a whole weekend of preseason action to break down. Lots to get to as fantasy football drafts approach ...3:08pm EDT 8/15/17 Read More
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