Eagles HC Doug Pederson told reporters Monday that he doesn't plan to have 1 featured RB for the season and will work out the backfield rotation by week. That's never good news for fantasy football owners, but it's not a surprise. RB Wendell Smallwood split work -- 4 carries apiece -- with LeGarrette Blount in Smallwood's lone preseason appearance. Darren Sproles didn't log a single preseason touch but obviously remains in the 2017 plans. Rookies Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement made the initial 53-man roster but aren't likely to garner big gameday roles early in the season. Overall, this is not a backfield to invest much fantasy capital in. Sproles and Smallwood in the later rounds of drafts are the best shots to take right now. We'll see where the situation goes.
Eagles RBs LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood shared 1st-team reps in Thursday night's preseason game. Smallwood played 11 snaps in 4 series with QB Carson Wentz; Blount played 8. Smallwood carried 4 times for 28 yards, while Blount took his 3 totes for 18 yards. Both guys looked good, but the workload split could make this backfield a fantasy headache. Remember, too, that Darren Sproles will get some carries and dominate passing-down work. (He's been held out of preseason action.)
NJ.com's Matt Lombardo writes, "it wouldn't be surprising" if Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount was cut before the start of the season. Lombardo points out Blount's slow start to the preseason (9 carries for 17 yards) and poor fit in HC Doug Pederson's offense as reasons he might be on the chopping block. It's certainly more of an opinion than a fact -- but notable nonetheless. Blount hasn't had much success outside of New England and is now 30. He's not very appealing even at his late-8th-round ADP.
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.
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