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New England Patriots Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Shark Bites are the latest fantasy football news & NFL updates. Draft Sharks has been in business since 1999. And when we started, redraft was the dominant form of fantasy football. Check out what we've learned about this most basic form of fantasy football along the way.

The Patriots agreed this week to a three-year extension with LB Jahlani Tavai that will pay him at least $15 million and as much as $21 million, according to ESPN. That locks in a starting LB who was set to enter the final season of his existing contract.

ESPN's Mike Reiss posited this week who the early favorites might be to lead the Patriots at WR. "Former Viking K.J. Osborn ... has positioned himself as an early leader among Patriots receivers," Reiss wrote. "Second-year slot receiver DeMario Douglas appears as quick as ever. Add in [rookie Ja'Lynn] Polk, and that could be the team's top three targets if everyone is healthy." That assessment came amid a longer intro that focused on Polk's work. The second-round pick has reportedly impressed with his work in practice. He -- and the others -- face a seemingly wide-open fight for jobs in a WR corps that stunk last year and didn't spend much on adding to it this offseason.

Chad Graff of The Athletic says Patriots WR Demario Douglas had an impressive spring. "Douglas was by far the Patriots’ best and most explosive playmaker in practice this spring," Graff says. "Every time he got the ball in his hands, good things seemed to happen for the offense."

The Patriots have agreed to a four-year, $36 million extension with RB Rhamondre Stevenson, according to multiple sources. The pact includes $17 million in guarantees, indicating he'll play through at least two years of it. The extension also gives Stevenson the seventh-highest annual average salary among RBs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Chad Graff of The Athletic says Patriots rookie QB Drake Maye "is going to have to be the obvious winner" over Jacoby Brissett in their training-camp competition to take the starting job at the beginning of the season. "If the competition between them is even close, Brissett is probably under center in the opener."

Patriots new RBs coach Taylor Embree has been impressed by RB Rhamondre Stevenson's passing-game skills so far this offseason. Stevenson has averaged 4.8 targets and 3.7 catches per game over the last two years, although he's been just average in terms of efficiency. Stevenson ranked 18th among 43 qualifying RBs in yards per route in 2022 and then sunk to 27th out of 43 last year.

The Patriots added Florida State TE Jaheim Bell in Round 7. Bell broke out as a 2021 sophomore at South Carolina, leading that Gamecocks team with five receiving TDs and ranking second in both catches (30) and receiving yards (497). His numbers took a step back in 2022 (25-231-1), but Bell rebounded this past year after transferring to Florida State. He ranked third on the Seminoles behind only WRs Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson with 39 catches and 503 yards. Bell’s 1.97 yards per route beat Coleman and ranked 13th among 81 qualifying TEs. He’s undersized at 6’2, 241 pounds. But Bell clocked a 4.61-second 40 time at the Combine and earned an 8.45 Relative Athletic Score. He projects as a catch-first TE in the NFL. Bell joins a Patriots TE room led by Hunter Henry, who’s under contract through 2026. Henry turns 30 in December, though. We’ll see if Bell can build any momentum this summer. He’s just a flier in dynasty rookie drafts.

The Patriots selected UCF WR Javon Baker in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. Baker’s college journey began at Alabama, where he arrived as a four-star recruit. Meaningful production simply didn’t follow. From 2020-2021, the Georgia native tallied only 9 catches (19 games). He entered the transfer portal in January of 2022 and landed at UCF that June. Right away, he led the Knights in yards (796) while finishing second in catches (56) and TDs (5). Baker’s production hit new highs last fall (52-1,139-7) as he played more of a downfield role. His aDOT finished at 17.1, while he also averaged 7.2 yards after catch per reception. Baker’s 3.21 yards per route run should also open eyes. That ranked eighth among 78 WRs with 80+ targets. Baker doesn’t always show plus speed on tape, but at 6’1, 207, he does a nice job in contested situations. We’ll just have to keep an eye on his hands. For his career, Baker dropped 15 passes for an 11.4% drop rate. The rookie joins a rebuilding Patriots offense that’s also added QB Drake Maye and WR Ja’Lynn Polk so far in this draft. There’s certainly opportunity for Baker to earn a 2024 role, although he’s only worth a shot in deep best-ball drafts for now. Longer term, he could develop into a top-2 option for New England.

The Patriots selected Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Polk transferred to Washington following one season at Texas Tech (28-264-2). He proceeded to miss nine games in 2021 with a fractured clavicle. Polk started producing with QB Michael Penix Jr. in 2022. Polk ranked third behind Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze in all three major receiving categories, though: catches (41), yards (694), and TDs (6). He did lead the group with 16.9 yards per catch. The 22-year-old’s production reached another level in 2023, boosted by several missed games from McMillan. Polk set career highs across the board and popped with a 92-yard TD vs. Stanford. On tape, Polk shows inside/outside versatility and fearlessness over the middle. His hands, body control, and strength allow him to excel in contested situations. Polk also passed the NFL Combine test with an 8.85 Relative Athletic Score. He lands in a New England offense with weak WRs, which presents immediate opportunity -- plus a first-round QB in Drake Maye. We're not especially excited about Polk but will be curious to see how the market treats him. Keep an eye on his rookie ADP heading into your dynasty rookie drafts.

The Patriots drafted North Carolina QB Drake Maye in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. Maye took over as North Carolina’s starter in 2022 and turned in an incredible sophomore season. He racked up 4,321 yards and 38 TDs vs. just seven INTs on a 66.2% completion rate and 8.4 yards per attempt. Maye ranked third among 93 qualifying QBs in Pro Football Focus passing grades, displaying an impressive combination of aggression and decision-making. His 8.4% big-time throw rate – a PFF stat for downfield, tight-window completions – ranked second among those 93 QBs, while his 2.4% turnover-worthy play rate ranked 22nd. Maye’s wrong production took a step back last year: 3,608 yards and 24 TDs. He dealt with an ankle injury, an OC change, and the departure of go-to WR Josh Downs. But Maye still completed 63.3% of his passes at 8.5 yards per attempt and ranked seventh among 95 qualifiers in PFF passing grade. He has ideal size at 6’4, 223 pounds with an explosive release and the arm strength to make any throw on the field. Maye is also a plus athlete, throwing well on the run and rushing for 1,147 yards and 16 TDs over the past two seasons. There are shades of Justin Herbert to Maye’s game; he has that type of fantasy ceiling. To reach it, though, the Pats must upgrade the offense around him. For now, Maye’s looking at a WR corps of Demario Douglas, K.J. Osborn, Kendrick Bourne, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. There’s a chance that Jacoby Brissett is the Week 1 starter. Beyond superflex formats, Maye is off the redraft radar.

The Patriots are signing WR K.J. Osborn to a one-year deal worth $4 million, with a top value of $6 million. That's not enough to guarantee a significant role. But Osborn clearly lands in a place with opportunity. WR Demario Douglas led the team in targets last year as a late-round rookie who played just 14 games. RB Ezekiel Elliott led the team in receptions as a 28-year-old addition averaging just 6.1 yards per catch. And TE Hunter Henry was the only other Patriot to reach 40 catches. We'll see how this year's pass-catching corps sorts out and who's throwing passes. Osborn arrives as an unexciting option, topping out at 3.5 receptions per game in 2022.

The Patriots are signing TE Austin Hooper to a one-year deal worth "up to" $4.5 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Hooper is reuniting with OC Alex Van Pelt, who was Cleveland's OC when Hooper was there in 2020 and 2021. Hooper finished 22nd and 30th among TEs in PPR points per game those years and was even less productive the last two in Tennessee and then Las Vegas. The 29-year-old will slot in behind TE Hunter Henry in New England and is not worth rostering in fantasy football.

The Patriots have agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with QB Jacoby Brissett, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That's about the same money Brissett got last offseason in Washington, where he backed up QB Sam Howell. New England has no better QB on the roster right now but holds the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft. That certainly puts them in position to grab one of the top three QBs -- if they like that guy enough. Brissett arrives as a potential backup or bridge starter, though not much of a fantasy factor in any case.

The Patriots are signing RB Antonio Gibson, according to multiple reports. Gibson primarily served as a receiving back for the Commanders the past two years, averaging 3.0 receptions across 31 games while sharing the backfield with Brian Robinson Jr. He arrives as a potential threat to RB Rhamondre Stevenson's upside. But Gibson's signing might sneakily be good news for the incumbent. Everyone should have expected New England to address a backfield that found Stevenson missing five games last year and Ezekiel Elliott leading the squad in carries and receptions. Gibson opened his career as Washington's lead back before steadily losing work over the past three years. We're not downgrading Stevenson for this addition. He might even turn into a sleeper for 2024 redraft and dynasty leagues, depending on how the market reacts to Gibson. As for Gibson himself, the former Commander remains a late option as a low RB3 to RB5.

The Patriots and WR Kendrick Bourne have agreed to a new three-year deal ahead of free agency. It's a $19.5 million contract with a maximum value of $33 million, according to The Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan. Bourne is working his way back from a torn right ACL suffered this past October but should be ready for the start of the 2024 campaign. He averaged a career-best 50.8 receiving yards per game before going down last year, finishing 35th among WRs in PPR points per game. That feels like Bourne's ultimate fantasy upside this year. We'll see what else the Patriots do at WR this offseason, but Bourne is just a late-round option in early fantasy drafts.

The Patriots and TE Hunter Henry have agreed to a new three-year contract, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports. Henry was scheduled to hit free agency next week but will now remain in New England under new HC Jerod Mayo and OC Alex Van Pelt. Henry posted a 42-419-6 line across 14 games last year, finishing 15th among TEs in PPR points per game. He ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade and 26th in yards per route run among 33 qualifying TEs. The 29-year-old could still be a fantasy asset in 2024. His value will largely depend on what New England does at QB and WR this offseason.

UNC QB Drake Maye measured in at nearly 6'5, 223 pounds at the NFL Combine. He declined to throw or complete athletic testing. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Maye "impressed" in team interviews. There was certainly a lot to show off in 2022, when the now-21-year-old burst on the national stage. He showed NFL-caliber arm talent en route to a 4,321-38-7 passing line. His play plateaued last fall when WR Josh Downs jumped to the NFL. Still, Maye’s 2023 tape showed enough to keep us interested in him as a future top-12 fantasy QB. See where he lands in the pre-draft dynasty QB rankings.

UCF WR Javon Baker clocked a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at the Combine on Saturday. It's not a bad time for the 6'1, 202-pounder, but it was slower than we expected to see from a guy who averaged 17.5 yards per catch for his college career and 21.9 yards per catch last year. There are, of course, other ways to win downfield besides pure speed. Baker's downfield ability should still be respected -- and we still have him highlighted as a potential sleeper. We'll see if the 40 time impacts his draft stock.

The Patriots named Alex Van Pelt their new OC under HC Jerod Mayo. Van Pelt spent the last four seasons as Cleveland's OC, although he didn't call plays for the Browns. Van Pelt did call plays for the Bills way back in 2009. That team finished 30th in total yards and 28th in points under QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards. Van Pelt worked as QBs coach for the Bucs, Packers, and Bengals in between his OC stints and is expected to bring a West Coast offense to New England. We'll see what the Patriots do at QB this offseason. They hold the third overall pick and will have a crack at USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye, and/or LSU's Jayden Daniels.

Patriots WR Kayshon Boutte was arrested for allegedly placing more than 8,900 bets while underaged with a fake account, according to's Wilson Alexander. At least six of those bets were placed on the LSU team Boutte played on. We'll see how the Patriots and the NFL respond to these allegations, but Boutte had very little dynasty value to begin with. He fell to the sixth round of the 2023 draft and caught just two balls as a rookie.

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