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Rhamondre Stevenson Fantasy Football Outlook (2023)

By Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros), Fri, Sep 1st 2023, 10:35am EDT

Damien Harris has been officially replaced by Ezekiel Elliott, who signed a one-year contract worth up to $6 million ($3 million base contract) with the Patriots this offseason. The incentives-based contract suggests that Zeke will be nothing more than a breather back for New England coming to
take the load off Rhamondre Stevenson, while also seeing an opportunity for goal-line usage. The red-zone opportunities are the only legitimate downside to Elliott signing with the Patriots from the Stevenson perspective. But in every other capacity, Stevenson should remain the team's featured back because Elliott is way best his prime.
Therefore, Stevenson's role in 2023 will be more of what we saw from Weeks 5-16 of 2022 when he was the RB13 in points per game as the Patriots' lead back. And recall that even when Harris played alongside Stevenson, the big running back STILL finished third in route participation (58%) and targets (82) among running backs.
Also remember that Stevenson's strong campaign en route to an RB10 finish was not fueled by touchdowns. Stevenson was one of the worst RBs converting from inside the 10-yard line as he scored just thrice despite 19 goal-line carries. His teammate Harris scored thrice from inside the 10, on just 6 carries. In yet, Stevenson still finished as backend fantasy RB because he's a super-efficient running back - PFF's 11th highest graded rusher - with pass-game chops. Stevenson finished as RB1 in 44% of his games last season, which tied Chubb for 6th-highest at the position.
If Stevenson experiences positive TD regression, it's just gravy on top of his fantasy projection. It's not like Elliott bogarting goal-line usage in Dallas stopped Tony Pollard from being a fantasy football stud. Buy the ADP dip on Stevenson that Zeke's signing will undoubtedly cause.

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