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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2021 PPR Draft Rankings

Damien Harris Note
Damien Harris photo 87. Damien Harris RB - (at MIA)
What's the best-case scenario for Harris? Didn't we see it last year when Sony Michel went down with an injury? Not only is Michel healthy, but the Patriots also decided to draft Rhamondre Stevenson in the fourth round of this year's draft, which just adds another body to the mix. I like Harris as a player, but as someone who topped 16 touches just twice last year with little competition and no role in the passing game, you should aim higher for your RB2/3 option.
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Jonnu Smith Note
Jonnu Smith photo 126. Jonnu Smith TE - (at MIA)
Smith's talent was not put on display nearly enough with the Titans, as he never saw more than 65 targets in a single season. Despite that, he finished as a top-12 tight end in 2020. The Patriots were aggressive with him, signing him the first day of free agency to a four-year, $50 million deal, which tells us all we need to know: They aren't going to hide him. The signing of Hunter Henry hurt his projection a bit, but the drafting of Mac Jones improved it a bit because once he takes over as the starter, this team will throw a lot more. Once you get outside the top five tight ends, you're chasing upside, and Smith has plenty of it.
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James White Note
James White photo 133. James White RB - (at MIA)
Despite seeing a solid 14.2 percent target share last year, White was a non-factor in fantasy. Cam Newton wasn't throwing touchdowns, and he was stealing all the touchdowns near the goal line. Not that White gets many opportunities around the goal line, as he only totaled 35 carries last year, but the lack of touchdowns destroyed his usability. If Newton is still under center in 2021, White's going to have similar problems. If Mac Jones were to take over as the starter, it might inject some life back into White, as the offense would certainly be passing the ball more.
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Hunter Henry Note
Hunter Henry photo 134. Hunter Henry TE - (at MIA)
Henry has never been an elite tight end in my eyes. He's always been someone who benefitted from a lot of volume in an offense with not a whole lot of options to throw to. Based on the opportunity he had last year and where it took place on the field, Henry scored 18.7 fewer fantasy points than he was expected to, which ranked as the fourth-worst number in football. He's now the No. 2 tight end on a Patriots team that figures to have Cam Newton under center for at least the first few games. Henry is nothing more than a streamer in 2021, and to be honest, I don't anticipate there being many weeks to use him without an injury ahead of him on the depth chart.
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Nelson Agholor Note
Nelson Agholor photo 152. Nelson Agholor WR - (at MIA)
It's pretty remarkable what a change of scenery can do to a player, and no one better represents that than Agholor, who was left for dead after his stint in Philadelphia. He bounced back in a big way with the Raiders, averaging 10.9 yards per target, which ranked fifth among wide receivers who saw 60-plus targets. Unfortunately, he'll have to prove it again with another franchise. If Cam Newton is under center, we saw what that does to wide receivers in 2020, but knowing it's possible that Mac Jones starts gives us hope for Agholor with the Patriots. But as of now, it seems Newton will get the gig to start the season, meaning Agholor may not pay dividends right out of the gate.
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Jakobi Meyers Note
Jakobi Meyers photo 186. Jakobi Meyers WR - (at MIA)
With Julian Edelman out of New England, we might see Meyers be the receiver to step into that role, though the lack of clarity with the quarterback situation is what will supress our optimism. In an expanded role with Edelman out last year, Meyers totaled 45-plus yards in 9-of-11 games, including two games with 110-plus yards. He didn't score a single touchdown, which is part of the reason he's not getting any love. What if I told you he finished with just one fewer catch and 19 fewer yards than Brandon Aiyuk last year? The concern is the addition of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, who both signed lucrative deals. Meyers is worth a late-round pick in case he is the top receiver in New England.
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New England Patriots Note
New England Patriots photo 190. New England Patriots DST - (at MIA)
Sony Michel Note
Sony Michel photo 199. Sony Michel RB - (at MIA)
How the mighty have fallen... Just a few years removed of being the Patriots first round pick, Michel finds himself fighting for touches in this backfield. It appears Damien Harris is the starter, while James White handles passing down work, and Rhamondre Stevenson and Michel fight for the scraps. Is it possible that Michel's injury last year has us overlooking his potential? He may have only had 79 carries last year, but he did average a massive 5.7 yards per carry on them. Maybe he's just better in a timeshare? This backfield is a mess, especially if Cam Newton is under center.
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Cam Newton Note
Cam Newton photo 209. Cam Newton QB - (at MIA)
It seems we won't know who the Patriots starting quarterback will be until weeks before the start of the season, but the expectation should be that Newton starts Week 1. He wasn't good in 2020 - there's no denying that, though it certainly didn't help that his top receiver was out for most of the season, and they were weak behind him on the depth chart. The Patriots beefed up their wide receiver/tight end depth chart by signing quite a few players, including Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Hunter Henry. Knowing that Newton still flashed 500-plus yard rushing upside, he can be considered a solid streamer as long as he has the job, but if he plays like he did last year, his starting job will be short lived.
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Rhamondre Stevenson Note
Rhamondre Stevenson photo 263. Rhamondre Stevenson RB - (at MIA)
Kendrick Bourne Note
Kendrick Bourne photo 289. Kendrick Bourne WR - (at MIA)
N'Keal Harry Note
N'Keal Harry photo 293. N'Keal Harry WR - (at MIA)
Through two full seasons, Harry has not lived up to expectations. He's only seen 81 targets over those first two years, but that's due to his lack of efficiency. Since coming into the league, his 5.11 yards per target ranks as the second-worst in the NFL during that time. After the Patriots spend a boatload of money in free agency, we can't even say that Harry is a top-three receiver on the depth chart.
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Mac Jones Note
Mac Jones photo 328. Mac Jones QB - (at MIA)
Nick Folk Note
Nick Folk photo 399. Nick Folk K - (at MIA)
J.J. Taylor Note
J.J. Taylor photo 470. J.J. Taylor RB - (at MIA)
Jakob Johnson Note
Jakob Johnson photo 508. Jakob Johnson RB,TE - (at MIA)
Gunner Olszewski Note
Gunner Olszewski photo 518. Gunner Olszewski WR - (at MIA)
Devin Smith Note
Devin Smith photo 521. Devin Smith WR - (at MIA)
Devin Asiasi Note
Devin Asiasi photo 565. Devin Asiasi TE - (at MIA)
Jarrett Stidham Note
Jarrett Stidham photo 582. Jarrett Stidham QB - (at MIA)