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|The Eagles 2011 5th round pick saw precious little playing time in his rookie year, running the ball 23 times for 102 yards and a score while catching just one pass. It was a little perplexing watching aging veteran Ronnie Brown continually run into the line and go down while the Eagles had a speedster like Lewis waiting in the wings but you’ll have to check with Andy Reid as to why he divvied up the playing time the way he did. This season, Lewis will enter training camp as the top backup to starter LeSean McCoy but his value as a handcuff is unknown. He will need to beat out a pair of rookies in Bryce Brown and Carlos Polk to win the role and be impressive enough that the team doesn’t bring in a veteran runner like they did last year. An off-season incident for pulling a fire alarm likely didn’t help Lewis’ case any. On other teams, Lewis’ size (5’8”, 195 pounds) might be an issue but not in Philadelphia where the running back position has been owned by a pair of smaller backs (McCoy and Brian Westbrook) for the last decade. Lewis’ fantasy value will be determined in training camp.
|Dion Lewis the new face of the Pats' backfield? -- Fri Sep 11 4:10 pm --|
RB rattles off 69 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards in Pats' debut
|Fantasy football owners generally know that New England Patriots running backs can be a shaky investment because of the way coach Bill Belichick often rotates them and alters the game plan on a week-by-week basis. But Thursday night's season-opening 28-21 win against the Steelers at least provided some clarity as to how the coaching staff views part of the depth chart. Dion Lewis, who hadn't played in a regular-season game since 2012, is now the clear-cut top option to fill the void created by Shane Vereen's free-agent departure. Vereen played 52.9 percent of the offensive snaps last season as the team's top "pass-catching" back, which is a high total that reflects how the Patriots regularly spread the field and rely on their backs as pass-catchers and in blitz pickup. That was the plan in Thursday's opener, as Lewis played 46 of 61 snaps. Brandon Bolden was sprinkled in at times (14), while James White played one snap, the kneel-down right before the half. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: LeGarrette Blount owners best make sure, if they haven't previously, to secure Dion Lewis after last night's impressive performance. The Patriots' RB situation is always a nightmare for fantasy owners but these two appear to be the two top dogs... for now.
|Patriots release RB Jonas Gray -- Sat Sep 5 3:06 pm --|
Brandon Bolden leads the Pats in touches Week 1?
|Patriots officially released RB Jonas Gray. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: This is somewhat a surprising move considering LeGarrette Blount is suspended for Week 1. The Patriots will likely lean on Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis and James White against the Steelers Thursday night.
|HC: James White can play all three downs -- Mon Aug 3 8:10 pm --|
Hoping to hold off challengers to replace Vereen
|Pats HC Bill Belichick commented on a few players. On RB James White: "A guy who can really play on all three downs, quality guy, smart, team oriented." (Ben Volin on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: The Beantown-on-Beantown crime continues. Earlier in the day, ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss reported Travaris Cadet was one of five players "building positive momentum" in the early part of training camp. Granted, it's questionable what a recommendation means from Belichick when it comes to his backs, but his mention of "three downs" is notable as White tries to hold off Cadet and Dion Lewis for Shane Vereen's old passing-down/third-down role. White is a worthwhile flier in the later rounds of PPR leagues.