Jeremy Hill was highly impressive in his Patriots debut, rumbling for 51 yards and a TD on 11 carries while looking far more slim and spry in the process. Given Sony Michel’s knee surgery may open up some highly valuable New England “Ground Pie,” Hill needs to immediately enter fantasy radars.
Though the Patriots have indeed earned their reputation for backfield unpredictability, one thing is certain: the team will score plenty of rushing TDs. In fact, over the past 3 seasons, the Patriots are tied atop the league with the Saints with 75 RB carries inside the 5-yard line. The sluggish LeGarrette Blount rode this volume to an absurd 18 TDs just two seasons ago, while Rex Burkhead tallied 8 TDs in only 10 games (including 7 TDs in just six weeks following the team’s Week 9 Bye).
Indeed, Burkhead remains on the team, and has been highly productive at the stripe. However, if Sony Michel‘s surgery requires a lengthy recovery and Burkhead is forced into the early-down “Dion Lewis” style role, this massive GL share may just open up. The Patriots love using backfield roles, and Hill would appear to be the early frontrunner for the No.3 job. He apparently entered the preseason battling Mike Gillislee for a roster spot, and considering the former Bills’ sluggish 43 yards on 14 carries, Hill gained a definite leg up last night. Moreover, Hill’s always been strong at the stripe — of his 31 career rushing touchdowns (including two in the playoffs), 25 have come from 9 yards or closer, and 22 have come from 4 yards or closer. And let’s not forget, Burkhead was forced off the field for two separate stretches in 2017. Largely undrafted with a 286 ADP, Hill needs to be on your late-round fantasy radar.