After exploding onto the scene during the preseason, the Patriots’ bruising rookie running back, Rhamondre Stevenson, found himself in the Belichick dog house after a Week 1 fumble against the Dolphins.
The rookie sat in timeout until Week 5 but was allowed out to gain 23 yards on 11 carries against the Texans. He ran timid and did not look like his preseason self until later in the game. However, one wouldn’t blame him with The Hoodie breathing down his neck.
Ivan Fears: “Rhamondre started out too cautious. He was almost very nervous to carry the ball. We can’t play that way … He turned it loose (at the end), didn’t he? We’re going to get the cow bell going with that boy. He’s going to turn it loose and we’re going to be all right.”
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 12, 2021
Then last week against the Cowboys, he rebounded. Stevenson found the end zone for his first career touchdown and split work with a banged-up Damien Harris on early downs.
In order to keep the oft-injured Harris fresh, Stevenson should see an increased number of snaps moving forward. He would also be the guy if Harris were to miss time. That reason alone makes the former Sooner an intriguing stash option off the fantasy football Week 7 waiver wire.
As Harris’ backup, he touched the ball eight times and trailed only Harris in touches (eight to 19) and snaps (17 to 26). Most importantly, he caught three passes for 39 yards — which proved he could take over even more snaps in the Patriots’ valuable passing game.
He looks like LaGarrette Blount and he runs like Blount, but he’s even more versatile and could be a true three-down back depending on Harris’ up-and-down health.
The Patriots have one of the more favorable rest of season strengths of schedule for running backs in the league and Stevenson could be a true league-winner down the stretch if Harris continues to miss time here and there due to his physical running style. If Stevenson could up-end Belichick’s bobo, Brandon Bolden, to own third down, this prognostication could become even juicier.
Stevenson is up to RB48 (+2 vs ECR) on The Wolf”s 2021 Rest of Season Rankings and is still available in nearly 90 percent of leagues.