Rhamondre Stevenson is the Patriots RB to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football and Dynasty Leagues - Roto Street Journal
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Rhamondre Stevenson is the Patriots RB to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football and Dynasty Leagues

8/16 update: It’s definitely Rhamondre Stevenson SZN.

The Patriots’ backfield is usually a disaster to figure out in fantasy football and although Damien Harris racked up 15 touchdowns en route to an RB13 2021 finish, things won’t get easier this season with Rhamondre Stevenson ascending and James White returning at some point.

The most significant fantasy headache (or value, depending on how you look at it) for this backfield is Stevenson. He’s entering year two in the Patriots’ system (I’ll dive into that below) and is working to further develop his repertoire.

Stevenson is also working on being a better early-down runner.

“Personally, it’s vision for me,” the running back said. “Just making the right cuts. Just knowing where the blocks are going to happen. Just making the right cut — reads, run reads, pass reads, things like that.”

After earning PFF’s third-highest-graded running back honors (84.2) and ranking 13th in rushing yards and in yards per route run from Week 9-on, Stevenson is a must-target in all fantasy formats.

YEAR 2 JUMP IN THE PATRIOTS’ SYSTEM

It’s typical for a Patriots rookie, and especially a rookie running back, to get a short leash from Bill Belichick. That was the case for Stevenson early on after he lost a critical fumble in Week 1 against the Dolphins. He entered Belichick’s dog house and was inactive for the next three games. He was then a mysterious inactive in Week 7 and also missed Week 16 due to an illness. All-in-all, the rookie only played 34% of the team’s snaps and finished 69 (nice) carries behind Harris on the season.

But over the past two decades, it’s been common for Patriots running backs to take a (sometimes massive) year-two leap by winning over Belichick’s trust and buying into the Patriot Way.

Laurence Maroney

2006: 175 carries, 745 yards, six rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown

2007: 185 carries, 835 yds, six RuTD

Stevan Ridley

2011: 87 carries, 441 yds, one RuTD

2012: 290 carries, 1,263 yds, 12 RuTD

Shane Vereen

2011: 15 carries, 57 yds, one RuTD

2012: 62 carries, 251 yds, three RuTD, eight rec for 149 yards, one RecTD.

James White

2014: Nine carries, 38 yds, five rec for 23 rec yds

2015: 22 carries, 56 yds, two RuTD, 40 rec for 410 yards, four RecTD.

Sony Michel

2018: 209 carries, 931 yds, six RuTD, seven rec for 50 yds

2019: 247 carries, 912 yds, seven RuTD, 12 rec for 94 yds

Damien Harris

2019: Four carries, 12 yds

2020: 137 carries, 691 yds, two RuTD, five rec for 52 yds

DYNASTY OUTLOOK

The Patriots added Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris in this year’s draft to an already loaded running back room. But after the initial confusion and the dust settled, the two picks made sense. Strong is the leader to eventually win the James White role once he decides to hang ’em up and the team needed to build depth with Damien Harris entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal.

It’s not common for Belichick to extend a running back, and especially one whose stock has never been higher after scoring 15 touchdowns and racking up over 1,000 total yards in 2021. It shouldn’t shock anyone if Belichick lets another team overpay Damien Harris while rolling with a Stevenson, Strong, and Kevin Harris backfield in 2023.

Stevenson is a player who you should be targeting in dynasty trades while his stock is stagnant this off-season.

RHAMONDRE’S RANKINGS

The Wolf is a tad lower on Stevenson than the consensus, ranking him at RB39 (-2 vs ECR) on his 2022 Fantasy Rankings. He’s also lower on Stevenson in Dynasty, checking in at RB41 (-6 vs ECR).

If the price is too rich for Stevenson in redraft or dynasty, he’s currently going at 111.3 overall (RB38) on Underdog Fantasy best ball leagues. Use promo code RSJ or click the link to get a 100% first deposit match up to $100 on Underdog Fantasy.

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