2022 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview

by Nick Spencer
2022 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview

With the Fantasy Football season rapidly approaching it is time to re-familiarize ourselves with all 32 NFL teams. Join me as I delve into the 2022 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview.

By many metrics, Mac Jones’ rookie season was a success, but it sure didn’t feel that way for Patriots fans when it ended abruptly in a 47-17 thrashing by the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round.

This offseason, the Pats lost Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels who left to become the Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. As of right now, that position remains vacant in New England.

The Patriots are a Fantasy Football enigma every year, it is very difficult to know who will produce and who will disappear as Bill Belichick rarely tips his hand.

But murky situations often present the best opportunity for value as many Fantasy managers are scared off by the unknown. So, let’s see where we can extract some value from this roster.

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2022 Fantasy Football New England Patriots Preview

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While Mac Jones did lead the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth, for fantasy purposes he was largely irrelevant. Finishing as the QB18 overall with just 22 TDs and little to offer in the run game, Jones provided no upside last year. In fact, his best fantasy performance was only 22 points.

Belichick and Josh McDaniels were clearly enacting a very conservative game plan to protect the rookie from making big mistakes while focusing more of the attention on the Patriots run game and defense. With McDaniels gone and Jones entering his second season I expect the playbook to open up more and lead to an increase in highlight plays for Jones.

Overall, even though I expect improvement out of Jones this coming season I will likely not have him rostered in many leagues. He simply doesn’t offer the upside through the air or with his legs that I’m looking for to be a difference-maker at the position. However, he is a very safe late-round pick in Superflex leagues.

Running Backs

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There are few position groups that give fantasy owners as many headaches as the Patriots’ running backs. In what was already a very messy timeshare at the position between Harris and Stevenson, the team has further complicated things by adding Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris through the draft and regaining James White from injury.

Damien amassed just under a thousand rushing yards while scoring the second most rushing touchdowns in the league, behind only Jonathan Taylor. That being said, Damien offered little to nothing in the receiving game, overall giving him an RB11 finish. Meanwhile, rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson looking explosive in spurts, finishing with 606 yards on 133 attempts and five touchdowns.

As for the remaining backs threatening Damien and Rhamondre’s workload, I think a lot of the concern is unwarranted. James White will fill the receiving role as he always has. While Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris are both day three draft picks that will see little work in their first season aside from filling in for injuries.

All in all, you should expect Damien Harris to regress a bit as the offense becomes more pass-heavy and as Rhamondre carves out an increased role this season. Depending on their ADP, both players could be steals by the time September rolls around, especially in standard leagues.

Wide Receivers

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An adequate if not a bit uninspiring receiver group. In 2021 Jakobi filled the slot role nicely, amassing 83 receptions on 126 targets for 866 yards, but only scored twice. Meanwhile, Bourne played well in his first year in New England finishing with 800 yards and six TDs. And Nelson Agholor continued his tradition of disappointing fan bases.

The additions of Parker and Thornton are intriguing. Parker can play the bigger body deep threat role that the Patriots once hoped N’Keal Harry could play, and Thornton is a second-round draft pick with blazing speed that should be on dynasty managers' radars.

Overall, there are too many mouths to feed and none of them particularly stand out. This is a low upside situation and even as a Patriots fan, I’m not touching this group.

Tight Ends

What most people expected to be a two-headed monster going into the 2021 season ended up being incredibly one-sided. Hunter Henry finished as the TE9 on the back of nine touchdowns, while Jonnu Smith failed to reach double-digit fantasy points in any single game.

Tight End is a notoriously difficult position to lock down in fantasy, and if you miss out on one of the elite guys, I don’t mind taking the shot on Henry at the end of your draft. In fantasy football I’m always looking for tight ends who have the potential to be a top two target on their team and looking at this receiving group, that is entirely possible once again.

Final Verdict

This team is primed to take another step forward as they continue to recover from the fallout of the Tom Brady era. Unfortunately, the rest of the division has been making great strides as well.

It’s not going to be easy for the Patriots to make it back to the playoffs, but in Bill Belichick we trust.

Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!

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