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Do The Patriots Finally Have A Top Fantasy Option Moving Forward?

It’s crazy that the Patriots might have the best fantasy player in week six in the NFL. The past couple of years has been fantasy purgatory. Multiple backs, no true elite wide receiver, and two tight ends is never a recipe for fantasy success. However, Damien Harris is hurt and might be out for a few weeks, and the Rhamondre Stevenson truthers finally have a chance to be validated. The second-year pro is ready to explode all over the Browns.

Last week Stevenson showed what he could do when given the full rushing workload. His 54 snaps turned into 25 rushes for 160 yards, and he caught both of his targets for an additional 14 yards. Stevenson had the ball on exactly half of the Patriot’s offensive snaps for more than six yards a touch. I have always loved Stevenson’s game and thought he was a better overall back than Harris.

He will finally get the chance to carry the load for this team. As we saw last week, he performed at a high level when he had to step up on short notice for the team. Many fans have said, ” Well, that’s the Lions who have one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. The Browns are giving up 138 yards per game and have surrendered eight touchdowns to the position this season.

The Patriots Match Up Well In The Trenches

The Browns are fresh off letting Austin Eckler rush for 173 yards, catch all four of his targets for 26 yards and score two touchdowns. They will also be missing Jadevon Clowney and Denzel Ward, two of their better defenders.

Many fans are worried about Myles Garret, but Belichick and Rhamondre will beat him the same way Bill and Sony beat Aaron Donald in the Super Bowl. They are going to run right at him. The last time the Patriots played the Browns, they dominated on the ground. Mainly with Rhamondre carrying the ball 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns, also adding 14 yards on four receptions. Different year same Browns, they are giving up 21.3 fantasy points per game, and all Bill Belichick and the Patriots want to do is run the football.

The Offensive line anchored by David Andrews has been solid in the middle and rushing behind Trent Brown. Isaiah Wynn is still being called for holds and false starts, but he is probably the worst run blocker on the line, and that’s not a terrible position to be in. After some initial struggles, the unit has improved tremendously. Cole Strange made the Lion’s interior look like they were in division two. This is another weak interior defensive line in Cleveland. I expect the same sort of push from this unit. The six-foot 230-pound back will rumble through some nice holes in this match-up.


Why The Patriots Will Want To Feed Rhamondre

Bailey Zappe is likely to start his second game; the plan will contain a very healthy dose of Rhamondre, the other backs (JJ Taylor, Pierre Strong, Kevin Harris) could factor in, but it is less likely with Zappe under center since Stevenson is the best pass blocker, pass catcher, and goaline back the Patriots have active on Sunday. Half of the offensive snaps went to the second-year talent; I know I said that already but it is truly incredible to have that type of workload; production, well, the entire stadium knows a run is coming.

I have often compared Rhamondre to Demarco Murray. Murray was one inch taller but seven pounds lighter. They both get tackled and bounce off, stumble to the ground, put a hand in the dirt, and shoot back up for more yardage. In other words, their contact balance is insane. The vision is great, neither had top end speed but had enough to rip off multiple big plays. Both are power runners who excel around the endzone.

Conclusion

I think this is another perfect match for Rhamondre and the Patriots, as the Browns are ranked in the bottom ten teams in most rush defense statistics. Stats aside, Bill Belichick typically takes care of bad organizations, and even with how far Cleveland has come, they are a great franchise yet. They are walking into a poor matchup that Stevenson is going to exploit.

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