The quarterback battle in New England is over, and it ended unexpectedly. Cam Newton was released Tuesday morning, and rookie Mac Jones was named the Patriots’ beginning quarterback.
Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, was coming into his second yr with the workforce and was making an attempt to carry off Jones, the Patriots’ first-round draft select of Alabama, for the beginning job. With Jones behind heart, the fantasy inventory of each ability place participant in New England rises, and he turns into a viable fantasy backup possibility.
Jones’s weapons aren’t a lot on paper, however he has a various working again group, a stable crop of receivers, and two proficient tight ends. He is additionally insured by probably the greatest offensive traces in soccer. Jones equally had nice safety at Alabama, which gave him the time to effectively and successfully unfold the ball across the subject at a ridiculous 77% completion charge. He is not a risk to run like his predecessor, as Jones is far more stationary within the pocket. Given Tuesday’s roster transfer, a real pocket-passer is clearly what head coach Invoice Belichick needs in his signal-caller.
Under is a breakdown of the fantasy affect of Newton’s launch and Jones beginning at quarterback have on every Patriots’ skill-position teams.
(Damien Harris-James White-Rhamondre Stevenson)
Harris had the very best common draft place (ADP) of any Patriots participant even earlier than Jones was named the starter, and that is sure to shoot up. With out Newton poaching goal-line carries, getting designed runs referred to as for him, or taking off and scrambling, the speeding offense goes by way of Harris.
Newton’s exit from New England coupled with the commerce of Sony Michel to the Rams are each large photographs within the arm for fantasy managers with Harris on their groups. For many who have but to draft, you will should spend even better draft capital to get Harris in your roster.
In 13 video games final season, Harris carried the ball 137 occasions. The Patriots’ prime three rushers in addition to Harris from 2020 are now not with the workforce, and collectively they depart behind a large share within the working sport. Newton matched Harris’ 137 carries, Michel ran the ball 79 occasions and Rex Burkhead, who’s now with the Texans, ate up 67 carries. Anticipate James White to nonetheless get the passing down work within the offense (Harris solely had seven targets final season).
Rhamondre Stevenson impressed within the preseason, and he obtained ample alternative to take action, getting 30 carries throughout three video games. He broke off a 91-yard touchdown run towards Washington within the preseason and averaged a ridiculous 7.2 yards per carry in working for an NFL-best 216 yards within the preseason.
Nonetheless, Harris is the working again you need in New England, and he stands to realize essentially the most from Jones beginning at QB.
(Nelson Agholor-Jakobi Meyers-Kendrick Bourne)
Jones does not have the identical receiving choices he did at Alabama, which is to say he does not have three first-rounders at his disposal. However the Patriots are trotting out a a lot improved receiving corps from what Newton had final season. Jones, a extra conventional pocket cross than Newton, stands to realize from these offseason upgrades.
Agholor was not a sought-after receiver with Newton behind heart, however he can seemingly carry out in the identical vary he did in Las Vegas final season with Jones throwing to him. Because the second possibility for Derek Carr (behind Darren Waller), Agholor remodeled right into a deep risk and posted profession highs in yards per reception (18.7) and receiving yards (896). He hauled in eight touchdowns within the course of for a WR21 end. It is inside motive for him to supply equally in New England. With two tight ends to feed and a recognized pass-catching commodity at working again, Agholor will not get a ton of quantity, however he proved final season he does not want it to supply. Jones confirmed he may throw the deep ball at Alabama and Agholor stands to realize. Think about Agholor a stable late-round depth addition in your bench.
Meyers was the one Patriots pass-catcher price rostering in 2020, and that is saying one thing contemplating he did not catch a single landing. He led the workforce in targets, receptions, and receiving yards in solely 14 video games and by no means discovered the top zone. With Jones, who tossed 41 landing passes his ultimate season in school, Meyers’ will break his 29-game scoreless streak to begin his profession. Meyers may fill the function that DeVonta Smith did for Jones. Meyers could be hard-pressed to match Smith’s ridiculous Heisman numbers, however being Jones’ No. 1 possibility is price one thing — Smith completed with 117 catches that season, second on the workforce was 55.
Only a few offenses help three fantasy-relevant receivers, and with the targets sure for tight ends within the Patriots offense, Bourne is not a viable possibility. He, in fact, stands to realize from the QB change however not sufficient at this level to draft.
(Hunter Henry-Jonnu Smith)
Smith and Henry will cannibalize one another’s targets, however at the very least now these targets are price extra. Jones’ prime two tight finish targets at Alabama weren’t massive components within the offense, however an excessive amount of should not be fabricated from that contemplating the receivers he had available.
Each Patriots’ tight ends at present have ADPs past the highest 12 tight ends, and it will be stunning if, particularly now, one in all them did not end as a TE1. Bump each Smith and Henry up in your rankings however know that it’s going to nonetheless be irritating week-to-week to foretell which tight finish would be the point of interest of the offense. I nonetheless desire Henry based mostly on him outproducing Smith up to now of their careers, however they’re going to each be concerned.
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