Blount is still the Patriots’ lead back

Dan Schneier recaps the best fantasy football nuggets from Mike Clay's interview with New England Patriots beat reporter Erik Scalavino.

| 3 months ago
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Blount is still the Patriots’ lead back

On Friday, Patriots beat reporter Erik Scalavino of stopped by the Pro Football Focus show hosted by Mike Clay on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (10 a.m. ET weekdays – Sirius 210 & XM 87). Scalavino talked about Tom Brady’s fantasy prospects, LeGarrette Blount’s role in the offense, and more. You can find Scalavino on Twitter @E_Scal.

Blount Is Still The Lead Back

When running back LeGarrette Blount played all the way into the second half of the Patriots’ fourth preseason game, some got concerned that he might have been passed on the depth chart by Jonas Gray. Scalavino dispelled this notion.

“The only reason Blount played last night was the same reason Brandon Browner played in the fourth preseason game last year,” Scalavino said. “Both players were facing Week 1 suspensions. The coaching staff just wanted to give Blount some extra work. Blount is the lead back for this team. Gray will got some carries, but Blount will get tasked to carry the ball most often.”

Which Tom Brady Do We Get In 2015?

Tom Brady was an inconsistent fantasy option in 2014. While he put up several high-end QB1 weeks, he also mixed in some duds. Now that his suspension has been nullified, what can we expect in 2015?

“The 2014 results were directly related to the fact that his offensive line was in shambles the first month of the season,” Scalavino said. “When his line settled down and got healthy, no surprise, he put up big numbers. Toward the end of the season, they suffered injuries and his numbers dipped. In the playoffs, when everyone was back, he was the Tom Brady of old. This year they have turnover on the offensive line. They have rookies at right and left guard and it remains to be seen if they will be starters in regular season. If that line can hold up for Brady, I expect him to put up big numbers.”

Our projections are very bullish on Brady in 2015. We currently have Brady projected to finish as the QB5 just below the first tier of quarterbacks and above Peyton Manning.

Shane Vereen’s Replacement?

“It looks like Dion Lewis has a spot sewn up,” Scalavino said. “It looks like he has won the job as the third-down back. James White looked good last night. It’s conceivable that both Lewis and White could make the team.”

Lewis could end up providing some value at the back-end of your PPR drafts in 2015. The Patriots’ passing-down back has always had a major role in the offense and you can get Lewis with one of your last few draft picks.

What About Brandon LaFell?

Brandon LaFell finished as the WR23 in standard scoring leagues in 2014. His offseason has been a bit mysterious. He hasn’t practiced or played in the preseason, and there is some speculation that he could start the season on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), costing him the first six regular season games.

“LaFell remains a candidate for PUP to start the season, but my instincts tell me he won’t,” Scalavino said. “From what I’ve seen from him lately, he has been more conspicuous in the locker room. I have cautious optimism he’ll be active to start the season.”

The Depth Chart At WR Looks Like This

“Your depth chart is Julian Edelman, then Brandon LaFell, then Danny Amendola and then Reggie Wayne as your fourth guy,” Scalavino said. “Amendola has worked his way into the good graces of Tom Brady. When healthy, he’s as reliable a pass catcher as this team has.”

If LaFell starts the season out on the PUP list, or even if he just misses a couple games, Amendola could be a sneaky FLEX play. He is someone to keep on your radar if injuries strike your roster early in the season.

Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFC East beat for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.

  • Independent_Jones

    Hang on – is Blount still the lead back?