James White: 2019 Draft Trap

Here’s my case against James White this season. Might be eating crow on this one early in the season but pretty confident I’ll be fine by seasons end. Think his current ADP is about RB24 right now. Are you guys drafting or fading?


Good article. Nice writing Mike

I started this way with my feelings about James Whites production in 2019. The data is there and he very well is up for some very large regression this year… I however have changed my tune as of late. Personally I feel as though as long as Brady is slinging the rock JW will get his. I just find it really hard to believe that BB and TB will rely on a rookie with Gronk gone and have him eat into old mr trusty. I see N’keal Harry having a similar season to what we saw last year from Josh Gordon. Past this year I would tend to lean your way. I still think 2019 will be fairly heavy JW as him and Julian do what they do best. I do agree that he should not be drafted any higher than where he is right now based on the risk but In redraft im still drafting james white. In dynasty I am holding until he has a couple big games then looking to shop him before next year.

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Appreciate the feedback and thanks for chiming in. Couple of points for your consideration:

  1. The narrative that TB only trusts white and can’t throw to anyone else is a bit overblown IMO. This is the GOAT we’re talking about who consistently finds a way to win making household names out of guys who were basically one snap away from relegation to practice squads on their prior teams (welker, branch, etc). Tom will find and throw to whoever is open and based on my assessment, Harry is the most talented WR brady has ever had not named Randy Moss. I’d say that he also trusts Edelman more than anyone and as I alluded to, White and Edelman share more of the same targets and James white with Edelman on the field was just mediocre.
  2. I’m not saying N’Keal will come in and light up the league immediately. WRs typically take longer to develop but I also don’t believe he has zero impact in year one. Patriots made a huge investment and it would benefit them to get him on the field to see what he can do. Also I view him and Gordon as completely diff WRs. Gordon is a field stretcher speed guy. Intermediate/underneath was never his thing. That’s actually where Harry shines. Also, let’s not forget that Gordon was a shell of his former self.
  3. Definitely fair to have your view on White being heavily involved but I think one key thing missing there is you are discounting / assuming Michel has no involvement in the pass game like last season. Michel was actually an excellent pass catcher coming out of college and based on training camp, patriots are already starting to line him up out wide and having him run more routes. Would pay attention to that going into the season because if he eats into Michel’s pass volume as I would expect, White will be even less than what he was last season with Michel on the field which already wasn’t good.

Lastly I will just say that when I say fade someone, what I mean by that is you should fade white in favor of better much much better alternatives going in that range. Here are some RBs that are going near or AFTER james white based on current ADP:

RBs: Michel (this is asinine), Drake, Murray, Sanders (I don’t even like him but like him more than White), Henderson (younger more talented white on a better offense)

WR/TE: Evan Engram (league winner), Lockett, DJ Moore, Boyd, Ridley, Kupp.

So much better value than James white and if you fade white in favor of those guys with more upside/production, then if you still really want someone like White, you can get Harris for free. Matt Breida also fantasy value for free. If you plan out your draft, it just makes no sense to me where James White would fit in at his 4th round ADP cost.

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I do agree with most of everything you said. When you grab him is key. I would not take white over most of the other talent you said. Esp in dynasty. I still think he will be involved and used in 2019. He has for the most part been very durable and given most of my thoughts around Whites 2019 projections are also based on the fact on how Sony has been used. “not a pass catcher” he had 7 receptions all year. That and his past knee issues are concerning. So I do see BB continuing with his RBBC approach at least until maybe Harris gets his turn.

NE’s running back system has always been hard to get behind. I am interested in how they run it this year.

Expect Sony to be more involved in passing work. He’s already running more routes in camp so if that trend continues, white will be even worse off than tail end of last year where he was already mediocre.

I’ve always loved the NE running backs. General public avoids thinking its not worth but every year they produce multiple high end RB2 and low end RB1. This year will be no diff. Key is you need the guy who they use on goaline. That’s Michel. White had like 1 or 2 goal line carries in the final 7 weeks of last season once Michel was fully involved. Whites outperformed his expected TD last season substantially by scoring from outside Redzone. Wouldn’t expect that much going forward.

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If you can get him in the right round he could be a huge bargain with high upside. He is Tom Brady’s safety net. Edelman is injury prone. The rest of the receiver group is a question mark. Pressure on Brady also equals dump pass to white. If you are playing full ppr and he’s your flex it could be a huge gain

If you want to pay 4th round ADP for someone who only has upside when Michel or Edelman get injured, go for it. I’m not paying for a glorified handcuff who will never lead his own backfield in touches and get zero goal line work. Give me 5 RBs going after him. The numbers just don’t really support your narrative. He was brady’s safety’s net last season too except it didn’t matter once Michel took over. And now add Harris into that mix who they took in the 3rd. Give me Harris for free over white for 4th round pick if you want a handcuff.

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I took him in the 8th last year which means I have the option of keeping him in the 6th and I’m planning on exercising the option (also keeping woods in the 5th and Lockett in the 9th). with the amount of players being kept a 6th round pick is more like 7th round caliber players if I don’t keep him

Is this still James white? I wouldn’t touch him before the 9th round. Give me half the WRs and other RBs in that range all day.

The article is good. It does skim over however the most important part of why JW blew up which is injuries.

Are the odds of injuries to Edelman, Burkhead and Sony higher, lower or the same. If JW is going to regress it will have to be lower. How can it be lower with an older WR, RB and a more bell cow RB who has perpetual knee issues. They drafted another RB because the odds are higher it will be a problem.

I am hearing Sony is getting more passes in camp so that does not look good for JW but, it’s a long season. What I see happening is the opposite of last year. Starts out slow, then due to injuries, he finds himself in another fortunate circumstance.

Even if that does not happen he will still have a handful of decent games and probably the best dart throw for a flex.

I’m in auction so I can’t speak on where to draft him but even in auction, he’s not my RB2. He’s my flex / utility player with some potential injury upside. Quite a bit in fact.

If you are drafting someone in the 4th round who needs injuries to multiple players on his own team to be relevant, you’re probably doing it wrong. At a 4th round ADP, there’s too many guys I’d rather have who have ample opportunity without injury for me to ever draft James White.

I’m in an auction. Rounds don’t matter. Anyone can bid on any player at anytime but I get what you are saying. In a regular draft no way I would take him in the 4th.

I’m actually leaning on not keeping White now. I think he will be on the waiver wire in my league after a few weeks. I may pick him up because I just don’t see how Sony, Burkhead and Edelman are going to hold up the entire season. Last year though, for $2 dollars it was the steal of my draft and I based it off of looming injuries.

Great point, people come to the Fantasy Footballers to get information from the Dynasty Nerds. Free advertising.

White will have big games but without injuries not consistent. They had NO backfield or legit receivers last year. So far, everyone is still upright. I do think that will change mid season. There is no way Sony will last 16 games. Eldeman or Burkhead. If that happens we are officially in the fantasy multi-verse.