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Patriots HC Bill Belichick: 'Fantasy Football Doesn't Mean Anything to Me'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2022

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stated the obvious Thursday when he was asked about fantasy football during training camp.

"Fantasy football doesn't mean anything to me," Belichick said.

Here's his full response:

π“π‘πž 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 @sportingnews

"Fantasy football doesn’t mean anything to me."<br><br>Bill Belichick πŸ˜‚ <a href="https://t.co/5KoKcOMBwI">pic.twitter.com/5KoKcOMBwI</a>

Belichick has caused fantasy managers a lot of headaches over the years because his game plans are highly variable from week to week, especially his backfield usage, which creates wild scoring swings.

Perhaps the most famous example came in 2014.

Running back Jonas Gray came out of nowhere to produce a monster performance in a Week 11 game against the Indianapolis Colts: 37 carries for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

One week later, after fantasy managers rushed to the waiver wire to grab the Notre Dame product, he didn't play a single snap against the Detroit Lions.

The decision came after Gray's phone died during the middle of the night, causing him to miss practice Friday before the Lions matchup since his alarm didn't go off.

"We do what we think's best, and that's what we did today," Belichick told reporters after the game.

Gray scored just one touchdown the rest of the season, and the Patriots released him before the 2015 campaign.

Belichick will always prioritize the team and its culture over individual numbers. That makes Patriots players tough to handle in fantasy, especially since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady, who at least provided consistency in the passing game.

If fantasy managers expected that to change for whatever reason in 2022, the future Hall of Fame coach's comments Thursday ensure it'll be business as usual in New England.

Those who draft running backs Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson or rookie Pierre Strong Jr. shouldn't prepare for a high-volume workload every week, though all three could have standout games throughout the year.

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