The weird vibes around the New England Patriots coming out of training camp and the preseason are going to have an impact on the fantasy world this season.
Zack Cox of NESN.com noted it "wouldn't shock" him if Rhamondre Stevenson eventually becomes the No. 1 running back, ahead of Damien Harris, at some point this season.
"The Patriots still have a lot of run-blocking issues to work out," Cox wrote, "but Stevenson showed legit star potential last season and had a good camp."
The combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense doesn't seem to be going well, based on the word out of Patriots camp thus far.
Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston called the No. 1 offense "distressingly bad" during an Aug. 8 practice.
Head coach Bill Belichick used most of the offensive starters in the Aug. 26 preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders. The group went punt-interception-punt-field goal with two three-and-outs in four drives.
Mac Jones went 13-of-21 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in two preseason starts. Harris only had three carries in the preseason for 18 yards. Stevenson racked up 26 yards on seven carries.
Harris is a difficult player to figure out for fantasy purposes this season. He finished 2021 as the No. 14 running back in PPR leagues, but that ranking was propped up by 15 rushing touchdowns on just 202 carries.
Stevenson was a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in the 2021 draft. The Oklahoma alum played sparingly in the first half of the season, but he finished strong with 470 rushing yards on 98 carries in his final seven games.
Per FantasyPros.com, Harris is currently being drafted as the No. 33 running back (No. 78 overall). Stevenson is the No. 36 running back coming off the board (No. 102 overall).
If you feel so inclined to bet on any Patriots skill player being worth a spot on your fantasy roster, Stevenson might be the safest bet as a potential flex option during the season because of his upside as a receiver out of the backfield.