Patriot WRs
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Can Patriot WRs Be Consistently Relied On In 2021 Fantasy?

Patriot WRs seem to have new faces every year. The past couple of wide receiving rooms in New England have been made up of veterans, undrafted free agents, and non-flashy free-agent pickups. After whiffing on the N’Keal Harry pick and having one of the league’s worst wide receiving core in 2020, the Patriots went out and signed guys like Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. With new faces at wide receiver paired with Jakobi Meyers, can any Patriot WR be productive enough to rely on in fantasy?

It All Comes Down To The QB

I wrote an article pertaining to the Patriots’ tight end and their respective fantasy value a couple of months ago and my main argument had to do with who is the starting QB. I think the WRs are in a similar situation and their fantasy production heavily relies on if Cam Newton or Mac Jones is the starter. I was very critical of Mac Jones after the Patriots drafted him. I don’t think he is overly athletic, he has an average arm and doesn’t fit the style of today’s NFL QB but I might have to eat my words very soon.

As someone who has watched every snap of the Patriots preseason games, Mac looks calm and collected and has plenty of arm strength. He makes throws on time and in rhythm and his pocket presence is advanced for a rookie. I think if the Patriot WRs are going to have the most success it will be with Mac as the starter. The offense runs smoother with the rookie under center, he is a better more accurate thrower than Cam and his pre-snap awareness is solid.

The biggest thing I saw was some of the offensive packages they were running with Mac that they have yet to run with Cam. Numerous times they would go five receivers wide, an empty backfield, and have Jones air the ball out. Cam has shown his arm is not what it used to be and is more of a power running back in this stage of his career. I think the bottom line comes down to who is the QB. If Cam starts, which looks to be the likely situation I would stay away but as soon as Mac steps in, this offense is going to pass the ball exponentially more.

Which WR To Target?

Let’s say Mac starts, which WR is the best option for fantasy? I think people would be fast to say Nelson Agholor because he was the flashy free-agent signing and is coming off a career season but I think Jakobi Meyers is going to have a huge year. The undrafted free agent was easily the most consistent and best receiver on this team in 2020. Meyers hauled in 59 catches for 729 yards last season and earned himself a roster spot in the future. From all accounts, Meyers has dominated camp and has become a consistent piece for the Pats. I was worried about Agholor’s drop issues and they seemed to have followed him to New England. If Mac is under center, I am going after Jakobi Meyers.

Offensive Identity

This offense is going to embody “run-heavy”. They have capable backs in Damien Harris, James White, and Rhamondre Stevenson and a top-ten offensive line. Pair that with Cam’s poor arm and bad accuracy and this team is going to run the ball down your throats. Even if Mac is the QB, they are not going to put the rookie in a situation where he is throwing the ball 40 times a game. This must be taken into account if you do target any Patriots WR or tight end for that matter. There may be games where they throw more than usual as well as games they fully commit to the run. The defense is good enough to not lose games, this offense does not have to rely on the air raid for them to win games but it has to be efficient.

If you want to pick a Patriot WR, I’d go with Jakobi Meyers.

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