Next Pats: Matthew Berry's top picks for Patriots players to draft in fantasy


Fantasy football season is underway with many leagues conducting their drafts throughout the month of August.

The New England Patriots are an interesting team from a fantasy perspective. They have a lot of good players on offense and plenty of depth at running back and wide receiver. But there's also a lack of elite talent at those positions. 

For example, you probably won't see many Patriots players drafted in the first three rounds of most fantasy drafts. In fact, our top 100 fantasy players ranking included just two Patriots -- running backs Damien Harris (No. 55) and Rhamondre Stevenson (No. 89).

Fantasy expert Matthew Berry is now a member of NBC Sports, and he joined our Phil Perry on the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast.

Which Patriots players should you target in fantasy football entering the 2022 season? In regards to running backs, Berry has a clear favorite.

"It's Rhamondre Stevenson, and I don't think it's all that close," Berry said. "When you consider ADP -- average draft position -- Stevenson is going after Damien Harris. Obviously, Harris had the big year last season. ... James White retiring certainly changes the outlook of that running back room. I just feel Stevenson is a more complete running back with a better chance of being a three-down back. We've never really seen Bill Belichick give it to one guy. He's usually a running back by committee guy. But if you're asking me which of these guys has a chance to emerge as a three-down back and as a true fantasy superstar, Stevenson has the most upside."

"Remember last year, he only had five games with 12 or more touches. He averaged 15.8 fantasy points per game and over 75 yards from scrimmage in all of those games. He caught passes and he looks good between the tackles. No disrespect to Damien Harris, who's a good running back as well -- 15 rushing touchdowns is 15 rushing touchdowns. But ultimately, Stevenson offers the most upside and the most potential to be a well-rounded fantasy running back."

Next Pats: Matthew Berry tells you which Patriots to DRAFT and which to AVOID in fantasy | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The Patriots lack a true No. 1 star wideout, but there is plenty of depth and talent on New England's roster at that position. That said, Berry isn't rushing to draft any of the Patriots' wide receivers.

"It depends on what I need. If I'm in a deeper PPR league, and I just need a guy I can slot in on bye weeks and that kind of stuff, a guy I know I can rely on -- Jakobi Meyers strikes me as the safest (option), the guy with the highest floor," Berry explained. "I know Tyquan Thornton's having a great camp, but there's not a great track record of rookie wide receivers under Bill Belichick producing fantasy numbers. Kendrick Bourne certainly had some really nice moments last year.

"DeVante Parker is someone who's really interesting to me. We've seen him perform at an elite level. Of all the receivers the Patriots have, he's the guy who's been a fantasy superstar the most. He had that one year, two years ago in Miami when he was nothing short of spectacular. He's a guy who can win 50-50 balls and be a nice redzone target. They really don't have that, other than the tight ends. So I think he's a nice big target for Mac Jones.

"I don't know if I'm drafting any of these guys as anything other than a late-round flyer, and there are a lot of receivers who qualify there, where you're like, 'He could be something.' Wide receiver is the deepest position in fantasy football and a lot of guys are going late in drafts who have upside. So if I had to pick one, I'm going to say DeVante Parker just because of his skill set and because we've seen him do it before."

For more fantasy football coverage, check out the full podcast with Berry and out our player rankings below.

Fantasy football positional rankings: QB | WR | RB | TE | D/ST | K

Also in this episode: Phil Perry gives his latest stock up/stock down report from Patriots training camp.

Editor’s Note: Get an edge on draft day with our 2022 Football Draft Guide powered by Rotoworld that’s packed with hundreds of player profiles, expert rankings, projections, mock drafts, sleepers, busts and much more. And don't forget to use promo code DRAFTGUIDE to gain access to it all for just $5 for the first month. Click here to learn more!

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