2024 New England Patriots Fantasy Preview

A detailed fantasy football breakdown of all 32 NFL squads

2024 New England Patriots Fantasy Preview

The New England Patriots will move into a new era after selecting Drake Maye out of UNC with the No. 3 Draft pick. Maye has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback with exceptional arm talent and reliable running ability. He can stand in the pocket and has great velocity and deep-ball accuracy. However, if his first read is covered, he is often prone to mistakes and occasionally lacks accuracy on intermediate throws. While he’s certainly an upgrade from Mac Jones, he won’t be fantasy-relevant except in Superflex and dynasty formats.

New England doesn’t have a ton of offensive firepower and will likely struggle in Maye’s debut season. Look for the Patriots to lean on the running game with Rhamondre Stevenson and Antonio Gibson in the backfield. Stevenson only played 12 games last season but still finished as the RB35 and averaged 12.1 PPR points per game. He’s one year removed from a 1,000-yard season. Stevenson should get the bulk of the early down opportunities but Gibson will see plenty of action in a change-of-pace role. Maye will likely check it down as much as possible until he gets used to the speed of the NFL, so Gibson could be a sneaky late-round fantasy pick.

The Pats have some solid tight ends in Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, and even rookies Mitchell Wilcox and Jaheim Bell. But New England’s receivers leave a lot to be desired. Mac Jones was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL last year while having to lean on receivers Kendrick Bourne, Demario Douglas, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. None of those players instill fear in opposing secondaries. Douglas was the most efficient wideout on the roster in 2023 but only managed to finish as the WR63 in PPR formats.

The Pats realized that to compete, they needed to improve their skill position players. Enter second-round Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk. Polk should be on the field in three-receiver sets next to Bourne and Douglas. Additionally, the Patriots also took a shot on Javon Baker out of UCF in the fourth round but he’ll be more of a project.

For the first time in two decades, the New England Patriots are in a complete rebuild. They aren’t expected to contend but they have some young players worth monitoring. Overall, this is not an offense to prioritize in fantasy drafts.

Quarterbacks

Drake Maye has the toughest road of the presumptive 2024 rookie starters. New England is just starting a rebuild after falling to 30th in offense and last in scoring in 2023. Maye (6-4, 223) has ideal size, excellent athleticism, and a cannon arm. On the other hand, Maye was a divisive prospect whose production plummeted when facing pressure and he struggled to consistently go through progressions. Additionally, the Patriots will give veteran Jacoby Brissett every opportunity to open the season as their starter. New England also has the second-lowest win total this season. Even if he starts Week 1, Maye will face plenty of attrition this year, making him a fantasy option to avoid. ADVICE: QB2 only in dynasty formats

ADVICE: If Drake Maye isn’t deemed ready the Pats won’t hesitate to open the season with Brissett under center. The veteran journeyman is capable of posting solid fantasy QB2 numbers in spurts. Subsequently, Brissett is becoming more fantasy-relevant in deeper Superflex drafts.

Running Backs

Stevenson was a popular breakout candidate last summer. However, New England put the ‘offense’ in offensive and Stevenon’s season was cut short due to a high-ankle sprain. Before going down, Stevenson was averaging 15.0 fantasy points per game in the final four games in which he received double-digit carries. The Patriots are projected to win the fewest games in the AFC. They also have the league’s second-toughest schedule. Additionally, Antonio Gibson looms as a threat to cut into Stevenson’s receiving role. Stevenson should lead the backfield in carries and if Gibson struggles to adapt, could be a sneaky ‘hero’ RB candidate at a discounted price. ADVICE: Flex play with some pass-catching.

Gibson only had a 43% success rate in zone concepts last season, some 10% worse than Rhamondre Stevenson. The Patriots will switch to a zone-blocking scheme. That means Gibson may be reduced to change-of-pace duties. Gibson has been a productive receiver but appears to firmly be the RB2 behind Stevenson. Things can change, of course. There has been some talk of Gibson having a legitimate chance of unseating Stevenson and being a quality post-hype sleeper. However, the analytics have not been in his favor. View Gibson as more of an RB4/5 with some pass-catching upside. ADVICE: RB4 with limited potential in a zone-blocking scheme.

Wide Receivers

Douglas emerged as New England’s top receiver last year, catching 49-of-79 targets for 561 scoreless yards. He commanded a healthy 24.8% target share but wasn’t particularly effective. Douglas ended up with a negative EPA for an offense that ranked 28th in passing. New England’s 2024 offense is in a state of flux, with a new quarterback and several new pass-catchers added to the mix. Douglas is the favorite to open the season as the Patriots’ slot receiver but he’s assuredly going to see a reduced target share. He’s little more than a WR5/6 in deeper leagues. ADVICE: Will contend for starting slot duties but has very little fantasy value.

ADVICE: Bourne will enter training camp penciled in as one of New England’s starters. But with a new regime, new quarterback, and added competition, he is by no means a sure bet. View Bourne as an end-of-roster depth add with limited ceiling.

ADVICE: New England’s receiving corps is tough to handicap, but Polk has good size (6-1, 203,) hands, and excelled against zone coverage. The odds are good that Polk will earn a perimeter starting job this season.

ADVICE: It won’t be easy for Baker to carve out a consistent role in his rookie season, but he’s got ball skills and knows how to get open. Keep an eye on his progress throughout the summer. Baker has some eventual WR3 qualities.

Tight Ends

SLEEPER ALERT: Henry wasn’t flash, but still produced 9.2 fantasy points per game last season. That ranked him as the TE15. He was inside the top 12 in air yards (550), touchdowns (6), fantasy points per target (1.93), and ranked third with an 8.9 ADOT. This was doubly impressive coming out of a sluggish New England offense that ranked 30th overall. With Mike Gesicki gone, Henry is locked into a starting role as the safety outlet for a team expected to trot out a rookie quarterback in Drake Maye. Expect Henry to be peppered with targets and continue to be an overlooked asset. ADVICE: Sneaky pick to rank inside the top 15 tight ends in targets.

ADVICE: With Alex Van Pelt running the offense, expect the Patriots to be among the league leaders in utilizing two tight end formations. However, it’s been four years since Hooper has been a viable fantasy option. He’s little more than a weak streamer with modest value if Hunter Henry missed time.

Place Kicker

Ryland was a disaster last year and the rebuilding Patriots aren’t expected to score enough points to field a fantasy-relevant kicker. Additionally, New England signed veteran Joey Slye, who is more likely to win the job in camp. Avoid Ryland (or Slye).

Defense/Special Teams

The hallmark of Bill Belichick was always a competitive, disciplined defense. The Patriots still had a solid stop unit last season but only managed to rank 26th in fantasy scoring because they struggled to force turnovers and only managed 36 sacks. Under Jared Mayo, the Patriots are in good hands but they are far from a must-draft fantasy unit.

Other 2024 Fantasy Football Previews

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins


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About Jody Smith 505 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.