After a Week 1 fumble, Bill Belichick banished running back Rhamondre Stevenson to the doghouse. With his Week 5 activation, he is a consideration to add off the Week 6 waiver wire. Should fantasy football managers be targeting Stevenson this week?
Rhamondre Stevenson is not a priority waiver wire add
There is no need to bury the lede here — Stevenson is not someone you need to aggressively pursue on the Week 6 waiver wire.
Rhamondre Stevenson played more snaps than Damien Harris in Week 5
Although I do not believe Stevenson is a priority waiver wire pickup, it’s important for fantasy managers to have the full picture as to why he’s even a consideration.
In Week 5, Damien Harris played 33% of the snaps while Stevenson played 34%. That may seem insignificant, but Harris was coming off a week where he played 61% of the snaps. The reason for the increase in Stevenson’s usage was Harris’ second-quarter fumble at the goal line. Harris did not touch the ball the entire third quarter.
The Patriots’ starting running back is not a desirable asset
The absolute ceiling for Stevenson is essentially replacing Harris as the primary early-down back. Mac Jones has targeted Brandon Bolden 10 times in the past two weeks. Thus, Bolden is clearly James White’s replacement in the passing game, leaving no possible hope for Stevenson to see any relevant receiving work.
Due to New England’s scheme, Stevenson is purely a two-down grinder. He carried the ball 11 times last week against a weak Texans defense and mustered up a mere 23 rushing yards.
For Stevenson to be a valuable fantasy asset, he will need to see at least 12-14 carries per game and find the end zone. That would require Stevenson completely taking Harris’ job, which is unlikely to occur.
Here are Harris’ weekly PPR finishes at the running back position this season: 27, 17, 55, 49, 36. He’s averaging 8.5 ppg and has been a low-end RB4. Even if Stevenson works his way into a split with Harris, that makes him an RB5 at best. If he takes Harris’ job, he’s barely an RB3 on a good week. There just isn’t much upside in this rushing attack.
Should fantasy managers take a shot on Stevenson anyway?
If you have an open roster spot and need someone to put there, then by all means, throw a dart at Stevenson. He’s certainly better than not having a player there at all. However, I would not drop anyone with higher upside to add Stevenson off the waiver wire.
There are better waiver wire adds this week than Stevenson
It goes without saying that fantasy managers should be prioritizing guys like Devontae Booker, Alex Collins, and Darrel Williams over Stevenson. But should fantasy managers take a shot on Stevenson ahead of some other players? The short answer is no.
I would prefer running backs like Khalil Herbert, Jerick McKinnon, and even Ty Johnson to Stevenson. All three of them have higher ceilings than Stevenson and more reasonable paths to reach those ceilings. It’s just tough to foresee a future where fantasy managers are comfortable starting Stevenson. Accordingly, fantasy managers should spend their FAAB on other targets this week.