The second-year running back from Wisconsin has 16 carries and 12 catches in his career. He spent 2014 behind Shane Vereen and this year behind Lewis. He’s a player that’s smart, knows where he’s supposed to be, has natural hands and good speed. My gripe with his game is that he went down a little too easily as a rookie. He came back bulked up this year and showed glimpses of being able to run through contact a little more. He’ll also – once he gets some confidence – be able to show whether he can string moves together and be more elusive than he’s shown.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is optimistic.
“James is a very consistent guy,” he explained. “He comes to work. He's got a great attitude and approach, is always prepared to go in and fulfill any of the roles that we have for our backs. He's a dependable guy. He can handle a lot of different assignments, and then when we've needed him to play this season, he's certainly been a guy who has done a decent job in blitz pickup. He's caught the football well out of the backfield, and then he's made yards with it when he's had it in his hands.
“James is a guy who continues to get better,” he added. “Hopefully his best football is in front of him. You know, he's still a young player, has only been in our system for a year and a half here I think. And going forward, whatever his role is, I'm sure James will be prepared, and will give our team everything he has. So I really like his approach and his mentality, and he's got a maturity about him that I really feel good about. He'll have an opportunity now to step in there and play a little bit more with Dion’s situation.”
White figures to get most of Lewis's touches, but Blount is likely to see an uptick in carries as well. White is not the player that Lewis is, but he's able to adequately take over the role. Those owners hurting at running back -- especially in PPR formats -- shouldn't be afraid to bid some FAAB dollars on White this week.