Over the past two seasons, James White has averaged 12.88 PPR points per game with Rob Gronkowski in the lineup. White has averaged 17.74 PPR points in games without Gronk, which (almost certainly) will be every game in 2019. White's 1.53 fantasy points per touch in 2018 was the highest mark among all running backs who averaged at least ten touches per game, and he finished as the RB8 in .5 PPR leagues, which might be his floor for 2019.
New England drafted Damien Harris in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, a talented running back with great receiving skills. If the Patriots look to involve Sony Michel more as a receiver to disguise their offensive tendencies, work in Harris to ease Michel's workload, and continue using Burkhead as a dual-threat in the backfield, White's slice of the receiving pie could get significantly smaller.
2019 Bottom Line
White has secured himself a top role as a receiver out of the backfield. He's established a clear rapport with Brady, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has a clear affinity for scheming White touches. With a lot of unknowns in the New England passing offense, White is right there with Julian Edelman as Brady's most dependable receivers. White is our RB23 in .5 PPR leagues, but he's being drafted as the RB27 in the late-fifth or early-sixth rounds by ADP. While White's target competition is real, he's got RB1 upside well within his range of outcomes in 2019, making him a great target at his ADP in redraft. He's even more valuable in bestball leagues, as you can cash in on every one of his spike games without having to navigate any difficult start/sit decisions.