Fantasy football owners generally know that New England Patriots running backs can be a shaky investment because of the way coach Bill Belichick often rotates them and alters the game plan on a week-by-week basis. But Thursday night’s season-opening 28-21 win against the Steelers at least provided some clarity as to how the coaching staff views part of the depth chart. Dion Lewis, who hadn’t played in a regular-season game since 2012, is now the clear-cut top option to fill the void created by Shane Vereen’s free-agent departure. Vereen played 52.9 percent of the offensive snaps last season as the team’s top “pass-catching” back, which is a high total that reflects how the Patriots regularly spread the field and rely on their backs as pass-catchers and in blitz pickup. That was the plan in Thursday’s opener, as Lewis played 46 of 61 snaps. Brandon Bolden was sprinkled in at times (14), while James White played one snap, the kneel-down right before the half. (ESPN)
Nerdy Football Analysis: LeGarrette Blount owners best make sure, if they haven’t previously, to secure Dion Lewis after last night’s impressive performance. The Patriots’ RB situation is always a nightmare for fantasy owners but these two appear to be the two top dogs… for now.