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2024 Fantasy Forecast: New England Patriots

The Patriots are heading in a new direction, but can this new-look team give us some valuable players in fantasy for the 2024 season?

Welcome to the Fantasy Forecast series! We at Dynasty Nerds will be talking about every NFL team and breaking down the players on that team. We will talk about their value for the upcoming season and give dynasty advice on what you should do with that player if so.

Patriots QB Battle

The Patriots will likely have a battle for the starting quarterback in 2024. The team signed veteran Jacoby Brissett and drafted new franchise quarterback Drake Maye. Brissett seems likely to go into training camp as the starter. The Patriots will take their time with Maye rather than force him into something he isn’t ready for. What kind of value can these quarterbacks have in 2024?

Jacoby Brissett

The last time Brissett had the starting job in the league was during the 2022 season. He played for the Browns while DeShaun Watson was serving his suspension. While he wasn’t a star, he put up decent fantasy numbers as a QB2 that season. He would have seven of 12 games with at least 18 fantasy points. He had a strong run game and a WR1 in Amari Cooper that season. Outside of that, that offense didn’t have much talent, which could give some hope for Brissett in 2024. He has a solid run game with the Patriots and a combination of decent receivers who could be productive.

Even in two halves of relief for Sam Howell, Brissett combined for 224 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also finished with a 78% completion percentage. For a contending dynasty team, Brissett could serve as a solid QB3 who comes in during bye weeks to give QB2 numbers for the season. Right now, you can get Brissett cheaply, like with a fourth-round pick. You should make that trade to boost your roster’s quarterback room if you are contending.

Drake Maye

On the other hand, Drake Maye could push for the starting job in week one. It seems less likely to happen since many reports point to Brissett and allow Maye to sit and learn for a bit. I think you will get to see Maye on the field at some point in 2024, but how much is a big question. The Patriots have a four-game stretch at home from weeks five to eight, so that could be a good time for Maye to start. Their bye week isn’t until week 14, so that could be another chance, especially with two of four games on the easier side.

If Maye starts, you’ll get a great player with some upside of a QB2 this season. Rookies are in a shaky position to trust at quarterback unless they come right out of the gates and produce. Maye could have solid value due to his rushing ability, with 1000 yards over the last two years in college. He has the big arm to make plays downfield and is accurate with the ball. Maye’s mindset would be tested for someone who turns the ball over and takes too many sacks. He remains a buy-low for rebuilding teams looking for an upside play at quarterback.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB1

Fresh off a new contract extension, Rhamondre Stevenson looks to uphold his RB1 duties in the Patriots backfield. He got a new offensive coordinator with a history of good run offenses in Alex Van Pelt. Stevenson dealt with injuries last season and split time too often with Zeke Elliott in 2022. He was RB24 through 13 games after an RB11 season in 2022.

Photo Courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

The good news is that Stevenson should resume taking more of the red zone work with Elliott gone and the team signing Antonio Gibson. Gibson wasn’t a big red zone threat last year, and I wouldn’t expect that to change with the Patriots. Stevenson’s biggest issue will be the targets he receives moving forward. Gibson has been a strong pass-catching back, which could hurt Stevenson’s receiving value. He has had 107 receptions over the last two seasons. There is a chance Stevenson doesn’t get over 50 targets, even if he plays an entire season.

Stevenson’s best bet is to secure the goal-line role in a better offense and see close to double-digit touchdowns compared to his average of four. He should be able to put up solid RB2 numbers, but I don’t expect him to get back up to that RB1 finish with fewer targets in the offense. For me, he continues to be a sell-in dynasty, especially after the contract extension.

Antonio Gibson, RB2

Gibson is getting another shot to show off what he was able to do as a rookie in his early years. He was a solid pass-catching back for the Commanders, who lost confidence in Gibson as a starter. I’m not sure he will have stand-alone value in this offense. I don’t think it matters who plays quarterbacks, but I don’t see a huge target share to the Patriots backfield. I could see his four targets per game last year come down to being very boom or bust in the season.

Gibson is more of a handcuff that could have upside if something happened to Stevenson. The Patriots don’t have great depth at running backs with Kevin Harris and JaMycal Hasty. Gibson would have the backfield to himself. He likely will finish outside the top 40 running backs but could be a cheap buy-low player as depth.

Kendrick Bourne, WR1?

Regarding the depth chart, Kendrick Bourne sits at the top of that list. The bigger question is whether he is a WR1 for this team. Probably not. Bourne has never been considered a great receiver but, at best, a solid one. Unfortunately, the stats have not been great for Bourne, as he has put in as many yards and touchdowns as he did during this first year in New England. He has around 400 receiving yards in each of the last two years.

Photo Courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Even after a new contract extension, he is coming off a torn ACL, which he suffered midseason. Before his injury, he was WR29 through eight games. I don’t see Bourne having much of an impact in fantasy, even as a flex option. He isn’t going for much in the dynasty world right now, but coming off the ACL is a concern for an older veteran.

DeMario Douglas, WR2

Second on the depth chart is second-year receiver DeMario Douglas. He was a surprise rookie to many as he led the Patriots in receiving yards with 561 yards. Douglas was an interesting prospect coming out of college who was profiled as a slot receiver who could produce after the catch. Douglas did that, as he ranked 33rd in slot snaps and 25th in YAC in 2023. If Douglas follows former Patriot receiver Jakobi Meyers since he also didn’t score a touchdown as a rookie, then Douglas could have a nice career.

In 2024, Douglas should take another step forward with better quarterback play, but the competition for targets has jumped. Douglas benefited from a weak pass-catching core last season. You could acquire Douglas for cheap and likely better for a contending team. At best, Douglas is a decent bye-week receiver replacement during the season.

The Rookie Duo

The rookie duo is Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker, who will look to make an impact. Polk was drafted in the second round and Baker in the fourth. The Patriots have not been a team that has been great at draft receivers in the earlier round of drafts. I don’t think either will crack the top 45 for the season, but both could have moments as rookies.

Polk had a breakout 2023 season in his final year in college with over 1,100 yards. He is a good size with an NFL body. He has great body control and can win contested catch situations. Polk can jump in as the team’s WR1 in 2024. Due to his arm strength, Polk would likely benefit from having Drake Maye as his quarterback. If Brissett sees extended playing time, it may not be great for Polk. Brissett lacks the arm talent to be a deep ball passer consistently. Polk continues to be a buy for a team that is rebuilding. I can see similar numbers to those of a rookie last year, Michael Wilson, with 565 yards and three touchdowns. It depends on how quickly Maye gets in the starting lineup to benefit Polk.

Baker is a little more seasoned receiver due to his age coming into the league. His best traits are his long speed, route running, and YAC ability. If he can push for one of the starting jobs, I’d be interested to see what he can do. If I had to bet between Baker and Polk having a decent rookie season, I’d lean toward Baker. His play on the field can be very eye-opening to watch in film. He must prove it at training camp to push for a starting spot. He may get his shot if Kendrick Bourne isn’t ready by week one.

Best of the Rest

The Patriots have some interesting depth at receiver with names that sound familiar in dynasty. Last year’s big free agent, JuJu Smith-Schuster, seems to have fallen down the depth chart. He dealt with different injuries the previous year and could not produce. He had two games over 50 receiving yards in 11 games. Smith-Schuster is usually a slot receiver, but he seems to be losing the battle against Demario Douglas.

Interestingly enough, when both players were on the field at any point of the season, Smith-Schuster would play more snaps than Douglas. That could have been due to the contract the Patriots were paying him. Could he still surprise fantasy owners and produce in 2024? Sure, but it’s not something I’d rely on. Smith-Schuster could be someone to buy low and hope he gets cut and signs with a new team. I don’t see Smith-Schuster producing great in 2024 unless he can find a new team.

The Patriots signed KJ Osborn, a solid veteran who played the WR2 role for Minnesota for years. Osborn wasn’t a big-ticket free agent this year but had a history of 500 receiving yards in three straight seasons. He could be in play for playing time if Bourne misses and they want a veteran to line up outside. His value has dropped to barely a bottom bench player at this time. Tyquan Thornton is a former second-round pick who has been a bust. Apparently, he is standing out in mini-camp after dealing with injuries for the last two years. He is interesting, but like Osborn, he is another bottom-bench player, especially with the rookies coming into the team. More names to remember if they get cut and find new teams are Jalen Reagor and Kayshon Boutte

Hunter Henry and the TE Room

TD Games (5)10.556.450.61.212.2614.7617.26
NON TD Games (9)
Hunter Henry’s TD vs. NON-TD games

After spending the last three years there, Henry has returned to the Patriots. He has been a consistent fantasy tight end over his time in the league. Since joining the Patriots, he has had 17 total touchdowns. Henry’s yardage has dropped each season, but the touchdowns have kept him alive. For fantasy, Henry was a touchdown-or-bust player in the tight end position. He wasn’t a consistent option to start each week. He would average around five fantasy points in games he didn’t score. Henry is a decent backup option for dynasty owners, but I do not want to try starting unless it is a good matchup. I could see similar 2023 numbers to his 2024 season, with 400 to 500 yards and around five touchdowns. He is older, so he is not someone I am actively trying to buy.

The rest of the tight end position is Austin Hooper, who hasn’t been the same since leaving the Falcons in 2020. He is a solid blocker that can get 300 yards in the season. He is likely someone on the dynasty waiver and should stay there. There is rookie Jaheim Bell out of Florida State. Bell had some early noise in mini-camp as an all-around player and could be used all over the offense. He brings explosiveness and versatility to the Patriots but had trouble dealing with his blocking and physicalness. He likely won’t help fantasy owners, but he is someone to monitor to see if he is worth trading for as a rebuilder. 

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