Pro Football Focus recently named the biggest fantasy surprises for all of the teams in the AFC. Who was nominated from the New England Patriots?
As the New England Patriots prepare to win another Super Bowl, the bye week without meaningful football has given people time to reflect on the season. As the champions of the AFC, the Patriots obviously had multiple players that played extremely well for them this season.
At quarterback, Tom Brady was able to finish with another great season, and could very well be the MVP of the league. In addition to Brady on the offensive side of the ball, Rob Gronkowski was able to have a great comeback season, and could be up for that award.
While the passing offense gets most of the attention in New England, the rushing offense was also very good this season. Coming into the season, the Patriots had four running backs, and it was assumed that they would be used by committee this season. However one really stood out.
Recently, Pro Football Focus named the biggest surprise for each team in the AFC. For the New England Patriots, it was none other than running back Dion Lewis being named the biggest surprise. Here’s what PFF had to say about Lewis’ season.
"James White had the monster Super Bowl. Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee were added as free agents. That left Lewis undrafted in many leagues. However, Lewis finished atop the group in fantasy points (RB15 in PPR) on the season. His best outing came in Week 17 though, when it didn’t count for many. Lewis rushed for 289 yards and three scores and caught 12 balls for 77 yards and two more scores of the final three weeks of the regular season. Still just 27, Lewis is a free agent this offseason and will be an intriguing name to watch."
Despite potentially being on the roster bubble to start the season, Lewis ended up being one of the best players on the Patriots in 2017. After barely playing to start the season, Lewis really came on when the Patriots began to hit their stride.
Overall, Lewis totaled 896 rushing yards on 180 carries for an impressive 5.0 yards per carry average. Considering he didn’t play much early on, Lewis emerged as an every-down back for the Patriots at the end of the season and has performed well in the playoffs.
As an upcoming free agent, Lewis will likely be able to cash in on this surprise season, and potentially lock up a lucrative long-term deal. With one more game to go this season, the Patriots will certainly be relying on Lewis to have a big game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.