3. James White
If it weren’t for the guy who slots in at No. 2 on our list, James White may have been the buzziest player and biggest star of the show for the Patriots from the get-go in a Week 1 romp over the Steelers. He made the most of the nine times he got the ball against Pittsburgh, averaging 6.5 yards per rush and 11.2 yards per reception en route to 82 all-purpose yards on Sunday Night Football.
While those averages did go down a bit in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, he still managed to pick up his first score of the year on a 10-yard screen pass from Brady in the fourth quarter of the blowout win.
White missed Week 3 to attend the birth of his son, but he came back with a vengeance in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, essentially providing the only significant offense on the day for the Pats with eight catches on 10 targets for 57 yards.
Somehow still criminally underrated as a valuable cog in this offense – despite nearly winning MVP honors for his ridiculous performance in Super Bowl 51 – White has been Brady’s safety valve through the first quarter of the season. Anyone who caught any of Pats/Bills last Sunday could see it plain as day – when plays broke down and the Buffalo rush got dangerously close to Brady’s face, TB12 desperately tried to get the ball delivered out to White.
The strength of this Patriots offense in 2019 was supposed to be a deep and dynamic running back corps. With Michel noticeably struggling and Rex Burkhead playing most of his snaps on special teams last week, it’s been the James White show when the running back is active.