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NFL Playoffs Patriots vs Broncos: James White's Time to Shine...Again!

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I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The New England Patriots need to get running back James White involved in the passing game because he's too good to leave in as a pure blocker.

White received 5 or more opportunities from the week 11 game against Buffalo through the season finale, with a high of 15 against the Eagles. White only had four opportunities against the Chiefs.

The Patriots tend to use White more when they face a top tier defensive front and they like deploying him as an additional blocker in the backfield. The New England interior line has not been good, so having an extra blocker to help protect Tom Brady makes sense. The return of Julian Edelman should change everything.

With the Patriots now able to release passes in under 2 seconds with Edelman in the open field, White can function as a extra receiver; Brady won't give the pass rush time to hit home, so White won't be needed to help block as often.

White played 47% of the Patriots snaps against the Broncos in week 12, but the coaching staff didn't have full trust in him; Brandon Bolden suited up for 21%. White has since taken over for the receiving back role, starting 72% of the snaps against the Chiefs.

The Patriots aren't strangers to playing a pass-heavy offense against the Broncos. In New England's 43-21 regular season victory in 2014, the Patriots played Shane Vereen on 74% of the snaps, with Vereen collecting 11 carries for 29 yards and 10 additional targets as a receiver. While Vereen only collected 5 receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown, New England wasn't afraid to utilize him for the majority of the game.

White's game is extremely similar to Vereen's, which is why it wouldn't be a stretch to say that White should be expected to play 75% of the snaps against Denver. Snaps leads to opportunities, which leads to production. So if you're looking for a cheap play in your fantasy league, look no further than James White.