James White Fantasy Outlook Rises With Strong Matchup Against Texans in Week 13

Houston Texans v New England Patriots
Houston Texans v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Following a career year, James White has taken a backseat in the Patriots offense this season, and he's only scored two touchdowns through 12 games. It's a far cry from last season, when White scored a career-high 12 touchdowns to go with 1,176 all-purpose yards.

White is still heavily involved in the passing game, as his 49 receptions are seventh among NFL running backs, while his 414 receiving yards rank fifth best. Now, White gets a matchup with a Houston Texans' defense that has become more vulnerable to running backs in recent weeks, especially those of the pass-catching variety.

On the season, Houston has given up the eighth most PPR points to running backs, including strong receiving lines to Alvin Kamara (seven catches for 72 yards), Christina McCaffrey (10 catches for 86 yards), Devonta Freeman (four catches for 50 yards and a TD) and Mark Ingram (three catches for 37 yards and two TDs).

Houston also struggles with pass coverage in general, as they are ranked 26th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA on the season. Considering Brady has all but abandoned the deep ball, the bulk of the receiving work should go to his two favorite options in the short to intermediate parts of the field, that being White and wide slot receiver Julian Edelman.

While the Patriots should have all of their receiving options back for this game, their presence should not affect White's role as Brady's preferred option on screens and other short passing plays. White is the 31st-ranked RB in our Week 13 PPR rankings, which he can easily exceed if he finds the end zone against the Texans.

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