Week 8 handed us a lot of crushing injuries, and one that stings for the New England Patriots is Kendrick Bourne. It has been confirmed that Bourne suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, Kendrick can be safely dropped in your fantasy league.
Bourne was the most consistent wideout for the Patriots offense all year with 37 receptions on 55 targets for 406 yards and four TDs in eight games. With Bourne being ruled out, who is the best candidate for more work going into Week 9? The Patriots have DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Jalen Reagor, but the one that sticks out to me the most to fill Bourne’s spot is Demario Douglas.
Demario Douglas should be set to pick up the No. 1 receiver role in Bourne’s absence. Douglas was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots in the 2023 draft. Demario is a smaller receiver, but he is said to be a tough route-runner for defenses to read. He won’t be a plus ball-winner on contested catches, but he can make challenging grabs. Douglas played for Liberty and finished his college career with 2,302 scrimmage yards and 17 TDs.
In Week 7, he finished with four receptions on six targets for 54 yards, as well as 20 rushing yards. In Week 8, he led the team in snaps, routes run, and targets, mostly due to the injury to Bourne, but he seemed to be more involved.
I would feel confident rostering Douglas in PPR leagues if you need a replacement for Bourne, as he should be the recipient of his work. I also feel confident in rostering him in DFS, especially this week at $4,000. I rostered Douglas last week, and he produced 7.9 fantasy points at only 3.07% ownership, which was more than Puca Nacua, Nico Collins, and Zay Flowers. I am not saying he is going to produce WR1 numbers, but you never know what these late-round rookies are capable of.