Stevan Ridley‘s 2014 season is over. His New England Patriots career may be, as well. Fantasy football owners care not about the 26-year old’s future, though. They care about the here and now and what Ridley’s misfortune means for the fortunes of the likes of Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and possibly even rookie James White.
Vereen is going to tentatively be the Patriots running back to own. He’s without a doubt their most explosive and versatile weapon out of the backfield. However, while he should undoubtedly see an expanded role, it’s certainly worth noting he hasn’t lit the world ablaze to this point in the season. In fact, Vereen has lacked in the explosive play department, has carried the ball more than eight times just once and more than 10 times never. A would-be stud receiving back, Vereen caught five passes in week one and hasn’t done so since.
The good news for Vereen is that his talent begs for this all to change. He’s also healthy, which had always been his main deterrent, outside of Stevan Ridley not being a knee-mangled corpse on the sideline. To this point, Vereen hasn’t exactly gotten us excited. But that could change. Heck, it should change.
Bolden is probably going to at least start out as New England’s lead back, though. That means he could vie for 10+ carries and he could steal a decent amount of touchdown plunges. White isn’t nearly as impressive as either of these guys right now, but he’ll undoubtedly factor in to some degree. Of course, he’s more of a Dynasty add than anything else.
However, at least for now, if you have to put your eggs in one basket, it has to be Vereen. He was a dynamo last year when healthy and the Patriots have for some reason not even called upon him much this year. With Ridley out, you have to think his role increases. And with a guy this talented, that should naturally equate to better fantasy production.