Shane Vereen’s Value Does Not Increase with the Ridley Injury
On Sunday against the Bills running back Stevan Ridley tore his ACL. Most “fantasy experts” automatically assume this will increase Shane Vereen’s fantasy value: Wait a minute—No it doesn’t. Ridley and Vereen might both be listed as running backs on the Patriots roster, but New England utilizes each of them differently. Ridley, a downhill powerful runner at 220 pounds was used as New England’s ‘between the tackles grind for every yard’ back. Vereen is a lot more shifty and elusive as the Pats view him as a receiving back, and try to stretch him outside the tackle box. I would not count on Vereen to be used as a Ridley replacement. Vereen has only had double digit carries five times in his NFL career. The Patriots may decide to forgo the running game and use Vereen and the passing game more, but that seems unlikely.
If you want to look for who New England will use in their running game, look to either Brandon Bolden or rookie running back James White. White had a solid preseason, and was thought to compete for playing time, but that never materialized.
If you have been a Patriots running back owner, you know their playing time and touches are completely unpredictable–so don’t expect to find the next fantasy start on the Patriots bench.