Shane Vereen NE -RBbreaks out in playoff win
Patriots RB Shane Vereen has been mostly invisible since being selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft. He was plenty visible in the team's playoff win over the Texans on Sunday. With RB Danny Woodhead exiting early on with a thumb injury, Vereen stepped into the pass-catching role. He finished with 5 grabs for 83 yards and 2 TDs, tacking on another 41 yards and a score on the ground. Vereen displayed WR-like route-running in the passing game while often lining up outside the numbers. That was the case on his 33-yard TD, when he simply ran past LB Barrett Ruud. Vereen was also productive on the ground, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Stevan Ridley is still the lead back in New England's traditional offense -- he finished with 15 carries on Sunday. But Vereen certainly brings more play-making ability as the no-huddle back than Danny Woodhead. We'll see about Woodhead's injury, but Vereen will be the better fantasy bet against the Ravens this coming weekend.
Shane Vereen NE -RBtaking over #2 RB job?
Patriots insider Christopher Price believes RB Shane Vereen "turned a corner" with his 8-carry, 49-yard effort against the Jets on Sunday. HC Bill Belichick spoke highly of Vereen on Tuesday. “Shane’s a smart kid, he has a good understanding of the game,” Belichick said. “He’s an elusive guy — he’s got good balance, plenty of strength for his size. [He’s] not the biggest guy, but [there’s] plenty of strength; he gives us some versatility there. I think he’s able to run inside, run in some traffic, but he’s a good space player, on the edge and in the passing game." At this point, Vereen isn't a threat to Stevan Ridley's lead back role. But Vereen might have already bypassed the injured Brandon Bolden for the #2 job. He's worth a speculative add in deeper fantasy leagues.
Shane Vereen NE -RBactive
Patriots RB Shane Vereen will make his 2012 debut today against the Bills. He's been sidelined by a foot injury for over a month. Vereen will play a bit role by RB Stevan Ridley for the time being. He's worth monitoring but isn't a fantasy option.
Shane Vereen NE -RBquestionable, unlikely to play
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (foot) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for this weekend's game against the Ravens. It's the same spot he was in last week before being deactivated on gameday. We're not expecting Vereen to play Sunday night. He's not a fantasy option if he does.
Shane Vereen NE -RBquestionable for Week 2
Patriots RB Shane Vereen is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Cardinals after putting in a week of limited practices. We're expecting him to be active, but he'll play a bit role on offense behind RB Stevan Ridley. Vereen is worth hanging onto in deeper leagues but isn't a fantasy option right now.
Shane Vereen NE -RBback at practice Wednesday
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (foot) returned to practice on Wednesday. It looks like he has a good shot of playing against the Cardinals this weekend. But we'll have to see what kind of role he has before he becomes a fantasy option. RB Stevan Ridley was ultra-impressive in the opener.
Shane Vereen NE -RBruled out for Week 1
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (foot) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Titans. He didn't practice at all this week, and there's no timetable for his return. Meanwhile, Stevan Ridley is now locked in as the lead back this weekend. He's a strong fantasy option against what looks like a leaky Titans run defense. RB Danny Woodhead figures to play on passing downs but isn't a recommended fantasy starter.
Shane Vereen NE -RBiffy for Week 1
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (foot) did not practice on Wednesday. He's been out since getting hurt in the preseason finale. We'll update his official status on Friday, but consider him iffy for Week 1. Vereen won't be a fantasy option against the Titans. RB Stevan Ridley is a good bet for 15+ touches.
Shane Vereen NE -RBstill out with foot injury
Patriots RB Shane Vereen has yet to practice since injuring his foot in the preseason finale. Reports out of New England had the injury as minor, but you never know with the Pats. Consider Vereen questionable for Week 1. RB Stevan Ridley would get a slight boost if Vereen can't go. It'd also lock RB Danny Woodhead into the pass-catching role.
Shane Vereen NE -RBon the roster bubble?
Patriots insider Jeff Howe passes along word that the foot injury RB Shane Vereen suffered last week is not serious. But Howe adds that it "doesn't necessarily mean he will avoid a cut or IR." Whoah! Vereen looked to be making up ground on RB Stevan Ridley for the starting job just a couple weeks ago. Now he's on the roster bubble? We're not buying it, but it's clear that Ridley is locked-in as New England's lead back. Vereen will likely be used in a passing-down role to start the season.
Shane Vereen NE -RBfeatured in 2nd preseason game
Patriots RB Shane Vereen was featured in Monday night's preseason game against the Eagles. He got the start and touched the ball on each of New England's first 3 plays. Vereen finished with just 20 yards on his 10 carries but didn't get much help from his offensive line. We liked the power and wiggle he displayed. Vereen also hauled in 4 of his 5 targets for 29 yards. Meanwhile, RB Stevan Ridley worked with the 1st and 2nd-team offenses, finishing with 25 yards on 10 carries. His only target fell incomplete. We get the feeling that the Patriots wanted to see what they have in Vereen last night. He showed well, especially as a receiver. Ridley is still our pick to lead the backfield in carries -- and handle the goal line work. But this will be a committee. And Vereen might even end up being the better option in PPR formats. We just updated our projections for the Patriots' backfield.
Shane Vereen NE -RBclosing the gap on Ridley
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss believes RB Shane Vereen has "closed the gap" on RB Stevan Ridley over the past week. Ridley fumbled in a recent practice, and Vereen saw a big uptick in 1st-team reps as a result. "More competition to be played out," Reiss confirms. We still like Ridley to lead the backfield in carries, but Vereen should see plenty of action, especially on passing downs. Let's see how both guys look in the next 2 preseason games.
Shane Vereen NE -RBto play big role in passing game
RB Stevan Ridley has emerged as the Patriots' lead back -- at least for now. But it sounds like RB Shane Vereen will play a significant role on passing downs. He's received a lot of reps on passing plays in camp, according to insider Jeff Howe. "Vereen runs good routes for a running back, and he has shown off some nice hands while making a few difficult catches," Howe writes. "Vereen has developed a good rapport with quarterback Tom Brady, who obviously has plenty of targets, but it’s clear that Brady will go in Vereen’s direction with his check-downs." New England has produced some big-time receiving numbers at RB in recent years. In fact, 2011 was the first season in 6 years that the Pats didn't have a RB catch at least 34 balls. If Vereen can beat out Danny Woodhead for passing-down duties, he'll carry RB3 or flex appeal in PPR formats. And there's always a chance that HC Bill Belichick flip-flops and goes with Vereen as the lead back at some point this season. We still like the Cal product at his 13th-round ADP.
Shane Vereen NE -RBa breakout candidate
Patriots insider Jeff Howe nominates RB Shane Vereen as a 2012 breakout candidate. "Vereen got a ton of playing time during offseason camps, and his role will increase significantly this season if he stays healthy," Howe writes. It's another reminder not to forget about Vereen in fantasy drafts. A hamstring injury set him back last season, but the Patriots liked him enough to reach for him in the 2nd-round of the 2011 draft. He could easily finish with as many or more total touches than RB Stevan Ridley. And Vereen is currently the 61st RB off the board in average fantasy drafts.
Shane Vereen NE -RBworking with the first team
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that Shane Vereen was taking first-team carries in the media portions of recent OTAs. This obviously doesn't cast Vereen as "the starter," but it certainly speaks to his sleeper value. Vereen was the highest-drafted Patriots RB since Laurence Maroney. A significant preseason hamstring injury derailed his rookie season, but it certainly didn't doom him to a role as Stevan Ridley's squire. Vereen caught 47 more passes than Ridley in college (74-17) and sports 4.49 speed. New England figures to present a committee, but Vereen might prove the best all-around talent in the group. Most importantly, he has the biggest chance of being a fantasy steal. His early ADP of RB59 figures to change, but he'll likely remain a potential fantasy starter that you can get in the double-digit rounds.
Shane Vereen NE -RBstill in Patriots' plans
After being selected 56th overall in last year's draft, Patriots RB Shane Vereen carried just 15 times for 57 yards. An August hamstring injury put him behind the 8-ball, and we even heard whispers that Vereen was in danger of being cut. But according to insider Mike Reiss, the Pats still have "high hopes" for Vereen. A well-rounded back with plenty of speed, he'd be a nice complement to RB Stevan Ridley. There are plenty of carries up for grabs in New England after RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis' departure.
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