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Fantasy Football News 2022

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB Stevan Ridley is not expected to play a significant role in today's game against the Texans.  Schefter even hints that Ridley might be a healthy scratch.  His fumble-itis has finally landed him in the doghouse.  Ridley obviously needs to be on fantasy benches today.  Look for RB Brandon Bolden to handle early-down work, with RB Shane Vereen dominating the passing-down touches.  RB LeGarrette Blount also lost a fumble last week and can't be trusted in fantasy.

Here's Patriots insider Mike Reiss' take on RB Stevan Ridley's role going forward, after losing his 4th fumble of the season last week: "First, I'd be shocked if they released him. He is a good runner working through a ball-security issue, which is similar to what Kevin Faulk faced early in his Patriots career. We saw him overcome it, so I don't think we're at an end-of-the-road type situation with Ridley. That said, in the short term, I think it's fair to assume that the days of Ridley playing a running back-high 45 percent of the offensive snaps, as he did last year, are over. Too risky. I'd expect to see more of a rotation with Ridley, LeGarrette Blount (also a ball-security risk) and Brandon Bolden in that big-back role."  No one knows exactly what HC Bill Belichick is thinking when it comes to Ridley at this point.  We do know that he's consistently gone back to him in the past in games after he's fumbled.  It sounds like Reiss, 1 of the most tapped-in reporters in the industry, believes that won't be the case this time.  Ridley will be an extremely risky Week 13 fantasy play.  We'll re-assess his value the rest of the way after that game.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley didn't step back on the field after his 1st-quarter fumble against the Broncos on Sunday night.  He finished with 4 carries for 14 yards.  Ridley has now lost 4 fumbles this season.  "It’s almost disgusting -- consecutive weeks, and personally as a player, my team deserves better," he said after the game.  "I come in. I work and bust my ass every day to come in here and not make the same mistakes. To have the same mistakes happen, there’s something I’ve got to do different, I’ve got to do better."  HC Bill Belichick has consistently gone back to Ridley the game after his previous fumbles, but there's no guarantee that'll be the case this time.  RB LeGarrette Blount also lost a fumble on Sunday night, leaving the backfield to RBs Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden.

Patriots RB Shane Vereen (wrist) is officially active for tonight's game against the Panthers.  Both OC Josh McDaniels and the New England media have suggested that Vereen's role will be limited in his 1st action since Week 1.  But RB Brandon Bolden is a healthy scratch tonight, hinting at a potentially significant role for Vereen in the passing game.  He's a risky fantasy option, but we'd play him over any RB in this game besides Stevan Ridley.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley and WR Danny Amendola are both expected to play Sunday against the Saints, according to the Boston Herald.  Both are listed as questionable on the Week 6 injury report.  Ridley missed Week 5 with a thigh bruise.  Amendola returned to play in that game for the 1st time since Week 1.  Ridley's return figures to hit LeGarrette Blount the hardest.  Brandon Bolden should remain the team's top receiving back.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee) is active for today’s game against the Bengals.  He’ll serve as the pass-catching back and might also see an increased ball-carrying role with RB Stevan Ridley out.  Bolden is a RB3 or flex option with more appeal in PPR leagues.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (knee/thigh) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bengals.  Nice of the Pats not to leave us with a questionable/game-time decision tag.  LeGarrette Blount will step in as New England's lead back but should only be considered a low-end RB2 against a stout Cincy run defense.  Brandon Bolden (knee) is listed as questionable but is expected to play and serve as the pass-catching/change-of-pace back.  He's a RB3/flex option with more appeal in PPR leagues.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (thigh) was not on the field for the start of Friday's practice.  If he's held out again, he'd be unlikely to play against the Bengals this weekend.  Fantasy owners should start making other plans.  If Ridley can't go, LeGarrette Blount would serve as New England's early-down pounder, with Brandon Bolden playing on passing downs.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (thigh) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday.  His injury is believed to be minor, but Ridley is far from guaranteed to play against the Bengals this weekend.  We'll have another update on his status tomorrow.  If Ridley can't go, LeGarrette Blount would serve as New England's lead back, with Brandon Bolden also picking up extra work.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee) is active for tonight's game against the Falcons.  He was limited in practice all week but was never in danger of missing this one.  Bolden appears to be emerging as New England's pass-catching RB with Shane Vereen out.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Week 4.  There's been no indication that he's in danger of missing Sunday night's game against the Falcons, but the late start time puts fantasy owners in a tricky situation.  Bolden was just a desperation option to begin with.  He racked up 100 total yards in his season debut last week, but his exact role in New England's offense is still unclear.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee) is active for today's game against the Bucs.  He'll be making his 2013 debut.  Bolden is currently 3rd on New England's depth chart but could quickly pass LeGarrette Blount for the #2 spot.  Bolden is worth monitoring in deeper fantasy leagues.  RB Leon Washington is a healthy scratch today.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick gave RB Stevan Ridley a vote of confidence on Wednesday.  "Stevan’s a good player," Belichick said. "I thought he ran hard [in Week 1]. We have a long way to go. We’re going to need him. I’m sure he’ll contribute a lot for us this year.” The Patriots don't have much of a choice but to go back to Ridley after losing RB Shane Vereen to a wrist injury.  LeGarrette Blount now sits behind Ridley on the depth chart.  Brandon Bolden (knee) and Leon Washington (thigh) are both banged-up.  Barring another fumble, Ridley is a good bet for 20+ carries on Thursday night.  Click here to see where he sits in our Week 2 RB Rankings.

The Patriots have placed RB Shane Vereen (wrist) on IR-designated-for-return.  He won't be eligible to practice for 6 weeks and can't return to game action for 8.  New England has a Week 10 bye, so the earliest Vereen could return is Week 11.  It's disappointing news after the original report had him out only "a few weeks."  Vereen is now worth hanging on to only in deep fantasy leagues.  It's unclear what kind of role he'll return to.  Meanwhile, RB Stevan Ridley remains locked in as New England's lead back.  We'll see how the situation shakes out behind him with LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Leon Washington.

NFL insider Jay Glazer reports that Patriots RB Shane Vereen broke a "small bone" in his wrist in his 1st play in Sunday's win over the Bills.  Vereen played the whole game with the injury but experienced numbness afterward.  He's undergoing surgery today and is expected to miss "a few weeks," per Glazer.  It's a tough break after Vereen busted out for 159 total yards in the opener.  He should return to a significant role once he's healthy, though, so Vereen is worth hanging on to in fantasy leagues.  Meanwhile, it's excellent luck for RB Stevan Ridley, who was benched after losing a 2nd-quarter fumble on Sunday.  New England now figures to go back to Ridley as the lead runner, starting Thursday night against the Jets.  LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Leon Washington sit behind Ridley on the depth chart.

Patriots insider Field Yates suggests that RB Brandon Bolden could play a bigger role in New England's Hernandez-less offense.  The 2012 undrafted free agent finished his rookie campaign with 4.9 yards per carry and 2 scores on 56 attempts.  He had 14- and 16-carry outings in October before a knee injury derailed his season.  He'll enter this year no better than 3rd on the depth chart.  A 5'11, 220-pounder bruiser, he's an insurance policy for Stevan Ridley.  We're not expecting Bolden to be a fantasy factor unless Ridley goes down.

Patriots insider Field Yates believes Brandon Bolden will have a chance to "earn" the backup RB job this summer.  "He has very good contact strength as a runner and can earn tough yards near the goal line," Yates writes.  Bolden averaged 5.6 carries per game in 2012.  Danny Woodhead is gone, but Shane Vereen looks like the favorite for the #2 job behind Stevan Ridley.  Bolden and LeGarrette Blount will battle for the leftover scraps.  Neither of those guys are likely to be fantasy assets in 2013.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden has been suspended 4 games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhacing drugs.  The rooke flashed earlier this season with 30 carries for 191 yards and a score over a 2-game stretch, but he's been out the past 3 weeks with a knee injury.  In the meantime, Shane Vereen has taken over New England's #2 RB spot.  Bolden is off the fantasy radar.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Rams.  The team hasn't told us anything about his injury or how long he'll be out.  RB Shane Vereen will once again operate as New England's change-of-pace, likely seeing 6-10 touches. Stevan Ridley will continue to serve as the lead back.

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