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Brandon Bolden Fantasy Football News 2020

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) will miss the rest of the 2015 season.  The news was 1st reported by's Mike Petraglia and has since been confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter.  We still don't have any details on Blount's specific injury, but that's irrelevant for redraft leagues.  New England's backfield is now down to Brandon Bolden and James White.  Bolden figures to handle the majority of the ball-carrying duties.  White will continue serving in a pass-catching role and might see a slight uptick in carries.  Bolden looks like the better fantasy play in Week 15 against the Titans, while White might be busier vs. the Jets' tough run defense in Week 16.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) was spotted on crutches on Tuesday.  We don't have any details about the hip injury that knocked him out of last Sunday night's game, but it sure looks like Blount is a long shot to play against Titans this weekend.  That'd leave "big back" duties to Brandon Bolden and could also mean a bigger role for James White.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount left Sunday night's game at Houston with a left hip injury. NBC reports that he headed to the locker room for X-rays after getting checked out on the sideline. Blount had already carried 10 times for 53 yards before leaving. We'll keep an eye on his status. His absence leaves the backfield to James White and Brandon Bolden.

Update: Blount has been ruled out for the rest of the game.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman suffered a Jones fracture in Sunday's win over the Giants, according to insider Mike Garafolo.  It's the same exact injury that cost Cowboys WR Dez Bryant 6 weeks earlier this season.  Six weeks would sideline Edelman until Week 17.  New England is likely targeting a return in the postseason (a 1st-round bye would give him 8 weeks to heal up).  Edelman currently leads the Patriots with 61 catches and sits 2nd in receiving yards and TDs.  It's another big blow to an offense that lost RB Dion Lewis and is banged-up on the offensive line.  WR Danny Amendola figures to see the biggest spike in targets with Edelman out.  He looks like at least a weekly WR3 the rest of the way.  WR Brandon LaFell and TE Rob Gronkowski will also likely see more action.  We'll see if WR Aaron Dobson, TE Scott Chandler, RB James White and/or RB Brandon Bolden can emerge as fantasy assets.

ESPN's Mike Reiss considers James White the "top option" to replace Dion Lewis as the Patriots' passing-down back.  Reiss adds, though, that Brandon Bolden could "factor into the mix" and that free agent Travaris Cadet could be brought back.  It's a guessing game at this point, and 2 or 3 of those guys might end up filling the role over the final 8 weeks.  White should be your top target on the waiver wire this week, but consider him more of a flier than sure-fire help. 

Patriots RB Dion Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.  It's a significant loss for New England.  Lewis averaged 7 carries for 33.4 yards per game, plus 5.1 catches for 55.4 yards.  RB LeGarrette Blount can pick up the slack on the ground, but the Patriots don't have another pass-catching back like Lewis on the roster.  James White and Brandon Bolden are the candidates to take over the role.  If 1 guy emerges as the clear winner, he'll be a fantasy asset thanks to volume and supporting cast.  Both are worth stashing.

10:29am EDT 10/25/15

Patriots RB Dion Lewis (abdomen) is inactive for today’s game against the Jets. RB Brandon Bolden is also inactive. That leaves RB James White as a virtual lock to handle passing-down work. He’s a RB3 or flex flier in PPR leagues.

ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Patriots RB Dion Lewis (abdomen) does not expect to play against the Jets today.  He'll still go through pregame warmups before a final decision is made.  It'd be a major loss in a game in which New England will likely go pass-heavy.  James White is the best bet to take over as the passing-down back, but Brandon Bolden could also see increased action.  Neither guy is a reliable fantasy play.  Lewis' absence should mean a few extra carries for Blount, although he still won't play in the passing game.

Bill Belichick's roulette wheel stopped on RB Dion Lewis for Thursday night's opener against the Steelers.  Lewis operated as the Patriots' feature back, carrying 15 times for 69 yards (4.6 YPC) and catching 4 balls for 51 yards.  RB Brandon Bolden totaled just 6 touches; James White 0.  Lewis was on the field for 46 of New England's 61 offensive snaps (75.4%).  He displayed impressive quicks and surprising power on the ground.  Pro Football Focus credited Lewis with 5 missed tackles forced and 3.2 yards after contact per carry.  He got involved in the passing game from the backfield and split out wide.  Lewis' night wasn't perfect -- he fumbled near the goal line and dropped a swing pass -- but Belichick stuck with him.  Of course, there weren't any other good options with LeGarrette Blount out.  We're still expecting Blount to return in Week 2 as New England's primary ball-carrier.  Lewis looks like a good bet to stick in the old "Shane Vereen role," though.  That produced 5.8 carries and 4.1 catches per game over the past 2 seasons.  Lewis is worth rostering in all PPR leagues and deeper non-PPRs.

Patriots RB Travaris Cadet is inactive for tonight's opener against the Steelers.  RB LeGarrette Blount is suspended, so Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis and James White will handle backfield duties.  Our best guess is that Bolden will be the primary early-down back, Lewis will play in passing situations and White will mix in for a handful of touches.  That's just a guess, though.  Your best bet is to avoid Patriots RBs in fantasy lineups this week.

Brandon Bolden operated as the Patriots' 1st-team passing-down back in Friday night's preseason game.  He finished with 5 carries for 12 yards and 0 catches on 1 target.  Dion Lewis was the change-of-pace back with QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the 2nd-team offense.  He looked good in hauling in all 4 of his targets for 20 yards and a score.  RB James White, meanwhile, didn't get on the field as far as we could tell.  This situation remains as muddy as even with less than 2 weeks until New England's opener.  Avoid all 3 guys in fantasy drafts.

The Boston Globe's Karen Guregian considers RB Brandon Bolden the current favorite for pass-catching duties.  He's reportedly received the majority of the 1st-team work in 3 straight practices.  RB James White, meanwhile, has struggled "ever since the pads came on," per Guregian.  Bolden has mostly been a special-teamer for New England over the past 3 years but did catch 21 balls back in 2013.  We've now heard Bolden, White and Travaris Cadet mentioned as the favorite for the pass-catching role at different points this offseason.  This obviously remains a fluid situation, and none of the 3 is more than a late-round flyer for now.

Even with RB Stevan Ridley on IR with 2 torn knee ligaments, the Patriots chose to keep RB James White inactive for tonight's game against the Jets.  Instead, the team signed RB Jonas Gray to the active roster from the practice squad and have him active for the game.  Gray joins Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen in a backfield that fantasy owners will be itching to sort out.  We'll see what happens against the Jets, but it's tough to advocate keeping White in any redraft format when the Patriots don't seem anxious to use him.  Look for Vereen and Bolden to lead the way, with Gray's 5'10, 225-pound frame providing an interesting goal-line option.

Patriots insider Jeff Howe "guesses" that RB Brandon Bolden will start in the "Ridley role" against the Jets tonight.  Howe adds that HC Bill Belichick will rotate his RBs and stick with the "hot hand."  Rookie James White will be in the mix, and we're curious to see if Jonas Gray gets involved.  All that's clear at this point is that no one -- not even the team's top beat writers -- know what to expect out of the backfield.  Shane Vereen is the only recommended Week 7 fantasy starter against the Jets' stout run defense.

The MRI on Patriots RB Stevan Ridley’s injured knee revealed a torn ACL and MCL. He’s done for the season and will be in a race to get ready for the start of 2015 training camp. It’s a tough break for Ridley, who will be a free agent this offseason. RB Shane Vereen figures to see a bump in usage with Ridley gone, but New England will need James White and/or Brandon Bolden to step into the “big back” role. For more on those guys, check out our Week 6 Free Agent Focus.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley is scheduled for an MRI on his injured knee tomorrow.  The team fears a torn ACL, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.  That'd end Ridley's season and leave New England with Shane Vereen, James White and Brandon Bolden in the backfield.  Vereen would certainly see an increased role, but there'd be plenty of opportunity for White and Bolden in the "big back" role.  White has been a healthy scratch for 5 of the Patriots' 6 games, including this week.  Bolden carried 6 times for 10 yards against the Bills.

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley suffered a knee injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Bills.  He was quickly ruled out for the rest of the contest, hinting at a significant injury.  RB Brandon Bolden has stepped in as New England's big back.


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