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Stevan Ridley: From Fantasy bust to No. 2 running back?

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was a massive disappointment last year. (USATSI)

Stevan Ridley burned everyone who drafted him last year. Selected 14th on average among running backs -- as a high-end RB2 -- Ridley did absolutely nothing the first five weeks, unless you count losing a fumble, never finding the end zone and failing to clear 54 rushing yards.

By the time he broke through Week 6 for two touchdowns and 110 total yards, Fantasy owners weren't starting him.

His midseason surge included five more scores and provided a temporary boost. But he fell back into Bill Belichick's doghouse by losing a fumble three straight weeks, giving him four in 11 games.

In the three-week Fantasy playoffs, Ridley ran for a total of 123 yards with no scores. He ended the year like he started it, a complete non-factor. It's safe to call him a bust; he finished as Fantasy's 30th best RB, though he added two touchdowns in the NFL playoffs.

LeGarrette Blount, the main benefactor of Ridley's fumbling, just parlayed his strong finish into a two-year deal in Pittsburgh. Which leaves Shane Vereen and Ridley as the Patriots' primary backs. Brandon Bolden and Jonas Gray are there too, but they're not nearly the threats to Ridley that Blount was.

If Ridley can stop fumbling -- a big if, admittedly -- he has a chance for a huge bounceback year. This is the same back who piled up 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. And he's just 25 years old.

Senior Fantasy Writer Nathan Zegura has Ridley all the way up to 15th in his RB rankings.

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