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34 Shane Vereen RB

New England Patriots

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Brady will 'continue to find ways' to get Shane Vereen touches
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Patriots running back Shane Vereen stepped up in a big way Week 7 against the Jets, which was the team's first game without running back Stevan Ridley, who sustained a season-ending knee injury Week 6. Vereen totaled 114 yards (71 receiving) and two touchdowns in a 27-25 win.

Quarterback Tom Brady seems confident Vereen will be able to continue to be a steady presence on offense, per ESPN.

"Yeah, he’s done such a great job for us over the time that he’s been here," Brady said. "I think dependability really sums it up, and he’s really an explosive player for us, too. It’s just trying to continue to find ways to get him the ball because he does a lot of great things when it’s in his hands."

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Fantasy Analysis | 1413915762
Patriots' running back situation mostly clear
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Forget about Brandon Bolden. The Patriots' use of him against the Jets in Week 7 -- he played only one snap -- pretty much tells the story there. Granted, they've had their share of about-faces at the running back spot over the last few years, so I wouldn't dare claim to know what they're thinking, but if they've decided their next-best choice at the position is Jonas Gray, who at least saw the field for 11 plays Thursday, it's pretty clear what direction they intend to go, right?

With that in mind, I cautiously, carefully and with a preemptive tinge of regret plan to start Shane Vereen Week 8 against Chicago and hopefully every week thereafter. Yes, he played 80 percent of the snaps in Week 7, and yes, he scored two touchdowns. But you'll notice both of them came through the air. True, he also got more than two-thirds of the Patriots' carries, but I can't help but wonder if in a different matchup, one that encouraged them to pound the ball instead of rushing just 15 times as a team, they would have been more creative. That would work to Vereen's detriment, obviously.

For more of my biggest takeaways from Week 7, be sure to check out my latest post to the Fantasy Football Today blog.

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Patriots address decision to add RB Jonas Gray to active roster
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the decision to promote running back Jonas Gray from the practice squad and the opportunity that he'll get moving forward with Stevan Ridley out for the remainder of the season, per ESPN.

Gray was added to the live rosters hours before Week 7 against the Jets and emerged as the team's second option behind Shane Vereen on Thursday night. He rushed for 12 yards on three carries.

"I think Jonas has been solid for us all the way through preseason," Belichick said. "He's done a good job in practice and got an opportunity last night -- not a lot of opportunities -- but he had some blitz pickup opportunities and a few carries. He works hard and he's a tough kid, a bigger back obviously -- more in the Ridley size range."

Belichick would not indicate whether Gray would be used as the team's second option in the ground game moving forward.

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Patriots' Shane Vereen thrives Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Patriots running back Shane Vereen had a big game Thursday against the Jets.

With Stevan Ridley out, Vereen got a chance to show off his skills as the primary ball-carrier. Vereen turned in an average performance as a runner, picking up 43 yards on 11 carries. He really showed off his abilities as a pass-catcher. On the first drive of the game, Vereen snagged a 49 yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady. The two would hook up again later in the contest on a 3 yard touchdown. Vereen led the team with 71 receiving yards.

Vereen will look for more Week 8 against the Bears. 

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Fantasy Analysis | 1413321144
Shane Vereen not an automatic start
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

The Patriots' Shane Vereen may seem like a strong candidate for a midseason breakout now that Stevan Ridley is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, but it's not like he suddenly has all the carries to himself.

As I point out in my latest post to the Fantasy Football Today blog highlighting some of the biggest takeaways from Week 6, Brandon Bolden didn't touch the ball against the Bills until the fourth quarter, after Ridley left, and yet he still finished with more carries than Vereen. That's a pretty strong tell, I think. Vereen has his role in the Patriots offense, catching passes out of the backfield and getting the occasional change-of-pace carry, but the Patriots still want a grinder back there.

Though Bolden lacks experience, he's had success when he's gotten extensive playing time in the past. In the three games in which he's gotten double-digit carries in his career, he's averaged 5.8 yards per carry. He had 137 yards on a career-high 16 carries back in 2012.

Of course, he's no Ridley, and Vereen will probably get a larger share of the carries just because of that. But I'm guessing he won't get the majority, which makes me hesitant to start him Week 7 against the Jets.

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810/26/14CHI1:00 pm
911/2/14DEN4:25 pm
Bye: Week 10
1111/16/14@ IND8:30 pm
1211/23/14DET1:00 pm
1311/30/14@ GB4:25 pm
1412/7/14@ SD8:30 pm
1512/14/14MIA1:00 pm
1612/21/14@ NYJ1:00 pm
1712/28/14BUF1:00 pm
2011New England Patriots5015573.819102
2012New England Patriots131622514.0163015
2013New England Patriots81442084.7211210
2014New England Patriots72532594.9191010
2011New England Patriots5000---00000
2012New England Patriots131814918.6831116
2013New England Patriots81474279.15032125
2014New England Patriots72231858.0492219
Kick Returns
2011New England Patriots500---000
2012New England Patriots1300---000
2013New England Patriots836622.02400
2014New England Patriots700---000
Defensive Stats
YearTeamGTotalTklAstSacksIntYdsAvgLgTDPass Def
2011New England Patriots510.010000.0000
2012New England Patriots1311.000000.0000
2013New England Patriots800.000000.0000
2014New England Patriots700.000000.0000
YearTeamGFumLostFum ForcedOwn RecOpp RecYdsTot RecTD
2011New England Patriots500000000
2012New England Patriots1311000000
2013New England Patriots810000000
2014New England Patriots700000000
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Valencia, CA, USA
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