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38 Brandon Bolden RB

New England Patriots

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Fantasy Analysis | 1417448638
Patriots running backs continue to confound
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a longstanding tradition of zigging when Fantasy owners expect him to stay in a nice, predictable zag, and he did it again in Week 13 with his running backs.

Shane Vereen still played the majority of the team's snaps Sunday against the Packers, but was largely a nonfactor in the loss. He had just three carries and one reception, and was only targeted twice in the passing game overall.

LeGarrette Blount led the team in rushing for the second week in a row since signing as a free agent, however this time he didn't get the goal-line work. Blount, who scored twice the previous week, ceded a goal-line carry to little-used reserve Brandon Bolden, who scored his first touchdown of the season, while finishing with three carries for 17 yards overall.

Jonas Gray , the star of the team's Week 11 win, was back on the field after failing to touch the ball in Week 12, but had just one carry for 4 yards.

Belichick knows he can wring value out of any back he chooses, which is what makes this situation so perpetually frustrating for Fantasy owners. Any back could get work in any situation any week, but it still looks like Blount and Vereen are going to be the team's top options moving forward. Relying on anyone here on a weekly basis is frustrating, but Blount and Vereen are the only ones that are must-own players down the stretch. 

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Patriots backup rushers can't do much Week 13
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

The Patriots backup rushers could not do much Week 13 against the Packers.

Brandon Bolden managed to make an impact despite limited work. He carried the ball three times for 17 yards, but one of those attempts went for a 6 yard touchdown. Bolden was not involved in the passing game. Shane Vereen also had three carries, but gained just 6 yards. He caught one ball for 26 yards during the contest. Jonas Gray also made an appearance, picking up 4 yards on one carry. 

The trio will look for more Week 14 against the Chargers. 

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Patriots' Blount, Gray expected to form 'thunder and thunder' duo
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount was not signed by Bill Belichick to replace Jonas Gray, but will likely leapfrog Brandon Bolden and James White on the depth chart to provide a powerful "thunder and thunder" duo moving forward, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe on Friday.

According to the paper, the move was made in case Gray, who exploded for 201 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in a Week 11, becomes ineffective, or if he suffers a second ACL injury. Gray suffered a torn ACL during his senior season with Notre Dame in 2011.

When asked about his role with the club, Belichick said it will be up to Blount.

"That'll be up to him, just like everybody else," Belichick said, per WEEI. "When he gets an opportunity, how much he can take advantage of it, how much he can be productive, what he can do with those opportunities will determine how many more there are. It’s totally up to him. He’s knows that. We've talked about that. He knows that's the way it is and I think he's excited about it."

Blount rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns on 65 carries with the Steelers this season before getting waived by the club and reuniting with Belichick and the Patriots.

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Patriots RB Shane Vereen listed questionable due to illness
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

Patriots running back Shane Vereen was a late adition to the injury report due to an illness. He was officially ruled as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears, the Boston Globe reports. Vereen was unable to practice Friday because of the ailment. He's coming off a two-touchdown performance in Week 7 against the Jets.

If he is unable to play on Sunday, the team will likely turn to Brandon Bolden, Jonas Gray and James White to shoulder the load.

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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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1612/21/14@ NYJ1:00 pm
1712/28/14BUF1:00 pm
2012New England Patriots100562744.9272418
2013New England Patriots122552714.9463214
2014New England Patriots14118422.312103
2012New England Patriots1002115.5110001
2013New England Patriots122211527.2180006
2014New England Patriots141284.040000
Defensive Stats
YearTeamGTotalTklAstSacksIntYdsAvgLgTDPass Def
2012New England Patriots1055.000000.0000
2013New England Patriots1210.010000.0000
2014New England Patriots1453.020000.0000
YearTeamGNo.YdsLgAvgBlkI20TBDownedNoRet YdsTDNet Avg
2012New England Patriots10000---0000000---
2013New England Patriots12000---0000000---
2014New England Patriots14000---1000000---
YearTeamGFumLostFum ForcedOwn RecOpp RecYdsTot RecTD
2012New England Patriots1000000000
2013New England Patriots1200000000
2014New England Patriots1400100000
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Baton Rouge, LA, USA
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