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38 Brandon Bolden RB

New England 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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Patriots' backup pass-catchers contribute Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

The Patriots received contributions from a number of players Week 7 against the Jets.

Brandon LaFell led the way, hauling in four passes for 55 yards. He finished third on the team in yardage, and was targeted five times. Danny Amendola caught one pass, but made it count. In the fourth quarter, Amendola scored on a 19 yard reception from Tom Brady. Amendola should have had a better game, but had a couple catches taken away due to penalties. Brandon Bolden also caught one ball for 4 yards. 

They'll look for more Week 8 against the Bears. 

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Fantasy Analysis | 1413470231
Take a wait-and-see approach with Patriots' backs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com

The Patriots are going to have a tough time replacing Stevan Ridley in the running game, and we will get our first glimpse of how the team plans to do that in Week 7 against the Jets Thursday. The primary options to replace Ridley are Brandon Bolden and James White, though Bolden would not tell the Boston Herald Wednesday how he expects to be used in Thursday's matchup.

"I'm going into this game just doing whatever they ask me to do, whether it's special teams or offense," he said.

Neither Bolden nor White has much of a track record, though Bolden does at least have one 100-yard game under his belt back in 2012. He should get the first crack at an increased role, as he received six carries in Week 6, but Patriots head coach Bill Bellichek is notoriously fickle with running backs, so he could have a short leash Thursday.

We should have a much better idea of how the Patriots' backfield share will shake out after Thursday, but Fantasy owners will want to steer clear for Week 7. The Jets have allowed just 3.6 yards per carry and 13.0 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, so Bolden only makes sense as a desperation player this Week. White is just a long-term flier for now. 

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Fantasy Analysis | 1413168509
Stevan Ridley injury opens door for Brandon Bolden
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

After Stevan Ridley departed in the third quarter with what's feared to be a torn ACL, the Patriots turned to Brandon Bolden as their primary ball carrier Week 6 at Buffalo. He picked up just 10 yards on six carries, but Ridley himself wasn't much better against a Bills defense that entered the day ranked second against the run, picking up just 23 yards on 10 carries.

Obviously, the Patriots also have Shane Vereen to share the workload, but he's always been more of a receiver out of the backfield. If Ridley does miss significant time, the Patriots will need somebody to pick up the tough yards, and that somebody figures to be Bolden.

So does that make him a player to add in Fantasy? He's gotten double-digit carries only three times in his career, but he averaged 5.8 yards per carry in those three games. He had 137 yards on a career-high 16 carries back in 2012.

Of course, he's no Ridley, and Ridley himself had become a frustration to Fantasy owners with the Patriots not always so committed to the run game. So if Ridley's injury ends up being not as serious, maybe you add Bolden only if you have a real need at running back. But otherwise, he's a must-add.

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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
2012New England Patriots100562744.9272418
2013New England Patriots122552714.9463214
2014New England Patriots8015251.78001
2012New England Patriots1002115.5110001
2013New England Patriots122211527.2180006
2014New England Patriots80284.040000
Defensive Stats
YearTeamGTotalTklAstSacksIntYdsAvgLgTDPass Def
2012New England Patriots1055.000000.0000
2013New England Patriots1210.010000.0000
2014New England Patriots842.020000.0000
YearTeamGFumLostFum ForcedOwn RecOpp RecYdsTot RecTD
2012New England Patriots1000000000
2013New England Patriots1200000000
2014New England Patriots800100000
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Baton Rouge, LA, USA
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