Now that Tom Brady is starting to age, the running back situation in New England is a lot more important. The Patriots will be trying to figure out exactly what to do this season. While many fantasy football owners are not particularly crazy about either Stevan Ridley or Shane Vereen, most actually prefer Ridley because he is considered to be a sleeper.
According to rankings, both Ridley and Vereen fall into that 25-30 range for running backs going into the 2014 season. Simply put, that means that people are just unsure on who will emerge as the better player. Both have their flaws, but it seems like Ridley has a chance to be a stronger performer.
The coaching staff for New England is pretty frustrated with Ridley’s inability to protect the football at times, but if they were done with him, they would have traded him or release him in the offseason. One reason why they did not let him go comes down to the fact that he is the only true touchdown threat on the roster right now. He won’t be thrown a lot of passes in the system, but he has a chance to reach that magical 1000 yard mark on the ground.
To begin the year, it seems likely that New England is going to use both running backs quite a bit. Vereen will have more success as the receiving running back à la the backfield. Ridley is going to have one more shot at being a dependable running back who can carry the ball and take a few hits. The running game is a lot more important now that Tom Brady is not as dominant in fantasy football, so this is not something they will be taking lightly. As far as fantasy football goes, Ridley is a slight sleeper worthy of a look as a decent RB2 for the year.