Shane Vereen Fantasy News
Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:39pm
Fourth-year running back Stevan Ridley said he has been pushed even harder by the young group of Patriot RBs behind him on the depth chart, and it's created a new challenge this season. After all, he's been in their place and knows exactly what they're thinking. They're here, and they want to play just as hard as he does.
Ridley has a chance to step back in and play a major role in the Pats rushing game, but is he just a fumble away from the doghouse yet again? That's the risk/reward owners will take. Rookie James White is considered more of a Shane Vereen type and Brandon Bolden hasn't really emerged.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:14pm
Patriots rookie running back James White turned some heads during the team's first day in full pads at training camp in front of 13,891 fans at Gillette Stadium's practice fields. The fourth round draft pick out of Wisconsin had several long runs during 11-on-11 work, flashed good hands during 7-on-7 play and overall continued to show why the early reviews for the 5-foot-10, 205-pounder have been so positive.
White is playing behind Shane Vereen in the 'passing RB' role for the Patriots. He's the logical handcuff for Vereen owners who want insurance.
Patriots RB James White, the fourth-round pick from Wisconsin, shouldn’t be overlooked at running back. White had a solid spring minicamp "season", and his combination of production as a rusher and receiver appears to be an ideal fit for a Patriots offense that values a diverse skill set. We’ll define “early impact” this way: White will play more than 20 percent of the offensive snaps this season.
White could eat into the snaps of Shane Vereen and/or Stevan Ridley. We feel Vereen is safe in PPR formats and Ridley will be the primary 'big back' as long as he holds onto the football, but that's no sure thing.
When the Patriots lost RB Shane Vereen for eight games due to a wrist injury last year, they didn't have "perfect fit" replacement for the role of "passing back" as Brandon Bolden was most often utilized. But they do now in James White, the fourth-round pick from Wisconsin, which is why both Vereen and White are viewed as sure-fire locks to stick in 2014. The reason Stevan Ridley and Bolden don't garner the same consideration is the possibility that Stephen Houston (undrafted free agent) or Jonas Gray (first-year player) surprise and challenge for a roster spot. That's a long shot, and Bolden brings significant value on special teams, but something that at least warrants consideration. Bolden, after all, made the roster as an undrafted player two years ago. It's most likely that the Patriots keep four running backs and Houston, Roy Finch and/or Gray finds a spot on the practice squad to add depth.
It's not easy to predict how the Patriots are going to use their running backs week-to-week, but the fact that Reiss sees White as someone who could replace Vereen if injured is pretty big news, especially in PPR leagues. It may be a stretch to give him a roster spot in typical leagues, but he may be a guy to keep in mind if injuries start to creep in on the New England RBs, especially Vereen who missed eight games last year.
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 10:42am
ESPN's Mike Riess on Patriots RB James White: "I think running back James White (fourth round, Wisconsin, 130th overall) has slipped under the radar a bit. Everything I've heard is that the 5-foot-9, 204-pound White has made a strong first impression, both from a skills and approach standpoint, and even though it's early I don't think it's a stretch to say he will contribute in 2014. Bill Belichick has compared his style of play to fourth-year Patriots running back Shane Vereen."
Friday, June 20, 2014, 9:55am
Patriots RB James White caught the eye several times this week. White showed off good hands throughout minicamp, and appears poised to serve as Shane Vereen’s backup. It will be interesting to see how well he blocks once the pads come out in training camp.
With two solid pass-catching running backs in Shane Vereen and fourth-round draft choice James White, one consideration for the Patriots is putting them on the field together. We know this much: The two-running back package is part of the team’s deep playbook as evidenced by one play in last year’s AFC divisional round playoff win over the Colts. It was the only time all season the Patriots used the two-RB grouping – with Vereen and Brandon Bolden – and it produced a 25-yard catch-and-run reception over the middle by receiver Julian Edelman. The Patriots like to manipulate matchups with various personnel groupings and that play against the Colts provided a snapshot of how a two-RB package (with 2 WRs and 1 TE) can put stress on a defense. The Colts matched in their 4-3 base, the Patriots sent both RBs into pass routes (Bolden to the left flat, Vereen up the right sideline), and there seemed to be just enough confusion between the linebackers and defensive backs on how to handle it that it opened things up for Edelman underneath. Vereen, by the way, made one of the best plays in Thursday’s organized activity by beating linebacker Jerod Mayo down the sideline for a big gain in the passing game. When a running back draws a one-on-one matchup with a linebacker, that’s usually something Brady will take every time. Backs on 'backers – we wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes a bigger part of the Patriots’ attack this year because of the solid pass-catching combination of Vereen and White.
Vereen figures to be a productive back, especially in PPR formats. It will be interesting to see just how many snaps the rookie White plays compared to Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden. Anything can happen with the Patriots.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:44am
On the topic of Patriots WR Danny Amendola and his struggles in 2013: “Danny’s not dissimilar to the rookies,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “He wasn’t here before, and he had an opportunity to get a foundation and a system last year. And now it’s his second year, and it will be exciting to see Danny’s growth. Any time you’re in your second year in a system, you’re more comfortable. We’re excited to see what he does.” If he doesn’t produce big numbers — think at least 80 catches, 800-plus yards, and a clean bill of health — then Amendola is all but gone after 2014, when he doesn’t have as much dead money left on a contract that runs through 2017. The Patriots, smartly, aren’t trusting Amendola to be a featured piece of the offense this time around. They wouldn’t have given Edelman a $17 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus if they thought Amendola could stay healthy for at least 14 games and expertly work the slot for Brady. They wouldn’t have given free agent Brandon LaFell a $9 million contract with $3 million guaranteed if they thought Amendola could be a trusty No. 2 option. Edelman, LaFell, Rob Gronkowski, and Shane Vereen will be the top options in the passing game entering the season. Dobson, the team’s tallest receiver who struggled with a foot injury but also flashed big-play potential, also will be in the mix once he returns from offseason surgery.
We are high on Edelman, who has seized the Wes Welker role in the offense and was rewarded with a nice contract in the offseason. Amendola will compete with the other wideouts on the roster for snaps and targets.
New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, one of the team’s key offensive players, said this week that his previously broken left wrist still isn’t back to the point where it was before the injury last September. “It’s not going to feel great tomorrow, it’s not going to feel awful. It won’t be 100 percent probably for a while, but it’s good enough and I’m working on strengthening it and getting it back,” Vereen said on the team’s website as part of the PFW in Progress program with Fred Kirsch, Paul Perillo, Andy Hart and Erik Scalavino. Vereen suffered a broken bone in the wrist in a season-opening victory against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8, and had surgery that sidelined him until a Nov. 18 game against the Carolina Panthers. Vereen added in the PFW in Progress interview that his wrist feels good and “through most of the end of the season, I was fine with it.” He wouldn’t use it as an excuse for a few dropped passes last season.
Vereen was a 4for4 favorite heading into the 2013 season, but a Week 1 wrist injury derailed a promising start. Over the course of eight regular season games and two playoff games, Vereen averaged 10.7 touches (including 5.4 catches) for 76 yards and 0.40 TD, though his usage in the running game was limited once the Patriots decided to lean on LeGarrette Blount between the tackles. With Blount gone, Vereen’s role could increase. He should be a solid RB2 in standard formats and a fringe RB1 in PPR leagues, provided he stays healthy. We wouldn't worry too much about the wrist; he should be fine by training camp.
LeGarrette Blount has agreed to a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to league sources.
Blount should still be behind Le'Veon Bell which means he falls into handcuff status in Pittsburgh. In New England, the workload is down to Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden. We all know the problems Ridley had keeping the ball, so it will be interesting to see if he's once again given the job to earn the early-down carries. Vereen will continue to take away limited rushes while being a major contributor in the passing game.
Friday, January 17, 2014, 7:35pm
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (groin, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 20. Vereen should be fine to face the Broncos and could see a heavy workload if the Patriots fall behind.
Unlike former head coach Greg Schiano, who preferred to give the bulk of the carries to a single back such as Doug Martin, new OC Jeff Tedford plans to use a two- and maybe even three-back scheme that constantly forces defenses to adjust to his personnel. “When I was at (the University of California) we were always very fortunate to have two very good backs, whether it was J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch or Lynch and Justin Forsett, or Lynch and Jahvid Best or Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen,’’ Tedford said Wednesday. “We really had a good one-two punch in the backfield there and I think that’s what you need. For one guy to carry the load the whole time, especially as physical as this level is, is a lot. So (we’re looking) to have two and probably three backs that can provide different things for you.’’
We don't have to read between the lines to see that Martin may not get the workhorse-type touches that he received in his first season. Still, he'll very likely be the lead back and hold 2nd/3rd round value heading into 2014 fantasy drafts.
Friday, January 10, 2014, 5:33pm
Patriots RB Shane Vereen (groin, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. Vereen is good to go for a nice matchup with the Colts (#21 in RB aFPA).
Friday, January 10, 2014, 5:33pm
Patriots WR Aaron Dobson (foot, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 19. Kenbrell Thompkins will likely get the start against the Colts, though he’ll be the fourth option in the passing game after Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen.
Patriots Inactives Chris Barker G Steve Beauharnais ILB Jake Bequette DE Josh Boyce WR Alfonzo Dennard CB Devin McCourty FS Isaac Sopoaga NT
The Patriots will have all their remaining offensive weapons for this one, with Aaron Dobson, Shane Vereen & Kenbrell Thompkins actives.
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