Shane Vereen Fantasy News

Breaking down the Patriot running backs

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 2:25pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

The Boston Herald broke down the Patriots RBs:

LeGarrette Blount will miss the opener on the suspended list, but should be viewed as a lock because the Patriots made no obvious attempt to replace him in the draft or free agency. Brandon Bolden signed a contract extension last season and is one of their most trusted special teamers. The Patriots believe James Develin is the best fullback in the league, so he is safe as long as the Pats continue to value the position.

We still don’t know for sure much about Travis Cadet, Tyler Gaffney, Jonas Gray and James White really. Cadet has an intriguing set of skills, but could he provide more than Bolden or White? And White just had his second strong spring of OTAs, but can he do it wearing pads? Is Gray the bulldozer we saw against the Colts or the guy Bill Belichick preferred to keep in the doghouse? And the thinking here is that Gaffney’s best work must come in pads, which is why he had a somewhat quiet spring.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say that White, a 2014 fourth-round pick, dazzled at the start of training camp last season before falling off the map with 16 healthy scratches in 19 games. He was strong again during the nine-week OTAs program and appeared to be the Pats’ best back in passing situations. White could monopolize that role if he keeps it up and earns more trust, the story went on to say. But if he disappears again midway through camp, he might even get cut. We had news articles last year that stated White could be a potential Shane Vereen replacement, but the team signed Cadet in the offseason and right now is a bit more proven after filling in for Pierre Thomas at times last year in New Orleans. With Blount seemingly the early down back, the winner of the third down, passing situation job could potentially have PPR value in fantasy leagues.

James White, Travaris Cadet and Dion Lewis 'closely bunched' for Patriots' pass-catching role

Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 12:03pm

Mike Reiss, ESPN - [Full Article]

Perhaps most notable about the Patriots' running back position is that James White, Travaris Cadet and Dion Lewis look to be closely bunched for the pass-catching role vacated by Shane Vereen at this juncture.

Fantasy Impact:

If any single back wins the pass-catching role outright, he'll suddenly be a factor in PPR formats. Shane Vereen averaged 4.3 catches per game over the past two years (including the postseason). That projects to 68.8 receptions over a full 16-game season.

Patriots Beat: RB James White is 'poised to make a year two jump'

Thursday, July 9, 2015, 5:09pm

Patriots.com - [Full Article]

Paul Perillo of Patriots Today said that he really likes RB James White, who "is poised to make a year two jump."

Fantasy Impact:

White is competing with Travaris Cadet among others to fill the Shane Vereen role in the Patriots’ offense. That role has traditionally been fantasy relevant, especially in PPR formats, so this is a camp battle to monitor.

Giants Beat: Three RBs to split up carries

Saturday, July 4, 2015, 10:29am

Giants.com - [Full Article]

Three Giants beat writers answered a question about RB Rashad Jennings’ injury issues last year, making the Giants more likely to split carries at running back a little more.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Regardless of Jennings’ injury history, the Giants are going to split carries because they have three very talented running backs that all deserve to touch the ball. I expect Jennings to be the bell cow with help from Williams, Vereen to be the third down back, and for Williams to get a lot of goal line and short yardage carries.

DAN SALOMONE: Regardless of any injuries, I think the running backs are all going to see a fair share of carries this season because they all bring something a little different to the table. Jennings is an all-around back, Andre Williams is a bruiser, and newly-signed Shane Vereen is a third-down threat out of the backfield.

LANCE MEDOW: The Giants will likely split carries at running back a little more this season but I think it has more to do with the depth in the backfield than Rashad Jennings’ injury issues in 2014. With Andre Williams coming off a productive rookie campaign and Shane Vereen adding some versatility and veteran experience, those two will take away some carries from Jennings just like Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw spread the wealth in 2008.

Fantasy Impact:

All three writers seem to feel the same way: Jennings should get a bulk of the early down work with Williams a change of pace and short yardage guy, and, Vereen seeing a lot of time on third down. We have Jennings ranked 26th which puts him in the flex/RB3 zone. Vereen is 38th overall but will likely be rated higher in PPR rankings. Both Jennings and Vereen present middle-of-the-draft value, but will come with risks week-to-week depending on matchups.

Sunday, June 28, 2015, 4:39pm

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

Giants QB Eli Manning, 34, signed a six-year, $97 million deal with the Giants in 2009. It's been re-worked frequently to create salary-cap room but Manning's still on the same deal. It expires after the 2015 season.

Despite his age and despite his propensity for throwing picks (he's led the league three times, including 2013), Manning has two Super Bowl MVP awards and certainly qualifies as a top-end quarterback.

Fantasy Impact:

From a fantasy perspective, Manning had one of the best statistical seasons of his career in 2014, throwing for 4,410 yards with 30 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions. That he did it in a new offensive scheme is only more impressive. It was a rough start for the Giants but the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr at WR certainly helped turn around the offense. WR Victor Cruz should be back healthy and the team signed Shane Vereen as a pass-catching running back. The point of the story is more times than not, QBs tend to get deals done with their current team, so there's a good chance Manning stays in New York - and he has the potential for a nice 2015. He's ranked ninth on our QB list heading into camps. With an ADP of the 12th round, he's a potential sneaky pick because guys behind him in our rankings - Tony Romo, Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers and Matthew Stafford - all project to come off the board before Manning.

Giants Beat: RB Andre Williams may 'have trouble finding a role'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 12:44pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan of NJ.com wonders about the role of RB Andre Williams:

Rashad Jennings ran primarily with the first-team offense. Free-agent acquisition Shane Vereen was mixed in constantly, especially on passing downs. Where does that leave Williams, the second-year back out of Boston College, after a strong rookie season? Williams might have trouble finding a role if the other two stay healthy. Jennings may even be a better, more effective short-yardage and/or goal-line back.

Fantasy Impact:

Williams averaged 3.3 YPC as a rookie (Jennings averaged 3.8 YPC), so the team probably isn't making it a priority to get the second-year back on the field. It appears that Williams will serve as Jennings' backup, so as long as Jennings stays healthy, he should see the bulk of the carries on 1st and 2nd down.

Patriots Beat: RB James White 'looks like a carbon copy of Shane Vereen'

Monday, June 22, 2015, 12:52pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

In the battle of third-down backs, James White looks like a carbon copy of Shane Vereen. He’s lined up in all the same places, and turned in some spectacular catches, particularly on wheel routes coming out of the backfield. He’s made a few drops, but all in all, looks great. It’s important to remember he also looked great last year at this time before falling off the map.

Free agent pickup Dion Lewis has earned praise on the field from Brady for his route-running. He’s also been a primary kick returner in drills. He has some giddy-up in his step.

Travaris Cadet, another free agent who was the third down back in New Orleans, has had some good moments.

“If they don’t look good in shorts and t-shirts, we got a problem,” running backs coach Ivan Fears reminded us last week. “Let’s wait ’til the bullets start flying.”

Fantasy Impact:

There was a similar report last week that Cadet had the lead in the competition, so this job is still very much up in the air. If one player takes over Vereen's role, then he'll be immediately relevant in PPR formats.

Giants Beat: QB Eli Manning 'is in for a big season' in second year in offense

Friday, June 19, 2015, 2:52pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan:

QB Eli Manning looked sharp this spring on the days the media was allowed inside the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. His interceptions were down (even if it's just practice). His arm looked lively. And he set the tone with an intensity you rarely see from Manning on the practice.

Usually, he's stoic. Business-like, really. This spring he was pumping his fist on touchdowns and waving his arms in self-disgust on easy misses.

Something tells me Manning is in for a big season in the second year in Ben McAdoo's offense.

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Giants Beat: RB Shane Vereen 'not just going to be a third-down back'

Friday, June 19, 2015, 2:50pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Get ready for a lot of Shane Vereen, the versatile running back signed as a free agent this offseason. Vereen seemed to find his way onto the field constantly, and was catching pass after pass. He's not just going to be a third-down back.

"He can be a quarterback's best friend in a way in the passing game," McAdoo said.

Remember, the Giants like to pass on first, second and third down these days.

Fantasy Impact:

Vereen’s arrival in New York puts a dent in the fantasy value of both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. Vereen has always been a factor in PPR formats, and the Giants have shown a willingness to utilize their running backs in the passing game (e.g. Tiki Barber) under HC Tom Coughlin. Vereen should post solid RB3 numbers in PPR formats, provided he stays healthy.

Eli: Giants' offense is 'crisper...faster'

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 7:46pm

NY Times - [Full Article]

On Thursday, the Giants completed a mandatory three-day minicamp that was encouraging from an offensive standpoint, despite the absence of the injured star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz. The play-calling was crisp. Assignments were executed. Routes were run as designed. And Eli Manning was repeatedly on time and on target with his throws.

The Giants are operating with a certainty that was missing last year throughout the off-season, training camp and the start of the regular season. Players are no longer thinking before they act. They grasp the playbook and allow their athleticism to take over.

Manning added: “I feel we are doing things a little bit crisper, a little bit faster.”

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Giants Beat: RB Shane Vereen will be a 'big part of the offense'

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 10:35am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants RB Shane Vereen caught pass after pass out of the backfield, in particular in the red zone. He's going to be a big part of the offense.

Fantasy Impact:

Tiki Barber racked up 164 catches in three seasons under HC Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is a defensive mind, but that's proof that he's willing to let his offense utilize the running backs out of the backfield. Vereen could push for RB2 numbers in PPR formats, but with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, the team's RB corps is pretty crowded.

Giants QB Eli Manning feels 'real good' in second year in offense

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 4:13pm

Giants.com - [Full Article]

After coach Tom Coughlin said earlier this week that the offense is “way ahead” of where it was at this point last year, Manning put up a big practice during Thursday’s organized team activities. The franchise quarterback, who is entering his 12th season, threw two touchdowns during 11-on-11 drills, one to tight end Adrien Robinson and the other to wide receiver Preston Parker. Manning is relishing the second offseason in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system.

“It was important having this last month – watching the film, talking a lot about the mechanics, the footwork, being able to go outside with him and working on a lot of drill work,” Manning said recently during OTAs. “A lot of it is stuff I wasn’t able to do last year. I was coming off the ankle surgery, I had a new offense – of lot of things going through the mind, trying to figure out concepts.

“This year, I understand the concepts. I’m still working on it, but I’m concentrating on the footwork and the mechanics and the timing of everything. It was great to have that this year and kind of get back to the basics of everything. I feel comfortable, I feel real good right now.”

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Pats Beat: James White the favorite to win 3rd-down RB role

Sunday, May 24, 2015, 9:59am

NESN - [Full Article]

NESN's Doug Kyed on the team's passing-down running back competition:

Shane Vereen’s departure leaves the third-down role wide open, and James White is the favorite to win that job.

The Patriots’ running back competition will be fascinating to watch in training camp. Travaris Cadet will be another player to watch in the third-down mix.

Fantasy Impact:

Kyed also mentions Cadet, whom the Patriots went out and signed to a three-year deal. We would have thought White had the inside track as well, but that doesn't explain why the team signed Cadet. Whoever wins the job will become instantly relevant in PPR formats.

Committee likely to replace Shane Vereen, Travaris Cadet 'most intriguing' candidate

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:23pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

Shane Vereen caught 124 balls in 29 games over the past two years. His presence will undoubtedly be missed.

No single player on the Pats roster will fill his void. So here's what may happen: The Patriots have more talent at the No. 2 tight end spot than they did a year ago, so that position figures to command more targets while the running backs figure to command less.

The pass-catching role out of the backfield could be filled by a combination of Travaris Cadet, James White and Brandon Bolden.

Of that group, Cadet, a free agent signee from New Orleans, is the most intriguing. He has great receiving skills, as you'll see here, and seems comfortable splitting out wide and running routes, a rare trait for a running back.

Fantasy Impact:

If any single back wins the Patriots' pass-catching role outright, he'll suddenly be a factor in PPR formats. Vereen averaged 4.3 catches per game over the past two years (including the postseason). That projects to 68.8 receptions over a full 16-game season.

Gruden: Redskins RB Matt Jones has 'natural hands'

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 7:53pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

In hopes of complementing Alfred Morris with their first true big running back since Stephen Davis left after the 2002 season, the Redskins drafted Florida's 6-2, 226-pound Matt Jones in the third round this month.

"Alfred's a darn good halfback," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Saturday on the second day of Washington's three-day rookie minicamp. "In order to take carries off of him, you gotta show a lot. "So far, Matt's taken the right steps to take a little bit of the load off of Alfred (who had 85 percent of the carries by Washington's running backs the past three seasons). If you want to commit to running the football, you gotta have a couple guys that can tote it."

By hiring offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who helped make Dallas the NFL's top rushing offense in 2014, and using three of their first five draft choices on Jones, tackle Brandon Scherff, and guard Arie Kouandjio, new Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has shown how committed the Redskins are to a power running game. McCloughan called Jones "a physical player and as tough as crud." And yet, Gruden raved about the rest of the rookie's game.

"You think of him as a big, power-type back, but Matt's done some things out in space that have been very, very impressive, making moves on the second level, in the passing game, running some option routes on linebackers," Gruden said. "He's got natural hands."

Fantasy Impact:

Jones only had 19 catches in three years at Florida, but it sounds as if he may compete for third down duties now that Roy Helu is no longer locking down that role. Morris has caught 68.5 percent of his targets, which is a higher rate than what Shane Vereen and Jamaal Charles posted last season, but he has yet to make much of an impression in the passing game.

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