Shane Vereen Fantasy News

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.

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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.

Giants OC Ben McAdoo says offensive improvement 'usually shows up' in the second year

Sunday, May 10, 2015, 1:35pm

NY Post - [Full Article]

All of Giants QB Eli Manning’s statistics trended upward in 2014 after a sub-par 2013, with room for more growth.

“Usually when you put in changes or change the system or address fundamentals, it usually shows up in Year 2,’’ OC Ben McAdoo said. “I like the look in his eye. I am excited for what is on the plate this year.’’

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.

Raiders planning to use RB Roy Helu in up-tempo offense

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 1:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Roy Helu, 26, looks like a perfect fit for Oakland’s new up-tempo offense that will often feature a no-huddle approach. ESPN scout Matt Williamson thinks Helu can be one of the Raiders’ most productive offensive weapons even though it will be in a limited role.

Williamson thinks Helu can do what like new New York Giants back Shane Vereen did in New England. Vereen had a total of 148 touches last season.

“While he isn’t great in protection, I think he will be a very valuable piece and a quick safe option for Derek Carr in this up-tempo passing game and offense overall,” Williamson said. “Helu has been extremely productive on a per-snap basis.”

Fantasy Impact:

Helu has averaged 2.69 catches per game in his four-year career, and is expected to serve as the team's primary passing down back while Latavius Murray and Trent Richardson compete for early-down duties. The Raiders are planning to move to a more up-tempo offense under OC Bill Musgrave, who spent last season working for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Helu is likely to be fantasy relevant in PPR formats, though the explosive Murray should hold the most fantasy value in 2015.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 8:22pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

There are several reasons to wonder whether a happy ending is in the cards for WR Victor Cruz and the Giants, and whether an unhappy one might be coming sooner rather than later.

The emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. as a No. 1 wide receiver in his 2014 rookie season after Cruz went down is one of those reasons. The severity of the injury (torn patellar tendon) from which Cruz is recovering is another. And this recent study by NumberFire, which shows that Cruz's production was already in decline in the two years prior to 2014, offers yet another.

Fantasy Impact:

The story goes on to say a lot could still depend on what happens in 2015 - whether or when Cruz recovers, how productive he is in the second year of Ben McAdoo's offense, how he meshes with Beckham and Rueben Randle and Shane Vereen and Larry Donnell and Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, all of the varied weapons available to the Giants on offense. This decision could be an easy one in either direction next February. But the potential is there for it to remain a tricky one, because of a lot of things that weren't yet factors when he signed that contract just two years ago. The Giants would save only $2.45 million against this year's cap if they cut Cruz now, and they have no reason to do so. But the cap savings jumps to $6.1 million if they cut him next offseason, the story adds.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 11:45am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

In the four games that Giants RB Rashad Jennings sat out, RB Andre Williams never ran for more than 59 yards, and never surpassed 3.5 yards per carry.

Williams was partly victimized by an offensive line that lost way too many battles at the line of scrimmage, failing to open up holes long enough for Williams to exploit. Only one starting offensive lineman had a positive run blocking grade last season, per Pro Football Focus (left tackle Will Beatty at +6.1).

Williams also displayed poor vision in finding those holes and cutback lanes. At 5-11, 230 pounds, Williams is a bruising north-south runner with some giddy-up when he gets to the second level, but he had trouble grasping the patience aspect of being an every-down back. Instead of waiting a split-second after he was handed the ball for his blocks to materialize, Williams would often run straight ahead, knocking into the backside of his offensive linemen countless times.

Fantasy Impact:

That's not to say that Williams' rookie year was a complete lost cause, the story went on to say. He finally broke the 100-yard mark in Week 14 against the woeful Tennessee Titans, busting out for 131 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Two weeks later against a much better St. Louis Rams defense, Williams gashed them for 110 yards on 26 carries. Those performances give reason for optimism that Williams can develop into a nice complementary back in his sophomore season. But with Shane Vereen now in the fold as the likely third down running back behind Jennings, that leaves Williams' role this year up for question.

LeGarrette Blount suspended for Week 1

Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 6:21pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

LeGarrette Blount will begin next season on the bench.

A league spokesperson informed NFL Media on Tuesday that the New England Patriots running back has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

The sixth-year back played a core role during New England's Super Bowl run after being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in mid-November. After running for just 266 yards over 11 games with the Steelers, Blount hammered defenses for 281 yards over New England's final five games of the regular season. He blasted opponents for another 189 yards over three playoff tilts under coach Bill Belichick.

Fantasy Impact:

Blount is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices. He'll be permitted to make his season debut Week 2, the story added. It's a brief suspension, but Blount's absence puts New England in a pinch out of the gate. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are gone, leaving Jonas Gray, James White, Brandon Bolden and James Develin next up to get work.

Patriots have signed RB Travaris Cadet

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 5:26pm

Field Yates, Twitter - [Full Article]

Source: the Patriots have signed former Saints RB Travaris Cadet.

Fantasy Impact:

With Shane Vereen leaving to join the Giants, the Patriots needed a new pass-catching RB, and Cadet fits the bill. Cadet has caught 45 of 61 targets for a 7.7 yards-per-catch average. Vereen had a lower catch rate but a higher YPC (9.6) in three years with the Patriots. If he can secure the job, Cadet will be fantasy relevant in PPR formats.

Giants sign RB Shane Vereen

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 2:16pm

Mike Garafolo, Twitter - [Full Article]

RB Shane Vereen to the Giants. Done deal, source says.

Fantasy Impact:

Vereen will serve as the team's passing down back, putting a sizable dent in the upside of Rashad Jennings, who averaged 3.2 catches (and 23 receiving yards) in the nine games in which he played significant snaps. With Andre Williams also in the mix for early down work, this situation appears to be devolving into a true committee.

Looking ahead at the Patriots' 2015 RB corps

Monday, February 9, 2015, 3:34pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, who excels on special teams, are going to be on next year's roster. There will be one pass-catching back; whether that player is Shane Vereen or James White or someone else remains to be seen. If Stevan Ridley is re-signed, that's four running backs. There will also be competition from Tyler Gaffney, a 6-foot-1, 227-pound back who spent his rookie season on injured reserve. So Gray will probably have to prove himself in the offseason.

Vereen, who had 11 receptions in the Super Bowl, is a free agent. He probably won't cost the team a ton (for reference, Danny Woodhead got a two year, $3.5 million contract from San Diego in 2013).

The Patriots let Woodhead walk because they also had Vereen, so their decision may be based on their depth at the position. If they feel confident that rising second-year pro James White can fill Vereen's spot, you might not see No. 34 in a Pats uniform come next fall.

Fantasy Impact:

Part of Vereen's appeal is that he plays in a friendly system, but he lacks consistency, even in PPR formats. The team's willingness to re-sign Vereen will likely come down to price.

Ravens can slow Rob Gronkowski, but it will come at a cost

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:44pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Ravens have only allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the regular season, and they held Jimmy Graham to 47 yards receiving. Do the Ravens have a chance of slowing down Rob Gronkowski, or do you throw out those numbers because he is on a different level?

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss: They can definitely slow Gronkowski, but it will come at a cost. One of the most impressive things about Gronkowski’s season to me is how his 82 catches for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns hardly tell the whole story. It’s plays like touchdown catches by Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen against the Broncos on Nov. 2 that highlight his true value because there were three to four defenders swarming around Gronkowski in the end zone, creating those one-on-one opportunities for Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen. That was pretty commonplace this season with Gronkowski, who is a pure combination tight end in the sense that he can also dominate as a blocker when he wants; it's not just catching the ball. So I’d be surprised if the Ravens can slow Gronkowski consistently with just one player like safety Will Hill. But if they want to devote extra resources to it, they can probably dictate the ball going elsewhere, and the Patriots have shown the ability to capitalize when that happens.

Fantasy Impact:

The Ravens are #19 in TE aFPA in the last 10 games, so we're not too concerned about their chances to shutting down Gronkowski. The Patriots have enough weapons in the passing game to make Baltimore pay if they consistently double- or triple-team Gronkowski.

Patriots TE Tim Wright could be 'a bigger part of the plan' vs. Ravens

Monday, January 5, 2015, 6:16pm

Mike Reiss, ESPN - [Full Article]

The Ravens are one of the tougher run defenses in the NFL, ranking fourth this season in holding opponents to an average of 88.3 yards per game and not allowing a 100-yard rusher in the past 27 games. They are a sturdy front seven and with this in mind, it's hard to imagine the Patriots go with a heavy diet of bigger personnel and a power-running approach. Instead, a more likely scenario is that the Patriots attempt to manipulate matchups in hopes of lightening the box and getting the Ravens into sub packages to test their overall quality and depth in the defensive backfield, which is their primary area of vulnerability. For the Patriots to do this, adding a second tight end with more of a pass-catching profile, third receiver, or second running back makes sense. This is where Wright, a "move" tight end, could be a bigger factor. When blocking-based tight end Michael Hoomanawanui is paired with Rob Gronkowski, it usually results in opponents playing base defense. But when Wright is paired with Gronkowski, it has sometimes been sub because he's more of a pass-catching threat. The Patriots have had success going up-tempo with that grouping as well, so we could envision Wright being a bigger part of the plan Saturday, with receiver Danny Amendola and running back Brandon Bolden (in a two-back set with Shane Vereen) as other options.

Fantasy Impact:

Wright's production has been spotty, but when the Patriots have called his number, he has usually delivered.

Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm

Patriots RB Shane Vereen (ankle, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 17. Vereen should continue to play through the questionable tag, but the workload status of all the Patriot starters is very much up in the air in what amounts to a meaningless game.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) downgraded to OUT

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 8:06pm

Jeff Howe, Twitter - [Full Article]

LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) was also downgraded to out. Jonas Gray time.

Fantasy Impact:

Jonas Gray and Shane Vereen both get a bump, but Gray figures to benefit more since he and Blount were splitting between-the-tackles carries for the Patriots.

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