James White has won over Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and Co., with his steadiness and continued improvement, elevating from a player who was inactive in Super Bowl XLIX to becoming unquestionably the Patriots' go-to guy in the all-important "passing back" role. White played 30 snaps as a rookie in 2014; upped it to 290 in 2015; and played 425 last season.
As for 2017, White is one of three running backs who are considered locks to make the roster based on contract status, along with Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead. Lewis is also likely to be there, while second-year man D.J. Foster has also shown promise.
White has now seized the spot with authority.
Coming off of an injury, Lewis played in 10 games last year, including the playoffs, and averaged 11.1 touches (8.9 carries, 2.2 catches) for 49 yards and 0.2 touchdowns, or 8.3 PPR fantasy points per game. He averaged 17.5 PPG in seven games in 2015, so his role was clearly reduced last year. White's role in the running game is minimal -- what's important is his role in the passing game after Lewis returned. In nine games without Lewis, White averaged 3.7 catches for 32 yards and 0.33 TD per game. After Lewis returned, White averaged 3.4 catches for 32 yards and 0.33 TD in the nine games leading up to the Super Bowl, so it appears that his passing down role remained mostly unchanged after Lewis returned. Of course, White had a huge performance in the Super Bowl, turning 20 touches (14 catches) into 139 yards and three touchdowns, and it appears that he's now entrenched as the passing down back. The Patriots don't seem inclined to give him as many carries as they would Lewis, though his 4.3 YPC in 2016 was an improvement. White is currently the 50th RB off the board in early MFL10s (PPR drafts), and he's a fantastic value in that format if this report that he has "seized" the passing down role is true. There’s always the chance that the Patriots turn back to Lewis if White gets a case of fumble-itis, but White should have enough leash to overcome a turnover or two.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 6:42pm
Backup quarterback Ryan Nassib also landed on IR with an elbow injury.
Vereen, 27, had his season derailed by the triceps he originally tore in his left arm during a Week 3 loss to the Eagles. He was placed on IR and later activated prior to a Week 14 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. He left that game early with a concussion but returned for Sunday's win over the Detroit Lions.
Vereen could be seen with his left arm dangling after he lunged for a fourth-quarter pass against the Lions. He also fumbled earlier in the contest near the goal line after being sandwiched by a pair of Lions defenders near the goal line. Bobby Rainey should see time as the team's pass catching back. Paul Perkins is trending up and split carries with Rashad Jennings last week, the first time the two split the workload. They should continue to see the bulk of the workload running the ball.
Coach Ben McAdoo disclosed Monday evening that third-down back Shane Vereen reinjured his triceps in his second game back after tearing the muscle in the third week of the season and having surgery.
"It's unfortunate," the rookie coach said. "He worked his tail off to get back to where he was, and I am disappointed for Shane."
Related players: Bobby Rainey
McAdoo did not know if Vereen would require surgery again, and he was not willing to say the six-year veteran would miss the rest of the season. Bobby Rainey seems likely to move into the third down, pass-catching role if Vereen is unable to play at any point.
The versatile and running back was a limited participant in practice all week. He only took part in the non-contact portions of the workouts.
Vereen will have to battle Jennings and Perkins for carries but should resume his role as the team's third down back ahead of Rainey. Vereen is much safer in deeper PPR leagues.
Friday, December 16, 2016, 6:08pm
Giants RB Shane Vereen (concussion, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 15. Vereen will have to make it through the league’s concussion protocol to play this week.
Thursday, December 15, 2016, 7:16pm
Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 7:07pm
Giants running back Shane Vereen's comeback was brief.
Vereen returned to the lineup in Sunday's 10-7 win over the Cowboys after spending the previous nine games on injured reserve with a torn triceps. But Vereen lasted only three plays on Sunday before leaving with a concussion.
The Giants announced a few minutes later that Vereen was out for the game with a concussion. Coach Ben McAdoo stated that Vereen is in the NFL's concussion protocol during his teleconference on Monday afternoon.
Vereen's lone touch came on a 10-yard catch early in the second quarter. His head was driven in to the turf on a tackle by Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Vereen appeared woozy when he got up and he immediately left the game. The Giants had hoped Vereen could inject some life into their struggling offense. All three of his snaps on Sunday came on third down. Bobby Rainey took Vereen's spot in the two-minute offense late in the first half, while Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins played the majority of snaps at running back.
Vereen just returned from IR because of a triceps injury and appeared to hit his head on the turf before leaving the game. The Giants were hoping he'd give a nice boost to the offense as a pass catching, change of pace back. Paul Perkins, Bobby Rainey and Rashad Jennings will go back to handing the RB duties, and of course, Vereen will enter the league's protocol putting his status for next week in question.
Related players: Rashad Jennings
Vereen may be a forgotten player in your league as reports came out early after his injury he was done for the year. But a possible return next week may be a good enough reason to take a shot on him if he's on your wire, especially in PPR leagues. Vereen was averaging about 13 touches in his only three games of the season, and that actually included over 10 carries a game.
Shane Vereen is one of the NFL's best pass-catching backs, and he was a safety valve for quarterback Eli Manning. Vereen also was an asset in pass protection. Bobby Rainey figures to inherit many of Vereen's passing down snaps now, but he must do a lot to fill all the roles Vereen played. Rashad Jennings and Orleans Darkwa can also catch passes out of the backfield.
Related players: Paul Perkins
But the story kind of put a damper on Rainey's potential, saying they may not be able to use the short passing game like the did with Vereen. Instead, they may depend on Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard on screen and bubble passes more. Or, they may commit more to the run. The story added the team feels Perkins is ready to step up in the passing down role but added he struggled in preseason with pass protection.
It appears that reports of Giants RB Shane Vereen's demise were premature. The team sent out a press release about Vereen's injury later Monday afternoon that removed the "season-ending" characterization.
Vereen will be placed on injured reserve, but there is a chance that he could be activated if he heals before the end of the season. A rule allows teams to activate one player from IR each season.
A player has to be on injured reserve for at least six weeks before he is eligible to be activated. The player can return to game action after eight weeks. The NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that Vereen's recovery time is "in the area of two months." That means Vereen could possibly return in late November for the stretch run.
The New York Giants lost more than the game against Washington on Sunday. Running back Shane Vereen is out for the season with a triceps injury that requires surgery, the team announced on Monday afternoon.
Vereen is the team's passing-down back, and he assumed feature duties on Sunday in the absence of Rashad Jennings, who missed the game with an injury of his own. He was off to an excellent start to the season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and catching eight passes for 75 yards as well.
Giants beat writer James Kratch answered a question about the team's RB situation:
I expect the Giants to start the season with Rashad Jennings as their starting running back and Shane Vereen as the third down/hurry-up back, with Andre Williams being the short-yardage/change-of-pace guy.
I think rookie Paul Perkins could definitely make an impact, but my guess is that would come later in the season. If Jennings stays healthy, I think he can be the Giants' first 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012.
Kratch said it helped last year the Gaints broke up the RB committee down the stretch and as a result Jennings took over as the hot hand behind an improved offensive line. Jennings is 30th on our RB list but is another later-round selection who could produce as part of your fantasy committee.
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