Great. Just when it appeared Stevan Ridley has established some sort of stability in the Fantasy madhouse known as the Patriots running back corps, he had go and do something crazy, like tearing both his ACL and MCL. Now we’re back to the good ol’ days of when starting a Pats back was akin to eating at an Oreo cookie buffet: sooner or later, it’s bound to make you pretty damn sick and make you lose your taste for them.
Nothing is simple when it comes to dealing with state of the Hoodie’s backfield. With mid-term elections a mere three weeks away, politicians avoid talking about the subject in abject fear of insulting their base. Yet, as unattractive as the situation is, someone has to carry the ball, which leads us to one Brandon Bolden.
Oh, you thought it was just a plug-and-play with Shane Vereen? Silly Fantasy owner.
Bolden is owned in just two percent of polled leagues, but watch him become the most valuable 1.7 yard per carry back available, or so we think. There’s that issue of how Bolden is a key member of the special teams unit, which means that if the Pats don’t want to screw with Bolden’s role, the door opens for either rookie James White (or even current practice squad member Jonas Gray) to become involved.
Why do I like Bolden? I look back at his 4.9 yards per carry from last season and the fact he is also as good a receiver as Vereen. While odds favor a RBBC, my feeling is that Bolden provides the Patriots the type of inside runner they’ll miss with Ridley. White had his moment of conversation during the preseason, yet I can’t see him coming in and being little more than just 4-6 touches kind of back.
Take a flier on Bolden, but don’t go too wild if you’re spending FAAB bucks. Let him sit on your roster for a few weeks and take a lay of the land in the Pats backfield. If it turns out he becomes a low-end RB2/Flex option, you’re welcome. If not, it’s a nothing ventured, nothing gained scenario, which will also help you gain the envy of your fellow Fantasy owners for having the courage to dive into the deepest end of the RB pool.
As for the rest of the Week 7 waiver wire gems:
Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders: He’s a big (6-4, 210) wideout who can make plays, as his 17.9 yards per catch average indicates. Holmes is also the new favorite toy of rookie quarterback Derek Carr, who has looked in his direction 20 times in the last two games, resulting in nine catches for 195 yards and three touchdowns. If you saw his 77-yard scoring catch in last Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, Holmes is devastating. Owned in seven percent of polled standard leagues, Holmes looks like good flex play, even with matchups against the Cardinals and Seahawks the next two weeks.
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Giants: Victor Cruz’s season-ending knee injury opens the door for Beckham to take a even bigger role than what Big Blue had envisioned when he finally made his debut after missing the first three games with a hamstring injury. Beckham becomes the team’s top deep threat and will pair with fellow LSU teammate Ruben Randle to provide Eli Manning with a pair of young wideouts each brimming with game-altering potential. Also keep in mind that the Giants’ remaining schedule is filled with suspect-to-average secondaries, making Beckham a sound WR3 the rest of the way, also with the potential for a bigger role.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins: Sunday may have been Landry’s breakthrough game, as he caught five passes for 71 yards and a score while filling in for an injured Brandon Gibson. Landry looked like a natural in the slot, and it’s also not a stretch to think he can graduate from that to taking over Brian Hartline’s spot opposite Mike Wallace. The rookie from LSU has a ton of potential, and is a worth a flier in standard leagues, in which Landry is owned in two percent of. He’s already showing value in deeper leagues.
LaDarius Green, TE, Chargers: Remember him? This summer’s Mr. Fantasy Breakout Tight End has thus far been a bigger bust than (fill in the blank with a new TV show that’s bad. Can’t say I watch too much of the Idiot Box outside of Saturday, Sunday and Sons of Anarchy), yet Eddie Royal’s injury may have opened the door for a second chance. San Diego could lean more toward a two-TE set with Green and Antonio Gates in the wake of Royal’s absence, a potential trend that showed in last Sunday’s win over the Raiders, where Green was targeted five times, catching four for 60 yards. He’s still available in 70 percent of polled standard leagues, and if San Diego does go the two-TE route, Green and his big play potential should return from hiatus.
James Starks, RB, Packers: Eddie Lacy unofficially reached bust status last Sunday as Starks shared a considerable amount of carries, finishing with 8-31-0 while catching a pair of passes for 11 yards. With LeSean McCoy apparently healed from his slump, Lacy now has an iron, Pol Pot-like (kids, Pol Pot was a….oh, just look him up, he wasn’t a very nice man), grip on First Round RB Bust status, with Starks (owned in just 10 percent of polled standard leagues) working his way into more touches. Lacy owners should keep Starks in mind as Green Bay watches Lacy slowly morph into Trent Richardson overnight. PS: this should serve as a reminder to avoid RBs from the University of Alabama. Great on Saturdays, yet utterly mediocre on Sundays.