Is Shane Vereen Worth Drafting in Fantasy Football?
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone, so the door is open for a young New England Patriots running back to step into the fold and make an impact in 2012. Naturally, fantasy owners want to know if a Patriots back can make a fantasy impact, as well.
First glance suggests Stevan Ridley is the most balanced back on the roster, and all signs so far have pointed to him being the starter. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll dominate carries, or that New England won’t feed fellow second-year back Shane Vereen the rock, either.
As a matter of fact, as Ridley is arguably the most balanced back in New England, Vereen is arguably the most explosive. He brings elite speed and versatility to the table, and even has flashed the ability to be an early down back, as well. However, the likely scenario playing out in New England is Ridley getting most of the early down and goal-line work, with Vereen owning third downs, passing situations, and rotating in for some early work when Ridley is winded.
There have been whispers about Vereen pushing Ridley more as the preseason has carried on, but he just hasn’t impressed enough as an in between the tackles runner yet to make a jump like that. As it stands, Vereen doesn’t even have an NFL catch to his name in regular season action, and with just five game appearances as a rookie last year, he also hasn’t prove to be a durable and reliable asset to the team.
Vereen has loads of potential, but he just can’t be depended on yet. The Patriots clearly know that, and that’s going to be the case and revelation for fantasy owners in the early going of 2012, as well. For now, Vereen is just a change of pace back with some interesting upside. But until we know he can be trusted, he’s just a flier pick chasing Flex value. With that said, New England’s backfield appears to be a very fluid situation, and Vereen still has the potential to end up being worth a selection in drafts.
*photo credit – patspulpit.com