The New England Patriots have and will always be a passing team. However, in recent years, the team has introduced plenty of running backs to get involved in the offense. With recent struggles holding onto the ball, Stevan Ridley may not be the Patriots rusher to own in 2014.
Ridley began the 2013 season as the Patriots starter. It didn’t last long as he fumbled in the first week against the Buffalo Bills. He would fumble three more times in the season and saw a drop in playing time. He started just six games last season. As a result, the Patriots used all of their running backs - Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden for the rest of the season.
Ridley had 178 carries for 773 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He had 290 carries for 1,263 yards and 12 scores in 2012.
With Blount gone, there was hope that Ridley would get more of those lot carries back. That isn’t the case since the Patriots drafted James White in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Vereen is also becoming more of an option on passing downs. If Ridley struggles at all during the 2014 season, fans and owners could see White earlier than planned.
Entering his final year of his contract, Ridley has a lot to prove not only to fantasy owners, but the men in charge in New England. Vereen is currently the No. 1 Patriots running back to own this season. He can rush the ball and have close to 70 receptions.
Ridley is not worth an early draft pick. I would be okay taking him in the seventh or eighth round as an RB3. Unless he can hold onto the ball this year, I’m selling.