2014 Fantasy Football Profile: RB Shane Vereen

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The New England Patriots have never been known to be a rushing team. It’s always been Tom Brady and his dangerous weapons in the passing game. However, things have changed over the last couple of years. The Pats are using their running backs better and in a different fashion. They have become dual threats by catching passes out of the backfield or in the slot. The Patriots have a running back ready for a breakout season in Shane Vereen and fantasy owners are ready for it.


Despite playing in just eight games, Vereen caught 47 passes for 427 yards. He finished 42nd in fantasy among running backs in standard ESPN.com leagues. He hasn’t been much of a rusher in his short career, but the Patriots plan on using him as the No. 1 guy.




Vereen is a great pass-catcher. He finished third among all Patriots receivers, behind Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. He surpassed his career-high in receptions last season. Vereen caught eight passes in 2012 and 47 in 2013. He also caught three passing touchdowns, up from one from the year before.


Edelman is the No. 1 receiver on the depth chart. Amendola and Rob Gronkowski have been frequently hurt, making them a little unreliable. Brady will look to Vereen more on passing plays, which will increase his value in PPR leagues.




ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss expects Vereen to handle the majority of the carries for New England. This is great because he’ll be on the field more and rack up more yards and scoring opportunities. However, Vereen hasn’t been used as a three-down back. He has just 121 total carries in his three-year career. The added playing time will put a lot of wear-and-tear on the young player. Will Vereen be able to withstand a full-season workload? Only time will tell.



Final Verdict

Fantasy owners should be giddy about Vereen possibly getting more touches in 2014. Owners saw the collapse of Stevan Ridley last year. He only started six games, played in 14 and fumbled the ball four times. You won’t see the field if you keep putting the ball on the ground. An added benefit is LeGarrette Blount, who stole plenty of carries, playing in Pittsburgh. This frees up a lot of carries for Vereen. Playing in the Patriots offense, Vereen will succeed as an RB2. He is moves up to an RB1 in PPR leagues.


Bye Week: 9


Projected Round: 6


Auction Value: $9 (via ESPN)



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