FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Stevan Ridley #22 of the New England Patriots stiff arms Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter of New England's 27-24 win at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
The Patriots don't depend much on running backs for offensive production. Will new starter at running back Stevan Ridley a productive fantasy player?
Running back is the most important position in most fantasy football scoring systems by a long shot. However, with Tom Brady at the helm, it's somewhat of an afterthought for the Patriots, and that mindset should be reflected when thinking about taking Pats' players on draft day.
Last year, BenJarvus Green-Ellis managed 11 touchdowns for New England. However, most of these were goal line carries, and now Green-Ellis is a member of the Bengals. Starting for the Pats will be Stevan Ridley, the second-year RB out of LSU, who Fake Teams ranked as the No. 26 running back in the NFL, fantasy-wise:
Ridley is gaining steam as the preseason approaches. Shane Vereen is reportedly losing ground and he's being pushed by undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden. The Patriots could lead the league in scoring, so if Ridley wins the job and gets the goal-line carries, double-digit TDs could be within his grasp.
The 26th overall RB would be a good bench player or third running back in most leagues. Although he won't get a ridiculous amount of carries or yardage, the Patriots' offense is good enough that he'll pick up his fair share of points just by being the starting running back. Also from the Pats, Vereen was ranked No. 64, while Danny Woodhead was No. 81. Green-Ellis is ranked No. 39 with the Bengals.