Brandon Bolden: Patriots RB Is Perfect Waiver-Wire Option for Owners in Need

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIISeptember 30, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29: Brandon Bolden #38 of the New England Patriots looks runs against the New York Giants during an NFL preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

In a truly Bill Belichickian move, the New England Patriots have begun to feature rookie running back Brandon Bolden in their offense, a move that should excite fantasy owners everywhere.

Well, that is only if you need a secondary running back in a deeper league.

The 22-year-old Baton Rouge native lost out on the opportunity to be drafted by an NFL team thanks to injuries in college and a history of off-field issues, but Belichick and the Patriots did what they always do and found talent in the deepest depths of college football.

If someone in your league hasn't already, it would be wise to scoop up the former Ole Miss Rebel before your most hated rival pulls the trigger on him.

Bolden went largely unmentioned over the first three weeks of the season, but he exploded on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Despite sharing the workload with No.1 running back Stevan Ridley, Bolden rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries in the Patriots 52-28 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Bolden went undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft, but many teams' aversion to drafting him wasn't because of his lack of talent. He showed a tendency to miss time due to injury in the college ranks, as well as questionable character.

But when he was on the field for the Rebels, he was a powerful runner between the tackles at 5'11", 220 pounds. In 2010, his best statistical and most healthy season, Bolden rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The same goes for Bolden's time with the Patriots. When he is on the field, he's made an impact for New England. Although Sunday marked that first game in which he was used frequently, fantasy owners should look for him to continue that trend.

While he scored one less touchdown than Ridley did, his overall numbers will only improve over the next month, as two of the Patriots next four games come against teams that are in the bottom-third in rushing defense (New York Jets and St. Louis Rams).

Bolden, who is currently owned in less than one percent of ESPN leagues, may not be the most aesthetic name on a fantasy team, but if you're looking for another option at this point, chances are you will take what you can get.

His teammate Ridley will probably remain the feature back for now, but you never know what the future will bring when it comes to injuries or Belichick going with the hot hand.

Either way, Bolden is worth dropping one of your wide receivers who is a less playable option.